Two more pull City Council nomination
papers for November election

July 25, 2014
Santa Paula News

Last week two more potential candidates pulled the paperwork representing the first step in running for City Council.

Ralph Fernandez, an incumbent councilman, and John Demers, who serves on the Planning Commission, respectively took out nomination papers Thursday and Friday, said Deputy City Clerk Lucy Blanco.

If he returns the forms Fernandez, an architecture instructor, will be seeking his third term on the council.

A Santa Paula resident for 12 years, in June 2013 Demers was named the Chief Operating Officer of the Port of Hueneme Oxnard Harbor District; he is retired from the Navy.

He was appointed to the Planning Commission in October 2013, a move objected to by Fernandez who wanted architect Marilyn Appleby to retain her seat on the panel.

The two join political newcomer Pastor Jenny Crosswhite and Fred Robinson, a former councilman and mayor who was defeated two years ago when he ran for a second term, in pulling nomination forms for a 4-year council seat.

Another former councilman and mayor, John Procter, who recently retired from the Southern California Association of Governments, and retired Ventura County Transportation Commission executive director Ginger Gherardi have both stated they will run for a council seat.

Former City Councilman John Procter, who declined to run for a third term ended his council service in 2008, has announced he is again for running a seat on the five-member panel.

Two of the three council incumbents up for reelection, Rick Cook and Bob Gonzales, have not yet announced their intentions or pulled the nomination paperwork.

Serving on the City Council pays a $300 a month stipend and offers a $1,000-plus monthly payment that can be applied to the city’s cafeteria health insurance plan or pocketed. The Council also receives an annual expense account of $2,000-plus for city-related business.

Gonzales has also served two four-year council terms and Cook - who had served on the council in prior years - in 2010 was again elected to the panel after an earlier defeat for reelection.

Council candidates can pull nomination papers at any time until the filing period closes on Friday, August 8 at 5 p.m., but the sooner the better: the filing must include the signatures of at least 20 registered voters that will be vetted by the Ventura County Elections Division. 

If an incumbent declines to seek reelection, candidates will have an extra five days to pull and return nomination forms, as the filing deadline will be moved to August 13 at 5 p.m.

For more information about filing for the Santa Paula City Council race, call Deputy City Clerk Lucy Blanco at 805-933-4208. 

Nomination forms are available from Blanco at City Hall, 970 E. Ventura St.

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