La Verne will have a new mayor on March 3 for the first time in 27 years, and there is only one candidate.
Don Kendrick, who is running for mayor, said there were no urgent issues that needed addressing in the city, but acknowledged the possible need to address economic issues in the months and years ahead.
“La Verne is a conservative city. We will address problems as they arise but we will not waste money,” Kendrick said.
He also said the new Police Station will stay at the forefront of discussions until it is built, although he could not say when work would start on it.
“The new police station eventually has to be built; it is way undersized as it is at the moment. Our police department has tripled in size but the station has stayed the same,” Kendrick said.
Kendrick called the current mayor, Jon Blickenstaff, the best mayor for La Verne, and said the only reason he was running was due to Blickenstaff’s retirement.
He also spoke of the importance of teamwork and partnerships when running a city such as La Verne.
“This is not an ‘I’ thing, this is a ‘we’ thing. Elected officials and people employed by the city work together to solve problems. It has been this way for 30 years and is the way it should continue,” Kendrick said.
“We have good relationships with the University of La Verne, the Chamber of Commerce and the local schools in the area, which help us access expensive or otherwise unavailable projects,” Kendrick said.
Mayor Blickenstaff said that Kendrick, who is currently a city council member, had the advantage of time coming into the role.
He also said he should use that time to settle into his new position.
He also said the city was in a good condition and the only issue was the current financial problem, which is affecting the whole country.
“My advice to Don would be to listen carefully, to be very patient, to take time to think and to enjoy the role he’s been given,” Blickenstaff said.
Evelyn Clark, city clerk for La Verne, said that one-candidate elections are not uncommon in La Verne.
Elections had been cancelled in the past due to lack of competition.
“Jon Blickenstaff has been the mayor since 1982 and has had four challengers in the 12 elections since then,” Clark said.
Blickenstaff announced in November that he would retire from office and not run for re-election this March.
Kendrick has had a seat on the city council for many years and also owns his own real estate business.
The four candidates running for the two seats on City Council are Donna Nasmyth, Robin Carder, Norm Faustini and Charlie Rosales.
Diane Scott can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.