Friday, December 27, 2019

Larry Mowles not seeking third term in upcoming election that starts off controversial

Dec. 30  Editor's Note:  La Mirada News reported in error that 5th District candidate Anthony Otero had completed a course of study to the level of a Master's Degree when in fact he has earned a Doctorate.

Seven candidates including two incumbents have filed nomination papers to fill three council district seats up for election in March and a familiar name to many La Mirada residents will not be among those on local ballots.

After two decades of service to the city including two terms on the city council, Larry Mowles will not be seeking a third term when voters in three of the five council districts cast ballots next March.

Mowles, a founding member of the La Mirada Community Foundation in 1999, and from 2000 until 2007 was the foundation's president while at the same time serving as an appointed member of the La Mirada Community Services Commission.

Councilmember Mowles was appointed to the Public Safety Commission in May 2007 followed by an appointment to the La Mirada Planning Commission in May 2009 where he served until winning election to his first city council term in March 2011.

Expect a standing-room-only crowd the night of Larry Mowles last meeting as well as a long list of well-wishers. No city does this better than La Mirada does.

District 3

In District 3, real estate agent and tax preparer John Accornero is challenging incumbent Ed Eng for the east side council seat.

Accornero is an agent with Keller Williams Realty in East Whittier has not released a platform to this date, states he is in the process of putting one together that will debut soon.
Ed Eng

Eng is the Executive Director of the Los Angeles County Economy and Efficiency Commission which acts as an independent advisory group to the Board of Supervisors. The commission reviews the many facets of how the largest county in the United States functions internally including its policies, management, and operations of its varied departments and commissions.   

Eng is running on a platform that places public safety and fiscal prudence as his top priorities and emphasizes his years of service to the community. 

District 5

District 5, which winds south from Leffingwell Rd. through the center of La Mirada and then west to include a neighborhood just south of Biola University has three candidates competing for the only open seat in the March city election.

Matthew Morse appointed to the Planning Commission in February is running on a platform that focuses on housing density, city infrastructure, attracting more local businesses and is critical of the state of La Mirada youth sports. Morse has a Master's Degree in Intercultural Studies from Biola and is volunteers his time to youth soccer.
Anthony Otero

Anthony Otero, a police lieutenant with 23 years of law enforcement experience and former marine. possesses a Master's Degree in Executive Leadership from USC and has now completed studies that have earned him a Doctorate.

Otero's platform promotes maintaining a safe community with a strong public safety program, fiscal responsibility, pro-business environment, and strong youth development programs. 

Noel Jaimes is also seeking the 5th district seat, is a current La Mirada Chamber of Commerce board member and has been involved in area politics and community organizations for several decades. 

La Mirada News has not seen a platform for Jaimes who states a website should launch shortly and will include one.

District 4

A newcomer to local politics will take on incumbent Mayor Steve De Ruse in the 4th district which covers neighborhoods in the southwest part of La Mirada.

Mayor De Ruse spent more than a decade leading a La Mirada church congregation before assuming the same role at Artesia Baptist Church where he is a senior pastor. In addition to his duties as a pastor, he represents the city on nine regional agencies and is actively involved in many local organizations and attends most local events.
Steve De Ruse

Mayor De Ruse was first elected to the council in 2011 and is seeking a third term citing his record of proven leadership and commitment to ethical government. Prior to becoming a council member, he served on the Community Services Commission and the La Mirada Clergy Panel from 2001 to 2010.

Looking to unseat the incumbent is Jackie Fowler, the owner of a local preschool. 

Fowler has provided very little information about herself, however, her candidacy and that of Matthew Morse in the 5th district have combined to create a stir partly due to the similar design and positions staked within each candidate's platform and how closely they mirror the opinions of Councilmember Andrew Sarega.

Several sources that have chosen to remain anonymous state the Fowler and Morse candidacies appear to be in retaliation in response to years of tension on the council that has pitted Sarega against Mayor De Ruse and council member Ed Eng.  

The same unnamed sources also point out the platforms contain a number of key statements that are not rooted in fact including claims by both Matthew Morse and Jackie Fowler that the city voted to kick the La Mirada Soccer Association off from city fields with only a week before the beginning of the season last August.

La Mirada News has verified that it was the La Mirada Athletic Council, a self-governing board comprised of delegates from each sports league using city fields including LMSA that was responsible for making the untimely vote to remove LMSA after years of rule violations and not City Hall.

LMSA went before an appeals board that was comprised of Mayor De Ruse, Mayor Pro-Tem John Lewis, and LMAC President Scott Anderson who voted unanimously to overturn the decision restoring the soccer season for LMSA players. 

In early January La Mirada News will look further into the claims being made in all of the candidates' platforms while giving all interested parties a chance to clarify their positions on these or any other relevant issues.

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