LYNWOOD, Calif. – The former council member/mayor of Lynwood has submitted an application to be appointed the City’s treasurer. Residents voiced their displeasure during the Jan. 17 city council meeting.
Jorge Casanova was the city’s former councilman. Residents don’t elect a mayor, the title rotates among the city council members.
Although he was on the Nov. 8 ballot, he asked the community to support three candidates for the three available seats.
“True Change comes through stability, it takes time and dedication. Join me and VOTE for Jose Solache, Marisel Santana, and Gabriel Camacho for Lynwood city council,” wrote Casanova on his official social media accounts. Casanova finished last in a field of six candidates.
Residents were concerned that the City wasn’t being transparent about the election process by initially omitting election details from the City’s website.
Residents spoke one after the other during the Jan. 17 regular council meeting about the appointment process.
“I am actually disappointed to see the rotation of the way politics is being played on our city council,” said Lorraine Avila Moore, a resident. “Especially with Mr. Casanova because he ran but didn’t run he didn’t claim to be the mayor last year when he put his name on the ballot and he said he was retiring to tend to his business and his family and now here he is coming back to be treasurer.”
“I am a resident for many years and I’m critically concerned about the treasurer appointment process,” said Linda George, who also applied.
George also discussed that there are no African-Americans in leadership positions within the City’s departments. She also spoke of her experience in serving as the treasurer for the Lynwood Teachers Association.
“The community is aware that former Mayor Casanova is the favored candidate for this appointment which is evident by the incomplete application he submitted,” said George. “He retired to care for his family why is he coming back?”
Former Assembly candidate and Lynwood resident Maria Estrada also spoke out against the appointment process.
“You are career politicians and are here for yourselves not the people of the city,” said Estrada.
Casanova spoke on his own behalf stating his being a business owner gives him the experience to be treasurer.
“As a business owner I serve as treasurer for several of my companies that my employees and family depend on and will treat the City’s money no different,” said Casanova.
According to state records, his company, Casanova Towing Equipment Inc. has been suspended by the Franchise Tax Board nearly a half dozen times since opening in 2008. The FTB typically suspends you for failure to pay fees and/or taxes owed to the state in accordance with state guidelines.
One member of the council spoke about the significance of the meeting on the appointment taking place the day after the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday and implored his colleagues to weigh all applicants fairly.
“I tried to pay attention to everyone’s points and the issue of Black representation does weigh on me and to think yesterday was Martin Luther King Jr. day what better person in American history to fight for a multi-racial democracy than Dr. King, and I ask my colleagues to truly weigh every single person and their qualifications and those who put in the effort to give us a full application,” said Juan Muñoz-Guevara.
The council voted unanimously to move the process to an ad-hoc committee for the selection process to continue.