Six Carson residents are vying for an open council seat that became vacant after Lula Davis-Holmes was elected mayor in November 2020. The council voted to hold an election as opposed to making an appointment to fill Davis-Holmes seat.
The candidates are: Freddy Gomez, Dr. Sharma Henderson, Michael Mitoma, Christopher Palmer, Isaias Pulido, and Arleen Rojas. Surveys were submitted to all candidates, with Henderson, Mitoma, and Pulido submitting responses.
Henderson has lived in the city for over 15 years, in the Avalon Gardens complex. She regularly attends city council meetings, and has a clear vision for Carson.
“The most egregious issues facing our city is the absence of accountability, transparency, and lack of decorum in City Hall,” said Henderson. “We are in dire need of increased public safety, crime prevention, and seeking additional funding to support a balanced budget.”
Henderson says she would address these issues by gaining support from her council colleagues using her leadership skills, and gaining broad community support.
“I want to draw upon demonstrated municipal best practices to encourage my colleagues to authorize a city-wide strategic planning, vision, and mission building process,” said Henderson. “This effort would include Carson stakeholders, which helps increase community engagement.”
Her overall vision is to elevate Carson to its rightful place as a regional leader.
“I intend to disrupt and challenge the status-quo, and usher in a new day for Carson,” said Henderson.
Mitoma is long-time resident, having lived in the city for nearly five decades, and also finds public safety a concern. He also wants to address the closure of the mobile home parks, street repairs, and aid small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“I was mayor, and a councilmember for 10 years, and did not make deals with other members,” said Mitoma. “My philosophy is the issues need to stand on their own merits without personal agendas. I will evaluate items submitted by councilmembers on their merits and not for quid pro quo.”
Mitoma wants to either reduce or eliminate city fees to help businesses reopen, install security cameras to monitor activity throughout the city to assist law enforcement, apply for waivers to allow low-income construction subsidies that can be used for mobile park homeowners, increase the budget for street repair and trash pickups, and provide additional funding for the Sheriff’s gang unit.
“This council seat is a swing vote, with the current council deadlocked at 2-2,” said Mitoma. “I will be the only independent candidate, and will focus on bringing the council together.”
“This election is costing the city $50,000, and was necessary because 40 residents applied for the appointment, including the former city manager,” explained Mitoma. “This is symptomatic of the council’s inability to compromise for the best interest of the city, and the importance of an independent voice.”
Pulido believes the toxic environment in City Hall is a top issue, and believes the City Manager, Human Resources Director, and mayor are misguided and display unprofessional leadership. He is also interested in seeking an ordinance to address the zoning related to mobile park homes.
“I am a consensus builder and astute policy maker born and raised in the city of Carson,” said Pulido. “I want to bring unity to the city, as I am honest, transparent, and have an extensive educational background, and have previously served as a council aide.”
Although Pulido is 26, he regularly attends city council meetings, and says he educates himself on all issues coming before the council.
“Carson is the heart of the South Bay, and I want to create more career (union) jobs for working families, and bridge the generational gap,” said Pulido.
Residents will select the new District 4 council member November 2.