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    Breaking News

    NLB Councilman Jerry Shultz Won't Make 9th Dist. Write-In Run, Endorses NLB Neighborhood Activist Val Lerch

    Councilman Shultz & Val Lerch
    Councilman Shultz (left) backing Val Lerch

    (January 15, 2002) -- 9th district Councilman Jerry Shultz announced today he will not seek a third term as a write in candidate and endorsed neighborhood activist Val Lerch for NLB's Council seat.

    As a who's who of city officials (some noticeably subdued) looked on, the two term NLB Councilman (barred by term limits from having his name printed on the ballot but allowed to run as a write in candidate) made his announcement outside City Hall.

    Group of officialsAmong the city officials attending were Assistant City Attorney Heather Mahood, City Attorney Robert Shannon (partially obscured in photo), City Auditor Gary Burroughs and City Prosecutor Tom Reeves.

    Councilwoman Kell in groupAlso present was 5th district Councilwoman Jackie Kell (at right in photo) alongside city staff. (Attending but not pictured, Councilman Dennis Carroll).

    Councilman Shultz cited a list of accomplishments (including LB's annual Veterans Parade, the Vietnam Veterans memorial, NLB community gardens, pocket parks, tree plantings, graffiti removal, refurbishing police cars with taxpayer savings and attending (he said as of this event) 4,323 meetings) and continued:

    I think more importantly, we've installed a sense of pride back to North Long Beach, which was lacking for a decade before I took over. I'm proud of that.

    And so, I have come to the conclusion that I have done my duty. I've served my time and simply cannot risk turning North Long Beach over to some outsider because of term limits.

    And so for the good of the Top of the Town, I will not seek another term as a write in candidate for the 9th district.

    And I will work diligently to elect the only candidate who lives in the 9th, who has lived in the 9th and who has worked side by side with me in the 9th for many years.

    And that person is the only true North Towner running for that election, and that's Val Lerch."

    Following Councilman Shultz's comments, Mr. Lerch was invited to speak and pledged to "continue those programs you [Shultz] started...I thank Jerry again. He's been a good man and he will work side by side with me."

    Mr. Lerch told, "I plan on continuing my fight for two [police] officers per thousand residents, as was requested in the [2000] Strategic Plan. I would love to see a Youth Commission and I want to get the Strategic Plan implemented and get an oversight body moving forward."

    Reached for comment by, Martha Sims, the only other candidate filing for the 9th district Council seat said:

    "Our campaign is to the voters, and the voters will make the decision. It's time for North Long Beach to have real leadership and accessible leadership with purpose, vision and heart. This time, the candidate will be known by the constituents, and that is Martha Sims."

    Councilman Shultz ended his press conference by advising Mr. Lerch to heed a favored quotation. "If you stand for something, you will always find some people for you and some people against you. If you stand for nothing, you will find nobody against you and nobody for you."

    Shultz thanked his constituents, colleagues, staff and family "for standing beside me for eight years as I stood for something. It was a great run."

    Kell collegial hug for ShultzCouncilman Shultz got handshakes (and, photo right, a collegial hug from Councilwoman Jackie Kell).

    Shultz, San Jose, PressburgHe then caucused with NLB activists Dave San Jose (center) and Dan Pressburg (right).

    Mr. Pressburg, who supports Mr. Lerch for Council, told "Jerry is a class act."

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