10:00 PM PST on Monday, December 13, 2010

By SANDRA STOKLEY
The Press-Enterprise

Sixteen candidates will vie to serve on Jurupa’s first city council if residents on March 8 vote to make the unincorporated area Riverside County’s 28th city.

The council hopefuls include a retired Jurupa Unified School District board member, a director of the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District, a chief of staff for a Riverside County supervisor and the Jurupa Valley Chamber of Commerce’s citizen of the year.

The Jurupa Valley is made up of the communities of Mira Loma, Glen Avon, Pedley, Sunnyslope and Rubidoux.

The cityhood ballot item, Measure A, needs a simple majority to pass.

The five candidates receiving the most votes would serve as the city council if incorporation is approved.

Former Jurupa school board member John Chavez said Monday that while he may have retired from elected office, he has not retired from community service.

He is a member of the Jurupa Lions Club and is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars.

“I have a lot to offer,” Chavez said, citing his more than 30 years as a school trustee and his work as a delegate to the California School Boards Association.

Brad Hancock has been a director of the Jurupa Area Recreation and Park District since early 2008.

Hancock said if Jurupa becomes a city and he is elected, he will resign his seat on the park district board.

Laura Roughton, one of two 2010 Jurupa Valley Chamber of Commerce citizen of the year, is also running.

Roughton is one of the three original members of the Jurupa Valley Incorporation Research Committee, and she helped take over the Jurupa Unified School District holiday food drive after organizer R.M. “Cook” Barela fell ill.

She also has been active in fighting plans to run a high-voltage transmission line through Jurupa to serve the city of Riverside.

Candidate Frank Johnston also is a member of the Jurupa Valley Incorporation Research Committee.

Johnston’s wife, Donna Johnston, was the top vote-getter in the unsuccessful Mira Loma incorporation election in 1992.

Verne Lauritzen is chief of staff for Supervisor Jeff Stone who represents Riverside County’s third district.

To read entire story, click here.