Deadline to file for council race is today
Sandra Emerson, Staff Writer
Created: 06/05/2011 09:27:49 PM PDT

UPLAND – Today is the last day for potential City Council candidates to file their paperwork at City Hall, and so far only three of 21 people who picked up papers have officially entered the race.

Sam Fittante, the retired owner of an Upland-based lawn-maintenance business, and Debra Stone, the funeral arranger at Stone Funeral Home, have been confirmed as candidates for the all-mail Aug. 30 election.

Eric Gavin, a software architect, has filed his paperwork but is waiting for county approval.

Voters will choose a candidate to fill a vacancy left on the council when Ray Musser was appointed mayor Feb. 28.

Gavin, a software architect, said he has been involved in a grass-roots movement calling for open and transparent government for a few years. He has also participated in his homeowners’ association.

He said he always wanted to get involved in public service, so he decided to enter the city’s special election.

“I saw the special election occurring and of course a large reason for that occurring is because of a lack of transparency that brought up all the problems with the indictment and all that stuff to begin with,” he said. “I thought, well, why not?”

Gavin said he expects his optimism and inquisitive nature will make him a good choice for the City Council.

Ballots will be mailed out to voters between Aug. 1 and Aug. 20. Completed ballots must be at the San Bernardino County Registrar’s Office by Aug. 30.

Eight more people have picked up paperwork since May 23: Ladan Bezanson, Elaine Courey, Robert “Bubba” DeJournett, Joseph Elkin, Steven Gordon, Steven Roppel, Maureen Sundstrom and Muhammad Zuman. Gordon, the treasurer for the homeowners’ association at Colonies at San Antonio, picked up paperwork but decided not to enter the race.

The filing period began May 9.

Courey, a teacher in Bonita Unified School District, said she thought it would be fun to enter the council race.

“I thought, `I’m getting up there. This might be a fun thing,”‘ she said. “Honestly, truly, I want to know more, and you really only read the negative in the paper, and I want people to be able to read some positive.”

Elkin, a mechanical engineer, picked up papers on Thursday.

“I have not too much time left, so I need to go through all the paper and check everything on what I need to do,” he said.

Roppel, a real estate agent with Lee and Associates, said he is hopeful he will get his paperwork together in time for the deadline.

“I’m a longtime Upland resident, and I’m disappointed that we’ve been getting a lot of bad press lately,” he said. “Hopefully we can turn that around and get it behind us and move forward and get back to the `City of Gracious Living.”‘

Sundstrom, an attorney, expects her knowledge of the law will help her make decisions as a councilwoman.

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