INGLEWOOD — A teaching consultant, a former airline sales agent, a former Inglewood mayor and an assistant to an assemblyman are running for the city clerk position left vacant when Iris Crochet retired in July.
The city is holding a special election Tuesday to fill the remaining 18 months of Crochet's term in the a full-time position that pays $900 per month. The clerk can take on additional city duties to bring the salary up to $30,000 per year.
The clerk maintains city archives, keeps records of most city meetings and handles polling places.
A brief description of the four candidates and their positions:
- Hermanita (Anita) Harris, 41, is chief deputy to Assemblyman Curtis R. Tucker (D-Inglewood) and works in his Inglewood office. She is married with one child.
Harris has worked for Tucker since 1971 and said her "administrative background, experience in state and local government and familiarity with the community" qualify her for the clerk's position.
"As chief deputy to the assemblyman, I have been closely involved in government," she said.
Some candidates claim Harris has an unfair advantage in the election because she has access to Tucker's office resources. Harris, however, said she has a separate campaign office and refrains from campaign business while on the job.
- Mildred McNair, 44, is a teaching consultant for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She is married with one son.
She said she wants to make polling places more convenient for senior citizens and the handicapped and expand the city's voter registration and voter education programs.
McNair also wants to make the clerk's position more visible. "I think people should know they have access to their city's records," she said.
McNair, who has run unsuccessfully in three school board elections, said this is her first bid for an elective post in city government.
- Merle Mergell, 54, was an Inglewood City Council member from 1967 to 1971 and mayor from 1971 to 1979.
A self-employed property investor, he is single. He was born, raised and educated in Inglewood.
He said he is running because the city clerk's position is full time, unlike the part-time city positions he held previously, and because "I think the city can benefit from my 12 years of experience with the city and my business background."
- Lee Smith, 59, is a retired sales agent for United Airlines. She is widowed with three grown daughters.
As qualifications, Smith said she was associated with corporate management at United and has experience as the owner of a local secretarial firm.
Smith also said she would like to move polling places for the convenience of the handicapped and elderly.
She ran unsuccessfully for mayor in 1982 and for the council the following year.