Leading up to the November elections, SWRNN.com will run a series of candidate profiles describing each potential contender for this year’s open City Council seats. Stay tuned for continued Election 2012 coverage.
In Lake Elsinore, four seats, including three city council and one city treasurer are up for election. Of the nine candidates campaigning for the seats, three are incumbents.
Small business owner and former Riverside County Sheriff’s Department patrol officer Jerry Carlos is hoping to guide Lake Elsinore to greater success.
“Lake Elsinore has been showing improvement in regards to its leadership,” Carlos said. “But we still seem to come in behind other local cities as far as nice restaurants, good businesses, civic improvements and recreation opportunities.”
If elected to City Council, Carlos plans to improve traffic congestion at major intersections, promote local businesses and improve college course offerings in Lake Elsinore.
Carlos has grown many ties to the community since moving to Lake Elsinore in 1999. His wife is a retired teacher, with 40 years experience in the classroom. His oldest daughter, Krista, and her husband, David, are currently in Washington D.C., where David is receiving an Air Force Association award for his time as a U.S. Air Force Reserve F-16 pilot and civilian engineer.
His younger daughter, Anika, is a national sales supervisor for a San Diego firm.
Carlos was born in Los Angeles to a poor family. His parents, both of whom dropped out of high school in 11th grade, lived in a garage. His father left the family when Carlos was 12, leaving his mother to raise Carlos and his sister.
He attended UC Riverside, and after graduating, he completed U.S. Army basic and infantry training to serve as a reservist for the next eight years. The experience would also lead him to a job working as a patrol officer for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.
During his time at UC Riverside he played competitive tennis and was the California Collegiate Athletic Association runner-up, an experience that would later lead to a lifetime of coaching.
“I became the head tennis coach at UCR while working the midnight to 8 a.m. shift as a deputy and servicing as an army reservist,” he said. “I had a blast. I worked 840 square miles of area around Lake Elsinore … that can be a real struggle, but was also fantastically rewarding.”
He also began coaching high school athletics 12 years ago and continues to do so today.
Carlos left the public sector and entered the banking/real estate field, starting a family business about 20 years ago. He moved the business from Riverside to Lake Elsinore in 2005, where it remains.
He hopes to create better job opportunities for Lake Elsinore residents with local jobs that could curb the need for commuting. He also hopes to increase educational opportunities for young people, while improving traffic and city street conditions.
“Our young people need more and better local opportunities for education, recreation and employment,” Carlos said. “And naturally, keeping Lake Elsinore safe and clean is a given.”
Jennifer Dean is a local writer and regular contributor to SWRNN.