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Congressional page to mayor
Turlock mayor pic
Turlock Mayor John Lazar and a member of the All Saints Squires Circle kicks off the 2012 Kettle Klash a five-minute dash to raise funds for the Turlock Salvation Army. - photo by 209 file photo

When John Lazar goes grocery shopping on the weekends, he typically spends over an hour at the store. He isn’t buying food in bulk or scouring for rare brands, instead he is chatting with citizens of the community over which he presides. As mayor of Turlock, it is these unexpected run-ins that show Lazar how in touch he is with his community.

Lazar was born and raised in Turlock, even completing his dual degree in Political Science and Communications at California State University, Stanislaus. As a junior in high school he served as a Congressional page in the nation’s capital, which was an instrumental experience that spurred his passion for politics. Lazar followed this passion to the Turlock City Council in 1992, where he served until he was elected to the position of mayor in 2006.

Lazar works as a real estate agent with his wife Nellie.

Lazar notes that governing in his hometown presents ome difficulties, such as the intersection between politics and personal relationships which is a hallmark of politics, particularly at the local level.  However, it is also this level of intimacy that Lazar finds the most rewarding.

“I like engaging with folks that I have known my whole life in a one-on-one way and being able to preserve Turlock’s history at a personal level. I really enjoy the opportunity to preserve the quality of life here and carry that torch for future generations,” he said.

Lazar’s current goals include working with the Mayor’s Economic Development Task Force to bring new business and industry to town, as well as making sure the city is expanding in a ways that are conducive to positive growth for the city.

“When you plan your city properly, it manifests itself,” said Lazar.

Long-term goals include upcoming decisions on the quality of street conditions and roads in Turlock, as well as the state of drinking water and ground water usage — a major concern through the entire Valley. Lazar is confident in the city’s ability to tackle upcoming decisions.

“We just have a great community. We have a good council, wonderful staff, good citizens and I continue to have high expectations for Turlock’s future. It’s a privilege to serve as mayor here.”