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Dresser throws hat in ring for mayors post in Lathrop
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LATHROP – Former Lathrop councilman and planning commissioner Steve Dresser is running for mayor in November.

“Living here in Lathrop, we can sit back and complain about things we don’t like. But if you don’t get involved, you don’t have any right to complain,” said the father of four and grandfather of eight explaining about the “revelation” he had over the weekend which convinced him to go after the city’s top elected post.

The many phone calls he has been getting “from regular citizens” asking him, “are you going to run this time?” and commenting, “we’d like to see you back,” have been contributing factors to his decision as well.

Describing himself as “more a centrist than a polarized individual,” Dresser hopes to help heal the council and the city.

“The council is not better off than it’s been. Perhaps I could help bring (the council members) back together. We need to listen to (the people). We got to stop all these bickering and fighting,” said Dresser noting that some of the people who have spoken at council meetings were “upset” and disrespectful to the council members.

“We need to conduct business more professionally,” Dresser said.

“I think the city needs time to heal. I’m not out there to make a big deal out of everything, but I don’t think anything is getting better,” he said.

As for the city’s ongoing economic crisis, Dresser said, “I think, right now every dollar, every penny is so precious; we need to heal as a city. We just have to get well (fiscally). We’ve hit bottom but the economy’s still healing.”

Dresser is the second person to announce his candidacy in this year’s mayoral race. Lathrop businessman J. Chaka Santos months ago made known his intent to take over the reins of leadership from incumbent mayor Kristy Sayles whose term is expiring at the end of the year.

Santos has been talking about bringing business in to the city to stimulate the local economy, and “that’s great,” Dresser said.

But he also points out that Santos does not have the experience that he has as a planning councilman and council member.

“I don’t know if he is the right person to run the council. The council consists of five people and you don’t dictate to them,” Dresser said.

One thing that he promised not to do: “I’m not going to run on a negative campaign. It’s ridiculous to do that,” he said.

He has been highly visible in the community from his various involvements such as the Lathrop Rotary, the American Cancer Society Relay for Life, Chamber of Commerce, among other things.

“People know I’ve been active in the community. I was active when I was on the council; I was active after I was on the council. They need to have people (on the council) that are part of the community,” said Dresser who, since his retirement from Pac Bell, has been the technology coordinator for the Escalon Unified School District.

Both Dresser and Santos also entered the November 2008 elections. However, while Santos’s name was included in the ballot, Dresser decided to bow out early on to support the mayoral candidacy of former council member Robert Oliver who ended up losing the election to Sayles. That year, Dresser ended another four-year term as councilman.

Sayles, who was re-elected to a second term amidst the highly contentious mayoral elections in November 2008, has yet to make an announcement whether or not she is going to seek a third term.