Council members and city officials since 1954

Lakewood is a general law city, organized according to the civil code of the state of California. (Charter cities are formed on the basis of a charter adopted by the state legislature. Today, there is very little difference between a charter city and general law city.)

Lakewood's five city council members are elected by district for overlapping four-year terms. The city council appoints the city manager and the city attorney. The city manager is responsible to the city council for the day-to-day management of the city’s workforce and the city’s budget. The city attorney provides legal advice to the city council. (A closer look at Lakewood's organizational structure)

The city council appoints the members of Community Safety Commission, the Planning and Environment Commission, and the Recreation and Community Services Commission. Commissioners are Lakewood residents who serve without compensation. Each commission has five members.

Lakewood was incorporated on April 16, 1954. The first city council members were Angelo M. Iacoboni and Gene Nebeker (elected to four-year terms) and William J. Burns, George Nye, Jr., and Robert W. Baker (elected to two-year terms). The arrangement of the first terms of council members ensured that city council elections would occur every two years and terms would overlap.

The office of mayor in Lakewood was originally held for a two-year term. Beginning in 1976, the office of mayor changed to a one-year term.

The mayor is chosen from among the five council members. The position is mostly ceremonial, although the mayor does preside at city council meetings.

 

Lakewood City Council Members: 1954 to 2022

M= Mayor      E = Elected at the municipal election held that year

1954

Iacoboni (M)

Nebeker

Burns

Nye

Baker

1956

Iacoboni (M)

Nebeker

Burns (E)

Nye (E)

Baker (E)

1958

Iacoboni (E/M)

Nebeker (E)

Burns

Nye

Baker

1960

Iacoboni

Nebeker

Burns (E)

Nye (E/M)

Baker (E)

1962

Iacoboni (E)

Nebeker (E)

Burns

Nye

Baker (M)

1964

Iacoboni

Nebeker

Burns (E)

Nye (E)

Baker (E/M)

Following the death of Angelo Iacoboni in February 1964, the city council appointed Woodrow W. Smith to fill the remainder of Iacoboni’s unexpired term (February 1964-1966). Gene Nebeker resigned his office in September 1964. The city council appointed Charles Schweitzer to fill Nebeker’s unexpired term (September 1964-1966). Schweitzer was subsequently elected to two full terms.

1966

Hannaford (E)

Schweitzer (E)

Burns (M)

Nye

Baker

1968

Hannaford (M)

Schweitzer

Burns (E)

Nye (E)

Baker (E)

1970

Hannaford (E)

Schweitzer (E)

Burns

Nye (M)

Baker

Following the death of George Nye, Jr. in May 1971, the city council again appointed Woodrow W. Smith to fill the remainder of Nye’s term (May 1971-1972).

1972

Hannaford (M)

Schweitzer

Pokras (E)

Piercy (E)

Young (E)

1974

Hannaford (E)

Bennitt (E)

Pokras

Piercy (M)

Young

In December 1974, Mark Hannaford resigned his office to assume office as a congressman. Larry Van Nostran was elected to fill Hannaford's unexpired term (March 1975-1976) in a special election.

1976

Van Nostran

Bennitt (M)

DeBaun (E)

Branstine (E)

Plunkett (E)

Beginning in 1976, the term for the office of mayor changed from two years to one year. In a special election held in April 1977, Donald R. Plunkett was recalled from office (the only city council member to be recalled). In July 1977, Paul Zeltner was elected in a special election to fill the vacancy (July 1977-1980) created by the Plunkett recall.

1977

Van Nostran

Bennitt

DeBaun

Branstine (M)

Zeltner

1978

Van Nostran (E/M)

Rynerson (E)

DeBaun

Branstine

Zeltner

1979

Van Nostran

Rynerson

DeBaun

Branstine

Zeltner (M)

1980

Van Nostran

Rynerson (M)

DeBaun (E)

Wagner (E)

Zeltner (E)

1981

Van Nostran (M)

Rynerson

DeBaun

Wagner

Zeltner

1982

Van Nostran (E)

Rynerson (E)

DeBaun

Wagner (M)

Zeltner

1983

Van Nostran

Rynerson

DeBaun

Wagner

Zeltner (M)

1984

Van Nostran

Rynerson (M)

Titel (E)

Wagner (E)

Zeltner (E)

1985

Van Nostran (M)

Rynerson

Titel

Wagner

Zeltner

1986

Van Nostran (E)

Rynerson (E)

Titel

Wagner (M)

Zeltner

In December 1986, Paul Zeltner resigned to assume office as a state assemblyman. In a special election held in March 1987, Wayne Piercy was elected to fill the vacancy March 1987-1988).

1987

Van Nostran

Rynerson

Titel (M)

Wagner

Piercy

1988

Van Nostran

Rynerson (M)

Titel (E)

Wagner (E)

Piercy (E)

1989

Van Nostran (M)

Rynerson

Titel

Wagner

Piercy

1990

Van Nostran (E)

Esquivel (E)

Titel

Wagner

Piercy (M)

1991

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Titel

Wagner (M)

Piercy

1992

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Titel (E/M)

Wagner (E)

Piercy (E)

1993

Van Nostran (M)

Esquivel

Titel

Wagner

Piercy

1994

Van Nostran (E)

Esquivel (E/M)

Titel

Wagner

Piercy

1995

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Titel

Wagner

Piercy (M)

1996

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Titel

Wagner (M)

Piercy

1997

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Titel (E/M)

Wagner (E)

Piercy (E)

1998

Van Nostran (M)

Esquivel

Titel

Wagner

Piercy

In March 1999, the scheduled General Municipal Election was cancelled because only the two incumbent candidates were nominated. By state law, incumbents Larry Van Nostran and Joseph Esquivel were appointed to fill the two open seats.

1999

Van Nostran (E)

Esquivel (E/M)

Titel

Wagner

Piercy

2000

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Titel

Wagner

Piercy (M)

2001

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Rogers (E)

Wagner (E/M)

Piercy (E)

2002

Van Nostran (M)

Esquivel

Rogers

Wagner

Piercy

2003

Van Nostran (E)

Esquivel (E/M)

Rogers

Wagner

Piercy

2004

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Rogers (M)

Wagner

Piercy

2005

Van Nostran

Esquivel (M)

Rogers (E)

Croft (E)

DuBois (E)

2006

Van Nostran (M)

Esquivel

Rogers

Croft

DuBois

2007

Van Nostran (E)

Esquivel (E)

Rogers

Croft

DuBois (M)

2008

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Rogers

Croft (M)

DuBois

In March, 2009, the scheduled General Municipal Election was again cancelled as there were no more candidates than the number of offices to be filled. By state law, incumbents Todd Rogers, Steve Croft and Diane DuBois were appointed to fill the three open seats.

2009

Van Nostran

Esquivel

Rogers (E/M)

Croft (E)

DuBois (E)

2010

Van Nostran

Esquivel (M)

Rogers

Croft

DuBois

2011

Van Nostran (E/M)

Wood (E)

Rogers

Croft

DuBois

2012

Van Nostran

Wood

Rogers

Croft

DuBois (M)

Following the death of Lawrence H. Van Nostran in November 2012, Ronald J. Piazza was appointed to fill Van Nostran's unexpired term (November 2012-2015). In March 2013, the scheduled General Municipal Election was again cancelled as there were no more candidates than the number of offices to be filled. By state law, Todd Rogers, Steve Croft and Diane DuBois were appointed to the three open seats.

2013

Piazza

Wood

Rogers (E)

Croft (E/M)

DuBois (E)

2014

Piazza

Wood

Rogers (M)

Croft

DuBois

2015

Piazza (E)

Wood (E/M)

Rogers

Croft

DuBois

2016

Piazza (M)

Wood

Rogers

Croft

DuBois

2017

Piazza

Wood

Rogers (E)

Croft (E)

DuBois (E/M)

2018

Piazza

Wood

Rogers

Croft (M)

DuBois

2019

Piazza

Wood

Rogers (M)

Croft

DuBois

2020

Pe (E)

Wood (E)

Rogers (M)

Croft

DuBois

Following the resignation of Diane DuBois in August, 2020, Vicki Stuckey was appointed to fill DuBois' unexpired term (August 2020-2022).

2021

Pe

Wood (M)

Rogers

Croft

Stuckey

           

City Managers

The city council appointed Robert T. Anderson in August 1954 as Lakewood’s first administrator (1954–1957). He was followed by Henry Goerlick (1957–1962).

Marshall W. Julian (1962–1971) followed. Julian is best remembered as the project coordinator of the study which stabilized law enforcement costs for contract cities. He also was instrumental in the development of the Sky Knight helicopter patrol program and the construction of the Angelo Iacoboni Branch of the county library.

Milton R. Farrell (1971–1976) was city manager during Lakewood’s most troubled political period. When voters elected a new city council majority unsympathetic to the policies of the council members who had appointed Farrell, he was forced to resign.

Howard L. Chambers (1976-2017) had been the assistant to the city manager. He was appointed city manager following the resignation of Milton R. Farrell. Chambers retired after 46 years as city manager, making him among the longest serving city manager in a single city in California. He was closely identified with community development. The Weingart Senior Center, the Palms Community Center, the John Sanford Todd Community Center and Mayfair Park renovation, The Centre, Rynerson Park, and the rebirth of Monte Verde Park were creative responses to the changing needs of Lakewood residents. He also led the city’s remarkably successful economic development team in securing the expansion of Lakewood Center.

On his retirement, Chambers was succeeded by Thaddeus McCormack (2017-present).

City Attorneys

John Todd portraitJohn Todd served as Lakewood City Attorney from 1954 to 2004.

John S. Todd, who is best known for establishing the Lakewood Plan as a model for local government, died at age 89 on August 30, 2008. In noting his passing, then Mayor Steve Croft said, "Simply put, without John Todd there would be no city of Lakewood and no Lakewood Plan for other cities to follow." (A closer look at Todd's service to Lakewood and California) 

Todd’s story is like Lakewood’s – a story of overcoming obstacles with innovative ideas and persistence. Along with other young men and women of his community, Todd helped lead a two-year fight to incorporate Lakewood that ended successfully in March 1954. The ultimate cause of their success was Todd’s innovative plan to provide municipal services to the new city by contracting with Los Angeles County.

Todd was appointed Lakewood’s first city attorney by a grateful city council and continued to serve until his retirement in 2004. As the city’s legal counsel, he drafted hundreds of ordinances, policies, regulations, and resolutions. His 50-year tenure as Lakewood’s city attorney is an unmatched record of public service.

His contributions to Lakewood and city government are honored by the John S. Todd Community Center at Mayfair Park, the John Sanford Todd Memorial Highway along the 605 Freeway in Lakewood, and his inclusion in the Lakewood Civic Hall of Fame.

John Todd was succeeded by Steve Skolnik as city attorney in 2004. Since 2017, city attorney services have been provided by the law firm of Jones & Mayer.