Mark Henderson of Gardena is running for one of two open seats on the City Council.
On one of his latest fliers, the following comments are listed:
Chair, Planning and Environmental Quality Commission; Chair, Environmental Justice Committee; Member at Large, Rent Mediation Board -- City of Gardena
President - Gardena Brownfield Community Relations Committee
Other residents provided more information about his listed qualifications.
Ron Jackson, member of the Chief of Police Citizens Advisory Panel, and currently in charge of the Environmental Justice Committee, shared that Mr. Henderson was helping out with the Committee in the past, but that he has not been coming to the meetings for the past six months, and is no longer in charge of the Committee.
Jack Nemeth, a property owner in Gardena, and a member of Rent Mediation Board, shared with me that Henderson was a past member. His term expired, and he was not reappointed. Nemeth acknowledged that he had not yet seen the flyer.
Both these individuals and other sources in the city have confirmed that Henderson is not the current Chairman of the Gardena Planning Commission. In fact, he was removed as Chairman of the commission two years ago, having served only four months.
For some Gardena residents the information calls into question whether Mr. Henderson is fit for office in the first place.
After requests for answers on this subject, Henderson left the following information in a voice mail:
If you look at that mailer, is says "Experience That Matters".
It includes all my experiences in a résumé format. It's not saying "I am those things". It says "I was those things."
It's equivalent to having a resume, where you have your previous positions. You still maintain experience from those previous positions. I am not presenting myself as though I have those positions now. If you read down the flyer, it says "Experience that Matters", and it lists all the things that I have done, and all the positions I have held or hold.
Two members of the community had shared that Henderson listed himself as "Chair, Planning Commission" because people still call him Mr. Chairman, and that it had nothing to do with presenting his career experience.
In politics, accuracy is essential to garnering trust with voters, and every candidate needs to take every precaution to be clear on their current as well as prior experience.