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Former Cerritos Mayor and Current Councilmember Jim Edwards Passes Away

BY BRIAN HEWS

Hews Media Group Los Cerritos Community News has learned that current Cerritos Councilmember, and former Mayor Jim Edwards passed away today after battling a long illness.

The former Gahr High School teacher was rumored to be very ill.

He is survived by his wife Connie,  two children, six grandchildren, one great grandson.

Cerritos resident Linda Hernandez stated, “Over his many years of service, I have always been impressed by his kindness, professionalism and sincere desire to help improve our community in any way he could. My most recent interaction with Jim was during my group of concerned residents’ presentation before the City Council about toxic pesticide spraying in City parks and public places. I believe his wise comments and leadership helped us to get a unanimous vote to ban their use on City grounds.”

The make up of the council will likely preclude any appointment of a council person, which means that an election will be held for the open city Council seat in November.

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11 Responses to Former Cerritos Mayor and Current Councilmember Jim Edwards Passes Away

  1. RIP Reply

    May 10, 2020 at 2:21 pm

    He was voted in as CCC, but failed to be sworn in I think. So he was technically Ret. Councilperson. Will not be entitled for life insurance, if we understand from attorneys office.

    Wonder if his religion will allow for funeral and if so, will there be funeral since the funerals are governed by virus pandemic.

    When will the next election be, or will Sophia Tse be next in line to be CCC.

    Edwards will be remembered for his Censor of Jon Crawley, both are deceased, so what good did the censor do?

    RIP

  2. Errol Crones Reply

    May 10, 2020 at 2:34 pm

    We are in a state of shock over Jim’s passing. I have known Jim and Commie for many years. Jim loved Connie more than than any man I could ever known. He loved his city of Cerritos, it is our’s and our city’s loss.
    We will miss him so much.

    May God bless you my friend.
    Errol and Joy Susan Crones

    • Espinosa Reply

      May 10, 2020 at 4:30 pm

      Atn Crones Family

      If late J Edwards loved his wife, he sure treated her with little or no respect on HGTV. Home is the wife’s castle and many wives were offended by his actions and lack of love towards the home. Most woman told Connie to dump Jim, no woman should be treated like she was being portrayed. Think that episode of HGTV had one of the most views in this city. Jim was looked up as superior and this remodel between Jim & Connie, was anything towards love/admiration.

      Did Jim pass because of Covid19, as one of his commissioners who helped on this campaign is severely ill. PTA is saying Cancer + Pandemic took him down…

      Mr Edwards sure did not offer aid to the long hostile debate over the Shoemaker wall group. Edwards cared more about relations w/ABC since his pension was from the teachers union, he became school spokesperson & turned away at many residents and never never returned calls or emails …………

  3. Ki Ki Reply

    May 11, 2020 at 8:50 am

    This may be city first council person to die in office.

    Odd, mayor has not come forward on this, maybe tonites council meeting, mayor will address this.

  4. Don Grassman Reply

    May 11, 2020 at 9:14 am

    Jim was a good man, his leadership will be missed. May he rest in peace, condolences to his family.

    I’d like to nominate Mr. Brad Beach to take his spot.

    • Brian L. Hews Reply

      May 11, 2020 at 10:04 am

      I would think Sophia Tse or Jennifer Hong but it does not matter, there will be a Nov 2020 election… Frank and Grace will not nominate Beach just like Solanki and Vo would nominate Mark Pulido.

      • Apprentice Reply

        May 11, 2020 at 12:15 pm

        Brian

        Had enough of the 2 Beaches to last lifetime. Both Beaches are public employees: Sheriff and Teacher……Neither have contributed anything to city.

        Janette Beach- nothing teacher…
        Brad Beach-nothing sheriff.

        City needs to use some critical thinking and elect a CEO style official, with some financial PHD.

        Wouldn’t this be a mess, Sheriff Vo and Policeman Vo running the city to ground……Vo sounds just like a union leader!!!!

    • Democratic Clubee Reply

      May 11, 2020 at 12:07 pm

      Don

      Dont think much of Edwards, he knew he was sick and dying, and raped our City Elections, moments before his death bed; just for his own selfishness. Now city will have to expense another election. Maybe city needs to have a wellness proposition, so this does not happen again.

      Flip side, many more seniors or ill will be passing, this Covid19 drama is scary times for all. Senior nerves are just shot to hell………….

      We need to elect some democrats to city office, to get the city financially secure, like Obama had to after Bush regime. Nov 2020 Pres. election, will see a Democrat Pres. to get the country financially secure, Trump has made a mess out of USA. Edwards was republican and left this city in negative financial mess. City is now the ugliness it has ever looked. Wife Connie was never a first lady, she hid herself under private religious thoughts and was nothing to city.

  5. Vietnam War Reply

    May 11, 2020 at 9:18 am

    Edwards served one term as mayor between 2008 to 2009, and another from 2012 to 2013. He was a member of the Cerritos City Council at the time he died.
    “It has been a difficult day for me and for the city,” Cerritos Mayor Pro Tem Chuong Vo said while choking back tears during a phone call Sunday. “The city and the council are in mourning for a man who worked in the service of his community his whole life as a teacher and councilman.”
    He taught at Richard Gahr High School for 30 years before retiring from the ABC (Artesia, Bloomfield and Carmenita) Unified School District, according to a biography on the city website. He also spent four years employed with the Whitney Community Learning Center and worked as a part-time instructor at Cerritos College.
    Edwards maintained his teaching career while serving as an active member of the Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commission, his friend and former city council member, Sherman Kappe, said. He described him as a man who devoted his life to the betterment of his community.
    “He didn’t want to make it about himself,” Kappe said. “It was about the people.”

    The 43-year resident of Cerritos was an active member of the Cerritos Optimist Club, which raises funds for youth development programs. He sat on the Board of Directors for Fisher House of Southern California at the Long Beach VA Hospital, which offers lodging to relatives of veterans undergoing treatment at the facility. He was also previously a board member for the Los Cerritos YMCA and Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce.
    Even his hobbies were put to use in the service of his community, Kappe said. Edwards was an avid photographer who volunteered to shoot events for the Cerritos City Council, as well as fires, rescues, training exercises and graduations for the Los Angeles County Fire Department.
    “He might take 1,000 pictures, delete 990 and turn in 10,” Kappe said with a chuckle. “It was all like a hobby to him. Some people like to surf, but his passion was trying to improve this city.”
    Kappe learned of Edwards’s death during a phone call Sunday morning, and later received an email informing members of the Cerritos Optimist Club the former mayor’s death.

  6. Mothers Day Death Reply

    May 11, 2020 at 1:03 pm

    City of Cerritos mourns the loss of City Councilmember and former Mayor Jim Edwards

    The City of Cerritos is deeply saddened to inform the community of the passing of City Councilmember and former Mayor Jim Edwards. Councilmember Edwards died peacefully at home surrounded by his family at 3:14 a.m. on Sunday, May 10. His death resulted from complications related to cancer.

    Cerritos Mayor Naresh Solanki said: “Jim was a remarkably dedicated and inspiring leader who loved serving the City of Cerritos. He will be remembered for his tireless dedication, professionalism and concern for the community. He made outstanding contributions to the betterment of the City of Cerritos as an elected official, volunteer, coach and teacher, and he is greatly missed. I am honored to have served with him and extend my heartfelt condolences to his wife, Connie, and their children and grandchildren.”

    Members of the community are welcome to place memorial tributes to Councilmember Edwards at the City of Cerritos Veterans Memorial located in the Cerritos Civic Center. Councilmember Edwards served in the United States Army, including a year in Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

    Councilmember Edwards was elected to the Cerritos City Council in 2005, was re-elected in 2009, and served as Mayor of Cerritos from 2008 to 2009 and 2012 to 2013. He was re-elected to the City Council again in 2015 and in 2020. A Cerritos resident for more than 43 years, Councilmember Edwards previously served as a Cerritos Parks and Recreation Commissioner and as a Cerritos Community Safety Committee member.

    He served on the Board of Directors of the Friends of Arts Education at the Cerritos Center for the Performing Arts in 2013 and 2014, including a term as president.

    Councilmember Edwards was active in the Cerritos Optimist Club, the Vietnam Veterans Association and the Friends of the 1st Combat Engineer Battalion Adoption Committee. He was a volunteer photographer for the Los Angeles County Fire Department. His photography assignments for the Department have included photographing fires, rescues, training events, special events and graduation ceremonies.

    He served on the Board of Directors for the Fisher House of Southern California at the Long Beach VA Hospital. He had served as president for two years on the Pathways Volunteer Hospice Board and was a board member. His community involvement also included serving on the boards of the Los Cerritos YMCA, Community Family Guidance Center and the Cerritos Regional Chamber of Commerce. He previously served as president of the County of Los Angeles Cerritos Regional County Park Authority from 2000 to 2002 and served on the Board of Directors of the American Heart Association from 1998 to 2001. He was honored with the Spirit of Service Award from the Human Services Association in 2010 and the Protector of Children Award from Community Family Guidance Center in 2018.

    Councilmember Edwards was retired from a career as a teacher and administrator in the ABC Unified School District. He served four years at Whitney Community Learning Center and 30 years at Richard Gahr High School. He was also a part-time instructor at Cerritos College and served for 10 years as the Director of Cerritos College Summer Sports Camp.

    Councilmember Edwards had nearly three decades of experience in athletics, coaching various varsity sports, including baseball, cross country, soccer, softball and track and field. He served as the Director of Athletics at Gahr High School and meet manager for the San Gabriel Valley League in cross country and track and field.

    For members of the community who wish to make a contribution in memory of Councilmember Edwards, the Edwards family has suggested donations to the non-profit organizations that he supported and served, including Fisher House, Pathways Volunteer Hospice and Community Family Guidance Center.

  7. CCPA -Patron Reply

    May 11, 2020 at 1:10 pm

    CCPA

    When Mr. James Edwards was on some CCPA related Board, the Board filled bankruptcy and was closed. Can someone expand on this, its closure was silenced, since he was running for council. The board had no money left in it.

    Sure if this was result of the democrats in power, would of made attention.

    Also, was there some negative allegations of misuse of city money by taxpayers; for the personal wardrobe they purchased to ride on the Rose Parade? Used city money for personal usage and benefits by his wife and self.

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