Steve Mehlman is ready for the challenge.
Mehlman, 75, is running unopposed for the office of Beaumont city clerk and is looking forward to serving the city and its residents for the next four years.
“I stepped up because there was a clear need for it and I was concerned with wanting to continue the progress with accountability and transparency,” he said.
Mehlman and his wife, moved to the Solera community seven years ago.
He was born in the Bronx to Phillip and Ethel Mehlman and has one sister, Marcia. Mehlman graduated from Somerville High School in New York and American University, with a degree in public relations. He became a reporter for the Courier News in Plainfield, N.J. and then was a Congressional press secretary in Washington, D.C.
Mehlman worked for Congressman Robert Giaimo for two years during the Vietnam War.
It was a tough time, he remembers. “My boss was kind of on the fence about the war. He was following the party line. After a meeting with the Vietnam Veterans agent, he came out of the meeting and changed his mind,” said Mehlman.
He was then hired at AARP as manager of media relations and editor of its national volunteer newsletter at its Washington, D.C. headquarters.
He also was a consumer advocacy manager in AARP’s Atlanta office. He set up anti-fraud networks of law enforcement, offices on aging and AARP chapters in 12 southeastern states, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
Mehlman said he really enjoyed that job. “It was challenging. It was exciting. It made me feel like I was making a difference,” he said.
In 1998, he was a finalist for the National Crime Prevention Council’s Excellence in Crime Prevention award.
In 2004. Mehlman and his wife moved to Sacramento, where he worked as communications director for the California State Employees Association and the United Domestic Workers (UDW) IHSS Homecare Providers Union.
Mehlman said there were 100,000 caregivers in IHSS.
Mehlman also was one of 40 California senior senators for the Riverside County Advisory Council on Aging.
He retired from the California State Employees Association in 2013.
Mehlman and his wife of 44 years have one daughter.
He said he attended his first Beaumont city council meeting in 2015. Mehlman became a member of the ad hoc Fire and Safety Committee, which has been working on securing a west side fire station.
Going to the council meetings gave Mehlman insight into what was and wasn’t working in Beaumont. He said he could see a lack of transparency, a lack of accountability and that it appeared that the city council just rubber-stamped everything without really looking at agenda items.
Mehlman also has served on the General Plan Task Force and as co-founder of the No Way Gateway committee that opposed the building of warehouses near Interstate 10 in Cherry Valley/Beaumont.
Mehlman has been very vocal at times about the efforts of Beaumont city council critic Libi Uremovic, who attempted in 2017 to recall Mayor Nancy Carroll and Mayor Pro-tem Julio Martinez.
Mehlman said that Uremovic couldn’t gather 25 signatures for a petition to recall the council members. Deputy city clerk Nicole Wheelwright said that the petition was invalid.
“It’s a sad commentary that they couldn’t get 25,” he said.
Mehlman said that the role of city clerk – the position he is running for – signs documents and reviews and approves documents.
Mehlman has a lot of respect for Wheelwright as deputy city clerk. “I want to give her a shout-out because she’s doing an amazing job,” he said.