Six candidates are seeking a total of two seats in the upcoming city council election. This week, The Journal provides a profile of Clarence Cryer, one of those candidates. The newspaper has already presented information on four of the candidates: Pat Nolan, Shea DeVaney, Debra Kwast and Jeanette Zamora. Also running for the office is Karl Kassner.
In upcoming weeks, The Journal will spotlight the two candidates for the Area 2 school board seat—incumbent Mary Wadsworth and her challenger, Sam Ramirez.
A resident of Corcoran for the past three years, Clarence Cryer has made it a point to become involved in the community. He is president-elect of the local Kiwanis Club, lists membership in the local Rotary Club and has joined the board of Kings Community Action Organization.
He ran for city council in the 2014 election, falling behind three incumbents for a seat on the council. That did not stop him: he soon found an appointment to the city’s planning commission,
Cryer noted that the planners do not meet as often as he thought they might, but noted that could be a symptom of a lack of rapid growth in the community.
The former Floridian said he would like to focus on future growth, with an emphasis on four areas, which he labeled HELP: health, education, labor and public safety. An advocate of Measure K, which will supply additional money to local public safety efforts, Cryer said he would also like to explore additional opportunities aimed at capitalizing collectively on that effort.
Cryer is accustomed to making things happen, even with shrinking resources and budgets. As CEO of healthcare services for all inmates at the Substance Abuse Treatment Facility and State Prison at Corcoran (SATF), he oversees seven medical clinics—one on each yard at the institution—as well as an emergency room facility and 38-bed infirmary; 20 of those beds are set aside for mental health crises.
He effectively provides health care services for over 5,000 inmates, while directing a staff that includes physicians, dentists, mental health workers and auxiliary staff.
Cryer said he sees himself as a liaison between the community and the city. Often, he noted, decisions are made without listening to the people impacted by those decisions.
“I want to listen to what residents want,” he noted. “That way, there is community buy-in. Otherwise, things can fall flat.”
His commitment to community services has been in place most of his adult life. He graduated with a degree in journalism and worked for a Florida weekly, as well as the Miami Herald, before feeling a calling to health care and returning to receive a second degree in public health and later, a master’s degree in medical technology.
When Cryer is able to take time from his busy schedule, he likes to travel back to Florida to visit with family and friends.