Contact: Joe Vargo, Perris Public Information Officer
Phone: 951-956-2120
jvargo@cityofperris.org

Joanne Evans Wins City Council Seat

Retired firefighter Joanne Evans won election to the Perris City Council in the November election.
Retired firefighter Joanne Evans won election to the Perris City Council in the November election.

A month after the polls closed, retired firefighter and former Marine Joanne Evans was declared the victor in the election for an open seat on the Perris City Council.

Evans bested Christopher Sandoval by 12 votes in the Nov. 4 Perris municipal election.

The final results, certified Tuesday by the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, indicated Evans won 3,603 votes to Sandoval’s 3,591.

City Clerk Judy Haughney said Evans will be sworn in Monday during a special City Council ceremony. She replaces John Motte, who chose not to seek another term on the Council.

“My gosh, I’m glad this has ended,” Evans said from her home Tuesday. “This has been such a close race. I was afraid to look at the final results. I am happy it is finally over.”

Evans and her husband, Iral, served in the military and are supporters of the men and women in uniform.
Evans and her husband, Iral, served in the military and are supporters of the men and women in uniform.

Evans is a 40-year Perris resident deeply involved in the community. She retired after 35 years with Cal Fire in 2004, many spent as the public information officer assigned to the Perris Station just down the street from her residence.

She and her husband, Iral, volunteer at the annual Veterans’ Day Parade and Christmas Parade.
Joanne Evans served four years active duty with the Marines Corps and another three years in the Marine Reserves. She has served as commander of American Legion Post 595 in Perris and has received numerous awards on behalf of her work for veterans. She has been honored by the American Legion and the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for service to members of the military. Iral Evans is a Navy veteran.

Her son, Clinton Lee II, spent 20 years in the Navy and is an Iraq war veteran. Grandson Roger Fjermestad served in Iraq with the Army and was decorated with the Purple Heart for combat wounds.

In 1998, Evans was named Perris Citizen of the Year by the Christian Women in Ministry. Six years later, she was named Citizen of the Year by Mayor Daryl Busch. She also received an award for Legionnaire of the Year in 2006.

Evans was honored in 2004 by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for her work on behalf of veterans.
Evans was honored in 2004 by the Riverside County Board of Supervisors for her work on behalf of veterans.

Evans promised to be deliberate on the Council dais, and said she would have to study hard before her first meeting Dec. 8 to bone up on the issues facing the City.

“I’ve got a lot of reading to do,” she said.

Evans said she known Mayor Busch and the other City Council candidates for years and believes she can work with them all. She praised the current City Council for developing “extremely good working relationships” with City staff.

Councilman Mark Yarbrough said Evans’ experience and knowledge of Perris will make the transition to the City Council a smooth one.

“This is a good day for Perris,” Yarbrough said. “She’s got a great knowledge of the military and public safety. She’s a known commodity. Her learning curve will be very small. Everybody in the City knows her.”

Councilwoman Rita Rogers kept her comments brief after Evans’ victory.

“We can finally celebrate,” Rogers said. “Girls rule.”

Evans said she knows she’s taking office at a difficult time for the City, which is affected like all California towns grappling with a struggling economy. But she remains confident the Council can steer Perris a course to better days.

“It will be a challenge,” she said. “But I believe I will be doing something really good for the City.”

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