Monday, October 09, 2006

November Election: Yucaipa City Council Candidates

This is the first in a series of brief overviews of the candidates for office in the November election.

Candidates for Yucaipa City Council
The Yucaipa city council is made up of five members - currently, Mayor Prop Tem Allan Drusys, Mayor Dick Riddell, and Councilmembers Tom Masner, Denise Hoyt, and Bob Lampi. The council members share equal voting powers on all issues coming before the City Council. Council members are elected at large to four-year terms. This November three candidates are running for two city council seats.

The biggest issue in this race is development. Should Yucaipa limit growth or welcome big box stores like Costco? Should Yucaipa retain it's rural character or embrace development?

Here is a bit about the candidates, based on their official candidate statements, an overview in the October 4th edition of the Yucaipa News Mirror, the September 28th article in the San Bernardino Sun, "Yucaipa retail hot topic in race" and various information around the web.

Allan Drusys
Offical Candidate Statement of Allan Drusys (pdf)
Occupation: Chief Veterinarian of the Riverside County Department of Animal Services (pdf)

Political Experience: 12th year on the City Council

Position on Growth: He has been opposed to development in Yucaipa that is "contrary to our rural, family oriented community." He believes in the need to improve "uptown" Yucaipa, from California St. to Bryant St., which needs the agreement of the property owners. He does not support big box stores moving into Yucaipa.

Other Positions: During his time on the city council he has demanded a balanced city budget, "championed improvements in mobile home rent issues" (my note: not sure what this actually means), has been a leader in retaining the the California Department of Forestry for Yucaipa, and has been "instrumental in obtaining much needed road maintenance and improvement money." He supported the smoking ban in Yucaipa public parks, playgrounds and trails. He has "steadfastly refused all 'special interest money'" to fund his campaign.

Tom Masner
Official Candidate Statement of Tom Masner (pdf)

Occupation: retired from the Sheriff's Department.

Political Experience: 8th year on the city council. In 2001 he ran in the Republican primary for the 65th State Assembly District, coming in 5th.

Position on Growth: Wants to attract businesses to Yucaipa in order to provide "more convenient shopping at home", capture otherwise lost sales tax revenue. According to the San Bernardino Sun, "Masner envisions something on a slightly smaller scale than Citrus Plaza, a large shopping center in Redlands." Masner is quoted as saying "We need a Costco or Home Depot and a movie theater, different things for our people in town, so they can shop at home."

Other Positions: Masner voted against the smoking ban in Yucaipa public parks, playgrounds and trails. He encourages business owners to attend city council meetings. He encourages votes for Ken Smith as well.

Ken Smith
Official Candidate Statement of Ken Smith (pdf)

Web Site: Ken Smith for Yucaipa City Council (His official site, www.ken4council.com is now working.)

Occupation: self-employed small business owner (details deleted*)

Political Experience: Former President of the Collateral Loan and Secondhand Dealers Association of California (aka the California Pawnbrokers Association), with experience lobbying in Sacramento. Ran in the spring 2006 Republican primary for the 65th Assembly District, coming in last.

Position on Growth: Smith wants more items for sale in Yucaipa, to keep the sales tax dollars in the city. He also is in favor of development along the I-10 corridor. He would like to see redevelopment in older parts of Yucipa, including "upper historic part", and would like to attract the kind of businesses to the area that would give tourists who visit Oak Glen a reason to stop here. He doesn't want development to change Yucaipa's "hometown feel". "We have a wonderful atmosphere in this city that people come here for," he said. "So we want to make sure the necessary growth fits in with what is already here." (from the San Bernardino Sun)

Other Positions: Smith wants to find out why energy costs are higher in Yucaipa than in bordering communities. According to his web site: "I would like to use my experience in Sacramento to ensure Yucaipa receives back its fair share of taxes paid by Yucaipa residence. Local traffic and infrastructure are ongoing issues that need continual attention."

* Update: Ken Smith gave me a phone call, and explained that his insurance doesn't allow him to live in the same city as he does business. He asked me to remove his business details, so I have. I'll have another post about our conversation later.

Endorsements

The Press -Enterprise endorses incumbents Allan Drusys and Tom Masner. "Both men show a sound grasp of how city government works, and a good understanding of the issues facing the city."

The San Bernardino Sun endorses Tom Masner and Ken Smith. "Both Smith and Masner offer an optimism and desire to improve on Yucaipa and upgrade residents' quality of life. Drusys, on the other hand, though claiming measurable successes, via landscape improvements at City Hall and the addition of a long-awaited community pool, seems to be largely winding down from his dozen years in public service, and lacks the inspiration and excitement we like to see in our civic leaders."

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3 Comments:

Blogger Ken Smith said...

Ken Smith For Yucaipa City Council
I would like to announce two new endorsements.
I just received endorsement from the San Bernardino County Republican Party and The Calimesa,Yucaipa Democratic club. I appreciate both of these organizations support and will do my best if elected to serve the residents of Yucaipa.
Ken Smith for Yucaipa city Council

7:46 AM  
Blogger Ken Smith said...

Election 2008
Ken Smith For Yucaipa City Council
As a Yucaipa resident for the past 24 years with 18 years of business ownership, I will strive to maintain the delicate balance between our rural hometown atmosphere and achieving prosperity and self-sufficiency for our city.

Our city can only be strong if we capture lost revenues (Sales Tax) currently leaving our city by providing the shopping and job opportunities at home.

Federal and state grant moneys are hard to find in tough economic times. The expense of gasoline and travel time to shop outside of our community is large as well is causing air pollution and traffic congestion.

Clean, nonpolluting businesses and entertainment venues will promote tax revenues to increase our police and fire services, roads, and sidewalks without raising taxes.

Fair and honest city government insurer's success and eliminates special interest.

I ask for your vote, trust and pledge to represent every citizen of Yucaipa.

Its time for change! Vote Ken Smith Kensmith7@mac.com

7:52 AM  
Blogger Peggy said...

Thanks Ken.

11:22 AM  

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