Rialto, Ca., News/Opinion- The San Bernardino Sun reports the four sitting members of the Rialto Council were deadlocked at their last meeting to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat. The Mayor and Councilman Joe Baca, Jr. voted to appoint the third runner-up in the last election. The 1st and 2nd place elected Councilmen (Palmer and O’Connell) want to appoint a previous Councilman because when speaking with the public, they were told they wanted someone with experience.
“They all said basically the same thing – we need somebody on the council immediately, that can dive right into the problems we have facing us which are budget issues, economic problems,” Palmer said. The council hopes to avoid a special election that could cost up to $285,000.
In a similar parallel universe, the Town of Yucca Valley has struggled with three vacancies on the Council since hiring Town Manager, Mark Nuaimi on July 2010.
The Town of Yucca Valley appointed two councilmen to the dais within the past two years when Chad Mayes and Frank Luckino stepped down due to their busy careers and wish to spend more quality time with their families. Both stated they could not devote the time required to serve on the dais and did not want to try to “skate through the agendas.” This created the loud sucking noise of experienced councilmen leaving the council, both with extensive accounting backgrounds and Councilman Bill Neeb retiring after his 1998 election of his third term to the Council.
This void caused inexperienced members to rotate prematurely into the responsibility of chairing as Mayor. Yucca Valley’s present Mayor, Merl Abel, was appointed on May 11, 2011 and the past mayor, Dawn Rowe was elected November 2010. Adding to this musical chairs, another inexperienced councilman, Isaac Hagerman, quit after less than 2 years into his 4 year term and that seat has been vacant since July 2012. Appointed Councilman Lombardo was elected in November 2012 and is positioned as Mayor Pro-tem.
Amid the chaos and inexperience, this created the “Perfect Storm” for the current Town Manager, hired in July 2010, to impose his rules to run the town based on his personal experience as Mayor of Fontana for several years. Unable to rein the over spending of this aggressive manager, the town is now facing a severe fiscal crisis, which will be blamed on the failure to pass Measure U, the 1% thirty year General Fund sales tax which could not not be earmarked or designated for special projects.
Bringing in projects over budget, spending $50,500.00 to impound two pets, spending over $199,000.00 over the past 18 months for outreach on the failed Measure U ballot and finally committing $2.9 million dollars (roughly 30% of the town’s budget) for low-income housing, the leadership of the manager who lives in Fontana and is paid $20,000.00 per month to Not make mistakes, is questionable and irresponsible.
The vacant seat will be filled by a mail-in ballot on March 5th, 2013. Winning the top slot on the ballot is Robert (Bob) Leone, three-time Mayor who served honorably on the Council for 12 years.
For the reasons I have stated above, and there are others, I urge the citizens to vote for Bob Leone to bring experience and common sense to the council.
ELECT BOB LEONE
Experience you can Trust