Friday, September 15, 2006

My Campaign Philosophy

My Campaign Philosophy

As a Political Scientist, a community activist, and a person that is passionate about politics and public policy, I have never been at a loss for words or opinions about issues that we face on a daily basis. As a citizen of Barstow, San Bernardino County, the State of California, the United States, and most importantly, Planet Earth, we find ourselves at a critical time in the history of civilization. The decisions made by our leaders now will determine the future of our existence, the quality of our lifestyle, and even our survival as a civilization.

A leader who makes policy decisions that affects the way we live must have the experience and background to deal with a wide range of issues. On the local level there are many issues that are considered routine and non-controversial. Other issues are of great significance and pose certain consequences. Some of those issues may suddenly appear on the political landscape without any precedent or warning. On a regular basis, your leader face issues that are of major importance and can have lasting consequences for the quality of life we enjoy.

I am running for a seat on the Barstow City Council because I believe I have the educational background and life experience that is necessary to make the critical decisions necessary to lead Barstow forward in a way that will bring about a higher quality of life for all residents. Still there is another critical ingredient in leadership that I believe sets me apart from all of the other candidates and from the current leadership in City Hall. That ingredient is VISION. Over and over again we see the effect that lack of vision has wrought on our community. To say it in other words, there is absolutely no evidence that any vision exist for how Barstow could become a better place to live or better yet a model community throughout the country.

Experienced leadership combined with a vision could have meant we avoided spilling 1.5 million gallons of raw sewage into the Mojave River. It could have meant that we didn’t sell land to a developer for less than we paid for it or that the developer would not be allowed to use septic tanks right next to the river where high nitrates are showing up in local water wells. It could have meant that trucking businesses would not have been located on the same side of the 15 Freeway next to the Outlet Mall where they create traffic congestion. It could have meant that the pool at the Virgil Swim Center wouldn’t have been allowed to remain unused for the past decade or that the Henderson pool wouldn’t have been suddenly closed in the middle of the season and classes cancelled. It could have meant that the Barstow Police would not have had to fight Mayor Dale and Council Luellig to be paid the same as other law enforcement throughout the County. It could have meant that we were already enjoying our new state of the art hospital rather than waiting for another two years for ground breaking. The list goes on and on but these are all problems that could have been avoided.

On the flip side is what this City could become when some vision is introduced into the equation. By working with the school district, the parks and recreation, and the police, we can develop youth activities to divert our youth from gangs and drugs. By working with the Mojave Water Agency, state and federal agencies, and local developers, building a new state of the art sewer plant, we can clean up the Mojave River. Through the development of some recreational lakes and reservoirs such as were created from the Feather River project, we could make Barstow a water recreation tourist destination and restore the Mojave River to flowing above ground all year long like it did just a few decades ago. With vision we can restore and develop our Route 66 heritage to infuse local business and further add to the tourist attraction of Barstow. With vision we can set a goal to make Barstow the first ever energy independent city in the country. With our overwhelming abundance of sun and wind we could very well get off the energy grid and even be a electric producer for other communities. There is so much that could be done if only we had some vision in our local leadership!

Barstow is a great City! It has an ideal location with gorgeous desert topography. The people of Barstow are the friendliest and outstanding citizens of any community anywhere. Barstow has an abundance of Community Based Organizations (CBO) that do a phenomenal job of serving the needs of our community. For too long it is the City government that has lagged behind in moving the City forward. For too long it is the City that has represented the special interest, developers, and land speculators, to the detriment of the people of Barstow. The City has an official “Vision Statement” that reads:

The City of Barstow - A progressive high Desert community with small-town advantages that preserves and promotes a quality environment in which to live, work and play.

This Vision is being carried out everyday by the citizens of Barstow while it is being largely ignored by the leaders at City Hall. It is time we take back our City. As a grass-roots movement, we can do just that and we can live up to the Vision of that “progressive small-town community promoting a quality environment.” On November 7, the people of Barstow have a clear choice. We can continue the do-nothing attitude of the current leadership or we can move forward on a new path, with a new Vision for a truly progressive community with a real quality environment.

On November 7, I am asking for your vote so that together we can live up to that “Vision Statement” and provide that “Quality Environment”!

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