AUGUST 2014 – President’s Article by President Geoff Bonney

Here President Geoff Bonneywe go again.  Like it or not, the elections are coming including lawn signs and political attack ads.  Personally, I find it kind of exciting.  The elections that is, not the attack ads.

Keeping in tradition with great Chambers of Commerce everywhere, we are getting involved with the election process.  Not to the extent of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, mind you.  Their activities gained national media attention a few weeks ago.  The US Chamber gets involved in various elections all across the country, and spends tens of millions of dollars to support or oppose candidates.  Needless to say, their Night Light Run and Ice Skating fund raisers must be enormous to get that kind of cash.  Kathie and Jan, take note.  At the Redlands Chamber of Commerce we are not quite so ambitious.  We do however, have a couple of events planned to help you become more acquainted with some of the candidates, and hopefully help you make an informed voting decision.

Of local interest is the City Council election.  The seats currently held by Mayor Pro Tem Foster and Councilmembers Gardner and Harrison are up for grabs this round.  The Redlands C of C has established a team to interrogate, I mean interview, the City Council candidates to see where they stand on issues important to the business community.  Upon completion of the interviews, the Board of Directors will decide which, if any, of the candidates will receive an endorsement.  Unlike the US Chamber our endorsement does not come with lots of cash, just a pat on the back.  Maybe if we have a few bake sales…

But we do not expect you to blindly follow the findings of our interview team.  There will be a City Council Candidate Forum on Tuesday, September 23rd in the Redlands City Hall, Council Chambers.  Just as with the forums before, this will be an opportunity for you to ask questions directly to one or more of the candidates about issues important to you.  You can attend in person, or watch from home.  Questions can be sent in electronically.

Now that we have some momentum going on this election thing, we decided to stretch our wings a bit beyond the Redlands’ City limits.  We are teaming up the Chambers of Commerce from Fontana and Loma Linda for a Congressional Candidate Forum on Thursday, September 18th, at Loma Linda City Hall Council Chambers, 25541 Barton Rd., 6:30 PM.  The race is down to Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar (D) and Paul Chabot (R).  Like the City Council election forum, you will have a chance to submit questions for the candidates.  This will be an exciting event given this race is for our representation in Washington D.C.

That’s enough for us to handle this election.  You’re on your own for the numerous measures and propositions that are sure to work their way on to the ballot.  There is plenty of information out there if you can find some spare moments to take a look.  Stay informed and vote!