OCT 2018 – President’s article by Scott Welsh

This election year will see a dramatic change in the way Redlands residents vote for city council members.  In 2001, The Voters Rights Act paved the way for cities to be at risk for lawsuits concerning the At-Large voting format.  The city of Redlands decided to adopt the District system in early 2017 to avoid unnecessary liabilities.

The citizens and council reviewed a number of maps to reflect a cross section of the city for each of five districts based on geographic and socio-economic demographics. An ordinance was adopted in April of last year.

What does this mean for your business?  Depending on the district your business is located in, it could have an effect on your representation.  Districts 1,3, and 5 are up for election, and one At-Large candidate will be chosen to fulfill the late councilmember Pat Gilbreath’s seat.  All council members will have an impact on all issues, but Districts 1 and 3 have the most business addresses represented on the November 6 ballot.  Districts 2 and 4 will be part of the 2020 election cycle.

The Chamber recently conducted an interview process inviting all 14 candidate invited to participate. All but two attended interviews.  Board Members and Government Review Committee members made up of panelist.

Here is what the inquiring minds at the Chamber wanted to know from every candidate:

  1. What is the greatest issue facing Redlands over the next four years?
  2. How would you support business development and expansion?
  3. What has been Redlands’ biggest success in the past four years?
  4. What has been Redlands biggest failure in the past four years?

The remainder of the interviews included questions from panelists to candidates providing an opportunity to learn more about them and their plans should they be elected. The interviews were thought provoking and revealing.  It has been said that running for elected office doesn’t as much build character as it reveals character.  This was true of all the interviews we conducted.

We also learned that Redlands has many citizens who are willing to work hard to make Redlands a great place to do business our hats are off to all the candidates.  In the end, our panelists vetted, our Chamber Board of Directors voted, and chose the best candidates from each District and At-Large. At the conclusion of the process the Chamber endorsed, Toni Momberger, At Large, Denise Davis, District 1, Paul Barich, District 3, and Paul Foster, District 5.

While we highly recommend you make up your own mind we invite you to “Meet the Candidates” an event presented by the Chamber, on Wednesday, October 17 at City Hall Council Chamber. The program will be televised live. Each candidate will have 5 minutes to share their platform and vision for the city, then a 2 minute closing statement.  Following the program, you can mingle and ask the candidates your own questions.