Valdivia was able to beat a recall attempt to remove him from office but his days are numbered unless he changes his ways.
Also elected was a new city attorney, Gary Saenz in November. He took over from a recalled Jim Penman who had held the position for over 25 years.
The Biggest Winners are the citizens of the city of San Bernardino who voted and sent a signal to the region and developers that says we are open for business. They were also telegraphing to the bankruptcy judge we are serious about getting our financial matters under control by electing someone who knows how to read, interpret, and analyze a financial sheet and budget.
Some of the other individuals who are winners even though they did not do it for personal attention are: Scott Beard head of the recall committee; Jim Smith and Roxanne Williams of Save San Bernardino; Barbara Babcock, the ultimate
cheerleader; and Mayor Pat Morris and wife Sally who steered the ship with dignity during a turbulent political storm.
Also winners are the Black and Latino communities: from the leadership of Virginia Marquez and Rikke Van Johnson who both supported Carey Davis with fund raising to the help of Assembly Member Cheryl Brown, and mayors Deborah Robertson of Rialto and Acquanetta Warren of Fontana. And I cannot leave out the NAACP, WAG, Young Visionaries, YAP, ICUC, and others who hosted a standing room only candidate’s forum at Ecclesia Church.
The Biggest Losers, which is what happened to the ones who lost the election, were Wendy McCammack who was recalled from her council seat of 12 years then lost in her bid for mayor. Former City Attorney Jim Penman who held the office for over 25 years and was recalled from office last November. Chas Kelley, who resigned from office due to several felony counts of perjury for not reporting using campaign donations for personal use and filing false reports, can never hold public office again. And Robert Jenkins who was recalled from his 2nd Ward Council seat and is still facing federal charges of Internet stalking and ID theft.
Other non-elected big losers are the Fire Fighters Association and Police Officers Association. These two associations poured thousands of dollars into the campaigns of city council and city attorney races to secure votes that would benefit their members to the detriment of the taxpaying public.
To my surprise another big loser is Laurie Stalnaker, secretary of the Riverside and San Bernardino AFL/CIO, a strong supporter of Wendy McCammack. This labor organization has lost its influence over the years under her leadership. I saw evidence of that when the Riverside Branch of the NAACP wanted to recognize labor and some of its members, but could not hold the event in Riverside because no hotel is unionized in the entire county. Thus they had to come to the city of San Bernardino at the Hilton to hold the event and honor Black labor members. This is a direct reflection of her failed leadership to lead this fine organization of hard working citizens.
Another loser in November was Judi Penman from the San Bernardino City Unified School Board. Judi’s husband is Jim Penman.
The citizens must now prepare to win another battle by reforming the city charter and throwing out Section 186, which has the compensation package of the fire fighters and police on automatic pilot.
Some other changes must be made to ensure our government functions as a modern government of the people by the people and for the people and not a select group of employees and officials.