“You don’t know me but I’m your brother, I was raised here in this living hell. You don’t know my kind in your world, fairly soon time will tell. You tell me the things you gonna do for me, I ain’t blind and I don’t like what I think I see. So I’m takin it to the streets.”
The voters in San Bernardino finally got tired of all the disruptive political bickering, intimidation, and non legal advice of City Attorney Jim Penman and took their frustration to the ballot box where 60.0% voted him out of office. His legacy is that he was recalled from office.
Not only did voters get rid of Penman and his wife Judi (who was a San Bernardino school board trustee), they sent a clear message to his supporters, a list that included the old guard of former city leaders.
Voters replaced Penman with Attorney Gary Saenz who, to my knowledge, is the first Latino to ever hold the position of city attorney in the city. City Attorney Saenz has already hit the ground running and laid off some department investigators, a group of retired police officers, whose duties included code enforcement.
The voters in Ward 2 also removed Robert Jenkins from the council after he had been charged with felony counts of cyber-stalking and identity theft. They also were fed-up with his unwavering support of the public safety employee association, which will not do its share in helping the city during its financial struggles. Jenkins was also part of the “Disruptive Four” discord on the council.
They replaced him with Benito Barrios.
In Ward 7, 58.5% of the voters recalled Wendy McCammack from office but city wide they gave her 24% of the vote toward her effort to become mayor. They replaced her on the council with Jim Mulvihill, a retired urban planning professor from California State University, San Bernardino.
The voters in Ward 3 did not vote to recall John Valdivia from his seat on the council.
Virginia Marquez was re-elected to her Ward 1 seat while Fred Shorett has been forced into a run off in Ward 4 with newcomer Anthony Jones, whose You Tube rap video recently cost him an endorsement and financial support from the police officers’ association, which may actually be a good thing.
The voters also selected Carey Davis to compete against Wendy McCammack for the number one spot as mayor.
In the education of our children the voters returned Danny Tillman, Dr. Barbara Flores and elected new member Abigal Medina to lead the state’s 6th largest school district. We are expecting great things from them as they make policy for staff, students and taxpayers.
This was a watershed election in the city so this gives us a great opportunity to get the city going in the right direction. If the new officials will work together with each other without being combative while working with other levels of government at the county and state levels then things can move along smoothly.