June 16, 2020-Scott Ochoa, City Manager of Ontario- Meeting via Zoom

Tuesday, June 16, 2020 

Member/Alternates Only Meeting

Virtual meeting via ZOOM


Present:   Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Mike Burrows, Chris Carrillo, Ken Coate, Sandra Cuellar, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Fran Inman, Jay Jimenez, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Pam Langford, Bill Lemann, Dan Little, P.T. McEwen, Bansree Parikh, Catherine Pritchett, Brian Reider, Thomas Rice, Michael Rivera, Dan Roberts, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Phil Southard, Sol Teh, Lupe Valdez, Pete Van Helden and Ray Wolfe.

Guests: Megan Barajas, Juan Herrera, Scott Huber and Tom Nightingale.

Announcements:  1) Upcoming meetings include Senator Richard Roth on Tuesday, June 23 and Economist John Husing,  on July 7th.

M/S/P:  Minutes from June 9, 2020

Louis Goodwin, Chair presiding.

In October 2017, Scott Ochoa was appointed to serve as City Manager for the City of Ontario having previously served as the City Manager for Monrovia and Glendale.  He spoke to the group about “Delivering Exceptional Service in a Post COVID-19 World.”

The COVID-19 pandemic has been, and continues to be, nothing short of devastating but has also brought about opportunities for innovation and change.  The City of Ontario, which consists of 53 square miles, has an annual budget of $600M overall ($236M in the general fund) and employs 1,300 people in 13 different agencies.   Both effective public safety and their “pro-business” approach have historically worked well for them.

Scott Ochoa’s management philosophy is predicated on exceptional customer service, values-based management, and precision execution. His focus on building leadership capacity at every level has been an essential part of ensuring the organization’s ongoing success.   He is keenly focused on utilizing economic development and leveraging private investment as a means of creating place value as well as new revenue for city services.  The city needs to have a full compliment of services for a healthy and balanced community.

Since the “great recession” we have grown back in such a way that those lessons learned did not “stick”.

The city has purposefully done business in a way that would insulate them from the trials and tribulations that impact other municipal corporations.  Financially, their infrastructure is strong and they heavily invested in public safety creating “place value” for the city.  Their annual sales tax was some $96m and property tax has been 2/3rd of that compared to many cities where the ratio is almost even.  They are able to raise the ceiling on property values and thus drive property tax revenues up to help fund services and programs.  This adjustment will create a more balanced community and will help them become a sustainable and “premier” community in the Inland Empire.  Expenditures for leisure services are ½ in the city of Ontario compared to surrounding cities like Rancho Cucamonga and Fontana.

They plan to better engage the 5 different school districts that operate in the city.  The performance of their schools will impact property values.  Meaningful dialog regarding policy and staff levels is desired.  He believes there may be an opportunity to create parks and/or libraries on school property.  Collaboration will make everyone more efficient.

Intergovernmental relations on a regional basis have been their strong suit and they will continue to partner with agencies that have tremendous impact on their quality of life, such as the SBCTA.

De-funding the police does not make sense and would be a grave mistake.  The City of Ontario already has county mental health care workers embedded in their police department.  Considerable resources from the police department are already dedicated to schools and homelessness continuum of care.  Over the last 30 years police have picked up many additional responsibilities.  He believes that a re-focus of the police department is needed giving them an opportunity to return to their main goals.  The homeless, many of whom are service resistant, are not as much a police issue as a neighborhood preservation issue, economic development issue and homeless services issue.  The style of policing is changing both with demographics and the leadership of their police chief.

Balancing business needs with residents’ high standards and expectations, he seeks to maximize the effectiveness of an expert and high-performing City staff.  Achieving the vision and goals established by the Mayor and City Council, Ontario will preserve its standing as a leader of the Inland Empire and continue to be recognized as one of the best municipalities in the State.

A Q & A period followed.

8:45 a.m. the speaker was excused.

Eide Bailly has requested the following change for representation in Inland Action:

  • Phil White will serve as the Member
  • Kevin Pulliam will serve as the Alternate

M/S/P: Eide Bailly will be represented by Phil White and Kevin Pulliam will serve as the alternate.

The Legislative Committee recommends a letter of opposition on AB2570 (Stone).  Information about the bill was sent via e-mail to the membership on Monday, June 15, 2020.  The group discussed the proposed legislation.

M/S/P:  A letter of opposition will be sent regarding AB2570

Meeting adjourned at 8:56 a.m.