Minutes from October 18, 2016 Mayor Aquanetta Warren, City of Fontana

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Open Board of Directors Meeting

 San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408



Present: Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Ann Bryan, Tom Brickley, Mike Burrows, Ken Coate, Dick Hart, Louis Goodwin, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Al Karnig, Lowell King, Pam Langford, John Mirau, Dan Murphy, Cid Pinedo, John Prentice, Brian Reider, Jan Remm, Michael Rivera, Khalil Saba, Kristine Scott, Hasan Webb, and Ray Wolfe.


Guests:  Josh Candelaria, Jennifer Cusack, Roman Nova, Elizabeth Romero, Todd Warden.


Announcements: 1) U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx will be at California State University, San Bernardino, on Wednesday, October 19, 2016, for a meeting with community representatives.  Inland Action members are encouraged to attend. 2) Ray Wolfe reported that Congressional Member Torres has expressed concern about lack of progress on rail service to Ontario Airport. 3) Josh Candelaria announced that San Bernardino County Give Big Campaign would be held on November 29, raising funds for non-profits within the County. 4) Mark Kaenel announced that Bogh Engineering would not be renewing its membership, and that Lou Monville has left O’Reilly Public Relations.  The Nominating Committee will convene to recommend a new Second Vice President.

M/S/P: Minutes from October 11, 2016.

Kristine Scott introduced Acquanetta Warren, Mayor of the City of Fontana. The Mayor indicated that she was glad to speak to Inland Action, as she had been aware of the organization and the good work that it does.  She knows many of the members and supports the organization.


The Mayor indicated that one of her primary goals is to partner with the business community. The City of Fontana needs the contributions made by the business community and the jobs they provide.  She works closely with Fontana Chamber and joins Chamber members to meet with prospective new businesses for Fontana.  The Kmart is considering closure of the Fontana store.  She is working with Chamber members and Kmart management in an effort to retain them in the community.


She reported that Kaiser Permanente just invested half a billion dollars in their latest expansion at the Fontana facility. She would hate to see the 100,000 square foot Kmart building across from Kaiser left empty.  She believes it is the role of the Council to work to retain businesses and bring new businesses into the community.


The Mayor is also an advocate for Active Transportation strategies like bicycling and the provision of credit card accessible bikes and smart car rentals in the city. She feels they also work nicely with Uber to reduce traffic congestion and improve mobility in the city.  Fontana is currently surveying residents about their desire for implementing such strategies.


The Mayor’s other primary goal is to focus on education of young people. Businesses have difficulty finding an  educated workforce in our area.  Community leaders need to learn how to communicate about the available skills here and how to train job seekers with needed skills.


Fontana is undergoing a General Plan update, which is one of their most important activities, determining what Fontana will look like in the next 40 years. She also indicated that it is important to support the City of San Bernardino and to lift the City up.  She indicated that if we don’t solve the problems in the County seat, all of the surrounding cities will be negatively affected by the rising crime and socio-economic problems.  The Mayor grew up in South Central Los Angeles and her family moved inland to find a place to raise kids and provide them with better opportunities.  She experienced the Watts riots, crime, and drug trafficking in Los Angeles and lost friends to gang violence.  She sees similar circumstances in San Bernardino with the deterioration of families.  She works personally with families in Fontana and San Bernardino to improve their family structure and to help them succeed in school.


Congressman Aguilar worked to helping San Bernardino receive a COPS grant which will fund eleven new police officers. She believes that the key to improving communities is stopping crime, providing good housing, and prioritizing education.  Cities must examine where they receive the most calls for police and other public services to identify areas that require attention, many times in multi-family housing. Cities must get landlords to maintain their properties and keep the neighborhoods looking good.  Cities can work with landlords to clean up neighborhoods and to clean up gang activity, drugs, and sex trafficking.  Cities can also work with landlords to teach them better methods to screen tenants and do background checks.


The Mayor indicated they have many high density properties that are beautifully maintained and provide services and facilities to further good family structure, secure environments, and after school programs. One third of housing in Fontana is low to moderate.  Kids need good family examples to teach them life skills.


The Mayor believes that local government must be non-partisan to get things done and that partisan politics has no place in local government. Charter cities are more challenged to work together and get things done that are good for the community.  Questions and answers continued.


Meeting was adjourned at 8:29 a.m.