Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman Bill Alexander this week told the Sentinel he believes government in general has become too complex and is nearly as much of a burden on businesses and citizens as it is a civilizing influence with a positive impact on the community and society.
Alexander spoke with a Sentinel reporter on April 2, while he was at Rancho Cucamonga City Hall to clarify for the city clerk’s office information requested with regard to his statements of economic interest, known in California as Form 700s. Alexander had come to the civic center after he was requested to fill out forms pertaining to his membership on committees, joint power authorities and commissions on which he is not currently or never was a member.
“They’re asking me for information that isn’t applicable, since I haven’t been on some of the commissions they are talking about for years,” he said. “I can’t just not fill out the forms and that’s a little frustrating since the information they are requesting in some cases doesn’t exist.”
Alexander is a creature of government. A former fire captain with the city of Ontario, he is retired and pulling a public pension of more than $100,000. He was a member of the Rancho Cucamonga City Council from 1988 to 2004 and mayor of Rancho Cucamonga from 1994 to 2006. He ran for city council again in 2010 and was successful.
Nevertheless, he said, he considers government “way too complicated. The bureaucracy is ridiculous. It makes things way too difficult for people and businesses. I sometimes wonder why I ran for office.”
Alexander said his current mood was impacted by the challenge of having to fill out the Form 700s and a recent brush with federal tax authorities. “I was on the phone with the IRS,” he said. “They had me on hold for more than an hour and I never did get to talk to anybody.”
Asked point blank if he thought government has outlived its usefulness, Alexander said he still believed government to be necessary. “We need it,” he said.
He suggested there were reforms that could be applied.
“Well, for one, they could change the language in the documents and forms so the common person can understand them and you don’t need a lawyer to interpret them,” he said. “That would be a start.”