McKeon, Sandoval Announce Their Separate Retirements From Office This Week

(January 16)  Two San Bernardino County politicians announced their departures from office within 36 hours of one another this week.
Congressman “Buck” McKeon, who represents California 25th Congressional District, announced he would not seek reelection this year. In making his announcement, he stepped down as chairman of the House Armed Services Committee.
Grand Terrace City Councilman Bernardo Sandoval, a key member of Grand Terrace Mayor Walt Stanckiewitz’s ruling coalition on the council for two years, announced his resignation this week, effective immediately.
Howard McKeon, a Republican who has been in Congress for 21 years, on Thursday confirmed earlier reports that he would retire after having accomplished two goals, both related to the nation’s military, namely protecting funding for operations and weapons system acquisition and making the military a more hospitable place for women.  In his announcement, he mentioned that he has a granddaughter in the Army.
Born in 1938 in Los Angeles, McKeon grew up in Tujunga and later attended and graduated from Brigham Young University.
McKeon became involved in politics in his late 30s while living in what was then the unincorporated community of Santa Clarita. He successfully ran for the William S. Hart Union High School District Board of Trustees in 1978, serving on that panel until 1987. During his tenure on the school board, he supported the Santa Clarita incorporation effort and was subsequently elected to the city council and then named by his council colleagues as Santa Clarita’s first mayor.
In local elected office, he was a strong supporter of law enforcement.
He was elected to Congress in 1992, representing a distract that was home to a number of defense contractors, including Lockheed’s famed Skunk Works, where many leading edge military aircraft were designed and developed. As such, McKeon became a strong supporter of the military.
At the age of 75, he is leaving after 11 terms in the House of Representatives. The 25th District includes a portion of San Bernardino County’s Mojave Desert.
Sandoval’s resignation comes on the heels of the exodus of Grand Terrace City Manager Betsy Adams, whose leaving was prompted by voters’ rejection of  Measure C in November, which was intended to impose on residents and businesses a utility tax calculated to raise $1.5 million a year in the city of 12,400.
Dwindling revenues had forced considerable cutbacks in municipal operations in Grand Terrace, the county’s smallest city geographically and third smallest in terms of population.
It was not the challenges facing the city but professional opportunity that drove his decision to resign, Sandoval said. A computer systems manager for Beaver Medical Clinic in Highland, he was recently offered a position as the executive director of information technology for United Health Group. He did not feel he could continue to give the attention to his duties as councilman the residents of Grand Terrace deserve while functioning in the more demanding role with United Health.
The four remaining members of the Grand Terrace City Council will discuss at their January 28 meeting what means they will employ – appointment or special election – in replacing Sandoval.

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