Markovich In Bid For 33rd District Assemblyman

(February 19)  Rim of the World School District Board Member Scott Markovich has officially announced he will vie to succeed Tim Donnelly as assemblyman in the 33rd District.
Markovich is among nine residents of the district, which includes the San Bernardino Mountain communities of Lake Arrowhead, Crestline, Cedar Glen, Cedarpines Park as well as the desert cities and communities of Hesperia, Apple Valley, Victorville, Barstow, Trona, Newberry Springs and Needles, who have given indication they will run now that Donnelly is making a gubernatorial bid.
A lifelong resident of the Mountain, Markovich said his indigenousness, his work as a contractor and his orientation as a moderate Republican distinguish him from the pack of competitors in the 33rd District.
“There was no hospital up here at the time, so I was born in San Bernardino Community Hospital,” he said. “My parents lived in Crestline at the time. Except for a few different but brief circumstances, I have lived the majority of my 52 years in Crestline and Cedarpines Park, where I built my own home. I’m a contractor. My wife and I both graduated from Rim of the World High School as did all three of our children. My parents both graduated from Rim of the World High School.“
Markovich attended San Bernardino Valley College and then Cal State San Bernardino, where he obtained a teaching credential for instructing special education students.
He has been employed in three different capacities, Markovich pointed out. He worked at McDonalds while he was a college student. He taught school after he got his degree. And he subsequently obtained his general contractor’s license and he now owns two companies, Empire Home Builders, a sole proprietorship, and Red Rooster Development, a corporation that specializes in building spec homes.
Markovich said he is a moderate Republican with fiscally conservative leanings and more progressive attitudes with regard to social issues.
He said his political outlook is shaped in no small measure by his work as a contractor.
“Because of my contracting background,” he said, “I understand what it is like to be taken advantage of by local or state or federal mandates. Government has infringed upon our ability to live freely as we choose, and government too often interferes with our ability to enjoy our lives. The United States came about to establish and protect our sovereign rights as citizens and individuals. Somehow our political leaders and rulers have lost focus on that. Most of the elected leadership in Sacramento are serving special interests and corporations rather than working at enhancing our freedoms and building the infrastructure of a society in which we can have businesses that succeed so we can have nice homes and the freedom to travel and do things that better our lives and the lives of our families and everyone around us. We have lost focus on the real reasons we elect officials to represent us.”
Markovich used a practical analogy taken from current reality to illustrate the role he believed government should play.
“We used to be able to go to the well with buckets and get all the water we needed,” he said. “But now the well has run dry. There is a drought. We have to pool our resources to dig the well deeper and build the infrastructure we need so we can have enough water to build houses and buildings for businesses and have water for fire protection.”
Government, which should facilitate providing resources to its people, Markovich said, is perversely serving to obstruct citizens from obtaining the resources they need.
“As a contractor, I have always known how to go to get a permit, pass the inspections, do a project on a budget, complete the project, achieve the goal. I know what mandates are and how they hurt us,” he said.
Markovich said he is not blindly opposed to regulation. He said he understands the necessity for order and the imposition of standards.
“There are things we do need to regulate,” he said. “I believe there has to be balance so we don’t overregulate. There has to be more pragmatic thinking about laws.”
He cited AB32, which is aimed at regulating exhaust emissions on commercial equipment, as an example of counterproductive regulation.
“My perspective is based upon my interaction with the truck drivers I deal with who deliver rock, gravel, and sand to the construction sites I work,” he said. “The law was supposedly aimed at huge operations, cement factories, other factories with smokestacks. Now those mandates are being applied to small vehicles and it is costing small operators upwards of $25,000 to comply with regulations and with superficial standards that have no helpful effect in terms of the environment or controlling pollution or any of the good things that were intended in the legislation. The trucks and the truck drivers were not the problem. Regulations have their role, but when all parties are not represented then they become mandates that inhibit the economy. The proper balance on this can only come from candidates who have been part of the middle class that have been subject to these misguided laws. We should not be throwing everyone into the same category.”
Markovich continued, “I really respect Thomas Jefferson. His contemporaries said that he was the most pragmatic politician of his time. There are politicians and there are statesmen. Statesmen go beyond entrenched partisanship and work for the common good and promote people rather than ideology. My goal is to not become a politician and instead try to be a statesman.”
An example of regulation that is proper, Markovich said, is the modulation of land use policy. A case in point, he said, is the Las Flores Ranch proposal, which would entail the construction of 15,540 residential units in Summit Valley.
“I am a contractor, so most people think I am pro-development,” he said. Nevertheless, he said, he took issue with not only the size but at a very basic level the concept of the Rancho Las Flores project. “Property development of this scale in the most beautiful wetlands in the High Desert and at the foothills of the San Bernardino Mountains is not beneficial,” he said. “I understand property rights. When your development has significant impact on the environment and sanitation and the health and wellbeing of the community, these things have to be thought through to see if they are fundamentally environmentally and economically sound. Something like this might be good for the proponents and have some short term economic good for the community, but the water in the Mojave Basin is something that everyone shares in and building that project could impact the water and its availability throughout the 33rd District. We could all end up paying a huge price if we let the developers have their way out there.”
As one of the eight Republicans and a single Democrat in the field to replace Donnelly, Markovich said he believes he is distinguished from the others by his “conservatism on fiscal policy and opposition to things that are regressive and do not expand the economy and by my acceptance of freedom of choice on social issues. I am not against gay rights and I do not oppose a woman’s right to choose. I have personal values and ethics that I hold dear and there are things other people do that I would never engage in, but I do not feel it is my place or the place of government to infringe on people’s civil liberties and rights. In my life, early in our marriage when my wife became pregnant and then pregnant again, we were concerned about our careers and the burden of having children at that age. The right choice, we felt, was to choose life. We made the choice to have children. That was our decision. It was not dictated to us. There are things about other people’s lifestyles that I do not understand. But it is their right to choose for themselves. By putting restrictions on freedom into the law, it is counterproductive. I believe you should give people the freedom to make their own decisions.”
The question he has encountered more often than any other since making his candidacy known, Markovich said, is one probing his stance with regard to Second Amendment rights.
“Instead of going after guns and ammunition  and the people who have them, I think the government should work to ensure that there is responsible gun ownership. If gun owners are reasonable and responsible citizens, they should have the right to possess guns. There is a responsibility that goes with that. We need laws to keep us all accountable with respect to the exercising of those  rights and gun use. Guns allow us to protect ourselves until the government comes. Gun rights should stay as part of our lives and our country.”

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