Roelle Runing For Assembly On Strength Of His Law Enforcement Background

(April 16)  Former Apple Valley mayor Rick Roelle said he seriously considered running for state Assembly in 2008 but postponed that effort until now for both political and personal reasons.
“I was going to run six years ago, but I wasn’t ready to retire, so I held off,” he said. “Two years ago I ran for the open seat for county supervisor. I came up 1,200 short out of 100,000 votes cast. I’m ready to retire now and there is an open seat in the Assembly with Tim Donnelly running for governor. Public service is my passion and that is why I am running.”
The retirement he alluded to will be from the sheriff’s department, where Roelle is now a lieutenant.
He said the issues facing the 33rd District are essentially indistinguishable from the major issues at the state level.
“I see our state dealing with the same issues that are big in this district – taxation, overregulation and public safety,” he said. “The reason we have overtaxation is because the voters keep voting tax hikes on themselves. Sixty percent of the people in surveys say they believe we are overtaxed but the voters still keep voting for tax increases. The solution is if they are going to keep shoving tax increases down our throats, we have to have more people on the payroll, with decent paying jobs paying into it. If there is going to be tax creation there first has to be job creation. Basically, what we need is more people going to work in the state. We’re getting to the point where we have fifty percent of our population supporting the other fifty percent with all of these entitlements.”
Roelle said, “California leads the nation and the world in overregulation. With all of the regulation on business – workers compensation insurance, environmental issues, inspections and standards, getting a business off the ground and continuing is a tough accomplishment. That regulation exists at the city level all the way up through the counties, the state and the federal government. An example I can give you is my father makes environmental containment systems for gas stations. In California those tanks have to be double-walled. The cost of that to an owner of a gas station is thousands and thousands more than for a gas station owner anywhere else. California is the only state with that requirement.”
With respect to public safety, Roelle said keeping criminals behind bars would be one of his aims as a legislator.
He referenced Assembly Bill 109, which was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown in 2011. Along with another piece of legislation, Assembly Bill 117, the law was intended to “close the revolving door of low-level inmates cycling in and out of state prisons” and comply with a U.S. Supreme Court-confirmed mandate that the number of inmates in the state’s 33 prisons be reduced to 137.5 percent of design capacity by June 27, 2013.
“AB 109 released thousands of inmates from California’s prison system into our communities,” Roelle said. “This is just coming to the forefront. It has happened because we do not have enough bed space. We have to continue to house people who commit serious crimes. The only way to do that is to expand the prison system. We need more jail space and prison space if we are going to get a handle on crime.”
As to what distinguishes him from the other nine candidates in the race, Roelle said, “obviously my 32 years in law enforcement, the last ten in a management position. Look at my background. I had eight years as an elected official on the Apple Valley Town Council, two of which were as mayor. I am a taxpayer in California. I understand what people are going through. My experience in government and law enforcement makes me a credible person who can go to Sacramento and do the job. I have no special interest distractions. I am not a big land owner other than the house I live in. I am not looking at the betterment of my career. I am close to retiring from the sheriff’s office. I have more than thirty years experience in public service. I believe I can count on wide-based support. I am chomping at the bit to get involved with the Republican Party in California. I represent a lot more than just taking a stand against illegal immigration and gun rights. Those are important issues but I have met people from way different backgrounds and their problems go beyond that. I think I can assist my constituents by assuring that they are not gouged by the cuts government has to make.”
Born in Covina, he has lived in Apple Valley since he was a teenager. He graduated from Apple Valley High School and studied administration of justice at East LA College and Victor Valley College. Divorced, he has two children and one grandchild.

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