Rutherford Asking Second District Voters For Four More Years On Board

(April 29) Second District County Supervisor Janice Rutherford said she is seeking reelection in June because “I think it is important to continue with the reforms and progress we have made in the last four years. We have begun a tremendous cultural shift in county government away from the toxic politics of the past and toward accountability and performance measurements. I very much want to continue that work.”
Rutherford said, “The issues for the Second District are countywide issues as a whole. The cultural shift I mentioned is one that took place from a countywide perspective. With regard to issues that are particular to the Second District, the transformation of Lake Gregory is important, rebuilding the dam at the lake, getting on a regular dredging schedule and seeing the successful transition of the lake’s recreational amenities to CalParks. This is year one of that transition. This is important to the economic health of the Crestline community, that we see that program through.”
She continued, “Another issue on the west side of the district is continuing to work with the Foothill city of Rancho Cucamonga on the Front Country Trails System and access to and maintenance of the North Etiwanda Preserve.”
Rutherford said her concerns for the county went beyond the Second Disttict.
“Most of the other issues are pretty much countywide ones,” she said, “such as fixing the inefficiency of county government every resident is concerned about, the need to grow the local economy and the need to focus on moving those on public assistance to self sufficiency. We are also focused on how we continue to respond to the effect and consequences of the state prison realignment, which is putting dangerous criminals into our communities. We first need to find the revenue to hire more sheriff’s deputies to staff the High Desert Detention Center and get more patrol coverage. We need to acknowledge that the jobs of our probation officers have changed dramatically with regard to the new state policy and that we have to stay on top of their needs.”
Rutherford said the county also need to “take a look at fire and emergency response. The county fire department is significantly into the county general fund and that is not sustainable. Instead of being sustained by fire district funds, the county fire division is now getting $18 million in county general funds. We need to create ways of looking at emergency response and do things more creatively and efficiently.”
For the county as well, Rutherford said, “Another broad category is our reaction to the Affordable Care Act and  the newly insured portion of our population and the remaining uninsured portion of our population and the effect this will have on the Arrowhead Regional Medical Center. How many of our indigent population will still rely on county service? How does the county hospital shift its approach to a community that now has other options for health care?”
With regard to the preserve and trail systems in Rancho Cucamonga, Rutherford said she is “trying to see if we can get additional funding for the accurate GPA mapping of the trail system. We have to get that in place before working with community organizations on how to develop and maintain those trails and make sure there is both pedestrian and equestrian access to the trails.”
Rutherford said her approach to improving the district and county’s economic outlook consisted of “Finding how do we advocate with the state legislature and the governor to show that they are driving businesses out of the state. How do we make sure the South Coast Air Quality Management District doesn’t kill the logistics industry, which is what is keeping our local economy going? We need to work with our business and education sectors to reform our school system to produce graduates who  have the technical skills the next generation of employees need. We have to help our young people become entrepreneurs. It is not enough to import jobs and try to get international or national companies to locate here. We have to grow our own.”
Rutherford said, “My goal is that we all recognize we have taken a bit of a back seat in getting our house in order and  look at what programs give taxpayer the most bang for their buck. We should be giving those who receive public aid the skills to be independent. We are just starting that going and are  at the very beginning of the process. That is why I hope to be reelected, to continue to work toward that end, attracting more money and funding. We need more private foundation funding to replicate those programs.”
She said approaches to driving down the county fire department’s costs include “asking fire service to respond on how they deliver their services. Why do we have to roll a truck to every medical call? Who should transport if the subject has to go to the hospital? Is the fire district organized as to get the most efficiency?”
Rutherford is opposed by Randolph Beasley, a retired sheriff’s department scientific division forensic examiner. She said she compares favorably to him.
“I think I have a clear track record in supporting accountability and transparency in governing,” she said. “I’ve got a track record as a policy maker that has brought about some vibrant change in the county. I have helped restore confidence in county government that is worthy of continuing, to see what progress we can make in the next four years.”
A graduate of Ontario High School, Rutherford attended George Washington University before transferring to UC Riverside, obtaining a bachelor’s degree in political science. She obtained a master’s degree in American politics at Claremont Graduate School. She worked for State Senator Bill Leonard and then later rejoined his staff when he was on the Board of Equalization. She was on the Fontana City Council from 2000 to 2010. Married, she has two children.

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