Tom Powell, a retired Caltrans project manager who has lived in Yucaipa for ten years, said he is running for the Yucaipa City Council in November because he wants “to bring a fresh perspective to City Hall and new voice to Yucaipa residents who have not been represented fully. It’s time all the residents of Yucaipa, in all our neighborhoods [to be] represented and treated equally with the same opportunity, not just the same few entrenched people over and over again.”
While he served as the project manager on multiple million dollar projects in the region while working with Caltrans, Powell maintains he is nonetheless committed to keeping the scale and pace of development in Yucaipa at a modest level. “It’s important,” he said, “that our beautiful community, nestled in our snowcapped foothills maintains the great small town atmosphere and charm it always has.” Powell pledged to “support main street businesses over huge parking lots with rows of glaring white lights.”
He acknowledged that some progress must take place because “Yucaipa needs necessary services, conveniences and entertainment for its residents who are already here.”
Powell enunciated a clear difference between himself and several of the council incumbents with regard to the issue of maintaining Yucaipa’s several aging mobile home parks as a feature of the city.
“As your next city council member I will vote to support and protect our mobile home park residents in Yucaipa. I will support mobile home rent control and affordable housing. Mobile home rent control is important! I understand the investment and security our mobile home park residents have in their homes. I will work to protect our residents from unfair and unreasonable rent hikes that could mean that they lose their homes. I will work to be firm in maintaining fair and reasonable rent controls that are already in place. The mobile home residents and seniors of Yucaipa will always have a friend, and a voice in me.”
He elaborated, “While there are some park owners who are reasonable and fair, I also know that there are plenty of owners who would not hesitate to prosper and profit from unfair rate hikes and the resale of homes gained from out of control rents. Out of town corporations will never profit at the peril of Yucaipa’s residents.”
Powell said, “Working for the best city services is my top priority. I have the experience to bring great solutions to our challenges. We live in a great town, and maintaining it’s natural beauty, small town atmosphere, and clean, safe streets will be my job #1! I will work and welcome and recruit small businesses that bring in real, sustainable jobs that pay decent wages and benefits. Good jobs will keep our best young talent at home.”
Powell said he is not in league with the status quo and the long-serving current ruling coalition on the city council, and said he represents the political opposition.
“I looked at the pictures in the lobby of City Hall, and it’s the same faces for years and years,” he said. He is in favor of changes in the city’s current political processes that will bring about change and break the hold the political establishment has over the city.
“Electing our city council by districts instead of at large from the whole city will make our city council more responsive and answerable to everyone, not just the privileged few,” Powell said. “This will help guard our city from special interests who do not have the best intentions of our city in mind, other than profit.”
Powell has a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering from Cal Poly.
He and his wife are the parents of six grown adults.