Montgomery Calling For Reevaluation Of Redlands Business Regulations

(September 15)  John Harrison Montgomery is testing the political waters for the first time, vying for city council in Redlands.
It is a “complete coincidence” said Montgomery, that his first and middle name correspond to that of an incumbent on the Redlands Council, Jon Harrison, who is also vying for reelection.
Montgomery said his experience as an entrepreneur were the impetus for his political ambition.
“I have always been interested in politics, especially local politics where the impact is the most direct and important on our lives on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “In opening and running my businesses in Redlands, I ran into my fair share of challenges along the way. The area zoned for my business has a lot of crime and homelessness and blight. Just complaining about it and wasting my breath wasn’t going to do any good. I decided I should do something. The council seats are open, so I said, ‘Why not?’ Now is the time to make a change. I want to see if I can get the city going down the right track and see if it can stay there.”
Montgomery, a member and officer of the Redlands Masonic Lodge, imparted some of the Masonic spirit into the name of one of his businesses, “The Grand Tattoo Lodge.” His other business is Alla Prima Ink, which provides supplies to the tattoo industry.
“The major challenge facing Redlands as I see it is the business climate,” Montgomery said. “I would like to see the city restructure its restrictions and permitting and everything that gets in the way of letting business flourish. There are zoning restrictions. In the area where I am allowed to set up my particular business, I have encountered on a day to day basis crime and homelessness. This has made it difficult.”
Montgomery also said he would, if elected, target municipal “fiscal responsibility. The city keeps coming to us taxpayers asking for money for projects that should already have been funded. They come to the residents for fees, businesses for fees and taxes and they issue bonds. The city needs to reevaluate its whole licensing and permitting processes. They need to streamline that instead of setting up something that is adversarial against businesses and contractors. They need to reevaluate their zoning plan. I think Redlands’ zoning is a little restrictive, especially for a small city that relies on small local businesses. It is encumbering. The city does not make it easy for businesses to get where they need to be to flourish and develop. The city needs to be a little more open-minded.”
Montgomery said he is qualified to serve on the council because “I am a citizen who owns two businesses in the city, I have children in the school district. I openly participate in civic groups and I shop locally. I make the perfect candidate for city council. I am not a politician. I just want to maintain and improve the quality of life in Redlands. Someone can say I am doing this because I am selfish and am a member of the middle class who wants to do well for myself and my family and I want my businesses to flourish. But if I can make it so my type of businesses thrive, then everybody in the city can do just as well. I am running a simple campaign. I am not taking money. I am not spending money. I am knocking on doors and running a small town city council campaign.”
Montgomery grew up in Orange County and attended Troy High School in Fullerton. He is married with four children.

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