(September 14) Jermaine Wright is seeking to elevate himself from his current post as Adelanto city councilman to mayor in this year’s election. He is doing so, Wright said, because “because of the current lack of leadership and the lack of vision” in the incumbent. “We have not been hard working enough. We have not been aggressive enough in going out to get businesses to build in Adelanto. We have to convince developers that we offer opportunity and that if they build it, customers will come. We have to let them know we are here. Stater Bros. built here and it is one of their best stores. Everyone in Adelanto shops there. People are coming from outside the city to shop there. We need to recreate that with other retailers. We have to let them know we are here and that if they come here, they will be profitable because the people in Adelanto will support their business.”
Wright is challenging Mayor Cari Thomas, the incumbent, as are Rich Kerr and Ronald Beard.
In his two years on the council, Wright said his major accomplishment has been opening government to scrutiny and making it more accountable to residents.
“In my time on the council, I believe I have made what the city does more transparent,” he said. “I have been trying to get information out to the residents so they can actually see what their local government is doing on their behalf, both for them and to them.”
The major issue facing Adelanto, Wright said, “is the lack of an adequate tax base. We need to get revenue into the city. The first thing is to jumpstart things by bringing in businesses. At this point, we just don’t have enough money to offer services to our residents, build infrastructure or offer businesses incentives. What we can do is streamline the process and cut fees up front and amortize their payment over time so those who might build here do not have to pay everything up front. No one can come up with the $400,000 or $500,000 to start a project. We can hold off on the collection of fees for a time. Once a project is in place and money is being made, we can be paid back over time.”
He said the city needs an engaged mayor who will devote as much time as it takes to promoting Adelanto and will not indulge in defeatist hesitation.
“There is no place for the excuse that ‘no one wants to come to Adelanto,’” he said. “I find it funny that Family Dollar and Dollar General were here seeking information and they decided to go elsewhere. They could have built here. If someone shows interest, we have to get the information for them. Even if they don’t show interest, we should be giving them information. Maybe then they will get interested.”
Wright continued, “We have to build up the community. We have to promote the community. We have to create the opportunity for others to bring small businesses to Adelanto. There has been little or no growth here for over six years. I am running because we need a change at the top. The current mayor only set 20 days aside in the last year to go out and represent the city and promote it. We need someone working on that all the time. We have to strive hard to get business into the community. We need someone who cares 100 percent about the city.”
Wright said, “I am the best candidate because I am here and willing to do whatever it takes to get it done and going on. I am going to be in the office when there needs to be someone in the office to answer the questions and I will be out and around meeting people or showing them around when that will do some good. I am not just going to be some bobblehead doing just what staff says. People can pick up the phone and call me. I shop in town. I will fight 100 percent for the residents. I am committed to staying in town. Residents know that I will be here for years to come. I am trying to build something for myself and for my family and for future generations for Adelanto.”
Wright grew up in Monrovia and attended Emory University. He owns two businesses, an armored car company and related transportation services agency and a property maintenance and rental company. Married, he has two biological children and four adopted/foster children.