Common Sense & Integrity Lacking On YV Council, Candidate Simmons Says

(October 14)  Susan Simmons said she is running for the Yucca Valley Town Council “because I want to make a difference. I feel the current town council has not been listening to everybody. I know many people are not too happy with their decisions. I want to contribute to the community and listen to everybody. I am an objective person. I have that ability. I am independent politically and I will be able to represent everybody, not just Democrats and not just Republicans. I want to see that everybody has a voice.”
In sizing up the major challenges ahead for the city, Simmons said, “We have a wastewater project that must be completed. That is a huge issue right now for this community.”
Ten years after its November 1991 incorporation, Yucca Valley was notified by the California Regional Water Quality Control Board that the lack of a sewage treatment system had resulted in nitrates accumulating in the water table. Simultaneously, the Hi-Desert Water District, which serves the Yucca Valley community, experienced nitrate traces in district wells. In 2007, the California Regional Water Quality Control Board declared Yucca Valley as a top priority for eliminating the use of septic systems.  In 2011, the town was firmly informed that it had only five years to take a definitive step toward water quality compliance, and the Regional Water Quality Control Board imposed three progressive phases of septic discharge prohibitions on Yucca Valley. Under the state mandate, phase 1 of a wastewater system must be completed or significantly on its way to completion by May 19, 2016 or enforcement action will be initiated. The first phase of the project is to cover the downtown area of Yucca Valley, the area most proximate to the heart of the groundwater basin.  Similarly, phase 2 must be completed or nearly completed by May 19, 2019 and phase 3 must be completed by May 19, 2022. The last two phases lie further out where future concentrated development is most likely to occur.
According to Simmons, “Another challenge According to Simmons, “ Another challenge is  the Yucca Valley Town Council has banned medical marijuana dispensaries. That is forcing people to grow their own. People with cancer cannot do that. Or they have to go to Palm Springs, where it costs them $100 for something that should cost them $60. For someone with a disease like cancer that is not practical. I think we should allow one to two dispensaries and regulate them and allow the tax benefits for the town to accrue to our accounts. We should provide access to this when we are dealing with people who need it medically only. I don’t support 18-year-olds getting medical marijuana. But it should be available in a medical situation. My husband has cerebral palsy and it could help him. We need regulations so that young people cannot get a hold of it.”
Simmons continued, “One issue that has been bothering me is the town is allowing Corporate America to build all over along the main highway corridor, but it is not setting aside any lands for hiking. Currently the town’s idea of open space is a grass park. I would like to see more public wilderness areas. These would benefit our teenagers. I think it would be good for us to have local trails right here and people in town would have access to them. They would be local and people would not have to get a ride to get to them.”
Simmons continued, “Another thing is that our town needs to fill up the empty buildings on the west end of town. I believe this can be achieved by the creation of a downtown partnership with the chamber of commerce. [Governor] Jerry Brown has started a new business incentive program.”
Simmons said she is qualified to serve on the town council because “not only do I possess common sense and integrity, but I have a business and accounting background. As a small business owner, I believe I can represent other business owners. The town needs new blood right now. You have had the same people running the town for way too long. The town needs change. We need change around here. The town needs fresh faces.
“I would like to think I am an honest person,” she said. “I don’t consider myself to be a politician. I’m not making promises. I am going to stick to the issues. I will make my decisions on the issues one by one. This is a nonpartisan election and I will look at things the way they are, objectively. I will make fair decisions. In my personal life, I sometimes research things to death before I do something. I drive my husband crazy that way. I already attend the council meetings. I read the packets to all the meetings. I like being informed. People making decisions need to be informed before making those decisions.”
Simmons was born in Lakewood and attended and graduated from Twentynine Palms High School after her father relocated the family to the High Desert when he was made postmaster in Twentynine Palms. She attended Copper Mountain College, where she studied accounting. She is the owner of Soap Suds Cleaning Service, which she founded in 2002. She has lived in Yucca Valley for 25 years. She is married with one child.

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