Jimenez In Third Effort To Break Entrenched Clique’s Hold On RC

(September 29) Erick Jimenez, a delivery driver who vied unsuccessfully for the Rancho Cucamonga City Council in 2010 and 2012, is running again, emphasizing the same issues he had latched onto previously. Perhaps, he said, events have evolved to the point where what he is saying will resonate with the electorate and he will achieve success.
“I am still saying the same thing, really,” Jimenez told the Sentinel. “Many members of our community are not being represented. We need a younger person representing young families in this city. I want to make sure that a whole segment of the population has a voice.”
Jimenez, who recently became a father, pointed out that the average age of the members of the city council is 64. While he said he respects the older generation and values its perspective, wisdom and experience, the geriatric set’s domination of the politics and decision making apparatus is confining and limiting and does not reflect the more dynamic demographics of the city of 165,269.
Jimenez said he valued the sound guidance of the council with regard to fiscal matters.
“We are lucky in Rancho Cucamonga that we don’t have the same overwhelming financial issues that are a problem in other cities,” he said.
At the same time that the city is husbanding its monetary resources, it is imposing an onerous burden on many of its residents who are struggling, he said.
“We have problems with our landscaping districts,” he said. “The city stuck the residents with the cost of these improvements that the developers did not pay They are now asking the residents to vote a higher assessment on themselves to make up for their generosity to the developers who gave them money to get elected. People do not want to pay the higher assessment. They see right through this. They see how it is that their elected leadership was doing favors for their political donors at the expense of the residents of the city.  This reflects poorly on our current leadership.”
If elected, Jimenez said, he would hold those who are profiting from development accountable, insisting they pay their fair share up front so that the residents don’t end up defraying the cost of the improvements that benefited those developers.
“I think we should be more environmentally responsible so we don’t see the problems we have now,” he said.
Along the same lines, Jimenez said the city must reduce the intensity of any future residential development.
“We are seeing a movement in Rancho Cucamonga that I do not support,” he said. “They are building more and more high density housing, a lot of apartments and townhomes. We don’t have the public transportation to go along with it. I live near Baseline and Archibald. There was always a problem with traffic, but with what we are doing now and the density of development that is coming in, it is getting worse. What are we doing in the city to promote better transportation? We have to give public transportation options to our residents.”
The city should give serious consideration, Jimenez said, to “building light rail along Foothill and Baseline, which would be perfect for that. We could definitely do that along those corridors. If it was planned out, we could make the commitment and it could eventually connect with the Gold Line, when it comes this far. Right now the Gold Line is scheduled to stop in Montclair. If we neglect planning for it, it will never get here.”
He decried the current council’s decision to impose a parking fee at the Rancho Cucamonga Metrolink Station parking lot. “We are the only city in the county with a parking fee,” he said. “That five dollars is in addition to the fare. One of the first things I would do is work to eliminate that fee. How do you encourage people to use public transportation if you are charging them for parking? They might just as well drive.”
Jimenez railed against “special interests” which he said exercise inordinate influence at City Hall. “We have three former firefighters on the city council. Everything gets cut but the fire department. Something needs to be done. A handful of special interests are running our city. We need to vote the people who are backed by the special interests out. The special interests put up a lot of money to get what they want out of government. That has to be done away with. Everyone should have a voice and not just one group. It is hard to get elected nowadays without a lot of money. I am knocking on a lot of doors and trying to introduce myself. I can’t knock on every door in the city. It’s too big. I think we should go to districts so we can have adequate representation. Without districts, it’s hard for a little guy to get elected in this city.  I would also definitely push for term limits. We have council members who have been on there for over 20 years.”
Jimenez said he merits the consideration of the city’s voters because “I’ve been very committed. I am now running for the third time. Running after losing twice shows how committed I am. I make an effort to study the issues. I attend the city council meetings. I do my homework. If an issue comes up, I will look into it. When there was protest about the animal shelter I contacted the director of the facility and got the facts for myself. I have been studying the issues for long enough that I will be ready to serve from the time I am elected.”
Jimenez continued, “I am one of the working people of the community. It is the working people I want to represent. I am in touch with what the constituents want. I am doing this for good reasons. I am a father now, so the answers and decisions I would put in place will not be for the short term but for the long run. Whatever solution we come up with now are going to have to work 20 or 30 years down the line. I would be a dedicated public servant.”

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