Sam Crowe Purposed To Make 21st Century Return To Ontario City Council

Sam Crowe, who served on the Ontario City Council some five decades ago and spent two more decades in the capacity of Ontario city attorney, will again seek election to the city council in November.
Crowe is currently a member of the Ontario-Montclair School Board, having been elected to that post in 2008.
An unsuccessful Ontario mayoral candidate in 2005 shortly after Gary Ovitt departed from that position to become San Bernardino County’s Fourth District supervisor, Crowe resisted efforts to persuade him to run for city council four years ago, at which time he indicated his preference for remaining on the school board. Crowe said serving on the city council has since crossed his mind.
It was a recent contretemps involving Ontario City Councilman Alan Wapner that cemented his decision to run in 2016, Crowe said. After reaching an agreement with the City of Los Angeles to return ownership of Ontario Airport back to Ontario under the aegis of the Ontario International Airport Authority, the authority’s board of directors hired Kelly Fredericks, the executive director of T. F. Green Airport near Providence, Rhode Island, to serve as the executive director of Ontario Airport. Wapner scheduled Fredericks’ introduction to the community to take place at what was billed as Alan Wapner’s 17th Annual Business Roundtable Luncheon, a $1,000 per plate political fundraising event for Wapner held in February.
Crowe led a chorus of criticism of Wapner’s decision to utilize Fredericks as the central draw to the fundraiser. Wapner is the chairman of the Ontario International Airport Authority board. Crowe’s critical remarks relating to Wapner having politicized Fredericks even before he officially took over as the chief executive at the airport was echoed by Ontario Mayor Paul Leon and Ontario Councilman Jim Bowman, who is Wapner’s closest political ally.
Crowe told the Sentinel that it was being called by Inland Valley Daily Bulletin reporter Liset Márquez with regard to Wapner’s action that moved him off top dead center. “I have been so engaged in the issues involving our schools that I had not been monitoring what was going on over at the city all that closely,” Crowe said. “I got that call from Liset Márquez and it jolted me. Here you have a member of the city council using his position on the council to raise large amounts of money. That money makes it so you do not have anyone other than incumbents winning elections.”
Crowe said he understood that Wapner had been reelected in 2014 and will not stand for reelection until 2018, but said if he can get on the council he will prove himself as a counterweight to Wapner.
“I talk to a lot of people and it’s astonishing how few of them have something nice to say about the city,” Crowe said. “Ontario’s reputation is continuously being eroded. I have decided to run for the council in November to accomplish several goals that I think are necessary for the city. We need a code of ethics covering elected officials and city employees. We need district elections to allow reasonable election costs. We have incumbents who have $600,000 campaign war chests. If we go to electoral districts within the city, that would provide non-incumbents with a chance to be elected. The voters should also be given the opportunity to decide whether they want term limits.”
Lest anyone get the idea he was abandoning the students in the school district, Crowe said, he was still committed to giving them every chance they can to make it into adulthood untainted by drugs, gangs, hopelessness and the viciousness of the streets.
“Ontario is a blue collar city,” he said. “Most parents work and few of them get home before 5:30 and most get home later than that. A program should be agreed to between the city and school district to occupy student time from 3 to 8 p.m. This time can be used for school subjects and athletics.”
Crowe said he did not think the council as it is currently composed would embrace his ideas, but that he believes he has the wherewithal to marshal citizen support for his proposals. “The council will have to approve all of these programs, so my work is cut out for me,” he said. “I think they will go along once they see that the community is ready for positive change.”
Crowe has considerable experience in municipal government. He was on the Ontario City Council from 1964 to 1972, having served with councilmen Chuck Latimer, Bill Paulin, Walt Stewart and Mayor Howard Snider. Subsequently, he was Ontario city attorney from 1976 to 1996. He was Hesperia city attorney from 1998 until 2007. His firm, Covington & Crowe, served as the city attorney in Rancho Cucamonga from the time of that city’s inception in 1977 until 1985.
He is on the Travelers’ Aid Board at Ontario Airport and has been on the Casa Colina board of directors for two decades.
Crowe is a UCLA graduate. He received his law degree from USC School of Law. He has been practicing law in California since 1961.

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