Kennedy In Race To Stay At RC Helm 4 More Years

After nearly two years on the Rancho Cucamonga City Council, Lynne Kennedy says she hopes her accomplishments, in that relatively compact time span, will convince the residents in the county’s third largest municipality to retain her in office.
Two years ago, Kennedy was one of four challengers in the 2014 Rancho Cucamonga City Council race, confronting the incumbency of longtime members Diane Williams and Bill Alexander. Kennedy captured 19.99 percent of the vote, which was insufficient to dislodge either Williams, who garnered 27.32 percent, or Alexander, who polled 22.8 percent. Kennedy comfortably outdistanced the other three competing in the race – Bill Hanlon, Erick Jiminez and Victor Muniz. That same day, November 4, 2014, another incumbent Rancho Cucamonga City Councilman, Marc Steinorth, was elected to the California Assembly. Fifteen days later the council chose Kennedy to replace Steinorth, upon his resignation to take up his new post in Sacramento.
Kennedy threw herself into the assignment and said she now has a track record she thinks Rancho Cucamonga’s voters can respect.
“What distinguishes me and sets me apart from the other candidates is my professional experience and my city council experience,” Kennedy said. “I think we have put and are now putting in place strong infrastructure to support community safety. In addition to the traditional equipment, we have branched out into the use of technology and automated systems such as license plate readers and use of a Geographic Information System and locating devices to assist our police in crime response and crime prevention. We are looking at providing them with all of the resources they need to keep our law enforcement officers safe and to keep our community safe.”
Kennedy further pointed with pride to “the sustainability projects we have taken up in our city. Utilities are a big expense, both for city operations and the residents. We have traditionally had no control over those costs or their increases. We are now doing everything we can to mitigate those costs. We are undertaking and encouraging solar projects and purchasing many of our street lights so we have more control over their maintenance and costs.”
And under her council watch, Kennedy said, the city is working toward improvements at the community’s major cultural amenity.
“We are putting a second story on the Biane library in Victoria Gardens,” Kennedy said. “We are very proud of that. We are bringing in new resources, interactive learning exhibits, Three-D printers, robotic programs and developmental programs for children from birth through to high school.”
Two other tangible improvements launched or progressing toward completion during her tenure on the council, Kennedy said, involved keeping abreast of the city’s recreational needs. “We have the new Los Amigos Park and will be getting the new family sports center across from Quake Stadium,” she said.
Professionally, Kennedy worked as an educator for 37 years, as a teacher, assistant principal, principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent in the Rialto Unified School District, the Rancho Cucamonga School District and Baldwin Park and the Banning Unified School Districts. She said the range of demands under which she has functioned in all of those capacities fall within the rubric of similar demands placed on publicly-funded institutions and have given her a command of what is needed to guide the policy decisions of municipal government.
“I was a math major in college and that helped me develop basic analytical skills,” she said. “As a teacher and then as an administrator, I acquired strategic leadership abilities. Combining my analytical skills with my leadership experience, I have the ability to gather information independently but am also able to inform my thinking process with input from others, primarily staff. I can analyze what is there, even contradictory information, look at the variables and potential impacts to find the most effective solution. My positions, as a district administrator, required long-term planning and vision for each kindergarten class that entered school. I was called upon as a principal, assistant superintendent and superintendent to constitute the educational process for the next generation of school children and incorporate new technology into the classroom for teaching and learning. In the area of budgets, I was a chief negotiator on labor contracts on both sides, labor and management. I represented the teachers when I was in the union and as an administrator I was a chief negotiator, representing the district, during a recession. In the face of that recession and the demands from the teachers’ union, I was able to see where to make cuts and keep them away from the classrooms, keeping teachers in front of students so as to not disrupt or compromise their education. I am also able to analyze a budget. I cannot say for sure, but I do not believe most or any of my opponents have had to oversee a multimillion dollar budget, hire staff, be in charge of the evaluation of hundreds of employees, provide on-going professional development, ensure all teachers are fully licensed by the State, ensure cafeteria workers have health licensing and that custodians, bus drivers and volunteers are cleared by background checks. I am able to look at every aspect of a very large organization and develop strategies for working together toward a set of goals. I know what it is like to run an organization and handle situations in which there are competing issues and needs and limited funds. Resources are limited but human needs are unlimited. You have to understand what needs to be done to meet the demands of an organization. I believe I have the skill to navigate through those competing interests on a cooperative rather than an adversarial basis.”
Though she spent all of her professional life working in what is essentially the public sector, Kennedy said that through her businessman husband she is sensitized to the needs of the private sector and has an appreciation for the challenges entrepreneurs face in seeking to make a go of it.
“My husband has been employed in the private sector for 30 of the 39 years he has been working,” Kennedy said. “I understand what it takes to be in business. I can see what the city can do to help and how to invest in the community’s economic growth.”
Kennedy was raised in San Bernardino and is a graduate of San Bernardino High School. She obtained a Bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Redlands, a Master’s Degree in school administration from Cal-State, San Bernardino, and a Ph.D. from Claremont Graduate University upon completing her dissertation, “Selection Criteria and Student Access to Algebra I.”
She has been a Rancho Cucamonga resident for 36 years. Her husband, Michael Kennedy, is an attorney and senior partner at Estelle & Kennedy, A Professional Law Corporation.

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