Four Contestants Have Already Declared For 2018’s San Bernardino Mayoral Election

Councilman John Valdivia’s challenge of incumbent San Bernardino Mayor Cary Davis has triggered a spate of candidates seeking the top political spot at the municipal level in the county seat.
Mike Gallo and Daniel Malmuth have now declared their candidacies, meaning it will be at least a four-way race when the city holds its first regularly scheduled mayoral race in an even-numbered year next spring.
City voters’ adoption of a new city charter last year, revamping in significant measure the municipal operating blueprint that was in place in San Bernardino since 1905, has changed more than just the years in which elections will be held. In fact, the charter has lessened to some degree the power the mayor once had. Whereas previously, the mayor did not have a vote except in those circumstances when there was a tie, the old charter gave him veto power when the vote for passage was 4 to 3 or 3 to 2. The mayor presided over the meetings of the city council and had control over the issues to be discussed as well as the ebb and flow of that discussion. Under the previous charter, the mayor had power that went beyond mere political control, as he was vouchsafed what bordered on a co-regency with the city manager in terms of the day-to-day management or direction of operations at City Hall, including decision-making power with regard to personnel, in terms of hirings and firings. While there was talk of giving the mayor voting power when the form of the new charter was under discussion beginning two years ago, that was to have come with the reduction of the number of council wards from seven to six. The number of wards remained unchanged in the new charter, and thus the mayor still no longer has voting power unless an issue voted upon by the council has ended in a tie. The mayor retains veto power, which essentially gives him two votes if the council splits 4 to 3 or 3 to 2 on any of the issues before it. But the charter removed the mayor’s non-political primacy at City Hall, so he or she, in this case Davis, no longer has the reach to run the city in conjunction with the city manager. Nevertheless, the mayoralty in what remains as yet the county’s oldest and most populous city is yet considered an honored prize.
For that reason, Gallo, the president and chief executive officer of Kelly Space & Technology and a San Bernardino City Unified School District board member, has thrown his hat in the ring.
Gallo refers to himself as a consensus builder who has sought to have collective meetings of community business leaders, social leaders and elected officials to discuss issues and forge that consensus and set goals.
Gallo and his supporter tout the school district upping its graduation rate from 67.5 percent to 86.2 percent.
Gallo, an appointee to the California Workforce Development Board, including its executive board and the Career Pathways and Education Committee of which he was chairman, became enamored of San Bernardino when he was stationed as at Norton Air Force Base in the early 1980s. When he left the Air Force he went to work for TRW Ballistic Missiles Division. In 1993, he co-founded Kelly Space & Technology, which conducts aerospace research, development and testing at the now converted Norton Air Force Base, now called San Bernardino International Airport.
Malmuth, who worked in the movie industry and was a member of the San Bernardino Historic Preservation Commission and Art Commission, chose the headquarters for the San Bernardino Historical and Pioneer Society to announce his candidacy.
Career-wise, Malmuth began as production assistant at Columbia Pictures before moving on to direct some movies in the capacity of associate director before being entrused to serve as a production executive on movies with budgets well into the eight figures.
Malmuth sees San Bernardino as something like the Anaheim of the 21st Century, with a major movie studio choosing it to become host to a world class theme park called Joyland. He says the park could begin on the 48-acre footprint of the now delapidating Carousel Mall. And San Bernardino could take advantage of its location at the foot of the mountains and its climate to make itself into a new Hollywood. He said he would appoint a deputy mayor to oversee film making in the city. That deputy mayor would be accompanied by five others under Malmuth’s vision for municipal governance, with these mayoral delegates dedicated to preservation, openness and transparency, economic development and artistic development. He said he would seek to relocate City Hall into the Arrowhead Springs Hotel.
Davis, who in the 2013 election finished second among a slew of candidates to make his way into a run-off election against Wendy McCammack in 2014 which he then won, saw his four year term extended by a year as part of the charter change. The city will hold its next municipal election in synchronization with the gubernatorial primary in June 2018. If a runoff is required because no single candidate gets a majority in the voting, that recontest will be held in November 2018.

Leave a Reply