Sandoval Cites Warren’s Partisan Ambition In Declaring His Fontana Mayoral Bid

Fontana City Councilman Jesse Sandoval announced his candidacy for mayor on October 17, indicating he will challenge incumbent Acquanetta Warren.
A member of the council since 2012, Sandoval said it is the lack of transparency and communication with the city’s residents inherent in Warren’s stewardship of the city that drove him to seek the mayoralty.
“What I see is a lack of communication with the community and the public,” Sandoval told the Sentinel. “If people are not able to talk to their elected officials, if they come to meetings and can’t get the information they need, then our political leadership is failing. People are asking what are basically simple questions about how they can get their streets fixed, have repairs done to sidewalks, and they are always stonewalled. I am embarrassed when I hear other members of the council say to those people, ‘Don’t ask me; you need to talk to someone else in some department at City Hall.’ I want to open things up so people can communicate.”
The current political leadership is failing to capitalize on the spirit of civic pride and concern that is alive in Fontana, Sandoval said.
“We have people who are passionate about the city and making it better,” Sandoval said. “But we discourage them when we don’t listen and after so many times of talking into deaf ears, they just give up.”
Warren is well connected politically as an active member of the Republican Party. In recent months she was selected to participate as a member of the Governing Institute’s Women in Government Leadership Class of 2018 and has hobnobbed with President Donald Trump. Prior to that she was a delegate to the Republican National Convention in 2012, a candidate for State Assembly in 2010 and an attendee at the California Republican Convention in 2006.
All that is great for Warren and aggrandizes her, Sandoval said, but is of little, no or even negative value to Fontana as she engages herself in and monopolizes her time on issues that have nothing to do with the city she lives in and the citizens she represents.
“We need leaders who will leave politics behind and serve our city first,” Sandoval said. “We have important issues here in Fontana that need to be resolved before we get into politics. If you don’t listen to your community, if you don’t work with them, you are not going to be effective. It is not about party politics. It’s about the community.”
Sandoval said, “We have to raise the bar in Fontana. I see us going backward. This has always been a blue collar town. When Kaiser Steel was here, we had good paying jobs with great benefits. Now we have low paying jobs with no benefits. We should be looking to fill this city with light industrial and technology-based jobs. That should be the next level. I don’t see that with the current person at the helm. If it is happening, I am in the dark and I’m a city councilman. That is not proper communication.”
Sandoval continued, “We should have a vision of where we want Fontana to be in ten years. We need to spell out that vision. If we want a sports arena, we should be working toward that. If we want a big mall, we work toward that. If we want to bring in a university, then we start toward that. If it is so big that we can’t get it done right away, then we start it and leave to the next person to come into office to finish it.”
Warren’s interaction with President Trump did not translate to any benefit for Fontana, Sandoval said. He said her ambition is counterproductive. “I think she is looking toward higher office and she’s leaving us down the river without a paddle,” Sandoval said. “She is leaving the city devastated. She has no roots here. All her family live outside of the city. She moved here from LA in the late 90s and bought a house and in the early 2000s was appointed to the council. She is getting money from developers who are not interested in the city other than making a profit here. The voters have a choice to make. Do they want to continue with the well-financed politician who is in charge now? They should look at where all of her money is coming from. It’s not coming from their neighbors or even local businesses. It’s coming from developers and other interests outside the city. And those people like her who are taking that money have to feed the piper. It is time for us little guys to stand up to the big guys.”
Sandoval was born in East Los Angeles in 1959 and moved with his family to Fontana in 1967. He graduated from Fontana High School in 1977, later taking courses at Chaffey College, Mount San Antonio College and San Bernardino Valley College, many of them relating to horticulture. He worked for both the Fontana School District and the City of San Bernardino for 37 years. He is married with three children. His wife, Mary, is the current president of the Fontana Unified School District Board of Education.        –Mark Gutglueck

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