David Mendez is vying for a position on the Barstow City Council this year, he said, because “I believe it is time for positive change with 100 percent transparency. It’s time to bring and keep business in town. It’s time to force the hand of the building owners to fill the unoccupied/empty store fronts. It’s time to bring the city reserves up so we can complete projects, and most importantly it’s time to protect & support our fire and police departments because of their depleted resources.”
He is qualified to serve on the city council, Mendez said, because he is a native who knows the city front and back, up and down, left and right through lifelong experience and community involvement.
“I was born in the City of Barstow,” Mendez said. “I have lived at the same address for 30-plus years. I am best known as an instructor-owner of Mendez Martial Arts for 22 years and Dana Park Martial Arts for three years. I was a youth football assistant coach for eight years. I was a girls softball coach for 4 years, a church youth group coordinator for three years, a religion teacher for six years, and dedicated father and husband for 36 years and counting. My involvement with the community and ensuring Barstow moves into the future would be paramount as a city councilman.”
This year is the first district-based council election in Barstow, following 71 years of at-large elections since the city’s 1947 founding. Mendez is challenging incumbent Tim Silva to represent Barstow in the city’s First District.
“I only have one opponent, the incumbent,” Mendez said. “The people of Barstow not only want positive change, we need it because the status quo is stagnant.”
Mendez said the major issue facing the city at this time is keeping Barstow’s public safety function intact and under local control.
“Our first and foremost challenge is the inability to unite the citizens of Barstow on how we can as a city support our emergency services,” Mendez said. “We currently have a measure on the ballot to make this happen, but the citizens are doubtful it will happen even if it passes because of past history of the wrong thing happening for some of the right reasons. Measure Q is a 1 percent tax that helps the city. It taxes 1 percent from the average 60,000 travelers almost every weekend passing through Barstow. Now that is a huge positive. But if it does not pass our fire department will be annexed to the county fire district and the citizens of Barstow will suffer for it. The San Bernardino County Fire District is currently $29 million in the negative, and Barstow will add to the deficit. Also, annexing into the county fire district will cost Barstow citizens $157 dollars with a 3 percent increase annually. The citizens cannot afford that, either.”
Mendez said, “I am a dedicated man, and that is only one of my attributes. I am very direct in conversation with 100 percent transparency. I am a researcher and when asked a question and I do not have an answer, I will find the answer and return data for you, favorably of not. I am honest to a fault because, as my wife says, ’You are a bad liar,’ so I do not lie in fear of getting caught.”
Mendez told the Sentinel, “I have been married to the same beautiful woman since 1982. We have four great children and two beautiful grandchildren. Also, I have a daughter, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild and one on the way who reside in Texas.”