Chester Running To Preserve Yucaipa’s Small Town Character

It is her intense feeling for her living environment that has inspired Stacey Chester to seek a position on the Yucaipa City Council in the upcoming November election.
“I am running for city council because I love the city,” Chester said. “Yucaipa is one of the few cities left in Southern California that maintains a rural heritage and a small town feel. It is the true definition of community. My daughter just graduated from Yucaipa High School and my son is going to be a sophomore. I have a vested interest on behalf of my children to make Yucaipa a great place to live.”
Chester said her professional involvement in government qualifies her to hold the position of city councilwoman.
“My 20 years’ experience in government working for the Riverside County Economic Development Agency has prepared me well to serve as councilwoman,” she said. “My extensive background in workforce development, business services, marketing, management and community events enables me to understand a variety of issues and gives me the ability to make well-informed decisions. I also have my bachelor’s degree in public relations, and my education will help me be a positive and confident voice for the city of Yucaipa.”
In 2016, Yucaipa transitioned to by-district elections from the at-large voting that had taken place in the city previously. Chester is a resident of Yucaipa’s District 4, for which Denise Allen-Hoyt is the current officeholder. Allen-Hoyt has not yet pulled papers to seek reelection. The single other hopeful who has taken out candidacy papers in District 4 is Justin Beaver, a former San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy who is now employed as a detective with the City of Azusa’s police department.
Chester says her greater depth with regard to the full range of municipal/governmental operations positively distinguishes her from Beaver.
“As far as I can tell, my opponent’s only professional job experience is law enforcement,” Chester said. “With that said, my experience and education will better serve our community because there is a distinct difference between law enforcement and governance. I understand government operations and will be better equipped. He also seems hyper-focused on adding more law-enforcement, whereas I would want to pull actual crime reports and statistics to ensure the added deputies are warranted. I am pro-law enforcement, but there are other issues that must be addressed. I would be a well-versed representative for our city.”
Additionally, Chester said, “I also volunteer my time as a board member for the Yucaipa Community Foundation, as a means to make the visual, performing, and cultural arts accessible to the entire community. My opponent works in the city of Azusa, I work in Cherry Valley, making me more accessible in times of need.”
Chester said, “Some of the major issues facing the City of Yucaipa right now are city image, economic growth, expansion and salvaging our small businesses.”
Those issues should be redressed, Chester said, by “maintaining positivity in these unprecedented times. It is important to listen to both sides of an issue, and make informed decisions based on facts, while leaving emotions out. Effective communication is essential when representing our city.”
In terms of economic growth and expansion, Chester said, “It is vital to forge a balance to maintain our small town feel and incorporate growth. With my understanding of economic development and its importance to city revenues, I believe we can balance the two. By filling our current buildings in our uptown area with small businesses that make sense, we will accomplish growth and maintain our rural heritage. Adding corporate businesses, which is already in the works at the base of Yucaipa Boulevard, will also give residents a place to spend their money and ‘play’ inside city limits while bringing surrounding residents to add to our local economy.”
Chester said the city should make an effort toward sustaining small businesses.
“I want to help small businesses weather this economic storm by informing them about various programs such as the CARES Act and other grants for small businesses,” Chester said, adding that such enterprises can be shored up by “encouraging locals to work and play in our city. Once we can fully reopen, I think it is imperative to get the Yucaipa Performing Arts Center back up and running to create tourism and cultivate partnerships with local businesses.”
Chester said tapping into available CARES Act grants will not impact the city’s budget. “We should also take advantage of our opportunity zone. This zone will allow investors to bring in new businesses. I noticed in the budget that the Performing Arts Center costs the city over $500,000 per year. There is a way to make this center a revenue generator versus a city expenditure. My experience operating a county venue will help, as I implemented a business plan that is proving to be successful.”
Chester moved to Yucaipa in 2007. She graduated from AB Miller High School in Fontana. She attended Cal Baptist University, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in public relations. She is currently employed with the County of Riverside.
“I manage a county property and have been in charge of sponsorships for a variety of county events that include the Riverside County Fair & National Date Festival, the Hemet-Ryan Air Show, the Jacqueline Cochran Air Show and French Valley Wine and Wings Air Show. In this capacity, I have raised over $7 million dollars in sponsorship revenues.”
An unmarried single mother since 2012, Chester said, “I have raised my two children, ages 18 and 14, on my own. I own my house and work hard for everything I have. Working two jobs, going back to school and being there for my kids showed them perseverance. It is important to me they understand nothing is free in this life. If you want something, you have to set goals, and be willing to put in the work.”
Chester said, “I will strive to be a positive voice for Yucaipians. I believe my drive and work ethic will serve my community well.”

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