Gallagher Offering Chino Hills “New Perspective On How Our City Operates”

Jim Gallagher said, “I am running for Chino Hills City Council in District 3 in the November 3, 2020 election because open space, traffic and safety is threatened, housing and development is dysfunctional, there is high business turnover, slow bureaucratic public services, increasing cost of living with city taxes, fees, and permits on the rise, lighting and landscaping fee disparities with decreasing services, gentrifying neighborhoods, and a new diverse population that deserves representation. I have lived in Chino Hills for nearly 30 years. I love this beautiful city, and it is time to bring a new perspective to how our city government operates.”
Gallagher said he is qualified to hold the position of city councilman based on his education and community involvement. He has a bachelor of arts degree in sociology and psychology and has completed graduate work in political sociology from California State University, Fullerton. He subsequently obtained a masters degree in business administration from Redlands University, and holds a professional certificate from the Human Resources Certification Institute.
His community involvement includes serving on the board of directors of and as an ambassador for the Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce, being an original member of both the Save Tres Hermanos Ranch collective and the Concerned Parents/Residents of the Chino Valley Unified School District. He is an active member of the Senior 55+ Club and the vice president of the Dog Park for Chino Hills Committee. He is active in Democratic Party politics, as the current second vice chair of the San Bernardino County Democratic Party, the vice president of the Chino Valley Democratic Party, as the Assembly District 55 delegate to the California Democratic Party; as a member of the board of directors for both the Build the Bench California 39 Program and the Build the Bench Political Action Committee.
Gallagher maintains he is distinguished from the others seeking election to the Chino Hills City Council in District 3 based on his past involvement in land use designation issues within the city, volunteerism, community improvement and enhancement efforts, and his advocacy of installing non-ideologically driven school board members and preventing the intrusion of religious dogma into public school classrooms.
“My wife and I were members of the Citizens’ General Plan Advisory Panel shortly after city chartering in the early 1990s. The 1993 and 2014 general plans for Chino Hills promote the vision of open space and a rural-like atmosphere, and our development code and other city documents flow from that,” Gallagher said. “Not long after the general plan was adopted, I actively campaigned with a city-wide group to preserve the beauty of Chino Hills, which sought to assure no changes to the general plan would be implemented unless it came to a majority vote of the community. This was especially important as Chino Hills began to develop homes, parks, institutions, and businesses. This vision hasn’t always met the expectations of the residents.”
Gallagher said, “I joined with my Green Valley neighbors in the mid-1990s to challenge a large residential development which was designed to completely level a beautiful ridge in my neighborhood and replace it with thousands of houses. We successfully re-envisioned the plan, and worked with the developers and city staff to envision an acceptable residential development that reduced the housing numbers, preserved the ridge, hid the houses below the ridgeline from view, and satisfied all parties involved. I learned people working together can make a difference.”
He and his wife, Gallagher noted, “participated in the Chino Hills identity marker program, based on community input, at a workshop and tour in 2002, which designated the type and location of all city identity markers at its entrance boundaries. They stand to this day.”
Gallagher attended and graduated from the volunteer Citizens Network Neighborhood Leader Program in the late 1990s, which “is designed for neighborhood advocates to receive a well-rounded overview of municipal government and the services, tools, and resources available to all residents, while understanding city government and neighborhood problem solving,” he said
“I helped form and champion a group against illegal maternity hotels in our residential neighborhoods,” Gallagher said. “Our advocacy brought about a recent city ordinance to regulate illegal boarding for profit in our residential neighborhoods.”
Gallagher was a board member of the Dog Park for Chino Hills Committee, which ultimately led to the placement of the community dog park within the Vila Borba subdivision.
“I believe our small business community is vital to support the needs of our residents in many ways, so I am a very active Chino Valley Chamber of Commerce ambassador and board of directors member,” Gallagher said.
Gallagher noted, “I am part of the core Concerned Citizens of the Chino Valley Unified School District, which seeks to advocate and promote responsible candidates to our school board. We believe our children deserve top notch school board support in our school district.”
Gallagher is a member of Neighborhood Voice, which is working with city staff to deal with what Gallagher called the “looming” landscape and lighting maintenance funding shortfall in Chino Hills and what he said would be “a fair solution for all neighborhoods.”
Gallagher said, “I have co-led with Chino Hills and Diamond Bar partners the Save the Tres Hermanos Ranch group. Our group seeks to keep that beautiful 2,445 acre piece of land open and in a natural state for all of us to enjoy.”
Noting that “Our senior population is growing,” Gallagher said he is a member of the Chino Hills 55+ Club supporting the needs of senior residents and senior veterans. “Our group was instrumental in securing a veteran’s memorial at our community center, honoring our four branches of the military and past and present veterans and their families,” Gallagher said.
“We were supporters of Hope for the Hills, which successfully influenced the California Public Utilities Commission to stop the Tehachapi Tower power lines from impacting our central neighborhoods and put them below-ground instead,” Gallagher said. “I and my wife Kathy attended the final hearing in San Francisco that supported the City of Chino Hills lawsuit and ordered Edison to take down the towers.”
In sizing up the major issues facing the city, Gallagher said, “The pandemic exposed the unreliability of our city’s current fiscal plan. We need a new vision that both improves our quality of life and protects the character of our community.”
Gallagher said that in Chino Hills, “Open space, traffic and safety are threatened. I want to continue to preserve and protect our quality of life.”
Gallagher said, however, that development will continue. “Housing and development is not meeting everybody’s needs, shutting out young and new family buyers,” he lamented. “I want to negotiate housing opportunities that address this and provide great inclusive neighborhoods in the process.”
The city is plagued by instability in its commercial base, Gallagher opined. “Frequent small business turnover fails to support a stable commercial environment for our city,” he said. “I want to leverage the chamber of commerce to sustain our first time and home based businesses.”
Chino City Hall is not living up to its responsibility to the taxpayers, Gallagher said. “Variable public service response time adds to residential confusion,” he said. “I would like to introduce a customer-friendly process-based approach to city services that rivals our surrounding cities. With the increasing cost of living and city taxes, fees, and permits on the rise, I would like to re-visit our fee and permit schedules on the budget.” Gallagher said the city’s “public funding model shows fee disparities that result in decreasing services in order to meet budget obligations.” He said the city’s “original founding neighborhoods” present the city “with special issues.”
Chino Hills has, Gallagher said, “an increasingly diverse population (age, gender, culture, religious) that deserves representation.”
Gallagher said, “Even though Chino Hills median household income is about $104,600 and an individual median income close to $42,200, we are in the throes of an economic crisis due to the pandemic shutdown. The income gap is widening and needs to be addressed. Rents, leases, payments, fees, and taxes have not gone away. Chino Hills has been ranked #38 on Money Magazine’s 2019 list of the “100 Best Places to Live.” I want to help our city government, businesses, and other institutions move us closer to the #1 best place to live, as your council member commencing 2020.”
He said, “What I am proposing does not necessarily require an increase in taxes or fees but a re-purposed budget. Chino Hills has been fiscally sound for decades and has a general fund reserve of $43,838,984 which is shrinking each year and may be threatened overall with the current economic climate. The city brings in a comfortable amount of fees from facility rentals, permits, and special events and it has all been cut off due to the economic downturn. I am suggesting a new look at budget appropriations, which could result in some service rollbacks and re-allocations elsewhere. I know some communities are looking at public safety or police budgets, but our city dedicates less than 35 percent for contract services to the county sheriff and has the advantage of county resources as a result. So the re-allocations will have to come from elsewhere, which could be thoughtfully administered, in dialogue with the various neighborhoods, that are served.”
Gallagher grew up in New York, and graduated from North Rockland High School in Haverstraw.
He is a retired aerospace company human resources specialist, having worked in employee development for 30 years.
Gallagher said, “One of my favorite quotes is Albert Einstein’s ‘Never memorize something that you can look up.’”

Leave a Reply