Listening, Understanding & Sound Decisions Are Leadership Watchwords, Williams Says

“I believe that I can have an impact on issues here in Barstow,” Leonard Williams said in explaining why he is a candidate for Third District councilman in this year’s election in the northernmost of San Bernardino County’s cities. “For years I believe that people have not been represented on the council. If you do not interact with your constituents, how do you know how they feel? I believe that is a major problem with this council.”
Williams said, “I believe I am qualified for the position because I am one of the people, because of my understanding of the issues, my ability to listen to all sides and make a sound decision for the people of my district and for the city as a whole.”
Williams said, “I am not a native of Barstow, so I do not have any longheld beliefs about any person or organization within this city, which plays a major role in the politics of Barstow. We must look forward and learn from the mistakes of the past and not dwell on them. That is one reason why I believe we have a hard time moving forward. I will offer a fresh look at the issues.”
In sizing up the city’s major challenges, Williams said “Crime is a huge issue within the community, but with the passing of Measure Q in 2018, it has afforded the city the opportunity to hire more police and firemen, and purchase the equipment that is needed to fight the growing crime within the city.”
With regard to economic development and housing, he said “To attract new development, we must get the crime in our city under control. Without that, no one wants to develop in the fifth most dangerous city in California. We must continue to keep our youth engaged in youth sports, at our youth teen room, in our youth summer work program. We need youth activities.”
“Homelessness,” he said, “is a major issue across the country for large and small cities alike. Our problem is we are not well equipped or funded for the growing homeless population.”
To deal with the city’s problems, Williams said, “We have to continue to fully fund our police department, giving them all the tools that are needed to combat our growing crime. We must be realistic about what we can and cannot do when it comes to economic development and housing. We must be able to think outside the box to move our community forward. I think we are on the right track with youth activities and must continue our progress. An idle mind is the devil’s workshop. I have purposed we fund a full-time city homeless coordinator position, which we do not have at this time.”
Williams said a bit of reprioritization will provide the money to redress the city’s difficulties.
“I do believe that we have the monies within our budget to accomplish these things,” he said. “Measure Q brought in over seven million dollars last year, so we have the room in our budget. Many of these programs are already in effect.”
Williams has never held elective office, he said. He has volunteered and been selected for an appointed position, he said, which has left him determined to be even more involved.
“I have no experience as an elected official, but I was appointed to the Resident Oversight Committee for Measure Q, which has given me great insight into the workings of city government,” he said.
Williams has lived in Barstow going on 13 years. “I am not a native of Barstow,” he said. “I was born and raised in San Francisco, and attended George Washington High School. I have three years of college at San Francisco State University. My major was international relations and my minor was economics. Due to having a young wife and child, I elected to drop out and join the military, where I had a great career, retiring in 2004 with 21 years of service.”
At present, Williams is employed with the Department of the Navy at the Marine Corp Logistic Base in Yermo.
Williams told the Sentinel, “I was married for 28 years and have two grown sons and one granddaughter.”
He said, “Moving here to Barstow I never thought I would fall in love with the city and its people. The people in Barstow are the most caring and loving people I have seen in all my travels and places I have lived. I am proud to be called a Barstowian, and will do all I can to make this city and district prosper.”

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