In Redlands Council Run Hoder Emphasizes Maturity & Perspective

Andrew Hoder, who is one of three candidates competing against Redlands incumbent Councilwoman Denise Davis in this year’s municipal election, said his familiarity with the community going back a half century and his currency with the issues recently roiling the city make him District 1 voters’ best choice to represent them on the city council.
“I have been a regular attendee at city council meetings for the past ten years,” Hoder said. “This gives me insight into what the council has or hasn’t accomplished in that period of time. I believe my perspective on these various issues can help guide the city in the best direction going forward.”
Hoder said his service as chairman of the Redlands Street Tree Committee is an ideal foundation for the more exacting role of being a decision-maker on the city council. He further referenced his experience as president of a homeowners association. “It’s really a microcosm of municipal government,” he said. “Our board of directors had to cope with virtually all the same challenges, including preparing an annual budget that balanced the collection of dues with the various expenditures that were anticipated. We also had to ensure compliance with the covenants, conditions and restrictions that every homeowner was obligated to when they purchased their property — exactly like code enforcement in any municipality. We negotiated contracts for services, and we maintained an oversight on the property to ensure that the best standards were maintained.”
He positively contrasted his life experience, maturity and overall frame of reference with that of Davis.
“My opponent doesn’t have the historical perspective on the issues the city has faced over the last decade or longer,” Hoder said.
Hoder said, “The city’s commitment to the Transit Villages plan, which calls for high density residential development in the core of Downtown Redlands and in the neighborhood adjacent to the University of Redlands will dramatically and permanently change the character of our town, and not in a good way. It is a major challenge facing the city.”
The transit villages concept taps into a trend in urban planning in recent years which emphasizes the need to facilitate heavier use of public transportation, including commuter rail systems. This inevitably involves intensified and dense development, including the construction of clusters of high-rise apartment buildings that will entail as many as 100 units per acre. Hoder cautioned that this will present a radical departure from the long-extant character of the downtown area, impose strains on the city’s existing infrastructure and potentially erode the quality of life in the city.
The emergence of the Transit Villages is in conjunction with the pending Arrow Train service, and a significant component of that development is in determining the disposition of the long defunct Redlands Mall, a contentious issue in itself,” Hoder said. “Further to this are concerns about the crime rate in Redlands and the lack of adequate resources to deal with those conditions. We need more uniformed officers. We also need to face more than a decade of neglect in maintaining our wastewater treatment plant, which is in dire need of repairs and upgrades. The estimated cost for the necessary work is in the neighborhood of $45 million — far more than the city has in reserves. So, it will be a major challenge to determine how the city will finance a project of this magnitude.”
Hoder said, “The difficulties the city faces can be redressed with a sensible application of logic and by respecting the collective will of the city’s residents.”
He referenced Measure G, an initiative put before the city’s voters by the unabashedly pro-development city council in 2020. Measure G was intended to free the city council, the planning commission, City Hall generally and real estate speculators from the limitations on development inherent in past measures approved by voters in Redlands. It asked the city’s residents to eliminate, in one fell swoop, the restrictions of Proposition R, Measure N and Measure U, which were low-growth or controlled-growth initiatives passed with the solid support of the city’s residents in, respectively, 1978, 1987 and 1997. Through Measure G, the council sought to allow developers to construct up to 27 housing units per acre, eliminate height limits on buildings in the city, relieve developers of the requirement that in completing their projects they have to provide infrastructure to maintain traffic-bearing capacity on the city’s streets equal to what was available prior to the development taking place, permit residential land use designations to be placed into the city’s general plan that did not previously exist and abolish the requirement that developers carry out socioeconomic‐cost/benefit studies for the projects they are proposing, among other things.
In March 2020, the city’s residents soundly rejected Measure G, with 9,321 votes or 64.88 percent opposing it and 5,052 voters or 35.12 percent in favor of it.
“As to developments within or near the Transit Villages, we need to listen to the voters,” Hoder said. “Two years ago, Measure G was defeated by a resounding margin, almost 2-to-1. It would have given developers almost unrestricted criteria for construction within the ‘villages.’ Voters rejected the concept of high-rise buildings in the historic downtown area. We need to make the developers work for us and not the other way around.”
Hoder continued. “As to law enforcement, we now have a steady revenue stream from the Measure T sales tax increase,” he said. “A significant portion of that money is supposed to be dedicated to resources for our police department. The city council needs to ensure that Measure T money is being allocated accordingly.
“As to the renovation of our wastewater treatment plant,” he continued, “this work cannot be delayed.”
Asked how the city is to pay for the actions he suggested it take, Hoder said, “Funding for the wastewater treatment plant will have to come in the form of a loan from the state or through commercial lenders, or the city may have to submit a bond issue to the voters. However, the city currently has a sufficient revenue stream such that it should not be necessary to introduce any new taxes.”
Holder said, “My connection to Redlands began at least 50 years ago, through relatives who lived here. I moved to Redlands permanently in conjunction with my retirement from the airline industry.”
A California native, Hoder graduated from Long Beach Polytechnic High School in 1965. Thereafter, he said, “I initially attended classes at Long Beach City College after high school, but withdrew as I entered service in the U.S. Army. While in the Army, after a year in a combat zone, I was enrolled in the rotary wing aviator course (i.e. helicopter pilot training). Upon graduation I was given the rank of warrant officer, and I subsequently served two years in Germany, as well as other assignments. I was employed as an airline pilot until retirement in 1998.”
Hoder said, “I’ve been very active in volunteer and charitable work in Redlands since my retirement, including being a tutor in the adult literacy program, being a guide on the Redlands Heritage Tours for 4th grade students and working as a volunteer at an animal sanctuary in Yucaipa, as well as being an active member of the American Legion.”

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