Sabino Chosen To Replace Robles On Grand Terrace City Council

In a specially called meeting on April 23, the Grand Terrace City Council sifted through four applicants and appointed Michelle Sabino to complete the term of former member Sylvia Robles, who has served on the city council since 2012 but resigned in March more than three-quarters of the time through her third term.
Sabino is a speech therapist by trade and a political operative by choice. She is a member of the San Bernardino county Republican Central Committee and a major player within the Inland Empire Business Alliance Political Action Committee.
Sabino was chosen with two votes, those of Mayor Bill Hussey and Councilman Ken Henderson. Councilman Doug Wilson voted for Ronald Perez and Councilman Jeff Allen favored Vincent Rasso.
Robles, who would have been up for election in November, intended to leave the council in December, after which she and her husband intended to retire to Orange County. What she referred to as an “excellent opportunity” to trade their Grand Terrace home for one in San Clemente presented itself earlier this year. Accepting that officer necessitated her resignation from the council.
Sabino is a whirlwind of political energy. Not only is she a member of the cental committee, she is a member of that organization’s executive board. She is heavily involved with Inland Empire Business Alliance Political Action Committee, which collects large amounts of money from deep-pocketed business interests and entrepreneurs and vectors donations to local, state and federal candidates the political action committee feels will further the interests of those businesses. In doing so, the Inland Empire Business Alliance has generally supported Republican candidates. Still, it has occasionally promoted Democrats.
This has now proven problematic for Sabino. The Republican Central Committee’s bylaws prohibit a member of the central committee from aiding Democrats, particularly when the Democrat being aided has Republican opposition. The assistance the Inland Empire Business Alliance has provided to Democrats has led to some members of the San Bernardino County Central Committee to call from booting Sabino off of the exective board of the central committee and out of the central committee entirely. They see her as a Democratic wolf wearing the wooly disguise of a Republican sheep. They say she is a traitor, a turncoat, a Democrat agent who has insinuated herself into the Republican fold with the intent of ending the GOP’s nearly 60-year hold on San Bernardino County.
So, while Sabino last week made a major stride in fulfilling her own political ambition, she is now under attack by members of her own political party. Some say this may result in her renouncing the Republican Party altogether and changing her affiliation to align herself with the Democrats.
Sabino has steadfastly refused to publicly address the controversy and has not explained why she acted to aid Democrats involved in local races against Republicans, including members of the Republican Central Committee, such Henry Nickel, who is vying for the city council in San Bernardino, Nick Wilson who is running for the California Assembly in the 53rd District and Mike Cargile, who is running for Congress in California’s 35th Congressional District.
Some people were put off by the way in which Sabino’s political savvy, particular her partisan connections, were touted. They said that governance in 3.5-square mile, 12,500-population is carried out closer to home and far away from Sacramento and Washington, D.C. They suggested she incorrectly views politics through a grand prism on a grand scale.
That grandiosity appeared to be catching. In making his pitch to be appointed to replace Robles, one of her competitors, Vincent Rasso, who was the Grand Terrace High School student body president in 2017, touted himself as a regional and statewide policy expert.
“I seek this opportunity because o the widespread expertise I have in policy analysis and budget management, navigating and building relationships in state and federal government, as well as my background in youth and student engagement and strategic public affairs and communications,” the 24-year-old said.
While Councilman Jeff Allen found that convincing, his three colleagues did not.
Shortly after the special meeting concluded, the regularly scheduled council meeting of April 23 began. Sabino was sworn in near the beginning of the meeting and took her place on the dais.

Leave a Reply