My leadership, record and candidacy can be summed up in one word: vision. I have a vision of greatness for San Bernardino and I will work tirelessly until it is realized.
As a councilman it is my job to ask the hard questions and explore all reasonable options before making decisions about how to best manage tax payer money. Our current fiscal climate requires us to think about moving forward in creative ways. I was elected at the beginning of what we now call the Great Recession in late 2006. While the economic slowdown was more gradual at that time, I recognized that a new source of revenue for public safety was needed and I supported Measure Z. With that funding we added 47 police officers. When the crash hit in 2008, we were in a much better position than we would have been if we hadn’t been forward thinking. Despite not replacing retiring officers, we currently have 2 more on the force than when I was elected.
I have continued my dedication to maximizing limited community resources to create the best outcome for residents. In 2009 we were forced to close parks to make ends meet. I knew what this meant for residents so I rolled up my sleeves, got donations, recruited volunteers and went to work to reopen Nicholson Park. The Park is open today because of a partnership with the county without using city dollars. It was the creative and right solution to a significant problem.
Today our city budget cannot be stretched far enough to meet the needs of city residents. The continued Recession has required us to close City Hall every Friday. This isn’t working. I have a solution for this problem: move from a furlough (reduced services) model to a pension reform model. Currently city employees contribute nothing towards their own pensions. My plan requires those employees who earn over $100,000 a year to start paying the employee share of 9%. This change would restore the full work week for city employees and bring in an additional $3.5 million that could be used to hire police officers, fix potholes and run our city.
Unfortunately, the police and fire unions don’t want to pay the employee share of pension costs. Many of them are part of the $100,000 club and so they have spent tens of thousands of dollars against me. They don’t live in this city and don’t care if our potholes are fixed. They use overtime to offset the furloughs costing the tax payer much more for their services.
The candidate they are supporting has been bought and paid for by the unions. They are running a terrible negative campaign blaming me for every ill in our city, as if we were an isolated case in a global economic meltdown. Voters have received nothing but negative mail from my opponent. I ask that you compare that negativity with my positive vision for our city and vote for Tobin Brinker on November 8th.