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Hardy L. Brown

San Bernardino City Council Must Move Off of Stupid

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The San Bernardino City Council finally moved the needle a little off of stupid when it came to some cuts in the fire department but some remain stuck on stupid when it comes to the refuse department.

In our modern culture the urban dictionary defines the phrase “stuck on stupid” as: (1) in a prolonged state of being completely clueless or too high to think straight; (2) when someone just doesn’t get it, repeatedly; (3) a person who cannot learn, a fool who repeats their mistakes time and again, a person who constantly screws up.

Now the city council of San Bernardino does not think of themselves as being stuck on stupid or doing stupid things. Everyone in the world knows that the city filed for bankruptcy protection because they do not have enough money coming into the city to meet payroll and pay creditors. Instead of the council listening to their managers offering cuts to get the financial books ready for the courts, Council members Robert Jenkins and John Valdivia decided to play political games by leaving the meeting so they would not have to vote on a reduction in the fire department. Jenkins hid out in the bathroom for 42 minutes and emailed the city attorney, who is not a part of the council, that he was indisposed.

Valdivia left the meeting altogether and would not give the council or press a reason for his departure. Their actions were a pure screw up and they thought no one would notice or call them on it. To these two I say, if you do not have the guts to make gutsy decisions, then resign.

Chas Kelley, who in the past would not accept the acting fire chief’s recommended cuts, said, “I will only agree to these proposed cuts if you promise to cut more managers in the fire department with no cuts in my ward.” As if citizens and taxpayers living in other wards are not important to the city. This is unfortunately a ‘I am better than you’ way of thinking for someone who is mayor pro-tem representing the city. It has taken fifty years to remove one-way freeway access which has separated the city like the Berlin wall, only to have council members like Kelley building other kinds of divisions.

For the past two months the council has kicked important issues down the road including the fire department, refuse department and general employee reductions. They want to contract out refuse services in one breath while admitting in another that it is one of the few departments that is a financial asset and makes money for the city. Not only does it make enough money to pay for its services, but it also helps cover services of the city in other departments. This is also one of the few departments where over 90% of the employees live in the city and pay taxes, vote, buy homes, groceries, clothes, furniture, cars, insurance, attend church and send their children to San Bernardino City Schools. However, these employees do not contribute to these city council members political campaigns.

Now what the council needs to do is evaluate contracting out other services with established governments where we already pay taxes. I, for one, cannot support contracting out refuse services since it is a city asset and the employees are citizens of the city while keeping non-citizen city employees on the payroll. The council says they cannot require residency for employment of any employees yet the city charter requires the city manager to live here or no employment.

The reason I say Kelley and three other council members are stuck on stupid is because they are the members admonishing the staff at every meeting who are looking for revenue generating ideas that will keep money in the city, yet they ignore those departments and employees taking the money out of the city by the carload every payday.

I would love to recommend and support that the council increase utility rates, sales tax and other fees to increase revenue, but not as long as they remain stuck on stupid with their policymaking.

So to the members of the council please re-evaluate why and who you are serving as council members before the next meeting and decide to move your needle off of stupid before you take your seat.

Look for The Black Voice News endorsement and support slate next week.

Editorial Endorsements

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Deborah Robertson for Mayor of Rialto

The voters of Rialto will select a new mayor in November and I am recommending they select Deborah Robertson who has the energy and vision to help bring business and jobs into the Inland Empire region. I say region because we need elected leaders who can work with other local governments in order to lift the region as well as their own city.

Deborah has fought hard during her tenure as a council member for business development in Rialto and has been a representative on various other boards and commissions comprised of elected officials.

She is very knowledgeable of our transportation needs to move products and commodities from the port of Los Angeles to and through the region. She will bring a vision and energy to the top leadership position in the city.

Elect Deborah Robertson Mayor of Rialto

Re-elect Lydia Wibert and Matthew Slowik to Fontana City Council

Fontana has a current city council that is working together as a team even though comprised of five different individuals with separate interest. However, they mesh those interests together toward moving the city forward. They are setting an example of how local government officials should behave and work for the people.

Lydia has a long history of community service with 17-years of service as a volunteer with the police department and 22-years as a Commissioner with the Parks and Recreation department. She integrates those experiences into policies that bring business to the community with jobs.

Matthew on the other hand brings years of experience and planning skills from his profession with the county. He wants Fontana to grow in a mighty way but be responsible with the type of business that will compliment Fontana’s workforce. He knows education has a large responsibility in providing a skilled labor force so he serves on the Fontana Unified School District Bond Oversight Committee.

Lydia Wibert and Matthew Slowik deserve your support and should be re-elected to the Fontana City Council in moving Fontana forward.

Re-elect Vincent Yzaguirre and Alex Perez to Colton City Council

The City of Colton for a long time was known as the ‘Hub’ of the three cities between San Bernardino, Redlands and Riverside back in the sixties and seventies. It lost some of that reputation, have as other cities have risen in population and some businesses relocated to other areas.

However with citizens like Vincent offering his education, skills, and leadership on the council Colton can regain that status as he helps bring businesses back into the region. Vincent has a Master’s Degree in Business Management from the University Of Redlands and real estate development work experience with Vanir Corporation, as well as Riverside County as Deputy Director of real estate development.

Vincent is also a native of the city he loves and is committed to serving.

Alex has served the city as a planning commissioner and is seeking re-election to continue his work on projects that benefit the city of Colton. He would like to see the infrastructure of the city rebuilt and with the help of other council members, build a sports complex to make the city more health conscious.

Re-elect Vincent Yzaguirre and Alex Perez to Colton City Council.

Gloria Macias Harrison and John Longville for San Bernardino Community College Trustee

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There have been many people who have sought or have been elected to the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees but none with the qualifications, skills, and experience of Gloria Macias Harrison and John Longville.

Gloria was born and raised in this community and knows the issues young adults face in poverty and what an education can do to lift oneself up from that environment.

She and her sister Marta Macias Brown founded the El Chicano Newspaper but she did not stop there, she went on to get her college education and become president of Crafton Community College while raising a family with husband Bill Harrison. He and their children continue to run the family enterprise in Colton.

The community college system will benefit locally and statewide from her experience and leadership.

She also knows and understands the diverse population of students who seek an education beyond the K-12 level or a skill toward gainful employment in the workforce as entrepreneurs.

I recommending that you also re-elect John Longville to the San Bernardino Community College Board of Trustees. John brings much political experience as a former staff member to George Brown, a former Rialto City Council Member and Mayor of the City of Rialto. John also served in the State Assembly.

There are many people who have similar backgrounds as John but few are as effective with that experience, mainly because, unlike John, they seek to serve themselves instead of the people they profess to represent.

John loves to serve others and that is when he is at his best. Members who served with him in Sacramento still talk about his ability to get things done and with that experience John can help Gloria as they work as a team to improve our community.

Vote Gloria Macias Harrison and John Longville.

Russ Warner for 40th Assembly Seat, Not Mike Morrell

It has come to my attention that we might have a candidate running for the new 40th assembly district dressed in sheep’s clothing seeking support from the Black community clergy leadership. Now one of the things the scriptures tells us about is the gift of “discernment” and not to be so eager to hear the message and then not examine it for truthfulness.

Mike Morrell knows that the Black clergy stands firm on many social issues, so it sounds good to tell them that he has the same beliefs in order to gain votes for office. However, he didn’t tell them that he introduced a bill, AB 663, in the assembly that would require all voters to produce a government issued ID card with picture before one could vote.

If his bill had become law, I would not be able to vote. I have not been issued a drivers license in years, due to my illness. Now I know many seniors who would lose the right to vote if Morrell had his way.

He also wants law enforcement to collect money from inmates while incarcerated and we know who is locked up behind bars in disproportionate numbers.

So the wolf is saying some things that they want to hear while introducing legislation that will restrict the civil rights of the very people the clergy serves.

Even Little Red Riding Hood decided to take a closer look at her grandmother in the bed and saw that her eyes, ears, and teeth were bigger than usual before she jumped in bed to greet her. Now if Little Red Riding Hood had just listened without discerning the raspy voice of the wolf and knowing that the wolf’s facial features were not possibly that of her grandmother’s, she would have been history.

Now we have another candidate as an alternative to Morrell and that is Russ Warner, a businessman from Rancho Cucamonga. With over 40-years as a business owner, Russ knows what it takes to create jobs and meet a payroll.

Russ is a family man and was raised by his grandfather, a minister. I only mention that for those who lean toward people who know, understand, and believe in Christianity.

He also knows what it will take to make Sacramento work and that is only by reaching across political lines and getting things done for the people. He is for creating jobs, and seeking legislation to help all children get a quality education.

Vote for Russ Warner in the 40th Assembly District.

Mama always told me I had a Hard Head

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Last Saturday night around ten o’clock I got out of my comfortable lift chair to do my last walking routine with my walker and get into my power chair in preparation for bed. For the past several years, I have always leaned forward while walking but just as I was within a few feet of the power chair, this time I decided to straighten upright and unfortunately lost my balance and began falling backward. Realizing that I could not correct the backward movement, I decided to just relax and fall in a sitting position where I rolled backward and bumped my head lightly on the hardwood floor.

Cheryl came running from another room and found me on the floor. Wanting to know if I was all right, I told her the best I could that I was okay but now the task was in helping me up off the floor. I knew that was impossible so we finally called 911 for assistance. They came and helped me up while checking for any injuries and offered to take me to Kaiser Permanente Hospital in Fontana if necessary.

I told them that we would go to Kaiser to make sure no bones were broken or that there were no internal injuries. My son Hardy, who had just arrived to help, noticed a slight bruise on my head so we wanted to get it checked out.

Once at Kaiser, the emergency room doctor decided they should do a CAT scan of my head and x-rays of my pelvic area to be sure nothing was wrong (after all I am 69-years young). After the first scan, he wanted to take another one a few hours later and have a neurological surgeon read the scan for certainty. In the meantime, I laid in bed, talked with the nurse, and waited for the results while hooked up to monitoring equipment.

I could not help but think of my first few years of employment at Kaiser Fontana when there were few employees of color. Now, here I was being cared for by an Asian doctor, Latino nurse and a White female administering the CAT scan. This in my estimation was what the Equal Opportunity Employment laws and Affirmative Action Programs at Kaiser helped to produce.

Around 5 a.m., the doctor came back into the room and said everything was all right and the CAT scan indicated I still had a brain and everything was just fine.

That is when the thought occurred to me and I told Cheryl my mama had always told me I had a hard head when I was growing up. Now there was empirical medical evidence to say ‘mama was right’.

As a boy I was always doing things that they told me not to do such as leaving the yard and playing with cousins down the street without permission. I would get punished every time and turn around and do it again just as soon as the pain went away. Now one lesson I’ve learned from this incident is I am not going to try standing tall while walking but will forever lean forward. That sounds like a political statement from one of the presidential candidates.

Now the one I have to listen to is my wife, Cheryl when it comes to not trying to do something different without assistance. My mother also told us, “A hard head will make a soft bottom”. Mom was always right. I am doing just fine and in closing will refer you to read Rev. Larry Campbell “Moment in the Word” this week to be able to understand the role of humor in times like these.

The Political Conventions Are Over, What Are You Going To Do

When I was issued my discharge papers from the emergency room early Sunday morning, I also thought of this political season. I had been in the emergency room for seven hours, which is the most expensive area of medical care and where most people arrive from accidents or medial emergency.

It hit me when the discharge staff told Cheryl that will cost you five dollars for the visit. I had two Cat Scans, pelvic X-ray, lab work, doctor visits, nursing care and housekeeping services and it costs us five dollars.

Many seniors do not go to the hospital to be checked out when they fall because they have no medical insurance and Romney wants to repeal “The Affordable Health Care Act” which gives them coverage. Maybe I should say Romney wants to repeal parts of it now that the public is in favor of “Obama Care” and the benefits it provide many Americans.

Now I don’t know what the actual cost of my visit last Saturday night was, or the political persuasion of the people who cared for me, but $5 for the visit and the peace of mind it brought to my family is invaluable.

Congratulations Lynn and Tim

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Congratulations Lynn and Tim

Our daughter Lynn Renee Lee got married this past Friday to Tim Summers and the family celebrated in the family tradition of food and dancing. They took a few days off to celebrate in Palm Springs but is back to work duties at Kaiser Hospital in Fontana this week.

At the wedding her granddaughters and nieces were a part of the ceremony and later took over the floor while dancing to every piece of music played. The crowd’s favorite dance, young and old was the “waddle” with myself being the only thing missing on the dance floor. I was not the only one because a few others could not get their bones and muscles to straighten out as well.

As I watched our grand kids dancing, I thought the rhythm has been passed down to the next generation of the Brown and Minter offspring mixed with Lee, Hinds, Martin, and Wilson families.

To the newlyweds, I salute you and wish you good health and happiness for the rest of your life. To Tim, I say welcome to the family.

The City Council Must Act With Integrity To Gain Public Trust

The San Bernardino City Council members have a big problem with trusting the management staff they employ however, the council does not have the same problem with the employee unions that contribute to their campaigns.

The city is facing bankruptcy court with adopting a plan to demonstrate that the city has money deficits and is willing to make cuts of $46 million in the budget to illustrate the problem is real. They asked the managers to bring them a plan to get the city in financial order of which the mangers have done. But now we have council members who are taking the position of not in my ward or leave the employees alone and fire the managers. From my math of the city’s problem, if they eliminated every department and manager with the exception of police officers and firefighters, they would still have to lay some of them off.

So my question to this council is if you do not cut in the ward you represent, then which ward should receive the cuts? If you layoff all of your management staff who will be in charge of the city, the employee association? Who will answer the phones, pick up trash, clean city hall, repair streetlights, repair streets or other basic services required by taxpayers? I hear council members Wendy McCammack and Chas Kelley always talking about revenue generating ideas, but I hate to inform them citizens will not pay one more cent to the city unless you act responsible as a trustworthy body.

You want to lay off all of the employees that live in the city and pay taxes while protecting employees who live in other communities and contribute nothing to the city finances. You want to contract out the refuse services but not even discuss other services to outsource. This is irrisresponsible behavior to me as a business owner and taxpayer.

Why should citizens “trust you to do the right thing” when you say get rid of Dorothy Inghram Library and keep a newer one in my ward. Even suggest to use CDGB money for a non-blighted library or continue to support employees that do not live in the city and pay no taxes of any kind.

For the council’s information, some citizens are talking about not paying their utility taxes and the entire council should resign in disgrace. They know that their utilities can not be cut off as long as they pay the utility company and the property owner will be stuck with any liens of non-payment.

Let me suggest to the council, stop trying to be managers of the city and treat your management staff with more respect while approving public policies that would make you appear to be responsible leaders.

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