The City Attorney's Campaign for November 8, 2011 is proving to be the most watched and controversial race of all. David McKenna is only the third individual willing to tackle the 24 year incumbent, Jim Penman, who has suffered a stunning defeat each of the two times he has run for City Mayor against Mayor Pat Morris.
McKenna was asked by a number of local attorneys and business leaders to come back to San Bernardino after retiring, and spending over 30 years serving San Bernardino County, and run for this office. Well qualified for this position, McKenna has served 12 years as head of the SB County District Attorney Public Defenders office. In his 12 years, he made news several times, compared to the incumbent who lives and thrives to be "making the news" as well as trying to steer City Hall. McKenna has extensive experience as a Prosecuting DA for SB County, an elected judge in Colton, and was also elected and served as Supervisor for San Bernardino County.
McKenna states: “The job of the City Attorney is not to “make” news, but to provide sound, ethical and legal advice to the elected officials and staff of the City of San Bernardino... advice that is free from political influences. One of my four main campaign promises, along with accountability, effectiveness and making neighborhoods safe (through cooperation, not coercion; is "Transparency:" I am committed to providing our citizens with easy access to public records of our office expenditures. Cost-effectiveness will be one of my first projects to prevent unnecessary funds for outside legal help. I believe that the City Attorney has grossly over inflated the caseload he has claimed, based on his own records that I obtained from his own office. All cases pending under my guidance will be available on a website so that the taxpayers and staff can actually see what we are doing."
At a recent City Council meeting, McKenna presented his caseload findings, and gave a copy of the documentation, based on documents provided from the records from the city attorney's office, to the mayor, city manager and city attorney. When Penman took them, he stood up, lifted up the trashcan and threw the documents in the trash in front of everyone, including the Channel 3 cameras.
"There is no place for theatrics, grandstanding and politics in the role of City Attorney," concluded McKenna. "People before Politics. That's my pledge. Right now four of the seven Council members, the mayor and city manager cannot - will not go to Penman for sound, unbiased legal advice. The loss of our fine SB Police Chief Keith Kilmer can be attributed, at least in part, to the actions of the City Attorney. What a stunning loss to our city. We cannot always agree on everything... but it is time for this total lack of professionalism to end. Four more years? No. It's time for a positive for San Bernardino."
Pastor Ray Turner president of the Inland Empire Concerned African American Churches stated: “We have gridlock in City Hall in San Bernardino. We need businesses to come and stay in our city. There is far too much politics with the incumbent, who has been in office for 24 years. I believe that David McKenna, in addition to his strong legal background, will help change ‘business as usual in City Hall.’ David will put people first, not his own political agenda. Also, as an elected official, David will be able to work with all city council members. I have noticed that any time City Council and the City Attorney are together, there is contention. It is time for change. I believe that David McKenna will be a breath of fresh air for the City of San Bernardino, and I am proud to endorse him,” states Turner.
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