Democrats gathered at the Juan Pollo off Fifth St. in San Bernardino on Friday, Nov. 22, to hear Redlands city councilmember Eddie Tejeda about his run for County Supervisor District 3.
Tejeda began by telling folks how he went against the status quo of the Redlands government by being elected without experience and that he wasn’t a threat to his fellow councilmembers. He said soon after that the philanthropists and community organizers came to see him “helping the community move forward.” Tejeda also noted that being a councilmember in Redlands was a part-time position and when he was not working for his constituents he was teaching special needs kids as a middle school teacher.
One audience member asked if he was willing to give up teaching if elected for District 3; he responded that he would “transition from teaching to working for the district as a full-time job.” He did say however if there were a way he could substitute now and then he would do that.
Tejeda’s campaign priorities are the economy, community and the environment.
He said, “We [the county] could rezone areas within the county so that we have the high density along transit corridors.”
He also wants to “prioritize efficient high mass transit projects,” along with getting people out there cars and off the roads.
Tejeda is also a supporter of “community benefits agreements”(contracts signed by community groups and real estate developers that require the developer to provide specific amenities and/or mitigations to the local community or neighborhood.) He said that with the agreements “the community benefits from every project that comes forward.”
Other projects Tejeda wants to start are more electric charging stations for electric cars and an expansion of the bike lanes in the county. Tejeda also wants to start a program that will help plant more trees in the county to absorb carbon dioxide emissions in San Bernardino County.
In regards to unincorporated communities like Mentone, “The County year after year barely gives those areas any attention,” and it would be his, “priority that those communities are attended to, that they have good sidewalks, good streets and safe routes for kids to go to school.”
According to Supervisor Dawn Rowe, “The County has been very active in approving infrastructure projects in Mentone. I recently voted to approve a $3.3 million contract for improvements to Crafton Avenue and surrounding streets, and the Board of Supervisors acted quickly to allocate funding for road repairs related to the Feb. 13 storm event earlier this year. This past July, I successfully pushed for the reinstatement of a fee waiver program for Mentone residents who were forced to pay for trash hauling services they weren't using.”
Rowe also had this to say in regards to Mentone, “The most frequent concern I hear from residents of Mentone and community groups like the Mentone Area Community Association is the excessive fees they're required to pay the city of Redlands. Because Mentone is located in the Redlands sphere of influence, residents don't want to pay the city's high cost for water and sewer connections. In addition, the city requires Mentone property owners to give up their right to protest annexation into Redlands if they utilize those systems. A lawsuit has been filed by the Community of Mentone Empowered Together, a community advocacy group, which seeks to sever the legal ties between Redlands and Mentone that are causing the high cost of living in this unincorporated community.”
Rowe’s comments contradicted Tejeda’s who said that the city of Redlands “respects the fact they [Mentone] want to remain a rural community,” and that Redlands “would do their best to take care of Mentone as it stands right now.”