The East Valley Water District elects its directors at-large. Four candidates are challenging three incumbents.

Incumbents Ron Coats and James Morales Jr. have served on the board since 2013. Their terms were extended an extra year to comply with the state’s Voter Protection Act to take advantage of greater turnout during even years.

Philip R. Goodrich was appointed to the board in February after Director Nanette Shelton resigned and moved away.

Three candidates — Ed Corley, Kenneth Ambroise Sr. and Vince Laster — applied to fill Shelton’s spot.

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Kenneth Ambroise Sr.

Kenneth Ambroise Sr.

My entire family has been involved in public service. I grew up in a household where both parents were involved in public service. I worked with them on projects growing up.

I extended my service to a professional level working with the needs of the elderly.

 I am now retired and want to use my 40-plus years of management experience.

Age: 66

Occupation: Retired in 2017. Started working at 15 while attending high school and went through a Retail Clerks Union apprenticeship, became a journeyman at 19 and store assistant manager at 21. In 1977, he was hired and sent to school by Southern Pacific Transportation. Operating Class 1 trains as a brakeman, conductor and fireman.

He moved from San Francisco to Highland in 1984 to work in Southern Pacific's Colton yard. However, after the merger of Santa Fe Railway with Burlington Northern, his seniority was bought out.

From 1984-1995, he worked in automobile management for Pontiac, Hyundai, Volvo and Porsche.

After earning degrees in specializing in dementia and hospice care he worked in elderly health care until his retirement.

Education: Grew up in San Francisco and attended Golden Gate University 1973-1977.

Family: Married for 29 years. Four adult children and three grandchildren.

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Ron Cioats

Ronald L. Coats

I’m a lifetime resident of the San Bernardino area, and it has been my privilege to serve on EVWD board for five  years. Our accomplishments are many.

The Sterling Natural Resource Center is about to begin construction and continue our commitment to become totally independent.

We have received numerous awards that no other local water district can claim. District of Transparency award, from a California agency, is our latest recognition.

 Our commitment is to ensure we have sufficient reserves to take care of virtually any emergency and capital replacement projects, while providing you clean, pure and safe water, meeting or exceeding all government regulations. 

 Anyone who says “elect me and I will lower your rates” has forgotten they are only one of five votes. 

 I ask for your consideration when you vote for EVWD director. Any questions or concerns, contact me anytime at ronlcoats@aol.com or (909) 648-0028.

Age: 72

Occupation: Retired after working at Arrowhead Credit Union nine years and The Sun Co. for over 36 years.

Public service: U.S. Army from August 1966 until August 1970, attaining the rank of staff sergeant. Served on the Citizens Oversight Committee for the San Bernardino Community College District for three years, the Citizens Oversight Committee for the San Bernardino City Unified School District for 12 years and on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Review of the general plan for San Bernardino for two years.

Served on the Planning and Allocations and Community Impact Cabinet committees for the Arrowhead United Way for 15 years, as an ambassador for the San Bernardino Area Chamber of Commerce for 15 years, and is vice chairman for the Advisory Committee on Water Policy for the San Bernardino Valley Municipal Water Department for two years.

He also is on the Association of San Bernardino County Special Districts, conducts mock job interviews to seniors at Redlands Unified School District and is a member of the California State Sheriff’s Association and American Legion Post.

Coats has donated over 36 gallons of blood to Life Stream Blood Bank in San Bernardino and Riverside Counties

n Education: Graduated with honors from San Bernardino High School, has taken classes at San Bernardino Valley College, UCR, Rochester Institute of Technology and graduated from the Credit Union National Association Western Region School of Management.

n Family: Born and raised in San Bernardino, third generation native California. Two daughters, four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.

Ed Corley    

Advocate for clean water free of harmful contaminates; a plan for conserving and storage of rain water; correct and improve in monitoring water usage; and cost- effective billing procedures.

Occupation: Retired registered nurse instructor and Vietnam veteran. Also volunteered as an RN on federal disaster response team and as an ombudsman volunteer.

Education: Bachelor’s degree from Charles Drew Medical School in Los Angeles, bachelor of general sciences degree from Chaminade University, Honolulu.

Note: Corley did not provide his age or a photograph.

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Phil Goodrich

Phil Goodrich, president of Quality Copying Inc., a company based in Highland, was selected to fill a vacandy on the East Valley Water District board.

Philip R. Goodrich

I am running for election to a seat I have served by appointment following Nan Shelton’s resignation in January 2018. Prior to the appointment, I served on the Community Advisory Community for almost two years.

The time on the committee, and now on the board of directors have helped me become more familiar with local and state water issues, the infrastructure behind supplying water to consumers, and how important it is to continue on the path to stabilize local control over the district’s water resources.

Age: 60

Occupation: President and chief financial officer of Quality Copying Inc., a small business located here in Highland.

Public service: Member of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Council for eight years, and coached Little League Baseball, Pop Warner and Junior All-American Football.

Family: Wife Anita and three children all living in the Highland area.

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Vincent Laster

Vincent Laster of San Bernardino, vice chairman of the Alta Vista Credit Union, was one of nine candidates for a vacancy on the East Valley Water District board.

Vince Laster

My family moved to the San Bernardino Valley in 1969 because my father worked on the California Aqueduct, so at a very early age I learned the value of water. It meant jobs, it meant development and it meant security. I spent many summers in my youth working on my grandparents’ small farm of almonds, oranges and grapes. There I learned the importance of balancing the demands of agriculture and urban uses.

My financial experience and my knowledge of grant management will be an asset to the board.

Age: 53

Occupation: Para-educator for at risk youth.

Public service: Active in Neighborhood Association, past president of Native Sons, Citizen’s Advisory Committee for East Valley Water District, Alta Vista Credit Union vice chairman, Cal-State Alumni, Educational Opportunity Program board member.  

Education: Defense Mapping School in U.S. Marine Corps, then assigned to operations and intelligence sections. Pursued a college degree in political science and has a certificate in grant management.

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Peter Mendoza

Peter Mendoza

I promise to be a champion advocate for the East Valley Water District ratepayers.

I will examine the current and future rates and advocate for fair rates and that the Sterling project comes to completion on budget.

I have worked for San Bernardino County for the last 27 years. I have a wide range of experience in information services, case management and leadership.

My past private industry experience in construction field drafting, planning and building of residential and commercial buildings will come to good use if elected to this board.

I like to have fun camping, cooking, biking, exercising, building and auto crossing as a current SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) member.

You can visit my website at petermendoza.space.

Age: 56

Occupation: Chief for human services program integrity for San Bernardino County.

Education: Associate degree in science (aeronautics) and a bachelor’s degree in science (business).

Family: Two adult daughters.

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James Morales Jr.

James Morales Jr.

Highland is my home and my parents live here. I attended Warm Springs Elementary on Sterling. I graduated and worked my entire career in this county. I have seen major changes and understand our needs.

Careful steps must be taken to ensure safe high-quality water for our families.  

We should have the most reliable treatment systems, test the water constantly and employ highly qualified staff.

Water rates should balance affordability, replacing old pipes and conservation. NO UNNCESSARY RATE INCREASES!  

The state wants to tax us more.

I WILL CONTINUE TO FIGHT A STATE TAX ON YOUR WATER!

We must keep our water local.

NO MORE LETTING IT RUN DOWNSTREAM FOR FREE!

I will be careful with your dollars and keep our well-being at the core of every decision. I welcome suggestions for our district or questions.  

More info: Facebook.com/James4Water. Contact me at james4water@roadrunner.com or (909) 677-9256.

I would be honored to continue to serve you.

Age: 52

Occupation: Retired administrator, deputy director.

Public service: East Valley Water District (10 years), Association of California Water Agencies (five years), Regional Board and chairman of the board (alternate), city of Highland Design Review Board for three years.

Education: Bachelor’s degree economics and master’s in public administration from California State University, San Bernardino.

­Family: Married with children.

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