I was very disappointed with the speech given to the Highland Chamber of Commerce by James Ramos, State Assembly member, 40th district on Oct. 22. The primary purpose of the chamber is to assist businesses and promote economic growth. His speech centered on what he has done for California's social problems and programs. No mention of creating an environment for job creation and retention.
During the Q&A I asked about the Eastgate project which he heartily endorsed as a county on the San Bernardino International Airport Authority (SBIAA) board. This project would bring 2,000 new jobs to the Highland area.
However, in a letter written by Ramos on Aug. 8, 2019, to the FAA and SBIAA he requested additional environmental impact studies stating that the project would generate an additional 7,500 vehicles (including 500 trucks) daily. This information was available when he was on the SBIAA board and approved the project.
I then mentioned that on the evening of Aug. 8, the day he wrote the letter in Sacramento, Eastgate had a public information/hearing meeting at the SBIAA.
In attendance were two unions, one for the project and the other, Teamsters, against the project. Each person wanting to speak had three minutes to say what they thought of the project. There was over three hours of this by both union representatives and residents from Highland, San Bernardino, Redlands and more.
One of the Teamsters stood up and read Mr. Ramos’ letter, written that day and sent to the FAA and the SBIAA. He ended his comments by saying something to the effect that if the Teamsters were chosen for the project, the letter would disappear. To me, that shows the influence large unions have over our elected officials.
I wanted to know how the Teamster representative got a hold of the letter within hours of being written. Supposedly copies of the letter were sent to only the FAA and SBIAA. Ramos stated he didn’t know but acknowledged that he wrote the letter and it would not disappear.
Next, I mentioned the traffic generated by San Manuel Casino.
Right now the reservation generates 30,000 vehicles a day, almost 1 million a month. That does not include the new construction going on, including the new hotel they are building. Previously, Assemblyman Ramos was satisfied with the prior study and he agreed to the project wholeheartedly. What has changed since he went to Sacramento?