Elections 2022 and their Implications (11-20-2022)

The elections of our City Council are over, and the course for Yucaipa is set for the coming years, at least to a certain degree. What does this mean for the city and its citizens, and what can you do to influence that direction?

The Results

One may like or dislike the outcome of an election but in a working democracy it is important to accept the results and the vote of the people. This belief in the system is fundamental. It is bitter and sad to witness, that what started out as a fair campaign turned into of muddy fight where one side seemed to continuously lower that bar of what is permissible to say about opponents, including spreading lies, and leading a campaign of misinformation and baseless negative adds. It is attributed to Mark Twain to have said that “a lie can travel halfway around the world before the truth puts on its shoes”. Considering that the forces that are for developing the remaining open space in the Northern portion of Yucaipa have deep pockets, it is of little surprise that those who stood up for smart growth of the North Bench lost in the end.

But it does not do any good to dwell on the past, there are still some avenues that we the people can pursue, because Yucaipa including the North Bench is not owned by the City Council or any special interest group. The members of City Council are not rulers of Yucaipa, they are elected public servants. This is something to remember, and it is worth reminding those, who hold an elected or appointed office or position. The new City Council will be very unbalanced, consisting of two members of the law enforcement community and three members that own businesses related to construction, development, and real estate. This will create very difficult situations, because the decisions that this Council needs to decide on are frequently affecting matters of law enforcement and construction, which almost certainly leads to conflicts of interest.

The new City Council of Yucaipa

California’s Senate Bill 1439 (SB 1439)

California’s Senate Bill 1439 (SB 1439) which was signed into law in September of 2022, does address exactly these situation where potential conflicts of interest may arise. This bill targets elected officials, such as members of City Council. For appointed citizens (E.g., Planning Commission, AVA Committee) there were already legal rules that dealt with situation where unbiased decision findings were impossible. We invite you to read these bills. To a later point, we will post a summary and analysis of these bills.

How you may help

In the meantime, here are the things that you can do to help to stand up against the over-development of the North Bench and other areas in Yucaipa:

  • Attend City Council and Planning Commission meetings when there are items on the agenda that are of your concern.
    We will post the dates and times and if you subscribe to our e-mail list, we will send out occasional updates when important decisions are being discussed.
  • Attending these meetings is also a good opportunity to see and listen to what is discussed and decided, as well to remind the members of City Council of their campaign promises, plus that they are public servants not rulers of Yucaipa. – We will keep records of everything that was said, written, as well as of their entire WebSites (Status Nov. 2022). Some candidates chose to delete their websites right after the elections (Erik Sahakian).
  • You can also call, e-mail, or send letters to each member of City Council.
  • If you feel that you would like to make a public comment, please do so at any City Council Meeting.
  • Another great source of information is to read the local newspaper, the News Mirror and to write letters to the editor.
  • Talk to your neighbors and friends, bring them up to speed what is going on in our community, and get them involved. Again, this is our community it does not belong to City Council or anybody with deep pockets and influence.

We will continue to provide information and explanations that are related to the development of Yucaipa (not only the North Bench) when there is reason to believe that there is some foul play. If you happen to obtain verifiable information, please share it with us so we can check and then disseminate to a greater audience. This can be done anonymously.

Thank you - Your Friends of the North Bench