Yucaipa Daily News endorses Duncan, Fawke, Allen-Hoyt for city council

By on November 7, 2016
Yucaipa City Hall

After a careful review of the issues facing the city of Yucaipa and reviewing the backgrounds and strengths of the six candidates for city council, the Yucaipa Daily News is endorsing current Councilmember Bobby Duncan, Judge Robert Fawke and current Councilmember/Mayor Denise Allen-Hoyt.

Yucaipa is not unlike many mid-sized towns, on the far edge of metropolitan sprawl and now facing the issue of growth – no growth, limited growth, residential only, commercial only, managed growth or simply turning a blind eye and paying little heed.  But growth is inevitable folks!

Yucaipa’s 20th century roots clearly lie in farming, ranching and a simple lifestyle. But as the Inland Empire’s population has continued to swell people – and businesses – have discovered Yucaipa and realized what a gem it is.  Our hope is that we can both face the need, and the desire of many in town, to continue growing but in deliberate, measured and a well-planned way.

Not every developer, whether for commercial or residential purposes, deserves to be part of our fair town.  Residential developers need to show that they are sensitive to our rural heritage and their plans need to include parks, green belts, trails and places for children and families to enjoy the outdoors. We need not only large single-family homes but multi-dwelling units and properties with a main home and a separate or minimally attached “granny unit.”

Commercial developers need to help us meet the demands for retail, dining and entertainment options so we’re not forced onto the freeway simply to have a night out or pick up a last minute gift for that hard-to-buy-for relative.  Potential employers, looking to open businesses in town need to provide steady employment that pay a living wage; Yucaipa can’t subsist on just minimum wage jobs. Our eligible workforce is increasingly college educated (or on the path to achieving this goal) and many would prefer to stay in town and establish roots here.

All six candidates for city council were contacted (multiple times, if necessary) and asked to be interviewed by Yucaipa Daily News for a personal profile.  Four of the candidates graciously complied and we are grateful to candidates Duncan, Fawke, Allen-Hoyt and Jordan Mack for their time and thoughtful responses.  Regrettably, candidates Clifford Gericke and current Councilmember Dick Riddell did not respond to our multiple requests for interviews.

Likewise, all of the candidates were asked to complete an eight question survey so that this publication could publish their responses, verbatim, provided they adhered to our guidelines and word length specifications.  Again, and unfortunately, candidates Gericke and Riddell did not respond to our request; the other four candidates did respond and those responses have been published here.

All this boils down to one primary question: How can voters do objective research on city council candidates if some of the candidates aren’t willing to state their views and communicate with the people? The writers of this publication strive to be fair and objective in our coverage of people and events within Yucaipa; not a single complaint was heard following the publication of the four candidates’ personal profiles or the survey responses.

As for endorsing Duncan, Fawke and Allen-Hoyt our reasons are many.

Councilmember Duncan has served admirably during the past four years, his first term on the council.  He has thoughtfully considered the issues before the council, solicited and listened to what residents have had to say on issues, and voted for he felt was best for the residents of Yucaipa.  This has certainly been the case with the chicken ranches and the fly issue. Duncan has stated that he favors “more managed growth” as “there are a lot of services that the citizens of Yucaipa need.” He opposes toll lanes on the I10 freeway because, “The tax payers have already paid the fees to widen the I-10 for congestion relief. They shouldn’t have to pay again for the construction costs and then pay another tax to drive on their own road.” But with growth Duncan realizes a growing crime problem and has stated, “We will have to have more COPS. This costs money … That is why we need more managed growth in order to raise property taxes and sales taxes.”

Judge Fawke is also an advocate for both commercial and residential growth. He has stated that he is in favor of “bringing feasible, responsible and quality development – both commercial and residential – to Yucaipa.”  He also wants to see crime under control in Yucaipa and that the police department has the resources it needs to protect its residents. As a former San Bernardino County attorney and then Municipal Court judge he knows crime and the needs of law enforcement.  As a San Bernardino County Superior judge he presided over fast-track civil cases for seven years and then spent 16 years presiding over the fast-track criminal cases.  As for the possible toll lanes on the I10, Fawke is strongly opposed to them. He feels they would likely worsen traffic congestion in the Yucaipa commute pattern.  Conversely, his opponent, Councilman Riddell, has voted in favor of HOT lanes as Yucaipa’s councilmember on the San Bernardino Associated Government (SANBAG) board.

Lastly, Allen-Hoyt, who has served on Yucaipa City Council for the past 12 years, remains an active leader and a viable candidate. As with the other two candidates we endorse, Allen-Hoyt is committed to growth within the city saying, “We’re strategic with our growth and make it all fit together, like a planned community.” She is hesitant when speaking about toll lanes on the I10 corridor saying, “I’m not sure where I stand on this yet. I haven’t really studied the issue; I haven’t heard the debate. But I do think we need to find a solution, to build capacity.” Whether for or against toll lanes on the San Bernardino Freeway, Mayor Allen-Hoyt wants to hear from you, the people, on this issue!  As for crime within Yucaipa Allen-Hoyt can speak with pride for her support of law enforcement in town. When the police department approached the city council about the installation of a geo-fence – an automated license plate reader – and its benefit to the city, she noted the support it received from the council. “Police brought it forward (to the council) and we felt it had merit,” she said.

Each of the candidates Yucaipa Daily News is endorsing are true leaders, capable of hearing multiple sides of an issue, evaluating its potential benefits and making the hard choices that sometimes need to be made by a councilmember.  Bobby Duncan, Judge Robert Fawke and Denise Allen-Hoyt are invested in the community, approachable, articulate and worthy of your support.

Please join us in voting for Bobby Duncan, Judge Robert Fawke and Denise Allen-Hoyt on November 8.