BARSTOW • City Council and Silver Valley Unified School District board candidates got an additional chance Tuesday to state their platforms and give voters an idea of what they would do if elected Nov. 2.
Members of Barstow Community College's student government asked each candidate to introduce themselves and say what they would implement or change if elected during a forum hosted by the college's Associated Student Body:
Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre for City Council • One of two incumbents running to keep her seat on the City Council, McIntyre told voters that she and her fellow council members are working to update infrastructure that's more than 34 years old, and that she's looking forward to the groundbreaking of the Walmart distribution center.
But she also said in the next 90 days, small businesses will have a difficult time because of the federal and state taxes that will be implemented as a result of the Bush tax cuts coming to an end. Local government has to knock on the doors of state and federal representatives, McIntyre said.
"You can't keep taxing the mom and pop stores, the small businesses of this community," she said. "We all know the saying goes, Main Street governs and controls Wall Street."
Bringing the city's infrastructure up to date — its roads and wastewater reclamation facility — is also important to bringing business into the mom and pop stores, she said.
Carmen Hernandez for City Council • Hernandez, who is challenging Council incumbents McIntyre and Tim Silva, said she is running for a seat on the Barstow City Council because voters asked her to.
"I bring trust, community leadership and accountability," she said. "I'm committed and involved in the Barstow community."
Hernandez was appointed to the Barstow Planning Commission in 2005, she said, adding that she always does her homework and comes prepared to meetings. She was elected to the board of Community Action Partnership of San Bernardino County and has represented Barstow for 10 years, making sure Barstow receives its share of social services.
Hernandez also chaired Barstow's complete count committee for the 2010 Census.
If elected, Hernandez said the Council needs to work together to solve the community's problems. Her vision is that the Council keeps the public informed, is financially responsible and keeps its promises.
"I know about infrastructure," she said. "We need to work on our infrastructure, that's why I go the street committee (meetings)."
Tim Silva for City Council • The second of two incumbents running to keep his seat on the City Council, Silva said he grew up in Barstow, but lived and worked in the Victor Valley area until 2003. He became president of the Barstow Area Chamber of Commerce. He ran for City Council in 2006 because he felt that a housing plan for Barstow would help the city grow, he said.
Jobs, infrastructure and housing are the three main things that are important to Barstow, he said. He pointed out that government isn't involved in bringing businesses to Barstow, but is there to make it easier for businesses to come to Barstow.
"We try not to be the red tape that's in the way," he said. "We have to have regulations, but it should be smooth."
Silva also pointed out that even though the Council is committed to updating the city's infrastructure, it has been neglected for a long time. It's not a job that can be done overnight, he said. The Council over the years has also made sure the public works department had received the equipment they need, he said.
"We worked hard over the last couple of years looking for grants to get more streets on the (capital improvement project list)," he said, also mentioning the $2 million grant awarded to the city to upgrade its wastewater treatment plant.
Housing is also something that's needed, he said. The Council should be making plans during the recession so it doesn't miss the next housing boom.
Heather Rae Reid for SVUSD • The only candidate in the election for the Silver Valley Unified School District Board for the Newberry Springs and Ludlow area, Reid said she has a doctorate in educational leadership and has been an elementary school teacher since 1996. She's also an instructor for the University of Phoenix.
She said she would use her knowledge of educational policies to work closely with the school district to help ensure students receive the best education they can.
Public schools are affected by public opinion, federal mandates and Silver Valley needs to increase the percentage of students who are proficient and advanced based on state test scores.
"We need to focus on student well-being," she said. "I will be including all educational stakeholders in the decision-making process. A vote for me is a vote for the students."
Silver Valley Unified School District board candidates Linda DeLuca, Rhonda Royalty and Fred O'Byrnes did not attend Tuesday's candidate forum.
Candidates with Barstow Unified School District will be speaking at 7 p.m. Wednesday in City Council Chambers at 220 East Mountain View Street. The forums will also be broadcast on Time Warner Cable Channel 6 and posted on Barstow's Web site at www.barstowca.org.