Age: not provided
Occupation: IBM (30 years, retired); WVUSD Personnel Commissioner (20 years)
1. Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your background and why you should be elected or reelected to the Diamond Bar City Council.
I am a UCLA graduate in Economics, plus post-graduate training in Accounting, Education, and Law. We moved to Diamond Bar in 1977 with our five children, because of the Schools and Family living opportunities. Our children attended schools here, and now five of our grandchildren attend local schools. My wife Kay and I will celebrate our 46th wedding anniversary next month, and have enjoyed the PEOPLE, living and serving in Diamond Bar for 36 years. I ask the voters to consider my re-election to the City Council, based on my years of “Experience with Integrity” and effective Leadership experience.
2. What are the most pressing issues facing Diamond Bar?
Public Safety is our City’s First Responsibility; I am committed to keeping our people safe in their homes, businesses and on our streets. We are fortunate to have a very safe community and the means to keep it that way. Continuing to improve our traffic management not only helps keep our city safe, it also makes our city more attractive to new business.
3. If elected or reelected, what would be your top 3 priorities in the upcoming term?
My three top priorities are (1) Public Safety, (2) Business Opportunities – support current businesses; pursue new business; and (3) Education – Pomona (PUSD) & Walnut Valley Unified School (WVUSD) Districts, and Mt. SAC.
4. Part of a council member’s job is to make sure the city’s budget remains balanced and money is spent wisely. What is your experience in working with budgets?
Budgets began with college level preparation for the C.P.A. exam; then IBM experience included budgets and related profitability with most client-relationship, and most recently with the City of Diamond Bar, I am proud to have approved seven (7) On-time, Balanced Annual Budgets with Council and Staff collaboration.5. Many residents say that there aren’t enough of the businesses they want in Diamond Bar. What types of businesses would you like to see locate in the city and how would you go about bringing them to town?
I am aware of many ‘business wants’ for Diamond Bar, and businesses that could add revenues to provide for additional city resources, programs, services and capital needs. The Council, City Manager and staff are dedicated to provide the opportunity for residents and neighbors to ‘SHOP Diamond Bar for goods, services, dining and entertainment’ for the mutual benefit of residents, businesses, and our city. As we recover from the 2nd worst depression in history, I am committed to the course the Council and City Staff are pursuing, a ‘realistic’ (and dynamic) balance, including available sites (and related topography), business opportunities, and incentive-based Specific Plans to improve Diamond Bar.
6. Traffic is another key concern in Diamond Bar. What solutions do you have for easing gridlock on city streets? Is that an issue that a council member can do something about?
Our advanced Traffic Management Center and city staff are continuing to ease gridlock on city streets, including additional improvements as planned interconnects with County and neighbor city systems are implemented. Ten (10) of our current City Council Goals & Objectives (see “1. Traffic Mitigation” at www.DiamondBarCA.gov) are significant to these questions, including focus on the 57/60 freeway interchange that is recognized as one of the worst in California and the nation.
7. What is your vision for developing the vacant Diamond Bar Honda property? What kind of businesses would you like to see go in there?
This question is dependant for all parties, “if there is an NFL project, or not”. That said, the City Manager and Staff are preparing a report of alternatives for the Council to best serve Diamond Bar and our people.
8. What is your vision for revitalizing the city’s north end?
The city’s north end has it’s unique aspects, as do most other business sites in our city. Including the city’s north end with opportunities considered as in 5., above, will provide the best chance to balance the ‘resident/neighbor wants’ and ‘best business’ match.
9. Many cities, including Diamond Bar, are struggling to keep up with the rising costs of maintaining Lighting and Open Space Maintenance Districts (LOSMD). What do you think needs to be done to generate more revenue to fund them? Would you be willing to seek an increase in assessments from residents and business owners? If not, why not.
The people should decide what course their District should take, as provided by the applicable law. In Diamond Bar, it is (3) Lighting & Landscape Assessment Districts (LLAD): #38 is for 17,883 parcels; #39 is for 1,251 parcels; #41 is for 554 parcels. The Districts (LLADs) owners are assessed for the ‘benefit’ of their parcel owners, but there is no provision for cost-of-living increases; the City of Diamond Bar inherited and manages these LLADs since 1989. Since 2006, the City has incurred increasing annual costs for each of the (3) LLADs totaling more than $1.37M (as of fiscal year 2013/14) to maintain the District parcels at the original Service Level; this excess cost has essentially been paid from our General Fund. I would not be willing to seek an increase in assessments at this time; there is a legal process for each District to decide (as I understand), to increase parcel assessments, or reduce service level (within current assessments/budget), or disband the District and return maintenance responsibility to each parcel owner.
10. Please share anything else you think readers would be interested in knowing about you or your campaign.
I am supported by many Diamond Bar residents, including Mayor Jack Tanaka who says, “Ron Everett and I share the same commitments on the most important issues facing our city.”
I am dedicated to Professionalism, Accountability, Integrity and Character. I am devoted to “A Vision for Our Community“ and our City Goals & Objectives (see Web Site www.DiamondBarCA.gov).