By John Valdivia, Mayor, City of San Bernardino
One year ago, a new generation of leaders was sworn in to lead the City of San Bernardino.
The people of our city voted for change because they wanted to have hope for a brighter future.
On the first anniversary of my first year as your Mayor, I’m pleased to report that hope is on the way for San Bernardino. Working collaboratively with responsible members of the City Council, we have made great progress in building a foundation for our city’s future success.
We restored public integrity at City Hall by replacing a corrupt city manager who had misled residents about San Bernardino’s true financial condition. Today, our city is operating in an accountable and transparent manner with honest budgeting and accurate financial numbers.
Working with our Police Department leadership, we passed a new Community Oriented Policing system which reorganizes our city policing into five local districts with future police substations located throughout our city. Our first local substation, which is being paid for with private funds, will be located in the Inland Center Mall. Future substations are being planned for the Westside and North San Bernardino.
Bringing police officers closer to their patrol areas will improve response times and help deter criminal activity. It marks the beginning of a comprehensive long-term approach to crime reduction.
As San Bernardino’s first working class Mayor in many years, I understand the importance of rebuilding our city’s economic foundation and creating better paying employment opportunities for our families. To accomplish this goal, I made a promise to “get the Carousel Mall done”!
Just two weeks ago, the Council approved a process to replace the Carousel Mall with a new mixed-use development that includes shops, restaurants, businesses and quality housing. I believe this innovative type of development will help to make our Downtown a vibrant and attractive place for both residents and employers once again.
On the other side of town, the proposed East Gate Project at the San Bernardino Airport will create up to 4,000 new jobs in our city – and help to provide a larger customer base for local businesses, restaurants and shops.
San Bernardino is working to take advantage of the state’s Economic Opportunity Zone program to attract new employers and jobs to our city. The Opportunity Zone program is designed to provide an employment boost with tax and regulatory benefits for participating companies. It is a great tool that will help us bring new businesses to our city.
Our San Bernardino City Leadership Team is also focused on reducing homelessness by creating better housing opportunities for residents of all income levels. Thanks to our efforts, a quality new residential community will soon be built at the corner of 5th Street and Meridian on the Westside. This outstanding project is the result of joint partnership between Helping Hearts California and LaBarge Industries.
In addition, we are working with San Bernardino’s state and federal representatives to bring more financial resources to help our city. Earlier this year, we partnered with State Assemblyman James Ramos to secure $3 million in state grant monies to improve city planning.
San Bernardino’s new generation of leadership has brought greater diversity and energy to our city. These new dynamic leaders are active partners in the city’s policy-making process. Their perspectives have helped to secure more community resources and services for areas of our City that were too often neglected in the past.
After my first year as your Mayor, I can say with confidence that our city is moving on the right path toward becoming a safer, more prosperous and more inclusive community for all of our residents.
On behalf of my family and I, we wish our region and more particularly, the City of San Bernardino, joy- filled Seasons Greetings and a Prosperous New Year