On Thursday, October 1st, NACC held a Candidates Forum for the 2015 City Council Election at the American Legion Banquet Hall.
We asked attendees to complete an exit evaluation/straw poll*. Nearly 100 people attended, and more than half submitted their exit poll cards. Of those, this was the first candidates forum that 17% had ever attended, and 40% reported that the forum changed their mind about one or more of the candidates.
The choice of candidates (in alphabetical order) was:
Jason Bemowski - 17%
Lisa Campbell - 29%
Lance Gregory - 48%
Robin Grundmeyer - 46%
Berwin Hanna - 23%
Herb Higgins - 21%
Ted Hoffman - 38%
Mr. Hanna was unable to attend the forum as he was out of town, representing the City at the League of California Cities' Annual Conference.
* A quick disclaimer: the poll is not scientific, of course, and the forum attendees did not necessarily represent a true cross-section of Norco voters, but we thought it might be fun to see how the people there might vote. The poll results are not intended to be anything more than what they are — the opinion of a few people.
NACC President/CEO Diane Collins provides basic information about the event, including the format and timing.
The City imposes a Transient Occupancy Tax on all rents charged by the operators of hotels in Norco. Do you support the TOT, and what do you believe the funds should be used for?
Is has been confirmed that the two leaders in the move to stop Measure L in Riverside (2,000 homes in Hidden Valley) have inexplicably switched sides and now are promoting 725 homes to be built. The traffic will be devastating to Norco. What ideas do candidates have to prevent this? To mitigate traffic?
Do you support or oppose efforts to re-open Corona Ave. to Hidden Valley and why?
As a candidate or elected official, you are seen as a role model for the community. Do you think that your comments on social media portray you as a positive role model and how?
What is the one project/cause you feel strongly passionate about?
Each candidate was given two minutes for their opening statements.
Due to Mr. Hanna's absence,
Corinne Holder read his statement.
Following the completion of the 91 freeway expansion, the decision not to allow for a southbound 15 FastTrack lane on-ramp to the 91 westbound FastTrack will likely create increased cross-traffic on Hidden Valley to McKinley.
What recommendations will you make to prevent this problem from developing?
How close is the City to using reclaimed water and what impact will it have on our water bills?
What needs to be done for the low income seniors in Norco?
An EDAC committee has been tasked with looking at the possibility of creating a shopping/dining/entertainment district on Hamner Ave. between Sixth St. and Detroit, which would necessitate the acquisition of property, the mitigation of parkland, and zoning changes. What are your thoughts on the potential of this project?
Each candidate was given one minute for their closing statement. Again, Corinne Holder read Mr. Hanna's.
All candidates have stated the need for economic development. Specifically ,what new policy would you bring forward to retain and grow existing businesses?
While members of the current Council and City staff often state how friendly Norco is for business, the Chamber often hears reports of issues with licenses, delays of inspections, and companies that simply refuse to do business in town because of the challenges in dealing with the City.
What would you do to make it easier to open a business in Norco?
What would your Secret Service code name be?
There has been recent talk in the California legislature about closing the prison here in Norco. Do you support keeping CRC Norco open, or closing it, and why?
Traffic has gotten really bad around the schools. Do you see an answer to affordable bringing back school buses?