Thursday, October 23, 2014

Pomona City Council elections set for April 1

By ABBY ECEKL, Herald Staff Writer | 3/24/2014

POMONA — The city council should serve the community, not the other way around, Jerry Slavens said.

Slavens, a longtime Pomona resident, has thrown his name in the hat to run for the city council. Three council member seats are up for re-election on the April 1 ballot, including the seats of Richard Adler, Rick Smith and Dan Keith.

POMONA — The city council should serve the community, not the other way around, Jerry Slavens said.

Slavens, a longtime Pomona resident, has thrown his name in the hat to run for the city council. Three council member seats are up for re-election on the April 1 ballot, including the seats of Richard Adler, Rick Smith and Dan Keith.

Slavens previously served on the city council, he said, but it’s been a while. He hopes to serve again to give the people of Pomona a voice, he said.

“When I’ve attended council meetings and asked questions, rather than getting appropriate answers, I’ve been given poor answers,” Slavens said.

The City of Pomona has been trying to pass bonds to fix the streets, as well as pass a bond to combine the street bonds and previous lagoon bonds into one, but Slavens said the city is in poor financial health.

“Our city costs of being a resident continues to climb substantially, and I believe we’ve made poor decisions financially as a city,” he said. “I want the council to listen more to the people you serve. It’s not a kingdom. The council serves the community not vice versa.”

Adler filed for re-election because many people asked him to, he said, and because he enjoys helping the community.

“I date back to 1982. ... I’ve probably spent 14 years on and off the council and served one term as mayor,” Adler said. “I like just being able to do things for people and see the town hopefully grow. It’s kind of slow because we are small and we are limited in funds, but we’ve made improvements over time.”

Having served many years on the city council, Adler said, he’d like to see the city finish its street improvement project.

“We’re starting to work on our street program, which we promised the people of Pomona to do and I think we’ve got some ways of doing it,” he said. “The council had implemented a sales tax and that’s supposed to cover some of the streets, and I think we’ve got it figured out to finance it with little increase in taxation. We’re not there yet, but we’re still looking.”

Dan Keith’s seat also is up for re-election and he hopes to continue to serve the people of Pomona, he said.

“I’ve been excited about wanting to try to help the community,” Keith said. “It’s been a learning experience so far, but I’ve been able to help out some.”

Keith is a recent council member who was tapped to fill a vacant seat earlier this year, he said, but has enjoyed his time served on the council.

Misinformation being spread among voters in Pomona is a concern for Rick Smith, he said.

Smith, who is completing his second term on the council, said the city group is trying to better Pomona, but inaccurate information is instilling fear in some voters.

“There’s a lot of misinformation being communicated,” Smith said. “[Such as] telling people the city’s bankrupt and [the street project] is a multimillion-dollar project that will raise your taxes 30 mills. There’s a negative element out here, and I don’t know if we’ll ever be able to overcome that.”

Smith initially wanted to be on the city council to help, he said.

“I wanted to get involved in the community and to try to be a positive influence on moving Pomona forward,” he said. “We need to continue infrastructure repairs and that includes the streets. Voters need to have a voice in that project.”

Billy Lloyd also has filed to run for city council, but could not be reached for comment Monday afternoon.

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