As part of our interview series with the candidates for Mayor of San Bernardino, San Bernardino City Bankruptcy recently conducted an online interview with mayoral candidate Draymond Crawford.
Mr. Crawford graciously discussed San Bernardino’s financial struggles, its crime problems, and his plans to revitalize our city’s struggling economy.
Here us our exclusive interview with Draymond Crawford:
Mr. Crawford thank you for your time today.
What do you believe the top priorities of the City of San Bernardino should be?
The top priorities of the City should reflect the expectations of its citizens. In many cases those expectations are just the basic services each and every city should provide:
A. A safe community B. Clean Streets C. Good Schools
Public Safety is the master link within the chain of services to the public and potential economic growth for our city. The real and perceived reality of our public safety is the strongest force that affect the daily lives of all citizens and businesses alike.
I can speak from experience having worked for a city that went through a down turn in economic growth and officers that fled for greener pastures. It took a change in leadership (city hall) and a commitment from the public as a whole to place public safety as a priority.
As Mayor I will challenge the current AB 109 law regarding the release of parolees to just the county and not their actual home of record. The city of San Bernardino has become the dumping ground and if we do not stand up and be heard now this problem will only increase, as other courts in the county are closing San Bernardino will take on more of the workload with the completion of the new law center.
San Bernardino is an old city with aging infrastructure, but there is no excuse for allowing funds to be diverted to other pet projects and ignoring the obvious decay of our streets. One of the bright spots that has occurred regarding our streets and city appearance is the creation of the city’s graffiti abatement program.
San Bernardino has been the subject of jokes concerning the entrance points from interstate 10, 215 and 210 freeways not able to gain cooperation from state and county agencies to maintain their right of ways. If we cannot present an appealing look to our front door who will what to move or relocate their business here?
San Bernardino is the county seat and should be treated with respect and not laugh at behind our backs. I will ensure that these matters are dealt with through our representatives at both county and state levels.
Families first is key and vital to a stable community, and the only way to draw those families here is to ensure that our schools are at their best.
Thanks to the passage of Measure A years ago, the district has embarked on the largest urban transformation within the inner parts of our city in the last 50 years. New buildings are fine, but we need to make sure that the academic bar remains high and the students that graduate are truly prepared for college or the workforce.
As Mayor I will reach out to all the local trade unions to create a partnership of vocational training/recruitment. A skilled workforce is essential to attract businesses and keep many off the government system.
If you are elected mayor, the City of San Bernardino will exit bankruptcy during your term in office. What policies need to be changed or implemented to ensure that a financial crisis like this does not happen to our City again?
There are several protocols that are currently on the books to keep cities from spending themselves into Bankruptcy. Our City Treasure explained these rules to the council in 2010:
Dave Kennedy, City Treasurer, stated that his monthly report of the City’s investment pool shows that it has shrunk $40 million in three years. He noted that these cash shortages, especially in the General Fund are going to make it very difficult to make bill payments in a timely fashion.
That monthly report includes a statement at the bottom that states, “The City has sufficient cash reserves to pay its bills for the next six months.” He stated that he’s required by law to put that on there, but he’s not sure he’s going to be able to continue holding to that statement, so he’s going to have to provide the California Debt and Investment Advisory Commission (CDIAC), the State Agency that regulates cities and finances, with an explanation of why the City can’t or may not be able to pay its bills.
This will probably have serious repercussions. The City has to file with the Federal Agency that supervises bonds and securities for cities any significant change in its financial status which bond holders or potential bond buyers should know in order to make educated, informed decisions about buying our bonds.
This is a required ongoing disclosure-not just at the time the bonds are issued, but every time one of these events occurs, we have to notify this agency of these deteriorations in our economic situation.
This will probably affect the City’s credit rating and that’s going to affect all City financing, not just the City’s General Fund. It’s going to affect EDA, and it’s going to affect the Water Department-we’re all bunched together for purposes of borrowing money. Failure to do this carries civil and criminal sanctions. 08/23/2010
This shows how clearly the council ignored the warnings and refuse to listen to the paid and elected experts. I have heard often from the dais that they are the policy makers and it’s not the job of those experts to place restraints on them.
Leadership 101 would tell you to listen and heed the words of wise counsel, but when you have individuals that refuse to heed the advice and a Mayor unable to maintain open dialog among the council equates to dysfunction.
As Mayor I will seek changes within the charter regarding financial matters giving more authority to the City Treasure in the area protecting the city’s reserve funds.
In addition to the City’s financial problems, San Bernardino has an extremely high number of jobless residents. What do you believe the City should be doing to help residents find employment and bring jobs to San Bernardino?
I believe that the city should act in the role of a facilitator, bringing groups together to aid in job training. I firmly believe that Government needs to be hands off in directly providing services and funding to aid in these projects.
There are several funding sources from the state and Federal level that are designed to be used by non-profit groups to provide services to those that are in need of job training and other support services (child care) to help those that are in a training program. I truly believe in offering a hand up to those that are looking for it. CDBG funding is the federal program that provides the funding through cities as a pass through to provide local, and I say again local non-profits an extra boost to their bottom line to provide those services.
In the future I see non-profits needing to come together and form a larger service providers as funding levels are not increasing but the needs of the community are growing.
We have heard the story over and over again how the base closure, Kaiser closing and rail yard downsizing has affected San Bernardino. These same factors had an effect on every city in this area, but many have been able to turn the corner.
If you drive around San Bernardino you cannot help from seeing the large warehouses being built. These warehouse are not sitting empty and most are a part of the City’s Enterprise zone, providing tax incentives to these companies to move into San Bernardino. As these companies enjoy the tax breaks locally, they are required to hire local residents in return.
As Mayor I will challenge the employment rolls of these companies to ensure that citizens of San Bernardino are getting their fair share of job opportunities. Beyond the fact of the existing jobs that are out there, we need to make sure that we have qualified skilled workers to fill those position.
Public safety is also a major concern in San Bernardino. Unforatunately both the San Bernardino Fire and Police Departments have been hit hard with cuts and loss of staffing. What types of public safety complaints are you hearing from the voters?
The main complaint I hear is “I do not feel Safe.” Whether that be real or perceived it is still a fact of life that affects how we live and conduct our daily activities. I would like to point out to everyone that San Bernardino does not have the monopoly on crime. It is a part of our society as a whole and its only the good people that look out for each other, community watch and neighbor know your neighbor programs that can keep it in check.
Recent events of our officers being ambushed, brought back unpleasant memories for me as I lost one fellow officer and another survived his wounds but will never be the same. I can say I truly understand the daily grind of pushing a black & white, as people would ask me what was a good day I say “A day I didn’t have to draw my weapon”.
What do you think the City of San Bernardino should be doing to improve safety for its residents and families?
Long response times is one of the newest issues facing the public and this one factor alone creates the perception of feeling safe or not. In 2006 Measure Z was presented to the citizen of San Bernardino, during this time I was serving on the City’s Police Commission. The Police Commission was not a part of the planning of measure Z and was not able to add any input to the proposal.
I personally felt a service response contract should have been added to let the public know that the city is serious about providing quality service. In that contract all calls of crimes in progress would result in a response of not more than 5 minutes and all other crimes will have a response within 30 minutes.
Staying with the issue of public safety, in 2006 the voters approved a 10 year tax by passing Measure Z. Many residents and city employees are questioning whether Measure Z funds are being used as demanded by the voters when they also approved Measure YY, directing the Mayor and City Council to use this tax revenue to enhance public safety. Do you believe these funds are being used in accordance with the voters intent?
Measure Z has been one of the many disappointments that have plagued our city that should have been the answer to build our police department to adequate levels. But we all have read about the hidden agenda of pet projects and diverted funding.
From the amount of funds coming in from the utility tax and measure Z the city should have been able to reach staffing levels of 400 sworn officers. But due to the lack of proper accounting of the use of the utility tax and measure Z funding with a long term goal of hiring 4-5 officers per year we lost that opportunity and lost the confidence of the officers.
Measure YY was to be the watch dog over the use of measure Z funds, but to get around that voted requirement the panel has not meet in 2 years.
End of Interview
Draymond “Dray” Crawford II is the second son to Draymond Sr. and Estella Crawford, Born at Whiteman AFB, Mo, but have lived in several states and 2 years in Canada before his family settled in Fontana, Ca in 1969. Completed his primary education in Fontana, Ca graduating class of 1979 (Fohi).
Draymond played several sports growing up in Fontana, known as an outstanding Football player during his years at Fohi. Draymond went on to play college Football at San Bernardino Valley College and Utah State University. After his playing days Draymond coached football at Eisenhower H.S. and San Bernardino Valley College.
While attending San Bernardino Valley College Draymond majored in Administration of Justice earning his AA, Draymond majored in Pre-Law while attending Utah State. Draymond felt a higher calling and made the decision to join the U.S. Marine Corp in 1984, serving under several commands to include: Marine Security Guard (Anti Terrorism Unit), Infantry, Legal Officer and Recruiter. During his years of service in the Marines Draymond earned 2 Meritorious promotions, 2 Letters of Commendation, 16 Meritorious Mast Awards. Draymond was on his way to Somalia, Africa when he received a call from Long Beach P.D. offering him a position with the department. Draymond was discharge on a Friday and report to the Academy that next Monday morning.
Draymond spent the next several years working the streets of Long Beach and Fontana P.D. until he was asked to take over a non-profit group that provided services to at risk boys through a rite of passage program, Self Education Law Enforcement Family (S.E.L.F). During this same period Draymond also served as president of the Inland Empire Peace Officer Association representing minority officers from Police, Sheriffs and Corrections.
Draymond operated his own security consulting and personal protection service and worked with high profile subject as (Ret) Gen Colin Powell and Famed Attorney Johnny Cochran. Draymond left law enforcement and enter the construction field starting from the bottom and working his way up to become an operator of heavy equipment. Draymond brought both of his skill sets to the city of San Bernardino and now supervises over the graffiti crew, right of way crews and inmate work release program.
Draymond has been married for 29 years to the former Helen M. Logan; they have 5 kids and 2 grandchildren.
Republication of this exclusive interview, or excerpts from this interview, are permitted on the condition that San Bernardino City Bankruptcy (sanbernardinocitybankruptcy.com) is properly credited as the original source.