Mayoral Candidates Forum A Huge Success

The San Bernardino Police Officers Association would like to thank the ten candidates for Mayor, the readers of San Bernardino City Bankruptcy who submitted questions, Cal State San Bernardino, moderator Brad Pomerance, and the large group of voters who turned out Saturday night to make the 2013 Mayoral Candidates Forum a huge success.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association President Steve Turner, with moderator Brad Pomerance to the left, addresses the 10 mayoral candidates.

San Bernardino Police Officers Association President Steve Turner, with moderator Brad Pomerance to the left, addresses the 10 mayoral candidates.

San Bernardino City Bankruptcy live tweeted most of the forum on Twitter from its account @SBBankruptcy. Unfortunately we hit our limit of Tweets and wound up in “Twitter Jail” unable to tweet during the last third of the candidates forum.

Ryan Hagan (@SBCityNow) of The Sun and San Bernardino Police Officers Association President Steve Turner (@50sturner) continued the tweeting.

The hashtag #sbforum was used to group the tweets for the evening.

Many in attendance also tweeted their enjoyment with the candidates forum, the questions asked, and the format.

Jones Babcock Tweets

Kathy Mallon Tweet

Rocio Pomerance TweetsRyan Hagan of The Sun reported on the candidates forum:

Ten of the 11 candidates for mayor participated Saturday evening in a three-hour forum hosted by the San Bernardino Police Officers Association.

Public safety was the focus of many of the questions — and a stated priority of every participant — but given the city’s bankruptcy and other challenges, much more was at stake, said union president Steve Turner.

“The San Bernardino Police Officers Association is really concerned about the future of this city. We are also really concerned about the future safety of this city,” Turner told an audience of about 100. “We hope this helps you with your decision, which is probably one of the most important San Bernardino will have for a very long time.”

The Forum did not have any opening statements from the candidates and jumped straight into the questions.

Candidates were allowed 90 seconds to answer each question.

Two questions were geared directly at the three sitting City Councilmembers running for Mayor – Chas Kelley, Wendy McCammack, and Rikkee Van Johnson.

The Forum also included a Lightening Round of direct questions.

Ryan Hagan wrote in his article:

In a “lightning round,” where candidates were allowed to answer only yes or no, a controversial section of the charter that requires police and firefighters to be paid the average of what 10 like-sized cities pay got support from all but Councilman Rikke Van Johnson, corporate controller Carey Davis and retired teacher Richard Castro.

Similarly, most said they wanted an audit of how Measure Z money, approved by voters in 2007, had been spent.

“It was sold as 40 additional officers and you got 40 additional officers, but you don’t still have 40 additional officers,” said Councilwoman Wendy McCammack. “I believe it was completely within the law, but it wasn’t what you were sold.”

Others went further than that — contractor Rick Avila called for an FBI investigation, and financial analyst Henry Nickel said there were “signs of misappropriation.”

Also nearly unanimous was the response to a question on whether candidates would accept an endorsement if it were offered by Pat Morris, who has served two terms as mayor. Only Davis said yes.

Again thank you to everyone who participated in one way or another in the Mayoral Candidates Forum.

Your involvement in this election will have a giant impact on the future of the City of San Bernardino.

(As of September 26, 2013 there are 10 candidates for mayor on the ballot rather than 11. Concepcion Powell was disqualified as a candidate from the ballot.)

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