The City of Upland just had their only candidate’s forum on 9/30 but before that, there were two additional forums that were hosted by a bi-partisan group of residents that did a top notch job. Inside this edition of The Upland Report, we’ll break it all down and give you a sneak peak at what’s in store for next week.
The first citizen’s hosted candidates forum was on 9/21 and was for mayoral candidates, where every candidate but Debbie Stone participated. I imagine Debbie had better things to do at home like watching The Big Lebowski with Gino Filippi, since he was a no-show too for the city council portion of the citizen’s forum.
The moderators for the citizen’s forum were Former Upland Planning Commissioner Shelly Verrinder and Community Development Block Grant Committee Member Hydee Hall. Those ladies did a fabulous job as you’ll see in the videos below. Verrinder looks so much like Belinda Carlisle from The Go-Go’s, that I found myself secretly wanting her to stand up and sing a chorus of “We Got The Beat,” during the forum.
What I loved is that everyone running for an Upland Public Office participated in the citizen forum besides Debbie Stone (Mayor), Gino Filippi and Lamonta Amos who are District 3 Candidates, Stephen Dunn and Darwin Cruz who are City Treasurer Candidates and finally David Hazelton, who is a District 1 Candidate.
The candidates who cared enough to participate were Councilman Bill Velto, Lois Sicking Dieter and Alexander Novikov who are all running for mayor, as well as, Shannan Maust, Carlos Garcia and Tauvaga HoChing who are running for city council and finally Greg Bradley, who is running for city treasurer.
I found the first citizen’s forum on 9/21 for mayoral candidate engaging, informative and often times funny, as Dieter and Velto playfully sparred with each other on several occasions. I am including the entire unedited video so you can have the benefit of getting to know the three people below, because one of them will be the next Mayor of Upland.
The second citizen’s forum took place on 9/22 and was dedicated to council candidates and city treasurer candidates and was awesome! That full length unedited video is also below. In the Meet The Candidates Report, you’ll find even more in-depth information about the 13 people running for Upland Public Offices. As an additional resource, I’m including the articles from this week’s Sentinel about Lois Sicking Dieter, Greg Bradley, Shannan Maust and this earlier article about Carlos Garcia. For future reference, every Sentinel article about Upland is always linked at the sidebar of this webpage.
I wish the city’s forum was as organized and informative as the citizen’s forum but sadly, it was not. In the city’s forum each candidate answered only 4 questions and in the case of the city treasurer candidates, the city’s moderator actually asked them how they would stop riots! They will never be in that situation or position as the city treasurer. According to the last city treasurer, they won’t even be allowed to discuss the unfunded pension liability for the city’s past and present employees, in public or on paper.
The city’s moderator also asked them what they thought of ballot measure questions affecting San Bernardino County, using only the letter of each measure J, K & U, without giving them the benefit of reading the actual ballot measure questions. Because of that, none of the three treasurer candidates could completely answer that question. With only four questions being asked, to waste any of them, was lacking in forethought.
The same can be said regarding what the city’s moderator asked the six city council candidates, such as, do they think COVID-19 is real and will they force Upland residents to wear masks. Talking about masks, I thought Gino’s mask would start protruding any second from his face and would split wide open, because his performance was like watching the movie Pinocchio.
Gino who voted to raise water rates by 57% in 2018, was asked what he’d do to lower them. Gino who voted to sell 12% of Memorial Park in 2018 without a vote of the people and clearly, wanted the Lewis Group of Companies to develop a chunk of Cabrillo Park in 2018 too, talked about his love for the parks and how we needed to save them. Gino who served 2 terms on council and was voted off the dais less than two short years ago, talked about the state of disrepair in District 3 and how he can fix it. Forgive me, but wasn’t District 3 in the same state of disrepair it’s in today, during Gino’s entire last 4-year term from 2014-2018? It made everyone I know sick to their stomach to listen to that load of horse crap.
Debbie Stone didn’t fair any better, but at least Gino can read. Debbie was completely unable to answer any of the four basic questions asked of her, without trying to read what somebody else apparently wrote for her to read, in my opinion. I say that because most people have no problem sounding out words they wrote for themselves to read, like the word “prioritize.” It wasn’t pretty and it never is. She also tried to sell some hogwash like talking about how accessible she is, but the truth is, not one person I know has gotten a response to an email they’ve written her ever, IN THE LAST FOUR YEARS!!!! I wish someone could hook a few of these folks up to a lie detector test and re-ask those questions again.
There was another interesting moment during the forum when Former City Manager Stephen Dunn who’s running for city treasurer stated, that no other candidate but him can do the job of city treasurer because they don’t know how to play the game. I read one resident’s comments regarding Dunn’s remarks above which was, “that’s because the game he’s talking about is cronyism,” which I thought was pretty funny. Maybe Dunn didn’t get the chance to read this great article about Greg Bradley who’s also running for city treasurer, which was just published by the Sentinel.
If I were Dunn, I’d now be able to get some beauty rest knowing that clearly someone else other than just him, can surely handle the office. On a positive note, in my opinion, Shannan Maust and Carlos Garcia were the standouts in the council portion of the city’s forum and everyone but Debbie Stone, made some real sense during the mayoral portion. But you can be the judge of that by watching the city’s forum below.
The Upland Police Officers Associations have just announced their endorsements of Shannan Maust, Carlos Garcia and Bill Velto. It speaks volumes that the Upland Police Officers Associations bypassed endorsing the incumbent mayor and Former Councilman Gino Filippi too. Gino is trying to act stoic about it by saying he didn’t ask for their endorsement. I firmly believe if Debbie and Gino get back on the dais UPD will be dismantled, just like Debbie and Gino dismantled the Upland Fire Department in 2017.
I am already hearing rumors like the comment below about “some” wanting to surrender the Upland Police Department to San Bernardino County, just like Debbie and Gino did with the 111-year old Upland Fire Department.
That would not surprise me in the slightest and the craziness of late, seems to suggest just that. The way in which Debbie Stone and Rosemary Hoerning are treating UPD is shameful and outrageous. They seem hell bent on getting rid of the best Police Chief in Upland’s history, at any cost and they’re acting completely desperate. I just pray the chief can hang in there for 34 more days because help is on the way, via Upland’s incredible residents.
Because I was so mad after hearing what the chief’s lawyer had to say to the council on Monday 9/28 about the ongoing harassment, retaliation and sabotage of the chief by Hoerning and Stone, I stopped watching the rest of the council meeting thereafter and starting type Tuesday’s report which can be read here. Having done that, I missed some great speakers who laid into City Manager Rosemary Hoerning about retaining and protecting Chief Goodman. I’m including those speakers below, so you can see them too.
I was planning on including an update about the opposition efforts regarding Ballot Measure Q, which is the question of whether the city should sell 12% of Memorial Park to San Antonio Regional Hospital. But there’s so much going on regarding that issue now it’ll have to be it’s own report. Especially since the Upland Baseball Little League Programs are now heavily involved and things are really starting to heat up. I’ll start writing that report, when I finish this one. But in the meantime, here’s a sneak peak of what’s to come and shows you how strong emotions are running because of what’s at stake here.
Since there’s so much to unpack in this report and so many videos for you to watch, I’ll wrap it up now so you can explore the videos and form your own opinions. I want to thank you profusely for reading this report. I don’t have to tell you how much is riding on your shoulders because your activism is unparalleled, so you already know.
There’s 34 days until you topple the Stone Regime so don’t let the cabal gain another yard! Leave no doubt that you’re the strongest bi-partisan team Upland’s ever seen, so that they always remember, what you do this November! Now go take back your CITY and liberate Chief Darren Goodman!
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