Q&A with Barbara Stanton (January 17, 2012)

The new mayor looks at 2012

Barbara Stanton is a 22-year resident of Apple Valley. A local talkshow host, she was elected to the Town Council in November 2010. Stanton is a delegate to the Mojave Desert Air Quality Management District, the Victor Valley Transit Authority, the Victor Valley Waste Water Reclamation Authority. In December, the council voted to appoint her mayor.

Q: What are your three major goals as mayor?

A: I want to …

  1. look for ways to control our water destiny.
  2. Continue to finalize and streamline the process for industrial growth.
  3. Open Animal Control on Saturdays. I am prepared to think outside the box!

Q: How do you expect to fulfill those goals?

A: Regarding water: There are discussions that Apple Valley may be able to utilize catch basins for water runoff and receive credit for recharging the basin. Should this occur it will ensure our future growth to include the industrial section of North Apple Valley and future housing growth. Moving forward as quickly as possible with our reclamation plant to use the water on our parks and golf course is also a priority.

Continued Industrial growth is vital to our town. Staff has done a wonderful job and worked extremely hard on the North Apple Valley Specific Plan and the Multi-Species Habitat Conservation Plan which simplifies the process for industrial, housing and retail growth. We are a model for the rest of the county and given extremely high ratings as a town to do business with. Retail sales outlets have delighted all in town, and I anticipate that trend to continue.

We will find a way to fund our Animal Control facility and open on Saturdays, period!

Q: What has your time on town council taught you?

A: Government moves very slowly — Apple Valley wasn’t built in a day.

Q: Are you still doing weekly interviews on radio? What are you doing aside from town business?

A: I suspended all radio and TV work prior to being sworn into council. Dedicating my time to the town is what I do. Additionally, it would not be conducive to Apple Valley to anger other government agencies and politicians by continuing my provocative radio and television talk shows. I must add that this past year was tough as my beloved sister, Elizabeth, lost her 16-year battle with cancer, which took the wind out of my sails for a bit. Council and staff were very generous of their consideration during this difficult time.

Q: What are your priorities for the town?

A: Ensure open, clear and transparent town business. Proudly I can tell you that we now provide monthly financial reports on all expenditures which include the golf course and Park and Recreation. Thinking outside the box:

  1. I am proposing a plan for public records requests.
  2. Asking for a community meeting with council and department heads, thus there will be ready answers to citizens questions rather than, I will check and get back with you.
  3. A quarterly ‘Coffee with the Mayor’ is in the planning stages to assist our citizens with questions problems and solutions, and to continue to open the door to transparency.

Q: These following issues were from a Q&A when you were sworn in a year ago. Where do you stand on these today?

Apple Valley Country Club

A: Simple economics: It must pay for itself. At the same time I believe the town should not be in private sector business competing with existing businesses. It is not the role of government to enter into the private sector.

The golf course purchase began long before I was elected to council. At the end of the day the financially responsible decision was to finalize the purchase. I still am not pleased that we are in business and would not have voted to even begin the process. But after millions being spent to just walk away would have been a gift of the people’s money to the club members, and I could not justify that.

My hope is that in the coming years a serious buyer will come forward and we can remove ourselves from the situation. There are plans for using reclaimed water at the course and that certainly will change the financial drain. But for now we own it and are doing everything in our power to produce a course that is well used and begins to pay for itself. We’re not there yet and may never be, but then how many golf courses in this country are?

Happy Trails Villas condo project

A: Why is the town been subsidizing this project when a private party was willing to purchase and rehab for resale? The HUD money spent on this project may have found better use.

This project is concerning! Again, I came on board after the issue of private party purchase etc., so I have no response to that end. Understanding the delays in the project and the time it has taken to produce any work is troublesome.

Recently the council was promised by a principle representing the developer that the project was moving forward. I am troubled that there does not seem to be a commitment by the developer to use local contractors.

Local Realtors shared their concern that someone from out of town was marketing the project rather than a local firm and I agree. It’s our money and our citizens share a stake in this project and we must respect those businesses who are struggling to survive in this difficult economic time, and I am insisting that we use locals, to the limits of power that I have. Although, according to staff federal funds are being used in this project and that does not allow for a local contractor component. Again, troublesome!

Source: Apple Valley Review, applevalley-review.com/node/541