Rialto candidates outline their goals
01:19 AM PDT on Tuesday, August 15, 2006
After losing the Democratic primary for a state Senate seat, Assemblyman Joe Baca Jr., D-Rialto, will be fighting for a seat on the Rialto City Council.
Baca, the son of Rep. Joe Baca, D-Rialto, said representing the city where he was born and raised would mean a lot because he wants to be a part of its growth.
"After my loss for Senate, I took some time to think," Baca said. "I asked myself what would be the better thing to do for my community, give up and forget my community or start over and serve my community? I choose to serve."
In the next few weeks, Baca said, he plans to introduce a plan to revitalize Rialto and make it the model for all Inland Empire cities. The main focus will be public safety and building partnerships with schools.
Working with Rialto's new police chief and being a part of the rebirth of the department is something Baca said he would like to do.
Two seats on the Rialto council are up for election Nov. 7. The incumbents, Deborah Robertson and Joseph Sampson, both seek re-election.
Clifford Friedeck, a retiree; John Sanchez, a grocery manager; and Mark Ferretiz, owner of Big Mark's BBQ, also are running.
Sampson endorsed Baca in the June primary, while Robertson endorsed the eventual winner of the 32nd Senate seat, Assemblywoman Gloria Negrete, D-Chino.
Sampson said when he endorsed Baca he had no idea he would be a future opponent.
"I supported him in his run for the Senate and I hadn't expected he would be running against me in my run, but it doesn't make me nervous," Sampson said. "I guess if that's what he wants to do and he lives in the city, it's his prerogative."
Sampson, who has been on the council for 10 years and served as the elected city clerk for 20 years, said he also has strong name recognition.
The campaign focus, Sampson said, will be the resurgence of the Rialto Police Department, establishing a viable tax base, and the safety and welfare of the community.
Robertson could not be reached for comment.
Members of the Rialto council are elected at-large, meaning the seats go to the two candidates that receive the most votes in November.
Ferretiz said he loves everyone who is running and only hopes the winners help the community.
His goals as councilman would include capturing revenue the expansion of Interstate 210 can bring to the city, and the development of Rialto Municipal Airport.
Friedeck said his goal is to see that the people who have jobs in the city are getting them done.
"If the City Council was on top of the chief of police we wouldn't have had the problems that we had," Friedeck said about the council's attempt to disband the department last November because of what was called chronic problems.
"My opinion is the City Council is supposed to be the governance of the people who are hired to run the city."
Sanchez could not be reached for comment.
Reach Massiel Ladrón De Guevara at 909-806-3054 or mdeguevara@PE.com