John Quimby was born on February 12, 1935 in Prescott, Arizona, and died on December 22, 2012 in Carmichael, California.
According to his obits, he was elected to the San Bernardino City Council at the age of 22, however, the records that I have seen is that he was 24. On March 17, 1959, he came in the top two in the San Bernardino Municipal Primary Election for the 3rd Ward Council seat. In the primary, the vote was 686 votes for Roxie Garrison, and 640 for John P. Quimby. The other primary candidates were Chester F. Baxter (514 votes), James T. Marsh (137 votes), and Gabriel B. Orona (392 votes). However, on April 14, 1959, in the General Municipal Election, he beat Mrs. Roxie Garrison by 1709 votes to 920 votes. To put into perspective about how ancient that history was in modern San Bernardino politics, 1959 was the first time Ralph H. Prince was elected City Attorney, and Al Ballard wouldn’t be elected Mayor for another six years.
According to this article, it was his time on the City Council that informed his signature legislative achievement, the Quimby Act:
John Quimby, a former Democratic Assemblyman from San Bernardino, said he authored the law because he was a city councilman in the 1960s and saw firsthand the need for parks.
“We couldn’t get the goddamned developers to budge an inch” on dedicating land for public use, including putting in sidewalks, he said. OC Park History Is a Tale of Two Counties, Voice of OC, by Tracy Wood, Posted June 13, 2011, updated January 2, 2013, accessed at http://www.voiceofoc.org/countywide/county_government/article_db467438-956e-11e0-8e8d-001cc4c002e0.html on January 7, 2013.
Other than that, all that I could gather is that he was probably sworn in May 1959 (he voted for Ordinance 2259 on May 18, 1959, but not Ordinance 2258 on April 28, 1959). After the November 6, 1962 General Election, he was absent for the vote on Ordinance 2468 on November 19, 1962, and by the adjourned regular meeting of November 26, 1962, Jesse Arias Jr. had been appointed 3rd Ward council member.
He was elected in November 6, 1962 in the General Election in the 72nd Assembly District. Quimby, the Democrat, received 61.2 percent of the vote, to Clayton “Stan” Stanhope’s 38.8 percent. Stanhope was listed by the LA Times as being a teacher from Montclair, and Quimby as a radio engineer (announcer) and city councilman from San Bernardino. By 1963, the Los Angeles Times refers to his home city as Rialto, though it sometimes said San Bernardino in later years. Quimby won again on November 3, 1964, with 59.9 percent of the vote to the Republican James L. “Jim” Christensen, 40.1 percent of the vote. Quimby was reelected. On November 8, 1966, Quimby received 58.7 percent of the vote, and the Republican candidate, Harry S. Drake of Upland received 41.3 percent of the vote. John Quimby received 58.3 percent of the vote in the 72nd Assembly District to James L. “Jim” Christensen (then an Upland City Councilman) on November 5, 1968. On November 3, 1970, Quimby trounced Republican Peter S. “Pete” Neigel, 70.6 to 29.4 percent. He ran again on November 7, 1972, and received 57.4 percent of the vote to Republican Timothy M. Dolan’s 42.5 percent, and Paul Bocanegra’s .1 percent for the La Raza Party. He was primaried in 1974, by two other candidates, including the eventual winner Richard H. Robinson.
In 1971, Quimby authored a special bill that would give Al Ballard, the former Mayor, a special higher pension related to his fire service. I’m not sure how it came out, but the City Council opposed it.