Virginia Marquez

    There are three candidates for the First Ward Common Council seat on the November 5, 2013 ballot. Here is there contact information:

    Virginia Marquez (incumbent): No online contact information (other than the Qualified Candidates statement found at the City’s website) found as of 10/1/2013.

    John Abad: No online contact information (other than the Qualified Candidates statement found at the City’s website) found as of 10/1/2013.

    Casey Dailey: Facebook:




    Phone number: (909) 648-5715

    I swore on Twitter that I would not write about the San Bernardino Primary Municipal Election until the candidates were set in stone.  This is what I can piece together:

    Ryan Hagen reported on Twitter (@sbcitynow) at 6:42 p.m.yesterday that the “list of candidates qualified for the City Council election is finalized. 3 running in the 1st Ward, 2 in the 2nd Ward, 3 in the 4th.”

    He followed up a minute later to report “Ward 1 candidates: Virginia Marquez, John Abad, Casey Dailey,” and a minute later “Ward 2 candidates: Robert Jenkins, Benito Barrios. Ward 4: Fred Shorett, Anthony Jones, Kathy Pinegar”

    He followed that up to say that he watched the City Clerk’s office close at 6 p.m. and that they called him ten minutes later.

    The City Clerk’s Office online doesn’t have much more information.  It says it was last updated on August 8th in the morning.

    The Registrar of Voters says that Kathy Pinegar filed a Declaration of Candidacy on August 6, 2013, nomination papers were issued on 7/31/2013, and filed on 8/6/2013, and that she submitted a candidate statement for the sample ballot, and qualified.  No other 4th Ward candidates are listed.

    The ROV report is undated, but accessed this morning at around 10:20.  It also says that Council Member Robert Jenkins had a candidate statement and qualified. Benito J. Barrios filed a Declaration of Candidacy on August 9, 2013, nomination papers were issued on 8/8/2013, and filed on 8/9/2013.  He prepared a candidate statement and qualified.  No other 2nd Ward candidates are listed.

    In the First Ward, the ROV lists Council Member Virginia Marquez, Casey Dailey and John J. Abad as qualifying, all with candidate statements.

    For Mayor, with the nomination period not  closed if Mayor Patrick Morris did not file, it lists Rick Avila, Richard T. Castro,  Draymond “Dray” Crawford, Carey Davis, Anthony Jones all qualifying. No candidate statements from Richard T. Castro or Rick Avila.

    The qualified candidates (elect three) of the San Bernardino Unified School District are Kaisar Ahmed, Sonia Fernandez, Barbara Flores, Abigail M. Medina, Joe Navarro, Judi Penman and Danny Tillman. No candidate statements from Danny Tillman, Joe Navarro, or Sonia Fernandez.  The incumbents are Dr. Flores, Judi Penman and Danny Tillman.


    Form 700 is the Statement of Economic Interest that elected officials, high-level officials, and other people designated by an entities’ conflict of interest code must file disclosing their economic interests.  In a short series, here is a look at the Form 700s (2011/2012) of the San Bernardino Common Council, starting numerically with the First Ward, Council member Virginia Marquez.

    Council member Marquez filed her 2011/2012 Form 700 with the City Clerk on February 28, 2012.  The California Fair Political Practices Commission received it on April 12, 2012.  The form is handwritten.

    After the cover page, the first schedule attached is Schedule B, Interests in Real Property (Including Rental Income).  Council member Marquez acquired a property in the 92404 zip code.  Even though it has an address with the county numbering system, a check of the assessor’s parcel map (which is only intended for the purpose of ad valorem taxation, but is commonly used for other purposes, shows that the property is within the City of San Bernardino.  The tax collector records online confirm that Council member Marquez acquired the property on the date she said she acquired the property on the Form 700. Council member Marquez does not claim any gross rental income from the property.  The fair market value claimed is in line with the assessed amount of the property found on the latest tax bill.  It appears, though I cannot confirm, that the property in question is currently in the 7th Ward.

    Form 700 on its face states “You are not required to report loans from commercial lending institutions made in the lender’s regular course of business on terms available to members of the public without regard to your official status.”  However, Council member Marquez appears to report such a loan, a thirty-year loan at 4.875 percent interest from Wells Fargo Bank, N.A.  There is of course, no harm to the public about disclosing more information than is required.  In other capacities, I have seen public officials over-disclose.

    No other information is provided on Council member Marquez’s Statement of Economic Interest Form 700 for 2011/2012.  The next in the series will be the Second Ward.


    The first look in calendar year 2013, at least.

    There is not a lot of information available on the City of San Bernardino’s website at the moment; they seem to be occupied by Chapter 9 of the Bankruptcy Code at the moment.  For example, here is part of the “Frequently Asked Questions” for elections:

    Elections are held in odd numbered years in November.  The next regular election will be held in November of 2009.   For more information of which seats will be up for election in November 2009, please contact the City Clerk’s Office at 909 384-5002.

    (Found on 1/1/2013 at

    Right.  The San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters does not yet have the San Bernardino Primary Elections up at its site, listing three other special elections on March 5, 2013 for City of Chino Hills for a city council member seat by mail ballot election, a Town Council seat in the Town of Yucca Valley by mail ballot election, and the City of Rialto’s Measure W which will extend the existing utility user’s tax five more years until June 2018, by a polling place election.

    So, when does the City of San Bernardino vote?  The City of San Bernardino has a primary election every four years for a variety of seats, and they are staggered.  For example, City Clerk, City Treasurer, and City Attorney were last elected by primary election in November 2011.  The City Clerk race had a general (or run-off) election in February 2012.  The next primary election for these three offices will be in November 2015, unless the City dissolves or there is a charter amendment, or some other unfortunate event occurs.

    Along with those Charter mandated officials, four Common Council member seats were last elected in November 2011: Third Ward, Fifth Ward, Sixth Ward, and Seventh Ward.  Barring further catastrophes, they will be up for a vote again in November 2015.

    What positions are being elected at the City of San Bernardino primary municipal election in November 2013? Mayor, and Common Council members for the First, Second, and Fourth Wards.  There is no information about specific deadlines at either the City Clerk’s website as of this writing, nor the Registrar of Voters, but the filing period should open in mid-July and close in early to mid August.

    What do we know about the candidates so far?  Mayor Patrick J. Morris has been quoted in the media that he is not running again.  Draymond Crawford II, the Sixth Ward police commissioner, has stated that he will be running for Mayor.  He has a website at  His publicly listed contact information is: email and phone: (909) 374-4843. No other candidates have announced their intentions in the local newspapers at this time.

    Who is running for First Ward Common Council Member in San Bernardino? Currently, the position is held by Virginia Marquez, who was first elected in 2009.  No candidates have announced their intentions in the local newspapers at this time.

    Who is running for Second Ward Common Council Member in November 2013?  The position is currently held by Robert Jenkins, who won a special election held in July of 2011 to fill out the remainder of Jason Desjardins term.  No candidates have announced their intentions in the local newspapers at this time.

    Who is running for Fourth Ward Common Council Member in the City of San Bernardino Primary Election in November 2013?  Fred Shorett, first elected in March of 2009 in the special election to replace former Fourth Ward Member Neil Derry, was elected again in the primary in November 2009. No candidates have announced their intentions in the local newspapers at this time.

    To my knowledge, no one is actively running any recall petitions or proposed charter amendments.  It would be difficult, if not impossible to meet the deadlines for a citizen charter amendment if one does not get started soon. The Mayor and Common Council usually has until around the first meeting in July to place charter initiatives on the November ballot, if I recall correctly the last time I looked at the issue last year.

    Also, there might be other elections, and other matters on the November ballot, such as to raise taxes in conjunction with the City’s fiscal state.

    As a preface, the positions in local government in California are non-partisan, and with the open primary system for most other offices in California, and the rise of the decline to state voter, partisan identification is less important.

    However, people are reaching this site by asking whether the people in charge of San Bernardino are Republicans or Democrats.  The reason why, I would surmise, is that so partisans of both stripes can point fingers and say things like, “that’s what happens when liberals are in charge” or “that’s what happens when Republicans are in charge,”  I will share the real or perceived partisan affiliations of the players in San Bernardino based upon conventional wisdom, circumstantial evidence, or past knowledge.

    Mayor Patrick J. Morris.  Under San Bernardino’s Charter, the Mayor is allowed to cast votes in case of ties, and to veto legislation by the Common Council.  Therefore, the  independently elected Mayor, who is not a council member, has duties beyond presiding over meetings.  Mayor Patrick J. Morris is a former Superior Court judge, and is long time Democrat.  He endorsed Redlands Mayor Pete Aguilar for the 31st Congressional District, but is now supporting Republican Bob Dutton.

    Council member for the First Ward: Virigina Marquez: Democrat.  Evidence: The link to the right says she is a member of the Greater Rialto Democratic Club, and she has, in the past (2010) endorsed Representative Joe Baca.

    Council member for the Second Ward: Robert Jenkins: Republican. Evidence, this Black Voice News article endorsing Democrat John Longville.  He has also endorsed Brea Congressman Gary Miller for 31st District Congressman.

    Council member for the Third Ward: John Valdivia: Decline To State, according to statements at the time of his election.   However, he has endorsed Brea Republican Congressman Gary Miller for 31st District Congressman.

    Council member of the Fourth Ward: Fred Shorett: Unknown.  I could find no reliable information.

    Council member of the Fifth Ward: Chas Kelley: Republican.  Supports both Republican Bob Dutton and Republican Gary Miller, who are running against each other for Congressional District 31.

    Council member of the Sixth Ward: Rikke Van Johnson: Democrat.  He has links to President Obama and Governor Brown on his personal website.

    Council Member of the Seventh Ward: Wendy McCammack: Republican. According to her City biography, linked at right, she is a member of the “Republican Women Federated of San Bernardino.”  She also endorsed Brea Congressman Gary Miller.

    So, for the national partisans who wish to make hay of the bankruptcy vote to blame Democrats or Republicans?  Voting for bankruptcy: Marquez (Democrat), Jenkins (Republican), Johnson (Democrat), McCammack (Republican). Voting against bankruptcy: Kelley (Republican) and Shorett (Unknown), and abstaining: John Valdivia (Decline to State).  Not vetoing the bankruptcy vote: Morris (Democrat).

    As to City Attorney James F. Penman, since people are obsessed to know his political affiliation, when I started at the City Attorney’s Office, he was registered as a Democrat, but he switched to what was then non-partisan (now called Decline to State).  I have no idea regarding the status of his registration.

    As I discussed yesterday, the City Council considered make an additional appropriation to pay for already incurred outside counsel bills.  I watched the proceedings on the City’s meeting portal today.  Below is a summary:

    City Attorney James Penman stated that there was a 60 percent increase in lawsuits over the last two years. As indicated in the staff report, City Attorney Penman said 40 of 124 cases outside counsel, 84 cases were handled in-house by Deputy City Attorneys. Five of those cases [from the agenda: Maria Mejia, Salvador Melgoza, and Guadalupe Melgoza v. City of San Bernardino, et al. – United States District Court, Case No. EDCV 11-00452 VAP; Andrea Orona v. City of San Bernardino – San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. CIVDS 1008022; San Bernardino County Transportation Commission v. West Colony Community Association – San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. CIVDS 1004025; Joe Taylor v. City of San Bernardino – San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. CIVDS 1100841; and Wells Fargo Bank, National Association v. Samer Kodeih, et al – San Bernardino Superior Court, Case No. CIVDS 1109915.] were discussed in closed session involving “young” Deputy City Attorneys.  Those cases would  have cost much more if farmed out. If the bills for outside counsel are not paid, the law firms could withdraw and sue for damages.  City Attorney Penman said, most notably, that it “clear the money is there” and “the election is over it’s time to move on and do the City’s business.”

    The floor was opened to discussion.  Council member McCammack produced a spreadsheet which was not visible on my screen.  She said that she was “shocked by the numbers.”  She said that the City Manager’s budget increased by 63 percent, and nine city departments had increases in their budgets.  She reiterated an earlier discussion point that “doesn’t make sense to reduce budgets of the departments that can create revenues.”  Council member McCammack said that the City should use the City’s liability reserves, because  “if City Attorney budget not restored . . . that $3 million [in the reserves] won’t be enough.”

    City Manager McNeely said that the nature of the increase in the City Manager’s Office is moving CDBG into the office, and that the creation of the call center moved existing employees to the City Manager, and there was other reorganization.

    Mayor Morris interjected that this item (paying outside counsel) was “not an overview or recalibration of the entire City Budget.”

    Council member Tobin Brinker asked  if City Manager McNeely had a recommendation.  City Manager McNeely’s response was not entirely into the microphone but he said  that he had a concern on his part that these would be brought forward at every council meeting, and recommend, if there is a need to make a correction, do it once.  His concern is the ability to handle with the reserve fund only having closer to $2 million dollars.  City Manager McNeely said that what prompted this was a memo from the finance department that the City Attorney was going over his budget.  When pressed by Tobin Brinker, the Manager said that he was not recommending approval, but that the Council had the power to make policy.

    Council member Virginia Marquez said that if the money will come from $2 million dollar reserve, that  doesn’t leave much in reserve.  City Manager McNeely chipped in to say that  Mr. Penman also alluded to another fund with $500,000 that may be allocated, but that because of other contingencies a 1.3 million dollar reserve fund balance on June 30, 2012 was projected.  City Manager McNeely said that there was already a $760,000 deficit this fiscal year.

    Council member Jenkins said that outside counsel contracts were approved by Council,  and still within the budget caps within the contracts.  Council member Jenkins declared  “something is wrong with the system” because the previous item on the agenda was just the opposite.

    Council member Rikke Van Johnson, said this was asking for more money, and that he was not supporting the item.

    Wendy McCammack revised her figures and  removed CDBG expenditures and revenues from the City Manager’s budget, and said the Manager’s budget was still up by 17 percent,  She said that the decreases have all been in departments that can create revenues.  “3 million won’t be able to cover the judgments.”

    Council member Tobin Brinker said that Council was having the debate for over year, the real debate is whose budget it is coming out of, outside counsel will be paid.  The real debate is  which fund does it come out of, and that’s the sticking point.  He said he needs to see changes in the City Attorney’s Office, its budget grows, and that he is opposed to this agenda item.  He kicked the can down the road by saying that the City Attorney can work with his replacement (John Valdivia), and that he (Tobin Brinker) was going to oppose this effort.

    Council member Jenkins asked the City Attorney if he had any problem with using the General Government Fund.  City Attorney Penman said that the source of the money was up to the Council, but that the City has six jury trials set for June 30, 2011.

    City Attorney Penman told Council member that the book (budget figures) released by the City Manager showed that the City Attorney’s Office did cut 18 percent, including a position cut and made other cuts.  The book also showed that there were increases in other departments. The City Attorney said that his department was not alone, his was not the only department out there, he was not bluffing, and that bad things will happen.  “Attorneys will start withdrawing, and they will start suing and we will lose.”

    Council member Jenkins made a motion after some confusion about whether Council member Johnson had made a motion.  The motion was to take $140,088.93  from the General Government Professional Contractual Non-Departmental Fund with the remainder Litigation-Outside Counsel budget.

    There was a speaker.  Then the Council voted: Marquez, Brinker, Shorett Johnson No; Jenkins, Kelley, McCammack yes. Council member  McCammack set a substitute motion to deduct the amount from 2012-2013 FY City Attorney  budget.  That too was defeated by the exact same vote.  City Attorney Penman, before the vote, reiterated that the lawyers will withdraw, the City will default or lose lawsuits, and  the legacy will be bankruptcy.  The voters had heard the arguments, the voters said no, “go ahead and defy them.”