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home : latest news : local February 5, 2016


10/25/2013 6:00:00 AM
Meet council candidates - Jones, Reynolds, and Wade
City Council hopefuls - Sharon
City Council hopefuls - Sharon "Sheri" Jones, Dale Reynolds. and Timothy "Tim" Wade.
Jaclyn Randall
Former Times Editor

BLYTHE - Upcoming elections for Blythe City Council have six people on the ballot all vying to bring varying expertise, experience, and insight to the board. On the Nov. 5 ballot are incumbents, Oscar Galvan, Joseph "Joey" DeConinck, and Shanker "Sam" Patel, and hopefuls, Sharon "Sheri" Jones, Dale Reynolds, and Timothy "Tim" Wade.

All six candidates were asked seven questions that were submitted by community members. Here is an opportunity to meet the candidates and read their take on why they are running for council and what they intend on accomplishing.

Meet the final three candidates: Jones, Reynolds, and Wade.

The seven questions:

1) Do you have a plan for how to attract business to Blythe?;

2) How are you going to address the declining workforce population?;

3) Do you have plans to promote Blythe's amenities (Colorado River, desert, golf course, performing arts center, I-10 Speedway , etc.)? If so, how?;

4) What do you think about a collaboration between the city and other city factions such as the Palo Verde College, Palo Verde Unified School District, Palo Verde Hospital, and the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce;

5) In years past, the City Council and management approved budgets that included a $500,000 surplus that was used to backfill the City's deficit. As a member of the council would you continue that trend;

6) What do you view as the three most pressing issues for Blythe? Please rank them as "1" - Top Priority to "3" - Third most important.; and

7) What makes you the best candidate to represent Blythe on the City Council.

Sharon "Sheri" Jones

Sheri Jones and I am currently the Vice President of Instructional and Student Services for Palo Verde College. Previously, I served the college as an instructor of psychology, and alcohol and drug studies; was Chair of the History, Social and Behavioral Sciences Division for three years; and Vice President of the Academic Senate for two years. I have worked in education for nearly 20 years, both as a teacher of social sciences and as an administrator. I have a master's degree in psychology, and am currently a doctoral candidate. I am the mother of four adults, mother-in-law of a Blythe Police Officer, and grandmother of two.

Jones is a native of California and has made Blythe her home. She is the mother of four and grandmother of two.

Question #1

In order to jump-start the local economy, retain and expand existing businesses, attract new investors and market the city of Blythe, we need to work together to redefine ourselves as a City and develop a forward-thinking, comprehensive vision for our future. We need to implement some of the known best-practices in city planning, such as: 1) streamlining the permitting and business license processes; 2) establishing pro-business ordinances; 3) instituting revitalization practices that encourage business in specific areas; 4) discouraging crime with anti-loitering and historic preservation ordinances; and 5) creating incentives and tax breaks for businesses that work within our vision.

Question #2

We have two distinct workforce problems in our City. One is that many of our residents lack the necessary training for local work. The other is that some of the developing and established local employers, in areas such as solar power and corrections, attract employees who live outside of Blythe. The first problem is one that should be addressed through educational partnerships. City Council should be encouraging local employers to communicate and collaborate with Council, county agencies, and our local educational institutions to ensure that specific, targeted workforce development is occurring. The second challenge is connected to the shared, comprehensive vision for the city which must center on making Blythe a better and more appealing place to live. This will include rebuilding our local economy, maintaining safe neighborhoods, improving the performance of our schools, and promoting culture and the arts.

Question #3

We need to promote - loudly and proudly - the great things that are happening in Blythe. Of course we need to publicize using traditional means such as billboards, radio, print and other media. We also need to communicate proactively using email, Facebook, committee meetings and other public venues. Most importantly, we need to work together to ensure that we are supporting our own events and amenities by scheduling things in such a way that they do not compete with each other!

Question #4

In order for the City to truly flourish, we all need to work together. Creating the shared vision for future growth, improving the business climate, training our workforce, making our schools better, maintaining public safety, and increasing opportunities in general requires a collaborative effort.

Question #5

The City of Blythe's budget is 254 pages long. Budget decisions should be made after a careful examination of past trend data, as well as various revenue projection scenarios. A responsible budget is one that includes contingency plans and does not leave itself vulnerable to unanticipated setbacks. The budget must include plans for debt mitigation, as well as for building up reserves.

Question #6

1. Public safety.

2. Local economy.

3. Education.

ALL ARE #1!

Question #7

It's time for a change. It's time for fresh ideas, and the perspective of an educated female. It's time we work together towards a shared vision.

Dale S. Reynolds

I am, Dale S. Reynolds, and I have been in Blythe most of my life. This is where I have always called home. In my years here in Blythe, I have been involved in many activities including playing baseball, football, basketball, and softball when I was a young kid. As I got older, I volunteered my time coaching many of these same activities. I also enjoyed spending time at the river and swimming in the canals with all my friends.

Currently, I work as an administrative supervisor for Palo Verde Valley Transit. Previously, I worked as a regional manager for Hyder Property Management for 12 years and as on-site manager for Squaw Valley and Baldwin Senior Apartments.

Clara is my wife of 36 years and we have three children, Michael, Terry, and our daughter who we lost to cancer in 2000. Our children also gave us eight grandchildren and two great-grandkids.

As I have got older, I have continued to give my time to other organizations such as 4-H, Yellow Ribbon, Rancho Housing Advisory Committee, CSA 122 Mesa Verde, City of Blythe Planning Commission, Blythe Police Department's Citizens on Patrol (COPs), and most recently Festival of Trees.

While on the city's planning commission for four and half years, we approved the tract homes built in the Briarbrook subdivision and that benefited the 50 families who were able to build their home. We gave East Donlon from Highway 95 to Riviera Drive its name.

Now I am running for City Council in an effort to once again give of myself for the betterment of my beloved Blythe. I believe I am the right person for the job because of my experience in leadership. I have worked long and hard promoting Blythe and I have done my homework for what I believe the needs of our community are.

I was asked if one person can make a difference. My answer is I believe I can make a difference and work hard to show how true this can be.

Our community deserves to have people on city council who have the best interest of Blythe in their hearts and work towards that common goal.

Question #1

I believe we need to go back and talk to the businesses which showed interest in our community in the last 10 years, such as Wal-Mart, In and Out, and the big box stores, to see if there is a way to convince them to take another look at us. As a city we need to address new incentives to attract these businesses such as assisting with infrastructure tax breaks and fees.

Question #2

If elected to City Council, I need to continue to work on attracting new business. With new business comes new jobs. We are going to increase the workforce by securing the needed training programs to show our citizens have what it takes to provide excellent service in any field they wish to go into.

Question #3

Promoting our City's and the surrounding areas amenities has been one of the things I have done for many years. I will continue to look for any avenue as a council member to promote my community to no end. The river, golf course and surrounding desert have a true following which sell themselves. I believe that with proper advertising and promotions through collaboration and partnerships, the new Performing Arts building will attract artists and performers as much as the Miss Blythe, Miss Outstanding Teen and the newly developed Mr. Blythe pageants currently do. The 1-10 Speedway has a great following and as time has shown the racetrack has drawn many people to our community.

The Bluegrass Festival has been one of the keystones for attracting people from all over; again, this has secured its own future with a great promotion from the Blythe Area Chamber of Commerce.

Question #4

In past years there was a collaborative which was called the 2+2+2; it was made up members of council, school board, college board and members of the community. I am all in favor of again putting this collaborative together to discuss issues that face our community and work towards putting plans into action. We have to set and meet goals for the betterment of our community.

Question #5

I would not call the current $500,000 a surplus. In actuality these funds are earmarked to pay the deficit down therefore calling this a surplus is incorrect.

If elected to council, I will vote to continue this action due to the fact that we have to pay this money back and move forward to bring our city back into the black to gain leverage in being able to apply for grant funding and other revenue-generating sources. I would also suggest that council possibly earmark a percentage to a reserve account to be used for emergency needs such as replacement of equipment that may fail and need to be purchased and replaced. An example is we lose a well or a water tank needs to be repaired we will have the funds to do this without having to take funds from another account to pay for the repairs.

Question #6

My top 3 priorities are as follows:

1. Revenue generation. As a member of council I want to readdress the TOT (Bed Tax) this alone will generate needed funds to support the General Fund. I also want to visit the CDBG funds to see if our city will prosper by seeking the funds directly from the feds or state for Blythe without having to go through the county of Riverside for our portion.

2. Priority is Economic Development. As a member of council I want to talk to previous business developers and ask them to take another look at our community and also see if we are able to offer new incentives such as tax breaks and reduced fees and do things that thinks about the future of the city that will encourage them to build their business here. I also want to seek out other developers to take a look at our community and entice them to build here. Doing things like extending sewer and water lines in preparation for future development would go a long way to showing developers we want them here.

3. Creation of Jobs. This goes hand and hand with my #2 priority. It as a member of council I want to reach out to our educational institutions (high school and college) and work on developing a course study that gives our citizens, young and old alike the tools, skills and knowledge to be able to compete in today's job markets.

Question #7

I believe what makes me the best candidate for City Council in representing Blythe is my commitment to finding solutions to our revenue, economic development and our workforce needs. My deep concern for my community is why I chose to run for council once again. I have stated all along this is about the City of Blythe my community. This is not about Dale S. Reynolds.

I bring to the table common sense, my experience in budgeting, and my experience as a planning commissioner for 41/2 years. Staying involved in my community is a very vital part of my belief that I can be a contributor to the needs of our community and make responsible decisions in an effort to bring our community back to life, facts and ideas that can work to give our city a fighting chance to survive whatever hurdles we have to conqueror.

Timothy "Tim"Wade

Born right here at Palo Verde Hospital, I am a Blythe native, graduating in 1982 from Palo Verde High School.

My wife Christina and I have three children, two daughters, Erin and Ali and a son, Noah. We also have two small grandchildren.

I started my career with Blythe Police Department in January 1986 and moved up in ranks of patrol offocers, senior detective, Sergeant, Narcotics Supervisor, Lieutenant, and Captain prior to my retirement in July 2009.

Before working for Blythe Police Department, I worked for my parents, Noah and Shirley Wade, at the family-owned service station, Wade's Chevron, and I also worked for Albertsons.

I have been past president and board member of Blythe Police Activities League (PAL) and I am the current president of the Blue Knights Motorcycle Club. I am also a member of the Blythe/Needles Masonic Lodge #473 and of the Blythe Elks.

Question #1

Yes. We first need a City Council with a positive attitude that wants change. We need to make it easier for businesses to build here and not impose the "extras" that I constantly hear why businesses decide not to build here. Businesses aren't begging to come here so we need to attract them by cleaning-up our on-ramps and off-ramps of Interstate 10. This is the first impression people see of our town and right now I don't think it is a very inviting impression. We need to keep up on the abatement of graffiti.

Graffiti shows businesses that we don't care about our town and why should they care about coming to Blythe if we don't care enough to want them. We need to help the homeless get off the streets. We need to find out what their needs are and work with them to keep them from sitting or laying around our business for all to see. And lastly we need to improve the quality of our streets to make our town more desirable. All of this is going to take time with baby steps but it can be done.

Question #2

First of all we have to have businesses come to Blythe like I have mentioned. But we need to offer job trade workshops through education by working with Palo Verde College, such as the solar classes that have been offered here. We need to offer "customer service" and "hospitality" classes for all who are looking to go in the workforce and those already working. The employee or potential employee would be more marketable for their current employer or future employer. This would also help with what people think of our city and help with the future business pool of workers to draw from. We also need to make Blythe more attractive for people who already work here, for example, at the prisons, for them to want to stay and live here and not move to the Coachella Valley.

Question #3

First of all I think 1-10 Speedway does a very good job promoting their events. We need to look at some of the methods they are using and implement them such as networking with other cities, advertisement in all medias, quality of entertainment,

Billboard advertisement, teamwork, through built partnerships, their "can do" attitude, customer service toward patrons and a good word of mouth that has reached the out-of-towners. We need to work hand in hand with the Chamber of Commerce. We need to change our attitude of "we are 100 miles from anywhere" to a positive one of "we are centrally located." We live on one of, if not the busiest, interstates in the nation.

We have to advertise that we have a river that is just as fun and not as busy as say Parker, Ariz. We have to make it more desirable for our winter visitors. Our golf course is a very nice course and attracts people, especially our winter visitors. It would be nice to have a business such as a casino that would serve both the river and winter visitors. We have to promote Blythe in every way possible.

Question #4

I believe to help Blythe, it is going to take a team effort. We all need to work together. They all have their own board to oversee each group, but we need to ensure the schools are teaching our children at high levels that meet or exceed other districts in California. We need to make sure our hospital stays open first of all and provides excellent medical care for our citizens.

Question #5

Yes I would continue this but maybe not at the current amount. We need to payoff the deficit we face. But I would like to see some of that money put back into our community to help get more of the "worker bees" performing work such as getting our parks back in a nice condition and perform the jobs that I have mentioned.

Question #6

It's a vicious circle, but I have ranked them as;

1. The cleanliness of Blythe.

2. Getting business to come to Blythe; and

3. Money or revenue the city makes. If we don't have money then we are not going to have a town left so to get more money without raising taxes we need to get businesses to come here. But no business will want to come here until we have a more desirable town. I don't want people to think that there aren't a lot of programs, like the Rec Center and youth programs that aren't important to me. These programs helped mold me into the person I am today and has had an everlasting affect in my life. We just have to work on these other issues so we can continue to offer other great programs.

Question #7

I have roots here. My great grandparents came to Blythe in the early 1940's. Followed by my maternal and paternal grandparents, along with my mom and dad, who were just kids at the time.

When my mom and dad got older they met and got married. My sister, brother and I were all born and raised here. I have three kids who were born and raised here. We all attended local elementary schools in Blythe and graduated from Palo Verde High School.

I now have two small grand kids that live here. I also served the community for almost 24 years as a police officer for the Blythe Police Department. I was able to help the people of Blythe before retiring at the rank of Captain. So I have always cared about Blythe and still continue to care about it very much.

I have a vested interest in Blythe. I care for Blythe as a whole and not just certain groups. I know what Blythe was and know what Blythe can be again. As one of my friends told me "I am Blythe."



Related Stories:
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• TIMES EDITORIAL: Vote responsibly this November


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Reader Comments

Posted: Friday, November 1, 2013
Article comment by: Joe Diddy

Ms jones on your way out of blythe take your buddies police chief and the college prez with you.....maybe then we can get our city and college back.......

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@.. @ Tara P p. Yes you are right it does not look good for Ms.Sharon “Sheri” Jones.

I don't see how she can help this community when her employees have voted a no confidence vote on her. It's not nice what they say about her. I googled her name and put gossip at the end. I found that of what you wrote about by those means.


Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

@... Oh, Pica!. No I'm just stating what people are feeling right now. Funny how sometimes good people go bad. They start off trying to do the right thing, but end up falling in line with the other bad people, that they will end being used only as puppets for the needs of a few.

Also you have another group of people that are mistrusted by most. And you have to think yourself, is that person really trying to do the right thing now? Have they change?


Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: @ Tara P p

Tara you must be trying to get a job with jones.............because Ms jones own employess say she is a disaster and are trying to vote her out, if our do nothing college board would do their job and get someone that actually knows how to run our college!

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: Oh, Pica!

I hope you are kidding. Don't vote at all, then. That is why we are in this mess. TAKE the time to think, look, listen, and reason through the HONEST claims. Separate the real from the phony. MAKE A Choice a choice and watch him closely for honesty for BLYTHE, not just for self or popularity with "important" people.

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

Slim pickings so I'm going to be using the dart method to chose my candidate.

Just don't tell Mr. Weete, because he wrote an article about choosing the right person for the job.


Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Article comment by: @ Tara P

Obviously you have not witnessed the close relationship between the city manager, chief of police and the Ms. Jones for the last couple of years at the college. We all see it.

Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Article comment by: F.E. Velez

And let the mud slinging begin. I want everyone who was ever given a bad time by tim to encourage all your friends to vote against him. Now if Jeff was running then I would encourage everyone to vote for him.

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Blythe Gofer

Education is great. BUT I see some so-called elite people who also like to look down their noses on small-town folks and do not really understand them. I am sure this educated person may mean well, but I would like to give her a few more years to give her time to really fit in with a non-academic type that she would very likely feel "superior to, and others would feel inferior to. Come back in a couple of elections and we can see how you relate. We are good people here and I am sure you are, too, but let's see how things go. Thanks for your interest.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: R U Kidding?

Sheri Jones is a disaster. She has publicly received a vote of no confidence from fellow workers, the ones who know her best. This newspaper has yet to report on that explosive PVC board meeting.

Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Tara P

(3/3)
Lastly, Sheri appreciates the potential Blythe has to offer its residents. She doesn’t overlook the wonderful aspects of Blythe that are so commonly taken for granted by the residents that are born and raised in Blythe. She had an outside perspective that can be used from the inside to fix what is really going wrong. She can see ways to build the local economy that haven’t been seen before. She can see the clear problems, such as drugs, and has the expertise to address them, as she has taught alcohol and drug studies at a college level. And she can see a vision to improve education, as education is her life.
Sheri is offering the residents of Blythe her expertise to help Blythe like it has never been helped before. Please take her offer and vote for Sheri. I fully support Doctoral Candidate Sharon “Sheri” Jones for Blythe City Council!


Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Tara P

(2/3)
Sheri also has experience serving on various committees and being an officer. As Vice-President of academic senate for two years, Sheri was able to organize and lead hot topics of discussion among the faculty of Palo Verde College. She is currently serving as Vice-President of Instructional and Student Services, this position has built upon her already existing skills that will translate well to City Council, such as being able to explain administration policy to students and instructors is similar to explaining City Council policies and decisions to the citizens. The reverse is also necessary, Sheri is able to take the concerns of students and instructors to the administration and fight for what is best for everyone, as City Council woman, Sheri will take the citizens’ concerns to the councilmembers and make sure their voice is heard!


Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Tara P

(1/3)
I support Sharon “Sheri” Jones for Blythe City Council because I have witnessed her dedication to pursuing the truth at the heart of each matter that is brought to her. In her various positions at Palo Verde College, Sheri has always taken the extra step to address concerns from students, faculty and staff. She does not “sweep stuff under the rug” in fact, she is the one to find stuff that has been “swept under the rug.” She is an expert researcher and knows how to do her homework she will educate herself on issue before debating them with other council members and before educating the citizens of Blythe about her opinions. Her opinions are based on previous findings and are supported by facts. These traits alone will add much needed transparency to Blythe City Council, but Sheri has more to offer than just this.
...


Posted: Tuesday, October 29, 2013
Article comment by: Will the Truth Come Out?

(deleted)

Site Administrator's note: A portion of this comment has been removed because it violated our Terms of use Agreement. Personal attacks are not tolerated, and are a direct violation of these Terms of Use.

Posted: Monday, October 28, 2013
Article comment by: EL PICA BUYAS

The Blind leading the Blind. It's like asking 6 blind people to describe an Elephant, when they each pick a part of that elephant.

This Is what we are asking these people to do with Blythe. To me the worst is the crime, and drugs. To someone else it might the roads, to you the empty building along hobson-way.

Get rid of the Drug Dealers in town. What is so hard about it? Most are on parole, or on probation. Maybe I have it Wrong Get Rid of the police Department, and then you will get rid of the Drug Dealers.



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