By Cliff Cummings
If you listen to the chattering classes on social media San Bernardino is done. Toast…Finished. All people seem to want to do is tear down the leadership of the city and point out the mistakes, and sadly the media is all too happy to pile on. But as a long-time resident of the City and business owner I see a different picture. There is quite a bit more light than darkness.
The Cummings family had better believe in San Bernardino and we do, because we are investing millions of dollars in a brand new, state-of-the-art Toyota dealership which will open in June. The Toyota dealership sits right on the 215-freeway which gives it extraordinary visibility. In addition, we are in the process of hiring as many as 40 new employees for the expansion. Soon afterwards, the existing Toyota location will be razed to make way for a new 61,000 square foot multi-million-dollar Subaru dealership. We expect this process, which started last week, will take approximately two years to complete. In other news, we recently purchased the San Bernardino Nissan dealership. All these moves have been aided by a new attitude at City Hall which is more business friendly. Actually, San Bernardino appears open for business and eager for opportunities.
Amazon, San Manuel and Capitalist Masters Group must believe in San Bernardino as those 3 entities have invested tens of millions of dollars in the City.
The airport is starting to take off. The unmanned aerial vehicle training center that was the brain-child of Supervisor Curt Hagman continues to grow and is a model now for others to follow. Mike Burroughs and board at IVDA are doing a great job brining opportunities to the airport.
The Carousel Mall is making progress towards reinvention. It is only a glimmer right now but hiring a consultant to lead the redevelopment of the property is a positive step.
I am very pleased as a previous member that the Arrowhead Country Club reportedly appears to have a buyer that is committed to making it a jewel of a country club again. I have often said if you want to gauge the health of a community’s economy, go visit the local golf club.
The college will re-open again to students, as will local restaurants, bars and entertainment venues.
There are many hopeful signs for San Bernardino, but much hard work remains. The City leadership needs to get better at the basics. Communication between the city and residents is often poor, and hiring a new public information officer, which is in the works, will help that.
Police response time needs to improve, and the visibility of police must be greater. To that end, the passage of Measure-S will provide millions of dollars that can and should be invested in infrastructure, particularly street repairs, lighting for safety purposes and law enforcement.
Beyond that, get rid of the graffiti, and keep the trash picked up. Let me emphasize, fix the potholes. The new city manager, Rob Field, is aggressively attacking these problems and having met with him several times I have confidence he is more than up to the task. He needs the support of the city council, business community, and residents.
San Bernardino is not a lost cause, far from it.