Petersen won’t seek sixth term; Ziprick aims to retain his seat; ex-mayor in race
Stephen Wall, Staff Writer
Posted: 03/27/2010 10:16:54 PM PDT

LOMA LINDA – One City Council veteran is calling it quits after two decades in public service while another longtime elected official hopes to return to office.

The June 8 City Council election features five candidates vying for two seats.

Councilman Floyd Petersen, who teaches statistics at Loma Linda University, opted not to run for a sixth term, citing family and work-related commitments.

Meanwhile, former Mayor Robert Christman, who lost his bid for a sixth council term in 2008, wants back in.

Councilman Robert Ziprick is running for re-election. Sheriff’s Sgt. Phillip Dupper, dental school administrator Ron Dailey and business executive Verne Miller also hope to win a seat.

Christman, a financial adviser who works in Redlands, said he is running to bring back civility and independence to the council, which he believes is becoming dominated by special interests.

“I am not affiliated with any Loma Linda employer, so I would not have a conflict of interest with my employer with any votes,” Christman said.

In the past few years, Christman said, the council has wasted hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on lawsuits that have stifled development and caused a budget deficit. He said Councilmen Ovidiu Popescu and Rhodes “Dusty” Rigsby are leading the city down the wrong path.

Christman said he considers Ziprick a good friend but added that the pair are not running a joint campaign.

Popescu and Rigsby, political allies who support growth controls, say Christman and Ziprick favor high-density housing and are unfriendly to Loma Linda University. Popescu and Rigbsy are endorsing Dupper and Dailey.

“Dr. Dailey and Mr. Dupper will make excellent additions to our council,” Popescu said in an e-mail. “They are both highly intelligent and will place citizens first by keeping Loma Linda a wonderful place to live. Their challengers represent big money special interests and have consistently fought the citizens and our institutions.”

Ziprick disagrees.

“My position on the council is that of a moderate who is sympathetic and friendly to all organizations which are part of the city,” said Ziprick, an attorney seeking a fourth term.

Ziprick said he doesn’t have a personal agenda to push high-density development. When he supported plans for it in the past, he said he was responding to a need expressed by institutions in town.

Ziprick said he worked to create a 1,675-acre preservation area in the hills that includes 16 miles of trails.

Dailey, an administrator in the School of Dentistry at Loma Linda University, wants to reduce crime and preserve the hills while implementing projects to improve traffic and promote appropriate business development.

The council needs more transparent, ethical and collegial leadership, he added.

Dailey said he intends to run a positive campaign.

“I would prefer this not to be divisive,” he said. “I want to be evaluated on my credentials and my own message.”

Dupper, who ran for council in 2008, said he is concerned about how uncontrolled growth has strained finances and increased traffic and crime in other communities.

“We cannot let that happen to Loma Linda,” said Dupper, a sergeant in the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.

He said Popescu and Rigsby have done a great job.

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