Josh Dulaney, Staff Writer
Posted: 11/04/2010 05:01:45 PM PDT

FONTANA – Ask the Election Day winners, and they will say voters here delivered a clear message to City Hall when they sent a councilwoman to the mayor’s office, re-elected a veteran councilman, and elected a newcomer endorsed by both of them.

Despite cries to the contrary from their political opponents, those elected should continue with the fiscal policies and public safety programs touted by the City Council for more than a decade.

Councilman John Roberts and businessman Michael Tahan trounced their competitors on Tuesday, with the former taking more than 27 percent of the vote, and the latter earning more than 26 percent.

Their nearest opponent in a field of eight candidates was Miguel “Mike” Espinoza, who garnered a little more than 10 percent of the vote.

Mayor-elect Acquanetta Warren defeated five opponents. Her closest competitor lagged nearly 41 points behind.

“I think it’s an indication that the people are happy with the direction Fontana has been moving in the past few years and would like to see it continue,” Roberts said.

He said voters approve of the city’s conservative fiscal approach, and the amount of resources it gives to the Police Department and Fire Department, which have enabled the city to cut crime rates and improve public safety.

Tuesday’s results make the council – known by supporters and detractors alike as “Team Fontana” – look like a dominant sports organization picking up the free
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agent athlete they wanted in a retooling effort.

But Tahan won’t be its only pickup.

With Warren moving over to the mayor’s seat vacated by Frank Scialdone and Councilwoman Janice Rutherford heading to the Board of Supervisors after her victory over Second District Supervisor Paul Biane, the council will likely will decide against holding a costly special election. Instead, they could choose to appoint people to the two vacant seats.

That being the case, residents should expect the appointees to fall in line with a council that rarely fights publicly and certainly hasn’t seen in recent years the rancor commonly found on the dais in places like San Bernardino and Colton.

However, Roberts and Tahan said Thursday they are open to candidates who bring their own ideas to the table, as long as they are committed to “moving Fontana forward.”

“I don’t (agree) with Acquanetta and John on everything,” Tahan said. “I don’t think that’s a priority, to agree on everything I like.”

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