Paul Foster

Councilman Paul “Crotchety” Foster

Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 08:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, September 24, 2014 – 10:30 a.m.

The Redlands Chamber of Commerce held a City Council candidate forum Tuesday night.

Six of seven candidates on the ballot appeared for the ninety minute event held in the Council Chambers at Redlands City Hall.

The candidates, incumbents Paul Foster and Jon Harrison, Businessman Paul Barich, Businessman Neil Derry, Former Marketing Specialist Jane Dreher and Businessman Paul Montgomery, were all very articulate and mostly well-informed on community issues.

The only political entertainment of the evening was from Foster.

Foster’s disgust, or for that matter fear of Derry was front and center. Pretty much every answer to every question from Foster was a shot at Derry. Eventually the tactic drew groans from the crowd of spectators.

Yes, for Councilman Foster the evening was all about Mr. Derry. Talk about being preoccupied!

One thing was made real clear last night. Foster was attempting to paint Derry as a interloper, who previously served on a city council (San Bernardino) that was divisive, and that type of persona wasn’t needed in Redlands. Foster kept poking at Derry without success, nor Derry didn’t bite on Foster’s jabs. A smart move that made Foster look bad.

I don’t think I’m stretching here, but in the end, it was Foster that came across like a crotchety, bickering old man.

The contest has a field of seven candidates, with six actively campaigning for three open seats. Candidate Tabetha Wittenmyer has publicly withdrawn.

***This story has been modified to remove reference that Orange County-based political consultant Dave Ellis is connected to the Foster campaign. Both parties have refute the assertion.