The Riverside City Council is discussing whether to name City Hall after Mayor Ron Loveridge.

FROM STAFF REPORTS
Published: 16 October 2011 05:58 PM

A campaign alliance between San Bernardino City Attorney Jim Penman and city clerk candidate Amelia Sanchez Lopez is raising eyebrows among longtime election watchers and concern among those who would like to see the pair defeated.

Not only has Penman contributed almost $3,000 this year to Sanchez Lopez for signs and mailers, Penman and Sanchez Lopez also have placed their names on the same signs posted around the city in advance of the Nov. 8 election.

Rachel Clark, retiring after 20 years as city clerk and who is not endorsing any candidates, said she has never seen candidates for unrelated offices on the same signs.

Sanchez Lopez said that as a first-time candidate she lacked name recognition and money. She said she discussed alliances with several candidates, including Penman, before joining him. They have known each other for 35 years, said Penman, who has held the office 24 years.

Sanchez Lopez is a city planning commissioner and works for the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health.

Those who oppose Penman consider him a power-grabber and empire-builder, and they worry that he would try to gain influence in the city clerk’s office if both win. The city clerk runs local elections and is the keeper of public records, among other duties.

“You would have an alliance that certainly would create the perception in the public that both offices are not independent, that they are working in conjunction with each other,” said David McKenna, Penman’s challenger for city attorney.

Penman responded that Sanchez Lopez — “one of the most honest people I have ever met,” he said — told him from the beginning that she would not do him any favors.

“Miss Lopez and I are the only two being open in public about our support for one another,” Penman said. “The mayor (Pat Morris) is out putting up signs for Mr. McKenna. Jim Smith and other strong supporters of the mayor have been escorting (city clerk candidate) Esther Jimenez around town, introducing her.”

LOVERIDGE CITY HALL?

What a difference a week makes. After enthusiastically supporting a proposal to rename Riverside City Hall for Mayor Ron Loveridge when it came up Oct. 4, Councilman Steve Adams now says it’s “not the time” to consider the change.

The proposal, which the council will take up again Oct. 25, would honor the mayor’s 32 years of service by dubbing the seat of city government the Ronald O. Loveridge Riverside City Hall when he retires in 2012. The idea came from a private committee of citizens and officials, which ruffled the feathers of some residents.

Several council members, including Adams, initially were in support, but when two members wanted more time to vet it with the public, the others agreed to a delay. Adams’ position has apparently evolved since then.

Here’s what Adams said on the dais Oct. 4: “There is no person more deserving of this honor than Ron Loveridge. … If two weeks is what it takes I’ll wait two weeks, but I guarantee you in two weeks my vote’s going to be absolutely yes.”

And here’s his response at a Wednesday forum: “Now is not the time to ask that question. He’s still in office. … The people need to decide, ‘How do we say thank you to Ron Loveridge (for) your 30 years,’ and I don’t think a committee has that authority to do it. It needs to go to the people.”

FINDING BILL POSTMUS

Former San Bernardino County supervisor and assessor Bill Postmus may be a hard man to track down. Except when he must appear at a scheduled court hearing.

As a result, it’s where process servers come to hand him. Friday was no different.

Postmus was sitting in the front row of a San Bernardino County courtroom waiting for a routine hearing — his sentencing got delayed until March — when a man in light-colored blazer approached him and handed over an envelop of paperwork.

Postmus had been served again. In this case, Postmus said, a subpoena from the attorney representing former County Administrative Officer Mark Uffer, who is suing the county for wrongful termination.

LEAL FACES POSSIBLE FINE

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