I was appointed to the Board to fill a vacancy in March 2018, and ran unopposed in November 2018 for reelection to a 4-year term. I spent 8 years in the US Navy as a Nuclear Propulsion Plant Engineer, and the last 25 years designing and selling commercial heating systems. I'm currently pursuing a degree in political science, and I'm pleased to be an active volunteer with the Central CA Animal Disaster Team and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).
I am also a member of the BVS Amateur Radio Team, a participant in the Challenge the Bear Bike Ride, an equestrian who enjoys trail and limited distance endurance riding, drummer in a local band, a cyclist (both road and mountain biking) and a Beekay Theater actor.
My primary goal as a Board member is to ensure that in ten years, no one asks the question 'what were they thinking?'. Another important goal is to build a "unity of purpose" between the BVSA and BVCSD for the benefit of the Bear Valley Springs community.
My wife Lois and I first experienced Bear Valley Springs when we built our weekend cabin here in 1980, but our involvement in the local community was minimal as we lived in Los Angeles. As retirement loomed closer we explored Texas and Northern California, but nothing was as attractive as Bear Valley Springs. We bought our home on the valley floor in 1998, and I retired as a Marketing Executive with Hehr Windows in 2005.
Within a few years Lois and I became involved in the community, including volunteer committees within the BVSA and with the BVCSD. I was elected to the BVSA Board of Directors from 2010 to 2016: one year as Treasurer, five as President. Over time I deemed the recurrent cycle of BVCSD Directors was less than productive, and felt they were being elected based on an unrealistic understanding of the issues facing the valley. This inspired me to apply, and be appointed to, one of the Board positions opening in Fall 2018.
We have reached a time in the 50 year history of Bear Valley Springs when much of the infrastructure has aged to the point that a major investment in repair and replacement must be made. If not done, the valley cannot remain livable. Arguments have made about past Board and Management decisions; some were good, some likely not. Given the changes in laws since the inception of Bear Valley Springs, BVCSD faces some hard choices. Many of them will be unpopular, but necessary.
We now have a great staff, and a Board of Directors willing to meet the challenges head on. To accomplish what is required, we need Will, Organization, and Resources. We're two-thirds of the way there.
After graduating from Notre Dame High School in Sherman Oaks, California, I attended California State University, Northridge, on a partial scholarship for music performance. I played the oboe and English horn in all performance groups. While completing my studies I worked as a freelance musician all over Southern California and managed a music store in Van Nuys. In 1996 I was accepted by the California Highway Patrol. After completing my training, I was assigned to the West Valley Area Office. I ultimately became a departmental instructor, a felony investigator for the West Valley Area, a field training officer, and a drug recognition expert and instructor, where I taught hundreds of officers from around the world. I have received specialized training in accident reconstruction, violent crime analysis, latent fingerprint detection and comparison, and grant writing.
In 2005, my wife, Allison, and I were looking to move our family away from Los Angeles. I knew nothing about Bear Valley Springs or the Tehachapi area. As an investigator, I was sent to Tehachapi to interview an inmate for an important case. It was then that I discovered this wonderful place we've called our home for the last fourteen years. In 2007 I transferred to the Mojave Area Office where I continued to train new officers, instruct, and serve as the Mojave Area school bus, vehicle identification number identification specialist, and tow company liaison officer. Our daughter and son went to Cummings Valley Elementary School and both graduated from Tehachapi High School. Our son went on to serve in the United States Army and is working in law enforcement in Washington State. Our daughter became a registered dental assistant and is working for a local dentist and living in town with her husband and our granddaughter.
During our first eight years, I paid little attention to our local government; but after that things began to change. Maintenance of our beautiful community was being neglected, our Boards were pursuing increased assessments and new fees, and I found several instances of wasteful spending that no government should be engaged in. It was then that I became more engaged in how our community is being run. Upon my retirement after 24 ½ years with the California Highway Patrol, I ran for my current seat on the Board of Directors and was the leading candidate of five candidates running for two open seats.
The oath that we take as Directors is similar to the oath I took as a peace officer; to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America and the Constitution of the State of California. To me, keeping this oath means maintaining a balance of your rights as a homeowner and taxpayer and ensuring our local government is run responsibly.
Like you, I view Bear Valley Springs as a truly special place and one worth preserving. To me, this means exhibiting leadership to sustain a unique quality of life through safe roads, a strong and independent police agency, protection of our unique physical landscape, and financial decision-making that will allow every tax and rate payer the assurance that they are achieving value for their investment.
I hold a degree in Urban Planning from USC and have spent 24 years as a public-sector City Planner and real estate professional, building communities that provide a high quality of life for residents. This experience has provided me with the technical skill to balance budgets, manage construction, and advance public policy in a community forum.
In addition, as a civilian, I was privileged to receive executive leadership training at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. This experience has given me a perspective on leadership that centers around critical thinking, consensus building and valuing input from all stakeholders.
Once my wife Lorrie and I stumbled upon Bear Valley Springs, there was no alternative living area that could compete. We were drawn to the community by the mountain views, guarded gate, internal police and fire departments, and the affable people who live here. We love the lifestyle that affords us block parties, abundant wildlife, horses, golf, and the Country Club.
I began attending board meetings to understand the direction our community was headed. Meeting after meeting, I realized that the current board was mirroring the movie "Groundhog Day" - the same things happened over and over. There was a lot of argument, both internally and externally, unprofessional chatter, and no action.
It is no secret that the infrastructure has been ignored for many years, resulting in deteriorating roads, water system, building structure safety, and mailboxes that will cost more to replace than it would have to repair them over the years. I felt that we could not let this lack of leadership direction continue. The system was broken, and the leaders needed to be replaced. The question I asked myself was "What do 'We the People' need to do?" My personal answer was running for the CSD Board of Directors.
We know what the past has been, but we need to look to the future to protect and preserve our valley. I am focused on long term strategic plans that will outlast the elected cycles, and an open door with residents that embraces honesty, integrity, commitment, and common sense. I know that the people of Bear Valley Springs are at their best when we work together to face and solve problems.