This was published as a political ad in the Record Gazette on 10/23/14
Why do you believe the Beaumont City Council race is so hotly contested this year?
I am feeling good about my part in this. I’m not an incumbent, so I’ve had no involvement in the budget deficits our city has created over the last four years. I’ve not been responsible for the potentially devastating $43 million judgment against Beaumont in the WRCOG lawsuit. I haven’t been sitting on the Council and just letting City staff run the show and make the decisions that affect all of us. It’s common sense that you can’t run your home on credit card debt. Well, we can’t continue to run our city on deficits either. It’s time for a change.
Do you feel the community is strongly behind you?
Yes. I may not have the support of Marion Ashley and some of the others that have influenced Beaumont elections for years. I have the support of the people, the police officers association, the homes and neighbors that I visit. It is their support I value, not the politicians. Many of my friends and neighbors have suggested that I am the “people’s candidate not the politicians’ candidate” and I don’t disagree with that.
What do you believe you have to offer Beaumont?
Beaumont is a city with great potential, we have plans to grow to sixty thousand people or more in the next decade. Running our city will become more and more like running a business. I have a degree in economics from UCLA and an MBA. I’ve worked for 16 years for the “best-run company” in the Pass—Esri. My wife, Marti, my children, Caitlin and Riley, and I love this community and are committed to serving it. I will bring to the City Council a fresh perspective and the new ideas we need. We can no longer afford the same old “feel good” decision-making that may have worked in the past. I have the integrity, intelligence and “no special interests” perspective we need now for decision making.
Your opponents claim all you do is complain, what would you do differently if elected?
Recognizing the problems we face and criticizing the status quo is not “complaining.” You can’t fix problems and do things better unless you acknowledge what the problems are. You can find my common-sense six-point plan for Beaumont on my website:LloydWhite4Beaumont.com. But let me suggest some critical areas in which we need to do better:
First, we need to stop approving City budgets that the City Council says are balanced but that our own auditors warn are running at dangerous deficit levels. We need to stop ignoring our own auditors when they tell us we are not making good financial choices.
Second, the City Council steers the ship. Right now we are sailing toward significant financial risks like the WRCOG judgment and other pending lawsuits. This is not “gloom and doom”; it is reality. And we wouldn’t even be talking about it now if we had the kind of knowledgeable leadership that took these risks more seriously and were more business and finance knowledgeable.
Beaumont is appealing the WRCOG decision, so why should we worry?
There is always the possibility that we could lose the appeal; there is no guarantee we will win. If we lose, Beaumont would owe $43 million (that’s more than $1,000 for every man, woman and child in our city) plus $8,000 a day in interest. What is our contingency plan if we should lose the appeal? How will we protect our taxpayers from this potential calamity? The appeal has provided the duck and cover the incumbents wanted in order to avoid having to talk about an issue that makes it clear we need a new direction and new leaders. We need a contingency plan. That’s what leaders do. Kicking the can down the road is not acceptable strategy.
You mention having strong support, who is aligning to support you?
I have been blessed with a family and friends who are providing financial and other support. The college friends I met some 30 years ago at UCLA when earning my economics degree have pitched in today because they recognize my integrity and honesty and my commitment to serving the public. Many other Beaumont citizens and small business owners understand that we need to improve the way our city does business if we hope to thrive and grow in the years to come. Most important, I am NOT being funded by the special interest PACS who have dominated Beaumont politics for years. I will serve the entire community. That’s the kind of City Councilman you deserve.
What do you say when your supporters ask you who else they should vote for?
If you have three considerations and recognize we need change then you will make your vote stronger by not adding it to the count of those who have not stepped up and voiced the need for change. One vote, vote for change – Lloyd White for Beaumont City Council