By Angel |Staff Writer|
An overflow of people crowding into the hallway of CSUSB’s theater as mayoral candidates Carey Davis and Wendy McCammack answered questions from the public and panel on Wednesday, Jan. 22, 2014.
Both candidates addressed claims of dishonesty while furthering their political stances on the city’s issues.
San Bernardino Generation Now partnered with CSUSB, The Sun, and the CSUSB chapter of Pi Sigma Alpha Honor Society to host the debate and town hall meeting.
The event drew more people than the 188-seat theater could hold making an overflow room required to accommodate the excess guests.
Both candidates started off by praising the audience for their turnout and although both agreed that significant change must be made in SB, their opinions differed on the best way do so.
“I strongly disagree with my opponent’s all-cuts approach,” said McCammack, quoted by Ryan Hagen in The Sun, accusing Davis of supporting the closure of fire stations and policies that would cause businesses to flee — policies she said were in line with former Mayor Pat Morris’ agenda.
Davis quickly disputed the allegation, saying that if Morris was running for re-election, he would have ran against him.
“That became the [police officers association] moniker, that I was Morris II,” said Davis. “Nothing could be further from the truth.”
During the debate, Davis argued for the revitalization of downtown SB and that we should seek help from the state.
McCammack said, “San Bernardino needs to stop being the poster child for homelessness.”
She would like to see more citizens become homeowners as opposed to living in apartment complexes.
“Home ownership needs to be on the forefront of the community,” said Davis.
When asked what principles they would uphold on controversial issues, both Davis and McCammack argued for clear communication and transparency with their citizens.
McCammack argued for no more “toxic budgeting,” while Davis argued that the city council has stripped too much money from the city’s budget and that they should stop doing so.
The questions were asked by a panel that consisted of San Bernardino Generation Now member Richard Tejada, Sun metro editor Ryan Carter, and CSUSB Political Science professor Alemayehu G. Mariam.
Members of the community also had the opportunity to write questions of their own on an index card so they could be read to the audience.
When asked what would each candidate do in order to take back the city from the gangs, both candidates said that changes would need to be made to the police force.
“We have had a revolving door of police chiefs these past couple of years,” said Davis, referring to the fact that San Bernardino has had a total of eight police chiefs in the past 12 years.
Davis also said that the city council has to make the police department feel supported, as it is the city council who picks the police chiefs.
McCammack argued that fighting crime starts at the home. She argued for attempting to increase police morale for stability.
The mayoral election will be held next month on February 4, 2014.