On Wednesday, December 10th the Riverside County BIA was fortunate to feature Senator Mike Morrell as speaker, wrapping up yet another year of Legislative Action Committee gatherings where our members and friends to the industry have benefited from the opportunity to hear and weigh in on a host of topics from a diverse group of speakers. Once again our event yielded standing room only record attendance. The BIA wishes to sincerely thank WRCOG for once again sponsoring our Annual Holiday LAC. We greatly appreciate their support and our longstanding partnership.
Senator Morrell was first elected to office in 2010, to an Assembly seat emerging victorious from a crowded field and heavily outspent. He recently won a special election to replace former Senator Bill Emmerson when he surprised everyone by announcing an early retirement prior to finishing out his term. This time the advantage was his yet it wasn't taken for granted as he finished 1st well above the 50% mark required to avoid a run-off.
Mike is no stranger to the BIA having previously served on the Board of Directors for the BIA Baldy View Chapter. Prior to serving in the State Legislature, Mike was a Realtor and had his own Mortgage and Lending Business.
Senator Morrell addressed the BIA with an insider perspective on the challenges and opportunities he faces up in the State Capitol. He defined himself as a champion for business owners and taxpayers explaining that California’s financial challenges aren't a matter of there not being enough tax dollars to go around, the problem is that it gets siphoned from where it truly belongs as Government services and agencies are duplicated and triplicated and a over-sized bureaucracy comes with a super-sized price tag. Additionally, business owners face increasing regulations and fees that are always on the rise as the Government uses them as a revenue source to grow government. Morrell briefly discussed his views on topics crucial to the industry such as school facilities funding and the recently passed water bond. Senator Morrell is a local favorite and we thank him for taking the time to speak with our membership.
Several of our local elected longtime friends and newly elected leaders joined us as well. Of note was former Supervisor, now Senator Jeff Stone who like Morrell emerged victorious after being heavily outspent and enduring vicious personal attacks from a tactless competitor. His victory is of course bitter sweet for the industry as we are thrilled by his win however it leaves big shoes to fill at the County level and a hole that must be appointed by the current version of Governor Jerry Brown. While there is much speculation as to who might be chosen to fill the post, all bets are off as Brown has demonstrated considerable independence in his recent Governing venture.
Lastly, our year ends on a somber note as the Board says good-bye to a friend that has served on it in Riverside for some 12+ years. Michael Brandman has been somewhat of a permanent fixture in this chapter and we are exceptionally sad to see him step down. That being said, we do not expect him to be a stranger as he plans to participate in Baldy-View as much of his business is now found in San Bernardino County and our events are second to none so I imagine he’ll stop by from time to time. Thank you Michael Brandman, for your years of highly valued and appreciated service to this Chapter, our Organization and this Industry.
From your team at BIA Government Affairs we would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah and Happy Holidays as we break to enjoy some much needed rejuvenation time with our families and loved ones.