Monday, June 8, 2009

Rikke Van Johnson to Host Town Hall Meetin

San Bernardino Mayor Pro Tem Rikke Van Johnson, top photo and City Manager Charles McNeely, bottom photo, along with Chief of Police Keith Kilmer, will present information about projects taking place in Ward 6 (Johnson's area of representation) and elsewhere in the city at a Town Hall Meeting on Thursday, June 18.

(SAN BERNARDINO, Calif.) On Thursday, June 18, 2009 Mayor Pro Tem and Sixth Ward Councilman Rikke Van Johnson will host a Town Hall Meeting & Report at the Inghram Community Center, 2050 N. Mt Vernon Avenue beginning at 6:30 p.m. This will be an opportunity to inform the Sixth Ward residents about the city’s budget and how it will impact their neighborhoods.

City Manager Charles McNeely and Chief of Police Keith Kilmer, who both became employed by San Bernardino on June1, 2009, will both speak during Johnson’s Town Hall Meeting.

“This is an opportunity for Sixth Ward residents to meet their new city manager and their new chief of police,” said Johnson, who has represented the Sixth Ward since 2004. “Both of these gentlemen are quality individuals and I’m excited about the City’s possibilities and the improvements that will be achieved under their inspired leadership.”

Voices 4 Change will also have a presentation. “Voices 4 Change is a powerful grassroots and social action campaign, that draws on the recognized capacity of photography and poetry to effectively reach and connect to people emotionally while serving as a platform to achieve a transformation of individuals and environments,” Johnson said.

Johnson will also discuss projects in his presentation to the community including:

  • State Street Widening – State Street will be widened from the 210 freeway to Foothill Boulevard, thus creating the last major north-south arterial street that can be built in San Bernardino. The project is now in the design phase. When completed this four-lane arterial will have bicycle lanes (the first in the Sixth Ward) and meandering sidewalks. It also will improve access between California State University San Bernardino, Arroyo Valley High School and Colton High School.

  • Route 66 – This historic federal highway runs through the Sixth Ward, including neighborhoods experiencing economic blight. However, a new McDonald’s restaurant opened on Route 66 recently, the first major chain restaurant to open on the Westside since 1992. This restaurant and other new developments nearby are fueling economic revitalization in the area. The NorthWest Redevelopment Project Area Committee is focusing efforts to improve this historic corridor as well. These plans will be highlighted.

  • Meridian Apartments – This 18-unit apartment complex, at one time owned by 14 different owners, has long been a hangout for drug dealers and other criminals. The city has acquired eight of these units, with three to be demolished before the end of the month. Eventually, Johnson says, the city hopes to acquire and demolish all the units, extend the cul-de-sac on which these apartments are located to create a through street, and offer the vacant property for potential development opportunities.

Rikke Van Johnson represents the Sixth Ward on the City Council of San Bernardino, where he has lived for most of his life. He is the manager for Greenwood Bail Bonds, and previously worked for 27 years as a clerk for the United States Postal Service.

For more information about the Town Hall Meeting, please call Eddie Catoe or Brenda Erickson at (909) 888-0017.