Gibbs Pledges to Keep Murrieta Moving 'On Right Track'

Saying "we're on the right track" and pledging to lend his experience to the continuation of that course, Rick Gibbs has o...

Saying "we're on the right track" and pledging to lend his experience to the continuation of that course, Rick Gibbs has opened his campaign for re-election to the Murrieta City Council.

Gibbs has served on the City Council since 2005 and has played a major role in spearheading efforts to bring more jobs to the city and help reduce the number of long-distance commuters. Through his assignment on the Regional Medical Facility Task Force, he has been instrumental in helping to facilitate the revitalization of Southwest Health Care, which includes Inland Valley Medical Center and Rancho Springs Medical Center.

He was also the driving force behind the expansion of Loma Linda's Murrieta facility into a full-service hospital. In addition, he played a key role in the city's agreement with Kaiser Permanente to bring a medical center and possibly a hospital to the city.

Gibbs' impact on the improved medical facilities in Murrieta has helped enhance medical care, has provided additional jobs, and speaks to his overall vision for the city.

"My primary goal is to focus on the quality of life," said Gibbs, who spent 32 years in military service. "Most of us moved here in the first place because of the area's beauty, natural environment, public safety and excellent educational system. What's lacking is the fact two-third of the residents commute long distances to another county for work.

"The median family income is $102,000 a year, so we know they have decent jobs. It just takes away from their families to spend two hours on the freeway. We must continue to push economic development in our city."

The challenge, Gibbs says, is rebuilding the city's economy in the wake of the recent recession, while holding growth at a reasonable rate to match demands on traffic and other needs.

"Murrieta led all of Riverside County in getting back jobs following the recession, but not as much as we'd hoped," he said. "We're starting to see more projects come to fruition, but we need to continue to move forward.

"I'm running for re-election because my core beliefs tell me we're on the right track with what the current city council is doing."

One of the programs Gibbs takes pride in being a part of is the Murrieta Regional Technology Innovation Center. Start-up technology businesses are provided low-cost office space in the former City Hall facility and are provided resources to help those businesses grow.

"Start-up businesses have a lot of potential, but they can use assistance in the beginning," Gibbs said. "We're trying to create jobs for the future. That's why I meet with the superintendent of schools to maintain a relationship between the city and the school district. First graders are being schooled for jobs that don't even exist yet. We need to make sure we're prepared to provide those jobs.

"We want to plan for more high-tech manufacturing, more medical device manufacturing, software development ... we're trying to get away from the perception of 'smokestack' industry. There's a perception that manufacturing in the U.S. is on its last legs. Nothing could be further from the truth."

Gibbs is running for one of three available council seats in the Nov. 4 election.

Murrieta 24/7 will continue to profile candidates for city government on a regular basis as individuals prepare for the November election.


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