Riverside, of all of the counties in Southern California, has the best hope for wealth and prosperity for its inhabitants. We have the resources, the people, and the good old fashioned ethic of hard work and determination that won the west. It is alive and thriving in our hearts. This is our strength and our success: We are not snowflakes, we are people who shape the world and make it a better place no matter the challenge.
While around California municipalities are failing, crushed by the weight of budgetary malfeasance, very poor management decisions, and corruption scandals, Riverside county has been fortunate. There have been some problems but we are people of a different stripe than you find in the urban areas. We are old school Californians and still maintain those social, community and family values that made this the greatest state in the nation.
This is why we are so well positioned for what is coming. As the economy recovers, Riverside is the first area looked at by businesses and developers seeking opportunities in the rich economy of Southern California. While many regions around California are still trying to dig themselves out of a hole, we will thrive. But we have a major problem that could spoil it all for us.
The reason why so many cities went bankrupt in California is that city managers, county administrators and local officials at all levels were pulled into programs that encouraged expensive and wasteful policies. Our officials were talked into one foolish freebie after another ignoring the expensive strings attached or the long term effect it has on depressing our economy.
While a natural, deep rooted wisdom kept most Riverside communities from overdoing it, our county government made a serious policy shift that was very popular in liberal cities but should never have happened here. When there was tons of money flowing during the housing bubble, we foolishly start passing laws as if the boom would never end.
Right now, without significant changes, Riverside could miss its rightful place on the top of the crest of economic recovery. These policies drove housing prices higher here than just about anywhere, and when the bubble burst sent us crashing harder than just about anyone else in the country. We need to reverse this mistake before it is too late.
When we do this, we will prepare our county for prosperity and we will be prepared to capture and keep it this time.