Rick Gibbs works for hospital, university, exporting local goods
Thursday, September 16, 2010
By Nelsy Rodriguez
Councilman Rick Gibbs' vision for Murrieta's future is so clear that he won't rest until he can touch it.
Gibbs, 64, is completing his fifth year as a councilman.
One of the achievements he's most proud of is of his role in bringing Loma Linda University Medical Center -- Murrieta to the city. He said that if he's re-elected, he will continue pursuing businesses that offer the services that Murrieta needs until all the pieces are where they should be on the board.
"The city is a living, breathing organism," Gibbs said. "It's not static. It changes all the time. You can't rest on your laurels; you have to keep looking forward."
Gibbs is one of eight people running for three seats on the City Council. The other candidates are Kelly Bennett, 45, an attorney who specializes in mediation; Douglas Gibbs, 44, a truck driver and political writer; David Landriscina, 55, a power plant operator; Alan Long, 40, a fire captain; Emilia Rychener, 41, a nonprofit consultant; Gary Thomasian, 58, a small-business owner; and Susan Vombaur, 49, a civil engineer.
The council is charged with steering the city while managing a reduced spending plan of $36.1 million. Council members now receive a $600 monthly stipend plus an additional $105 for attending Fire and Community Services district meetings. Council members also are eligible for health, vision, dental and life insurance through the city.
If voters choose to re-elect Gibbs, he said the over-arching theme of his next term would be to provide a high quality of life, meaning Murrieta's residents could "work, live and play," all within the city.
While the goal is broad, Gibbs said he and other council members have already laid much of the fundamental groundwork to allow for the development of businesses that will bring high-paying jobs, which will help pay for police and fire services and entice entertainment venues to open here as well.
In terms of jobs, Gibbs was the first from the city to discuss with local physicians the possibility of opening a teaching hospital and remained involved in each step of the process as the physicians drafted their plan and secured funding, partnered with Loma Linda University Medical Center, moved on a fast track through the city entitlement process and began construction at the end of 2008.
The first phase of the hospital is scheduled to open in early 2011, bringing with it hundreds of jobs in the medical field and, Gibbs said, a new interest in building in the area northeast of Clinton Keith Road, which today remains mostly undeveloped.
"I declared this the No. 1 priority in the city," Gibbs said of Loma Linda -- Murrieta. "For that section of town, we'll look at Loma Linda as the incubator for other businesses: pharmacies, hospital supply ... And you'll also need restaurants, you'll need hotels, and this is all (related to) job creation."'
Like his colleagues, Gibbs also believes that Loma Linda -- Murrieta's opening coupled with the council's efforts to recruit institutes of higher education will result in a synergy that will propel the city out of the "bedroom community" category and into a bustling hub for medical professionals.
"We have a lot of educated people in the area, but not necessarily educated in biotechnology (to complement the hospital)," he said. "So that's the symbiotic relationship that you need."
Another goal that Gibbs said he would aggressively pursue if re-elected is helping local businesses get into the exporting game.
Gibbs, along with his council colleagues Bennett and Thomasian, has played host to delegations from Indonesia and Iraq as they've visited Southern California in search of business opportunities and government models to copy. And as a board member of the California Inland Empire Import Export Council, Gibbs fathered another idea of opening a room in one of the city buildings in which local business owners could receive information and counseling on how to export to foreign nations.
"(President Barack Obama) said we need to increase our exports," Gibbs said. "We have businesses in this area that can do that."
Gibbs lives in Murrieta with his wife. His daughter, son-in-law and one of two grandchildren also live in the city.
Additions to houses exempt from street fixes
Council takes final step to remove $10,000 fee
Sunday, September 12, 2010
By Nelsy Rodriguez
Adding on to a home is never cheap, but recent action taken by the Murrieta City Council will make it at least a little less expensive for some homeowners...
Now, property owners whose homes are on unimproved streets will be allowed to add 720 square feet to thier homes once in five years without having to upgrade the road...
"The whole reason for doing that was to right a wrong that was enshrined in our code," Councilman Rick Gibbs said. "I think this is absolutely the right thing to do to help our citizens."
"What struck me was that in our code, we had enshrined a travesty where people who owned a home wanted to make a small addition and the street hadn't been improved and now we were asking them to pay thousands of dollars to build that road," Gibbs said...
Thanks to the council's decision last month, the owners of single-family homes will have an easier time if they want to add up to 72 square feet to their house.
Riverside officials agree to front I-215 widening money
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
The Press Enterprise
By Dub Begley
A planned widening of Interstate 215 is too important to wait until
California's budget squabbles are settled, Riverside County transportation officials said...
The Riverside County Transportation Commission budget committee on Monday approved using $9 million of
county sales tax collections to absorb money the state cannot provide right now. The plan calls for the
California Transportation Commission to approve the loan in September, which obligates the state to repay
the transportation commission when the money is available. Without a state budget approved by the Legislature
and governor, millions of dollars in state transportation funds are in limbo...
Keeping the project -- the first of three sections along I-215 planned for widening -- set for an early 2011 construction start is
crucial, officials said. Some noted the Loma Linda University Medical Center and a proposed Walmart Supercenter on Scott Road will
send more cars along the freeway.
"Any type of delay will certainly risk the project and end up punishing the people of the region," said Murrieta Councilman Rick Gibbs.
Murrieta official's pay cut vow symbolic but meaningful
Saturday, July 24, 2010
The Press Enterprise
By Carl Love
In this brutal economy, pay cuts are the norm. And that's if you're lucky enough to have a job.
Business workers, teachers, cops - they're all taking home less while inflation keeps going up.
With all this compensation carnage going on, is it too much to ask politicians to join the club?
That's one way to interpret the message from Murrieta City Councilman Rick Gibbs, who's volunteering to take a 5 percent pay cut to show
solidarity with city employees who are taking similar reductions.
The police union even has agreed to postpone 6 percent pay hikes already in their contract.
Council members earn $600 a month for those duties, meaning Gibbs will give up $360 in a year.
"While this is such a small amount that it will not make any difference to our budget, I hope it is seen as a signal that Council understands
the pain our employees are experiencing," he says.
Murrieta police union member Jay Froboese gets Gibbs' signal loud and clear.
"It does show he's willing to share in the pain everybody is dealing with,"
Gibbs knows layoffs: His job in business development for Northrop Grumman is no more at the end of the month.
As for his hometown, since he was mayor in 2008, Gibbs says Murrieta has left 25 positions unfilled, eliminated seven part-time jobs and laid off another 15 full-time
"I certainly understand what the magnitude of the employee sacrifice has been in terms of angst, worry and uncertainty," he says.
His actions, modest as they may be, speak even louder than his words.
Cyclist Landis admits doping, embarrassing Murrieta
Tuesday, May 25, 2010
The Press Enterprise
By Carl Love
Five-year Murrieta City Councilman Rick Gibbs said he doesn't regret how the city handled the Landis case. Gibbs
argued that the cyclist "deserved the presumption of innocence until the facts could prove otherwise."
Now that the facts prove him guilty (Landis), Gibbs is questioning how society chooses heroes. While Landis was celebrated
despite the cloud of suspicion that surrounded him, more authentic heroes such as Murrieta firefighters and police
officers went relatively unpublicized. Not to mention all the military folks who reside here.
"Should the heroism that these soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines exhibit every day be denigrated by speaking
of sports stars in a similar way?" Gibbs asked.
We all know the answer to that.
The councilman also pointed to how we raise kids with the message that what's important is how you play the game,
not whether you win or lose.
"Yet coaches routinely drill the winning-is-everything philosophy into our children," Gibbs said.
So what should we be teaching our kids instead of the Landis winning-trumps-everything-else school of thought? Gibbs
says we should stress what a great country we live in.
"It got to be that way because ordinary people with strong values accomplished extraordinary things," he said.
Hospital board members appointed
Thursday, July 22, 2010
By Nelsy Rodriguez
Southwest Healthcare Systems has named a new chairman and appointed five new business respresentatives who are prominent in the community...
Murrieta Councilman Rick Gibbs, who was a vocal advocate of replacing the former board members with people who are familiar with the region, said
Wednesday that he was impressed with the selection, and that he hopes the nonmedical background of five of the new members will offer a needed balance
to the process.
"You need a board that is truly independent," Gibbs said. "A board that has credibility is one that feels they are at liberty to speak their minds."...
Leaders seek health care options
Thursday, July 23, 2010
By Nelsy Rodriguez
Although the most immediate threat to health care in Southwest county has been circumvented...
members of the Southwest Cities Coalition plan to ask representatives from every major Southern California health care provider to consider building
new facilities in the area. The coalition is composed of two council members from Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Menifee, Wildomar and Canyon Lake, as well as the city
manager of each city...
"(Hospitals) are looking for numbers, well we've got numbers," said Murrieta City Councilman Rick Gibbs, who proposed that the coalition tackle the issue. "If we send out invitations to 25
different providers, we'll be lucky if we get three, but that's three more than we're talking to now."...
Thursday's meeting came a day after Southwest Healthcare announced the appointment of a new board of govenors chairman and five new board members.
Discussing the board appointments, Gibbs said the new board members, who are all prominent members of the local business community, have a responsibility to the public to
serve as more than just a hospital public relations tool.
"If (Southwest Healthcare) is not willing to listen... to suggestions, (board members) should be willing to fall on their sword and resign," Gibbs said during the meeting. "And that should be done in a very public manner."
This is our chance to build a full service hospital
By Gilbert Marrero
I would like to respond to Dr. Laurence Boggeln's July 25 forum, "Teamwork key to Southwest County Health Care," urging the dedicated, excellent doctors of our
community, as well as civic leaders, to join him (he is chairman of Southwest Health Care System's board of governors) in "ushering a new culture of excellence in health care in
Dr. Boggeln, Murrieta Councilman Rick Gibbs is heading a new coalition of Southwest County cities to study our area's health care problems and invite medical centers of excellence
to consider opening a new facility in our area. This effort should be supported by all of us...
Gilbert Marrero is a retired doctor who lives in Temecula