Originally posted April 5, 2019
BARSTOW — When Paul Courtney moved back into the city, his first priority was his daughter, followed closely by the community he’s called home for decades.
But he couldn’t help but pick up on an apparent disconnect between the City Council and the community they serve as he began attending meetings.
“There just seemed to be a lack of listening from those seated at the dais,” Courtney said.
Courtney soon becoming a regular — and often vocal — presence at regular meetings, where he wasn’t afraid to butt heads with the Council or speak out on any issues he felt were important to the community.
Courtney is now embarking on a major step that may get him closer to the people seated at the dais than before. Courtney, 57, announced he planned to run for mayor next year.
“I’ve been considering it for some time now,” Courtney said. “But after Monday night’s meeting, I got so many people asking me if I was going to run, I just thought I’d go ahead and announce it.”
Courtney said he knows it’s still early to start campaigning, but he categorized the announcement as an example of his platform.
“I’ve been hearing from so many people about it already,” Courtney said. “In the interest of transparency, I thought it was best to just announce my intent right away.”
Courtney, who founded PACE Janitorial Services in 1986, said his campaign will focus on four issues: transparency, public safety, education, and economic development.
“Economic development won’t come to Barstow if there’s a problem with education, if there’s a problem with public safety, or with transparency,” Courtney said. “So I plan to address all of these to make a better Barstow.”
The Mayor’s seat and two seats on the Council, representing the city’s District 3 and District 4, will open up next year. Courtney is the first candidate to officially announce his intention to run. Mayor Julie Hackbarth-McIntyre has not officially announced if she plans to seek re-election.
Victorville Daily Press