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November 8, 2016 — California General Election
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City of San JacintoCandidate for City Council

Photo of Russ Utz

Russ Utz

Small Business Owner
4,371 votes (20.52%)Winning
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My Top 3 Priorities

  • Public Safety - San Jacinto MUST figure out a way to maximize our dollars and coverage
  • Blight - Panhandling, Homeless issues, and Code Enforcement all need immediate attention.
  • Good Local Jobs - We need to advocate for infrastructure improvements in the valley that will attract the kind of jobs we need to reduce commutes.



Cal State University San Bernardino Bachelor's, Psychology (1994)


Russ was born in Orange CA. The family moved to Riverside, CA soon after.  He attended school in Riverside through high school at Arlington HS.  He worked his way through college at California State University San Bernardino with a Major in Psychology and a Minor in Communication.  He has worked several jobs, including having "done his time in fast food"; working as a Children's Group Home Administrator, Executive Director for a non profit providing medical services to homeless women, assistant manager at a computer store, and the last 16 years self-employed as a small business owner.


  • Riverside, CA - Parks and Recreation Volunteer
  • Riverside, CA - Arlington High School ASB
  • Riverside, CA - Jefferson Elementary PTA; President, Secretary
  • San Jacinto, CA - DeAnza Elementary PTO/PTA; President, Vice President
  • San Jacinto, CA - Monte Vista PTSA; Vice President, President
  • Hemet / San Jacinto Council PTA - Secretary, Board Member
  • San Jacinto Rotary
  • San Jacinto Chamber of Commerce; Founding Member, Secretary, Board Member
  • Hemet San Jacinto Valley Chamber of Commerce - Volunteer
  • Hemet/San Jacinto Habitat for Humanity
  • Community Pantry  - Volunteer
  • American Legion Post 848 - Volunteer
  • General Community Volunteer Project Organizing like the Fire Station 78 Clean Up.
  • San Jacininto Lions Club - President, Vice President, Publicity, Newsletter
  • San Jacinto Unified Measure V Oversight Committee - Co-Chair
  • City of San Jacinto Planning Commissioner

As you can see, Russ cares about the quality of the community.  Vote for Russ to keep improving San Jacinto. San Jacinto.improving San Jacinto.

Political Beliefs

Political Philosophy


As you should know, the city budget can not currently support the public safety coverage our citizens need and deserve.  I would like to comb through the budget and work to find excess spending; but that will not completely solve the problem.  We need to look creatively at new solutions for our public safety; and carefully explore what our options may be, while at the same time maintaining our relationships with Riverside County, but demanding better value for our dollars paid for their contract services.  The Riverside County Sherrif's Department just returned $14 Million dollars to the County General Fund this year; part of that could have been city contract over-payment for services.  Riverside County Sherrif's and Riverside County Fire/Cal-Fire both have fantastic people locally, they work hard and provide a great product for us; they are however,  expensive, and diminish local control and flexibility.


Like all the valued city employees, our code enforcement officers work hard.  However, our code enforcement structure is deficient.  We need coverage 7 days a week.  We need to hold land owners and residences responsible for glaring code violations that diminish our ability to enjoy our city.  We need to help businesses by keeping other businesses and vacant property owners accountable.  This can be done with a very low financial impact to the city; and actually could provide positive cash flow as violations as enforced.


We have a serious problem with panhandling.  Aggressive panhandlers hurt businesses by making citizens not feel safe when going shopping; visitors are given a terrible first impression of our city, and legitimate charities that could benefit from the dollars our very generous citizens give are instead starved for donations.  We must come together to do what we can to find a real solution to this issue.  If elected I would propose a collaborative approach to directly address the panhandling problem with the local non-profits, service clubs, businesses, concerned citizens and government offices to develop and implement a plan; including an education program for citizens to give directly to the organizations that serve the homeless instead of giving to the homeless.


While the city can not "will" or "demand" any business to come to our area; we can work with property owners and those businesses to help facilitate them coming.  We need to focus our long term goals of the city to continue to be business friendly, to make the necessary infrastructure improvements to allow for these businesses to come, and have the educated workforce they need.  We can do that via partnership.  MSJC, SJUSD and the city must do a better job of working together to promote to businesses and recruit them to come to San Jacinto.  If we can get some quality jobs here in the valley, it will greatly benefit everyone by taking people out of the commuting rut; freeing them up to spend more time in town - being involved with their children, frequenting our local businesses, and volunteering to make thte community better.  Of courrse the time and money they save by not commuting will also directly benefit local businesses providing even more jobs.




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