City Council candidate Reese Hogg III

Spotlight on the Candidates

City Council candidate Reese Hogg III “I would say the biggest motivating factor behind my running for council is that if I am going to live here and be a part of the community, I want to serve as best I can and put into the community what I can to make it the best place to live.”

Reese Hogg III is a realtor with Coldwell Banker, a youth pastor, a musician and a family man. “I moved here with my parents back in 1983, and I’ve been here ever since. Up until last year, I thought that Ridgecrest was the safest place to raise a family. I don’t exactly believe that now, but I think it can be.”

On July 30, 2017, Hogg’s son, Malik Mallett, was killed at a party. The controversial homicide never went to trial.

“Over the last 17 years, serving as a youth minister in Ridgecrest, I have worked with all types of young people of every race, ethnicity, upbringing and family dynamic. I’ve never dealt with a young person being killed in such a violent way.

“I believe that there are a lot of things that go on here in the community, our struggles and challenges, that we refuse to confront. Many of these challenges are affecting our young people. I would like to see these problems dealt with at a higher level than a youth group or a church,” said Hogg.

“We have activities available for teens, but most of them revolve around sports. There seems to be a growing movement toward theater and performing arts, as well. But for the most part I think our community is behind on how many resources we have dedicated to opportunities for our youth. Even with financial constraints, I think we can find more ways to get our young people involved, offer them a voice and a seat at the table. And not just them, but anyone who feels overlooked.”

Hogg said that he also wants to address the lack of unity. “We have so many issues that divide us, but I think we are better than that. We have great potential to have conversations without inserting things that keep us from achieving our goals.”

Diversity of opinion can be a strength, he said. “I think one thing I bring to the city is an ability to see things from different angles. My mission in life is not to serve myself, but to understand where other people are coming from.”

Hogg said that he is not an expert on groundwater and some of the other issues facing the city. “But I can take in the information and try to understand the points of view from all sides.

“With the water situation, we are being told by one portion that we are in extreme overdraft. There is another group that says that’s not reality, that there are other studies that show different results. As a city, and as a community, we would do well not to jump to assumptions. I want to look at the information with logic, reason understanding, and not throw emotion into things.”

His position on the casino, he said, is that “Ridgecrest should be the priority. I’m for Ridgecrest, if that means there is a casino here or there is not.

“I will not use my position to keep the casino from coming here, but I will not doing anything to manipulate the casino into coming here either. My concern is, if it does come, that Ridgecrest benefits from it and we mitigate negative impacts, said Hogg.

“I am not experienced in public office, but I am experienced in people. I think that’s what matters the most here. If we don’t have a government for the people, by the people, we might as well not have it at all.”

Story First Published: 2018-10-12