Meet the Candidates: Lori Acton

Ridgecrest City Council

Rebecca Neipp

News Review Staff Writer

Meet the Candidates: Lori ActonLori Acton said that she is running for City Council, “because I’ve did it before for four years, so I know how it works.”

Her background includes serving as a field representative for former Supervisor Jon McQuiston, working at her father’s business, working at a bank and as a private consultant.

“I’ve got the experience and the passion and the drive. And I enjoy it. I miss doing it. I miss serving the public.”

Acton said that she is concerned about the candidates who lack experience on the council. “It’s hard. It takes you at least a year to learn on the job. We need more. We need people who have been there a little bit. Or who have done it before. That can navigate a little easier.

“We’ve overcome massive earthquakes. It’s been a year. We recovered great then we got hit with the pandemic. We’ve got wildfires going on, which is normal … but if we put in all three newbies, it’s going to be really tough to get stuff done.”

Acton served on the council from 2012-16. She ran again in 2016, but was not elected. “I didn’t try as hard last time, to be honest. She said she was in the middle of a trial against someone who had hurt her, “and my attention was divided … I am in a better position now to give it my all.”

If elected, “it’s all about our small businesses. As we try to reopen and we are going through this era, and Ridgecrest itself needs the help. We have the base. That is our bread and butter, that is our backbone. But if we don’t diversify, and we need to … especially now with the way things are going in our economy and my background in that, we are in a good position to market Ridgecrest as a whole.”

She said that she is a consultant in “media marketing” for clients such as Robber’s Roost and the proposed casino – “getting out there on the media and using the different social platforms and doing the advertising, marketing, driving business with ideas.”

Acton came under criticism from her colleagues and constituents in her previous term for accepting employment with Pertexa, a company that was given hundreds of thousands of dollars in grants by the city, and with the casino. She voted yes on both proposals.

She said that she was not employed by Pertexa directly, but as a temporary staffer. “I haven’t worked for the casino in well over a year. And anything dealing with them I’ll just refuse [sic] myself and solve the problem. That way there’s not even the appearance of impropriety because I still don’t want that to happen. But as far as I know, that is a done deal. And I still support it.”

Acton said that she approved of the recent adoption of the water replenishment fee by the IWV Groundwater Authority (which includes a delegate from the council). “I think it’s the smart thing to do. I think if we can get the funds together so we can purchase when we have to we will be a step ahead of it,” she said.

“We’ve been a very reactive community, always. But they are being very proactive in their approach. I don’t know if the fee amount is the right amount but we do need a fee, yes.”

She said that she is concerned with the lack of business friendliness, and said that improving that is one of her goals. Bringing in smaller businesses “will hopefully entice more.”

City expenditures have been cut as far as they can be, she said. “So to increase the revenue side there’s a few things that need to happen and we’ve explored it.” Acton said that she believes the city should fight the county for a larger share of property tax, and that the city should “capitalize” on the casino.

She said she would like to look at ways to “trade water for power — because you can do that. They do that.”

In order to be more economically stable, the community has to be more business-friendly, too. “Stop thinking ‘not in my backyard,’ ‘I don’t want this,’ or ‘I don’t want that.’ We’re going to have to embrace change and that’s hard for people. But we already are. The pandemic has changed the world.”

Story First Published: 2020-10-02