Fresno Bee voter guide

Welcome to our guide for Election 2016 races. Compare candidates' views side by side, then create your own ballot, which you can print or email.

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Important note: Candidates' responses have not been edited except for clarity, language and libel. Candidates provide their own photographs and video. Candidates for non-partisan offices are listed as No Party Preference, regardless of party registration.

Kerman Mayor

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  • Candidate picture

    Rhonda Armstrong

  • Lee Bradford

  • Gary K. Yep

Social Media

Biographical Information

In your opinion, what are the city's top three challenges? How would you address each of these issues?

The drought has affected communities throughout the Valley, especially those that depend on agriculture. What steps, if any, should the city take to diversify its economy? What steps would you propose?

Gangs have committed crimes and taken lives in communities throughout the Valley. What strategies would you propose the city undertake to keep kids away from gangs, and to help those in gangs give up the gang life?

Why are you the best candidate to serve on the city council? (Text or YouTube video.)

Age 62
Residence Kerman
Family Husband Steve, son Matt and his wife Tiffany, son Marc and his wife Brittany, daughter Melanie, 3 grandchildren.
Education MBA-Fresno State University Bachelor of Science University of Phoenix
Occupation Vice President of Administrative Services, Sebastian.
Public service experience 2 years Kerman City Council, Kerman Unified Foundation Board member, former Director Kerman Chamber of Commerce, Chairman of the Board California Communications Association, Former Co-President NTCA, Former Kerman Planning Commissioner
Facebook/Social media Facebook. @Rhonda Armstrong Kerman
Economic development. In order for Kerman to prosper in the future we need to focus on its economic development, with a specific focus on job creation. The viability of the City depends on it. While there has been significant retail development within the past few years, we need to work on bringing larger industrial companies that offer higher-paying jobs to the area. The City has long prepared for this type of growth and it is ripe for development. With the lack of RDA funding, Kerman officials have discussed various ways that the City can incentivize economic development in Kerman. I fully support this concept.

Revitalization of the Downtown area. One of the most frequent comments I hear from community members is that our historic downtown is in need of attention and I agree. I frequently drive through downtown and I can’t help but notice the empty storefronts and lack of foot traffic. In order for our downtown to thrive we need to do the following: Make downtown visually appealing and a place that residents want to spend time, find a diverse set of tenants for the empty buildings, encourage residents to patronize the businesses.

Capital improvements. Kerman has several capital projects that have been put on hold for many years. A new senior center, a regional fairgrounds, a new police station and animal kennel are needed in the community. A special sales tax measure is currently on the ballot and I support the passage of this measure.
Agriculture has been and will continue to be an integral component of Kerman’s economy. A good portion of our sales tax revenue is generated from ag based sales. Although I am a strong proponent of agriculture, it is also important to recognize that we need a diversified sales tax base in order to continue to thrive. Retail is an essential sales tax that our city needs to harness. In order to generate sales tax revenue, people need to buy. In order for people to buy, they need to have jobs. We need to ensure that we have jobs that are not solely dictated by agriculture in order to keep the economic cycle going. The city should diversify its scope and set up a plan to encourage growth of other industries in Kerman.
First and foremost we need to work on eliminating any gang activity from our community. I recognize that this is not an easy task but it is critical to the health and well-being of our city. Our police officers are the first line of defense in keeping our community safe. I would, and have supported additional police force for this specific reason. Second, we need to work with our kids at a young age. Setting up activities to keep them active and engaged after school and on weekends is a great way to discourage them from getting involved in dangerous activities. Sports and recreational programs are an important component of any community and I believe these programs serve as a strong deterrent to potential gang involvement. We should help kids understand that being part of a team is a much better choice than being part of a gang.
As a Kerman resident for more that 50 years, I have witnessed tremendous growth within our community. It is my mission, and my passion, to ensure that Kerman continues to thrive and prosper for our future generations. I attended Kerman schools and have worked for the same Kerman based business for 44 years. My education includes an MBA from Fresno State University. I have experience working directly with local, state and federal elected officials on numerous issues and have testified before our state legislature. I have volunteered countless hours to help make our community a great place to live. My business experience and local background provide the essential leadership tools necessary to ensure that our city continues to flourish.
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