While Shellie Milne trails her two opponents in fundraising, she remains confident she will be one of the top two vote-getters by the end of vote counting for the primary on June 7.
“I’m always confident,” she said. “My message is getting out and resonates with more and more voters.”
And her message begins with zoning and construction, and their effect on the county’s revenues and budget. For Milne, a Republican, county policies and attitudes toward new construction affect businesses and growth. The county’s budget depends upon this growth, otherwise there are financial problems, just as the county is currently experiencing.
“We need business owners, homeowners and their property values [in order] to deal with the county budget problems,” she stated. “Jamba Juice just announced it’s moving to Texas. We don’t need exits from Riverside County because of hostile government policies or attitudes.”
While Milne is not confident that KPMG, the consultant the county executive hired to review the pubic safety agencies’ budget and then the entire county budget, will have adequate solutions, she is patiently awaiting its recommendations.
However, she is cautious about the budget direction. “The public employee unions are already saying the recession is over and time for raises,” she noted. “We’re not there yet; the budget is not there yet.”
After recommending that the Board of Supervisors has to hold the line when it comes to collective bargaining, Milne observed that incumbent Washington has received considerable financial support from the county’s bargaining units.
“The unions have his back,” she opined.
The 3rd District begins just above and west of Palm Desert and goes west to include Murrieta and Temecula, and north to embrace Hemet and San Jacinto. Idyllwild is near the district’s center and Milne recognizes its uniqueness. She and her husband spent their honeymoon here and have a family cabin now.
“Idyllwild will always be a destination,” she said. “It’s important for Idyllwild to remain Idyllwild and attract people from all over the world. People go up the Hill to get away and this has to be maintained.” Which brought her back to the original issue of land use. She is concerned that the government intervention is “creeping up the Hill.”
She wants to protect the town’s integrity and not change it.
As supervisor, she would work with churches and nonprofit groups to reach out to the homeless in the district and those who spend time on the Hill. She recognizes this is a county issue and wants to find more ways to alleviate it.
“Hemet was a dumping ground. The county needs to focus on this issue,” she said. “We need to help our neighbors. The government is not the answer to everything. This is an issue we should partner with the private sector.”
In closing, Milne stressed that she has been active in government for years. She has worked with municipalities and grass-root organizations to enact term limits and control pay scales.
“I got on the Hemet City Council to stand up to special interests,” she emphasized. She did not just attend meetings; she made proposals that were enacted. “These things didn’t just happen while I was a member,” she said. “There is a discernable difference between me and my opponents. I back change.”