When Murrieta Mayor Randon Lane and family first moved to the Inland Empire from Santa Monica, they bought a new house in Murrieta. Lane said he had several flat tires in the first few weeks because of the bad condition of local roads. “When we moved here there were no good roads,” he related. His focused questioning of the city Planning Commission regarding the city’s poor infrastructure led to an appointment to the Planning Commission.
While on the commission, Lane focused on infrastructure improvement as the key to bringing in new businesses, increasing employment opportunities and improving quality of life for city residents. He championed improving roads, interchanges and facilitating better freeway access. In campaigning for mayor, Lane ran on an “infrastructure first” platform. He cites Murrieta’s low unemployment and FBI rating as one of the safest cities in the U.S. as evidence of what infrastructure improvement can do to improve quality of life for residents.
Lane, a Republican, is now running for Riverside County 3rd District supervisor, an office currently held by Democrat Chuck Washington. “Riverside County will have a million more people by 2025,” said Lane. “For District 3 cities to prosper there need to be better highways, interchanges and E-W and N-S corridors.” Lane proposes local control, from a combination of affected cities and Riverside County management, of Highway 74, from interstates 15 and 215 into Hemet and San Jacinto. “There also needs to be better access from Interstate 10 for these communities to grow,” he noted. In addition to road improvements, Lane supports water reclamation projects as the county grows its population. “We need to be able to capture and retain water that is currently lost in runoff,” he said. “Similarly, we need to look at all forms of energy savings, including solar and natural gas.”
With regard to spending priorities, Lane feels the Riverside County budget has not been well managed. “It’s all about spending priorities,” said Lane. “I would make public safety a 110-percent spending priority. The first thing I would do, if elected, would be to request a full third-party audit of the budget from top to bottom. It’s not necessarily to focus on negatives but to better see and understand what we are doing right and what we could do better. I want to look at an audit and comprehensive review before addressing budget cuts.”
Lane also espouses measures that would make it easier to fast-track permits for new business and residential construction in the 3rd District. “That’s what we did in Murrieta and that helped us get the Loma Linda University Medical Center — we fast tracked the process,” he said. “I’d also move to do away with the deposit base [construction] permit process in Riverside County. People should know how much they’re going to be spending on a specific project like building a garage. It should be a stated fee, not a requirement to deposit $30,000 against which county inspectors and administrators charge time.”
To prioritize business growth in the county, Lane believes in opening doors. “[Supervisor] Washington believes we can get there by raising taxes,” he noted. “I believe in opening [regulatory] doors for economic development to make it easier for small and large businesses to relocate here and function here.”
When asked to address unemployment in much of the district, compared to the relatively low unemployment in Murrieta, Lane said, “The safer the communities are, the better the infrastructure, the easier it is to get from one place to another, and the more fast tracking there is for new development, the more businesses will thrive and employ people.”
With regard to growth of homeless populations in the district, Lane proposed a joint power authority between cities and county. “No single jurisdiction can solve the problem on its own,” he said. “A JPA would allow everyone to have some ‘skin in the game.’ The issues are twofold — lack of finances and resources and growing mental health issues within the homeless population. This can’t be solved just by building facilities. The mental health problems must also be addressed.”
Asked how Idyllwild/Pine Cove fits into his priorities for the district, Lane demurred. “This is not a one-size-fits-all district,” he noted. “The issues in Idyllwild are different from those in other parts of the district. My job is to listen to what residents in the unincorporated areas have to say.”
Asked why he is running for this office, Lane said, “I enjoy local politics. I never had the ambition to run for office before moving here.” Lane has a business background, having worked for Nextel, Media-One, AT&T Broadband, Telecommunications Inc. and Sprint in the Los Angeles area. He currently serves as public affairs manager for SoCal Gas for Southern California.
Lane, married and the father of three, became interested in working in the public sector after moving to the Inland Empire. Beginning in 2006, he served as field representative for California State Assemblyman Kevin Jeffries. In 2009, he became political director for Meg Whitman’s campaign for California governor. In 2011, he was elected chair of the Republican Party in Riverside County and held that position until this year, when he stepped down to run for supervisor. He was elected to the Murietta City Council in 2008, elected mayor in 2011 and re-elected in 2012. He serves on the League of California Cities Board of Directors, its Riverside County board of directors, the Western Riverside Council of Governments, the Animal Control JPA and the Riverside Transit Agency board of directors.
Lane holds a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Texas at Arlington.