"State of the City" - Meet the Real Mayor Robinson

Dr. Jim Gardner
Dr. Jim Gardner

In the past few columns we looked at the “State of the City”. More specifically, we examined public safety, the local economy, and resources/amenities, as well as the functioning of the Council and the Commissions.  Today we’ll focus on meeting the “real” Mayor Robinson. The fact is there are two Dwight Robinsons, and it’s difficult to know which one will show up. To serve as a guide, I’ve taken the liberty of looking at Robinson’s promises and then looking at his actions.


Robinson promised to be “business friendlier” and “create more jobs”


  • Since he joined the Council he voted to spend less on local businesses than ever in the City’s history! – less than 2%. As a result our estimated sales tax revenues are less than half of our neighbors and the rest of OC.

  • He held a workshop for businesses to contract with the City, then 80% of the businesses invited were from outside the City.

  • He voted a 25% increase in the trash hauling fees for businesses, despite a competitor who offered a lower rate. BTW – the company he voted for gave him $1,000 for his campaign in 2012, which he didn’t reveal prior to voting.

  • He was asked to meet with a local business that wanted to stay in Lake Forest and needed some guidance, but was “too busy” to take the time to meet with them.


Robinson campaigned on a “family friendly” platform.


  • He allowed a gambling den to be set up in the City

  • He voted to allow more stores to sell alcohol, despite the high DUI rate we have in Lake Forest.

  • He voted against setting up the nonprofit Community Foundation that would benefit needy families.


His campaign brochure said he would “oppose wasteful city spending”.


  • He voted Council and Commission members expensive iPads, even though less expensive tablets would have done the job.

  • Then he voted to allow paper agendas to continue indefinitely, completely eliminating any savings from buying the iPads.

  • He voted to spend $14,000 per year to make politicians life easier using electronic filing, with no benefits for taxpayers.


Many times Robinson promised to set up a “City Traffic Commission”.


  • He voted several times to refuse to set up the Commission.


In his campaign brochures he promised to “open more schools” and “lower class sizes”


  • He voted to allow 6,000 new students in the City without requiring any new schools be built.

  • He took money from developers and voted their kids special exemptions over the kids who live here.


His campaign brochures promised “Stop Musick Jail expansion”


  • Musick Jail is now slated for a $100 Million expansion with the addition of MAXIMUM SECURITY felons. Robinson has done nothing to prevent this.

  • He said he would help set up a system to warn residents when criminals escaped from Musick Jail, but then did nothing.


He said he would “fight corruption” and work for “reform”


  • Robinson has taken more money from “vested interests” than any other Council member in the history of the City. Here’s a partial list - Rick Goacher/RGP Consulting (8/10/2012) - $2500, Athens Services (10/24/2012) - $250,   Athens Services (2/10/2012) - $250,   Sue Waltman (9/30/2012) - $1,000,   BIA of SC (8/24/2012) - $1000,   Manufactured Housing PAC (10/28/2012) - $250,   El Toro Mobile Estates (10/21/2012) - $250,   Foothill Village (8/14/2012) - $500,   CR&R Waste (8/17/2012) - $1,000, California Real Estate PAC (8/27/2012) - $1,000

  • He voted against the Sunshine Ordinance.

  • He voted against limiting terms in office to 8 years. Instead he pushed through an ordinance that limits incumbents to 24 of 26 years – IOW no real limits.

So that’s a look at the two people who call themselves Dwight Robinson – the one who talks a good game and the one who delivers virtually nothing. Which one will show up Wednesday night? Chances are, the “good” Dwight Robinson will be on display, but come Tuesday night when he sits on the dais, the chances are we’ll see the “bad” Dwight Robinson, doing exactly the opposite of what he promises to do. Robinson is obsessed with trying to look like the good guy but when you look at exactly what he does, it’s a very different story.

Tomorrow we’ll sum up for the week.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

LFLegalEagle March 26, 2014 at 01:10 PM
Dr Gardner. Would the "real" Mayor agree with your assessment? Does he have alternative explanations for why his promises do not appear to match his actions? Is there nothing he said that he did follow through on? Is his failure to achieve success with these issues due to lacvk of trying or to the administration?
Jim Gardner March 26, 2014 at 02:00 PM
Good questions LegalEagle. I feel like I’m being cross-examined. The central issues are: (1) Has Robinson done anything noteworthy? And (2) Is his failure to follow through on his promises a function of the system or a reflection of his tendency to hypocrisy? These are such large issues let me take some time and respond more thoroughly rather than try to cram some quick answers into the little space provided below. I have an article about the Planning Commission coming out tomorrow (Thursday) so I promise to get back by Friday.


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