Vicki Riddle announces candidacy for Exeter City Council

Vicki Riddle and State Assembly Member Vince Fong attending a Wine and Art Gala. Courtesy photo

Longtime Exeter resident and community organizer Vicki Riddle has announced her candidacy for Exeter City Council District D.

She has received the endorsements of State Senator Shannon Grove, Assemblyman Devon Mathis, Assemblyman Vince Fong, District Attorney Tim Ward, and Supervisor Larry Micari.

“I have seen Vicki’s lifelong dedication to Tulare County and developing leadership skills in our young people. I am proud to support Vicki for City Council as she continues to give back to the community,” said Assemblyman Vince Fong

Riddle is currently a member of Tulare County Association of Governments, the Exeter Planning Commission, Supervisor District 1 Youth/homeless commissioner, and a trustee on the Exeter Cemetery District.

She is also a regular attendee of the Exeter City Council.

“I never miss a meeting!” she says.

Though Riddle’s passion for Exeter and its youth runs deep, the turning point in her decision to run for office was when the Exeter City Council voted 5-0 to spend the federal COVID money on giving every city employee a onetime $10,000 bonus.

Riddle said that, given the many needs facing the city, she would have reached out and asked the constituents how they wanted the city to spend the money.

The city’s reasoning for the expenditure, said Riddle, was that they felt city workers deserved a raise.

“All of the citizens of Exeter deserved a raise during the pandemic,” said Riddle.

“There is a disconnect between the Exeter City Government and the voter. My only special interest group is the tax payer,” says Riddle.

Another motivating factor for Riddle to run was Exeter missing out on millions of dollars in beautification grants offered by the state.

Farmersville received $4 million and Woodlake and Lindsay received more than a million in grant money from the state to improve their cities. Riddle said that Tulare County Association of Governments reached out to Exeter but they said they did not have an engineer to write the grant.

“I’d write the grant,” said Riddle. “You don’t always have to have a city manager write grants.”

She said Cal Trans writes these grants for small cities and would have done it for Exeter. Riddle said the grant could have covered the cost of putting in a splash pad at all of Exeter’s parks.

“State and federal grants is where money comes from and that’s why it’s important to have relationships with the state elected officials.”

Riddle also says that a state grant would pay for a new well in Exeter, new water storage, and a three quarter mile pipe to Tooleville.

The state has mandated Exeter to hook Tooleville up to their water system and will provide the money to pay the cost.

Self Help Enterprises could write the grant, but the Exeter City Council has not reached out to them, said Riddle.

Besides water and city finances, Riddle’s priority is public safety.

“I challenge ever Exeter City Council member to be a watch commander for their neighborhood.” Riddle is the watch commander for her neighborhood and has meetings at her house attended by the police who hand out educational materials to the residents.

“Criminals stay away from alert neighborhoods,” said Riddle. “The crime rate should be going down not up in Exeter.”

Another public safety issue is legalized pot.

A measure approving the tax structure for medical marijuana in Exeter will be on the November ballot. The city council voted 5-0 to direct the city lawyer to write the measure, but Riddle said she would have voted against it.

“I don’t want to open that door to having a pot dispensary in down town. Exeter is too small. If someone wants pot they can have it delivered or drive the six minutes to Farmersville,” said Riddle.

Riddle also was not pleased with Exeter’s Planning Commission’s approval a “tobacco” shop on Pine Street that sells a wide range of vaping paraphernalia right next to VIP Pizza where families and high schoolers hang out.

She says in reality it is a “vape shop where they have a wide variety of bongs.”

Riddle was not on the planning commission when that vote was taken but would have appealed the decision if she had been on the city council.

Riddle said that City Manager Adam Ennis does a great job but that “he spoon feeds the city council the information and the vote is always 5-0.”

It should be the other way around said Riddle. The city council members should be doing their own research, go to the people, the tax payer, and find out what they want. Then the city council member should be going to the city manager and say ‘lets make this work’”

“Always having a 5-0 vote is the definition of a good old boys club,” said Riddle. “People need to vote for someone who can stand in their shoes and vote on their behalf. What I don’t respect is the good ol’ boys system.”

“I have a broader vision,” said Riddle. “I believe Exeter can make California a better state. The conservative communities need to align themselves to counteract the liberal California legislature.”

9 thoughts on “Vicki Riddle announces candidacy for Exeter City Council

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  1. OMG gtfo with your half-considered vision of turning extra into a conservative paradise. Go big or go home!

    What you’ve described is not what makes for a “Gateway to the Sequoias”. In fact, liberal minded people from around the world travel to the park to see one of the world’s special monuments, a Federal paradise to the liberal idea that some lands must never be developed.

    What would be a better approach to branding is to say that at the same time people go to the Park, they can stay in and see a living and working museum that demonstrates the history and present of the Steinbeck’s Grapes of Wrath, the Carey McWilliams’ Factories in the Fields, and the Mark Arax Dreamt Land.

    I’m envisioning something like a cross between Colonial Williamsburg where locals dress and perform the parts of historical workers such as slaves and braceros and illegal immigrants for hourly wages and Kentucky’s Creationist Ark with its fantastical explanations for everything.

    Nothing draws conservatives like performative history of oppressed workers by actual oppressed workers with more than a little credit provided to Jesus!

    This is the kind of branding that can really put Exeter on the map as the must-stay destination for conservative-minded visitors to the park, and if Vicki Riddle really has a vision and really believed half the cr*p she says drives her, she would run with this idea and make it hers.

    • Dear 00855abd,
      Why don’t you take your idea to the City Council meeting and speak about it?
      Exeter has no say in the National Park- So your idea, although it makes my skin crawl as a daughter of an immigrant, should probably be presented to them.
      Vicki makes very good points and as a resident of Area D, I can see that she is really hitting the nail on the head when it comes to the crime rates, and Covid funding that could’ve been used for Housing, Food, and Utilities assistance. If you lived in our neighborhoods you would probably feel the same way….ooooor maybe not…but a good discussion based on the feedback from tax payers is of one hundred percent importance.

    • OMG after reading the entire article I am wondering just what “Red State Economic Development, for free” was smoking while typing out this comment. lol Talk about mental tripping! lol Nothing of Red’s concerns really fit anything thing mention in the article.

  2. I think Vickie is correct. As a lifetime member of the Exeter community. We have a place on the map. People know about our small city because of the mural’s and the clean downtown. Putting a smoke shop was a bad idea and it doesn’t need a pot shop. So many Grants missed because of laziness in the city council is a shame. Also the Covid money should have been spent on the cemetery, not that I begrudge someone getting a bonus but it seems like a Leftist idea of giving money to people for doing their job that should have gone to the community. The leftist way is showing with the uptick in crime and thefts that are happening more and more in the city. Use to be a time your kids could leave their bikes out front , now you can’t leave anything that can be grabbed. Good luck Vicki. Exeter needs someone to be standing up for it and not just going along

    • Ronnie, you made my day! I hope you live in District D and you’re correct! $450,000 dollars was spent on city employee bonuses with some part time workers receiving nearly a 50% annual salary increase in one swoop. And not all employees are Exeter citizens. Thank you for caring!

  3. As an employee of the Viki Riddle Campaign, I have to say that together, we have gone through so much. We have met so many electeds, contributed to so many freedom loving causes, and throughout all of our adventures, from Tulare to DC, I have always known Viki to be a well minded, well rounded, and gracious person. Her vision for small town conservative values truly matter, especially when it comes to preserving a small paradise like Exeter from the hells of big Government.

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