There's a gulf between the city's politicians and residents, and Scott Bennett wants to be the one to bridge it.


"A lot of my friends up here aren't happy with what the city's doing," he said. "At least let their voice be heard?"


If elected, he would set up online mechanisms to make communicating with city hall easier.


Bennett, 45, ran into a typical frustration on the way to his interview: Street after north-south street he tried to turn on was closed for road maintenance.


"Why close them all? At least leave one of them open," he said. He said while he understands the city has to worry about the logistics of the paving, "the citizens need a little bit of a reprieve also. ... All the parents are, like, 'every time I go to school, I have to take a different route to get there."


Raised in West Covina, Bennett moved to Hesperia 16 years ago. Today, he is an IT manager for a City of Industry-based fastener company. This is not his first time running for office: He ran for city council twice in the 1990s, both times more than a decade ago.


"Over the last 10 or so years, since I last ran, I've thought about it," he said. "There's a lot of things going on [in Hesperia]. There could be more."


While he acknowledges that the road situation has gotten better since he first arrived in Hesperia, he'd also spend money on asphalt for the city's rutted and unpaved roads, acknowledging that it would just be a temporary solution.


"It would be a good improvement for those people [who live or work on unpaved roads] and certainly save the city money on the other equipment they use to smooth the roads out."


He would also crack down more firmly on graffiti in the city.


"I'm a firm believer that you should make the punishment fit the crime," he said. "Whatever we're doing isn't making a difference."


Bennett praised the multi-jurisdictional gang sweep that took place in the High Desert this summer, and would like to see more such coordinated police activity.


"You can get [crime] to migrate to other cities."


He also would like to see the city doing more to bring in new business, including manufacturing and distributing businesses, both for sales tax and job opportunities.


Bennett also believes the city didn't push hard enough to get the Ranchero Road Underpass completed over the past decade.


"I think that could have been given a lot more priority."


Bennett knows there will be on-the-job training, and that some of the things he wants may not be as simple as he thinks.


His first task, if elected, will be to "figure out what the heck I'm doing," he laughed. "You don't know until you get there."


Bennett makes one promise, should he be elected:


"We'll feel like we were heard," Bennett said. "We don't feel that now."


Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.