Hesperia Mayor Russ Blewett was born and reared in Baldwin Park, went to local schools and Mt. San Antonio College, University of Redlands and University of California, Riverside. Blewett started working when he was 8 years old and said he still enjoys working hard every day.

Q: What do people not know about your job?

A: As mayor, people think you have more power than you really have. In Hesperia and most other cities, the mayor really has no more power than other city council members. We work as a team.

Q: What is the best thing about your job?

A: I have an opportunity to meet a lot of great people. Every once in awhile, I get to make a difference in their lives.

Q: Tell us about one thing you want to accomplish in life.

A: Be a positive role model and example to my family, friends and as many people as possible.

Q: What is your greatest accomplishment, professional or personal, to date?

A: My 39-year marriage to my wife who passed away six years ago, my daughter, four grandchildren and 17 great-grandchildren. Family.

Q: Where would you like to be in 10 years?

A: Here in Hesperia being of service and contributing.

Q: What makes you tick?

A: My faith and values.

Q: What is the source of your values?

A: A belief system based on the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Q: Who is someone who had a big influence on your life?

A: My mother and father.

Q: What is your favorite quotation?

A: "Because I have been given much, I too must give." And, "Failure is not fatal but failure to change just might be."

Q: Tell us about your belief system.

A: I believe in God, family and country and doing those things that support these foundations of my life.

Q: Tell us about your first car.

A: 1948 Willis Jeepster.

Q: What's your favorite sports team and why?

A: Favorite sports teams are USC and BYU football. I love college football.

Q: What's the best thing about living in Hesperia?

A: The people and the sense of community.

Q: What is your earliest memory of the city?

A: My earliest memory is driving through the city 25 years ago from my home in Upland to visit my daughter and son-in-law and grandchildren.

Q: Describe a special memory you have of Hesperia.

A: Though I have many, one that just happened is the opening of the new Stater Bros. store, the largest and best in their chain. Hesperians deserve the best and Staters has given it to us.

Q: Tell us about the charities that are close to your heart and why.

A: I like LDS charities because 100 percent of the money donated goes to the purpose of the donation. I also participate in a number of local charities, especially food banks and have been a long time supporter of the Boy Scouts of America.

Q: What new businesses would you like to see come to Hesperia?

A: As mayor, I have been working on Trader Joe's and a steak house.

Q: If you could change one thing about Hesperia, what would it be?

A: If I could change anything it would be the local economy. We have more than 16 percent unemployment rate, and a lot of small business owners have closed due to the housing crisis making our real number closer to 22 percent unemployment. The federal and state governments are useless and without awareness. We in local government and the private sector must find our own solutions. It puts an extra burden on our community to manage more population with less resources and I don't think the state government understands how significantly they have impacted our county, especially after the loss of much needed redevelopment funds.

Q: Tell us one thing that most people don't know about you.

A: Most people do not know how approachable I am. Many people are very intimidated by the title of mayor.

Q: Is there anything else you'd like to say, anything you'd like to get off your chest?

A: I see a lot of people who are takers and wagon riders. People need to know that they could be much happier pulling the wagon and giving more than they take. Everyone has something to contribute to society, a special talent that only they can share.

Q: How can readers reach you?

A: People can reach me anytime at home: (760) 948-9848.