NORCO, CA – In 1995, Norco Mayor, Kevin Bash, left behind an acting career in Los Angeles to move back to his hometown, HorseTown USA.
Having an interest in acting since a young age, Bash pursued theater and earned a Bachelor of Arts from UC Riverside where he was very involved in the actor-training program. He then earned a Master of Arts from UC San Diego.
Bash appeared in nearly 300 commercials for companies such as Coca Cola, Security Pacific Bank and Levi’s. He acted in various television programs, including General Hospital and Baywatch. Bash also performed in multiple plays such as Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and Dracula.
Bash became a national and international actor but in 1995 decided to leave the fame behind and move to Norco, Calif. with his wife, Brigitte and daughter, Angelique. He did not want to raise his daughter in the city commotion Los Angeles brings.
His daughter participated in sports and Bash became very involved in community activities and served on various committees, such as Norco Girls Softball Coach and Board of Directors. A incident with a neighbor sparked Bash’s interest in getting involved in the city. He served as Parks and Recreation Commissioner for ten years and helped form the Norco Historic Commission.
When the City of Norco became bankrupt, Bash decided it was time to run for Mayor. When he entered council six years ago, the city had $65,000 in their bank account. Today, Norco is on track to make 10 million.
“We are now doing very, very well as a city,” said Bash.
Bash has two businesses in Norco. The first is Town and Country Day School, which is the largest early childhood development center in Riverside County for kids ages two thru 13. The second is a large boarding training facility for horses.
Bash is proactive and loves to help residents.
“People like to see their city council members,” said Bash, “It is important that city council members are visible.”
According to Bash, the most important issue facing Norco today is physical solvency.
“We are the last city in the state of California where by law, you have to build on a half-acre parcel or bigger,” said Bash.
This means not enough property taxes are earned to run the city. Norco has a yearly budget of 17 million. Property taxes generate 1.4 million.
“Norco lives and dies on sales tax,” said Bash, who has been successful in helping diversify city income.
“We have been very successful in attracting different types of business,” said Bash, “There’s Hobby Lobby, Winco, the Auto Mall.”
The city also build the largest equestrian sports park, Silver Lakes, in the Northern Hemisphere.
Bash is focused on attracting more business and plans to rezone two large parcels and rezone old Hamner Avenue to slightly resemble Old Town Temecula. He wants to preserve the Norconian Hotel, finish George Ingalls Memorial Plaza, get into Norco College and put more police on the streets to ensure resident safety.
Bash also plans to find funding sources for infrastructure.
“We need to find a new funding source for streets, trails, paving,” said Bash, “Things like that.”
Bash wants to also strengthen the Norco Homeless Advocacy program, which utilizes resources from the Corona and Riverside Police Departments, as well as Norco Deputy Sheriff.
“We are very aggressive in trying to get these people off the streets,” said Bash.
According to Bash, the best part of being Mayor is being able to help a lot of people.
“It’s a very nice feeling knowing you can help people,” said Bash, “The good thing about a small town is you know everybody and they know you.”