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CITY TALK Recognizes Richard Prieto for 41 Years of Service

By Dr Luis S González
Community writer
03/21/2024 at 07:30 AM

On Thursday, March 14, Council Member Dr. G (Dr. Luis S González) presented the CITY TALK “Community Impact” recognition award to Mr. Richard Prieto, long-time Planning Commissioner in the City of Colton.

           Starting in November 1983, Mr. Prieto was appointed by Mayor Albert Huntoon, and since that time has served under Frank Gonzales, Abe Beltran, Esther Ramos, Susan Oliva, Sarah Zamora, Ernest Cisneros, and David Toro.

           Mr. Prieto attended Colton High School where he met his future wife, Ann Marie while playing basketball as a ruddy ninth grader. As Mr. Prieto clearly describes that encounter, “I was driving to the basket when I saw her standing close by. I became so distracted that I ran past the basket and into the wall.” The rest is history and Richard and Ann Marie Prieto will be celebrating their 52nd Wedding Anniversary this year in August.

           As a young commissioner, Mr. Prieto credits his early training to Jack Cook, and Bill Coleman, who taught him about asking questions, thoroughly preparing the agenda items, and making your vote count. These axioms still shape Mr. Prieto’s decision making process on the commission, as is the same advice he shares with new commissioners. His vast experience on the Planning Commission not only provides a good model for others, but his institutional knowledge is extremely valuable when deliberating on important development decisions.

           Over the years, Mr. Prieto has undoubtedly been involved in many planning decisions, both large and small. “All of them are important,” smiles Mr. Prieto, who thoughtfully added, “We need to give everyone their due process.” A few tough cases came to mind when talking about agenda items that stood out. One was a large Amusement Park plan on Fairway Drive. Another was a housing and animal policy issue in Reche Canyon, and a third was the development of the Colton “West End.”

           His career path after high school included a job working at HPE (swimming pool filters), followed by a short stint in the U.S. Army after being drafted. Richard and Ann Marie married in 1972. He then worked two years for Southern Pacific Railroad, followed by two years at the 7UP Bottling company. His primary career move was a 28 year tenure as a professional driver for Yellow Freight Systems.

           In his spare time he coached soccer for 25 years, coached basketball, and coached the kickers on the Colton High football team. Mr. Richard Prieto is truly a five-star family man, professional, coach and servant of the people in our community.

           The CITY TALK “Community Impact Award” was established in 2019 to recognize the great efforts that people make “behind the scenes” to make our community, the City of Colton, a better place. Richard Prieto is an excellent choice for this this recognition, and truly represents the very best, in terms of recognizing positive contributions to the community of Colton. Thank you to Commissioner Richard Prieto for all your hard work, and congratulations on this CITY TALK “Community Impact” recognition award.

For more information about CITY TALK, various community groups, Colton history, the trash clean-up project, the G-Team, prayer list, history briefs, Veteran Spotlight, Church Spotlight, Business Spotlight, U.S. Flag watch, neighborhood meetings, community projects and events, or the online live-stream programs, contact Dr. G @ 909-213-3730. Dr.G is the founder of CITY TALK, a City Council Member and well-known community advocate. Questions and comments are always welcome.