Ontario Mayor Paul Leon kicks off the city’s State of the City address before more than 700 businessmen and community leaders on Wednesday.
Ontario Mayor Paul Leon kicks off the city's State of the City address before more than 700 businessmen and community leaders on Wednesday. (LaFonzo Carter/ Staff Photographer)

Photo Gallery: Ontario "headed in right direction"


ONTARIO -- The city is focused - focused on creating jobs, improving public services and continuing its efforts to regain local control of L.A./Ontario International Airport, Mayor Paul Leon said during the State of the City address on Wednesday night.

As the city has begun to see the first signs of economic recovery, Leon said the city is headed in the right direction.

"Throughout the downturn we've utilized sound, conservative economic principles to preserve stability for our residents and businesses," he said.

To encourage, inspire and build confidence, three leading experts in job growth, public services and transportation discussed how Ontario can achieve those goals.

Ontario Councilman Alan Wapner shared the mayor's view on the progress the city has made in the recent years and sees a continuation of the success in the future.

"We're focused. We're focused on jobs, we're focused on service and what's the base of it all? Ontario International Airport, the largest economic generator in the region," Wapner said. "Ontario airport needs to be under local control because that way we have a vested interest in what happens here in our airport and the community that surrounds it."

As part of its focus on creating jobs, city officials announced it is developing its own fiber optic network, a move that could serve as a tool for attracting new companies to the city.

In addition to improving public services, the city has launched a new Economic Development website which will make information easily accessible for businesses looking to invest in the city.

More than 700 business and community leaders participated in the three-hour event which began with a mixer and ended with a networking forum.

Business leaders also heard from author Greg Lindsay who said air travel will be the ticket to city's success.

City officials stressed they will continue in their multiyear battle with Los Angeles to win back control of ONT.

Wapner, who has taken the lead on the airport fight, said he looks forward to obtaining local control sometime in the near future so "that we can guarantee our constituents, our residents as well as the businesses around here, a secure, consistent and stable environment in which to do business in."


Reach Liset via email, call her at 909-483-8556, or find her on Twitter @DBOntarioNow.