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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Gerald DuBois and the DuBois Agency 

On Tuesday night, my wife and I were looking over some old newspapers, including an Ontario paper from the Bicentennial. (By the way, did you help Johnny Horizon clean up America for our 200th birthday? I did.)

Frankly, my major interest in looking at the paper was to look at the advertisements. Back then, a lot of businesses were on Holt Avenue. These businesses have either relocated (e.g. to the Ontario Auto Center), or disappeared entirely. For example, when I wanted to repair my Ford Granada in the 1980s, I'd take it down to the Ford dealer on Holt. That spot now houses a supermarket.

While looking through the ads, I caught the name Gerald DuBois in one of them. I mentioned this to my wife (who has lived in Ontario most of her life), but she wasn't familiar with the name. "He used to be on the City Council," I said.

I was wrong, but not really. Since Debbie Acker left politics, I haven't paid much attention to the doings of the City Council, but DuBois was still on the City Council. However, by the time my wife and I were having this conversation Tuesday night, he was no longer on the Council:

Councilman Gerald DuBois, who served on the Ontario City Council for nine years, died Tuesday morning from complications of a genetic disorder. He was 57....

DuBois, who also owned DuBois Advertising Agency in Ontario, had worked on City Council campaigns and served on the Planning Commission before he was appointed to the City Council in 1997. He was elected the following year and re-elected in 2002....

Councilwoman Sheila Mautz, who was involved in the Ontario Kiwanis and Planning Commission with DuBois, said she was relieved the Tuesday night council meeting had been canceled, because it would have been painful for her to sit next to DuBois' empty chair.

The councilman appeared to have been in ill health in recent weeks, Mautz said, but he hadn't said anything to other council members about his condition....

DuBois suffered from hemochromatosis, an inherited disease in which the body absorbs too much iron, causing organ damage, said his brother, Joe DuBois. He had been diagnosed with the illness in January and was hospitalized before dying Tuesday.

Born in North Carolina, DuBois moved to Ontario with his mother when he was 7 years old and lived with his aunt and uncle. He attended schools in Ontario and went to Chaffey College and San Diego State University.

As a business owner, he was involved with the Downtown Revitalization Association and the Downtown Business and Professional Association, and was integral to an effort to build a bandstand in the median of Euclid Avenue.

David Allen offered his own observations:

THE NEWS Tuesday morning that Jerry DuBois had died caught a lot of people surprise, myself included.
I had noticed he seemed grayer, and thinner, at the last few City Council meetings, but he had made no public comments about being ill. Turns out even many close friends didn't know how sick he was.

Surprising everyone was kind of a DuBois specialty. You never knew what he might say next.

Once a few of us, including your sun-challenged columnist, chatted on a downtown Ontario sidewalk at noon. DuBois suddenly faced me and demanded: "Dude, do you ever go outside?"

I went from white to red.

(DuBois, the way, was dark as a nut. Compared to him, Mayor Paul Leon, who's Latino, looks like Edgar Winter.)...

He was the only Democrat on the nonpartisan (at least in theory) City Council. It was clear that he didn't always buy into the program....

"Unfortunately, I think Jerry was sometimes reticent to buck the system because he knew it was 4-1 against him. Others on the council in the last two elections tried mightily to unseat him," Neifert added. "But he sure was popular."

DuBois the odd man out? That's not how I remember it. From 2003:

Councilwoman Debbie Acker says she expects to learn more about her investigation from a report the city plans to release to the public than from anything else so far....

"I have been provided very little information," Acker said of the investigation. "You don't restrict a public official's ability to make inquiry without providing her with specific information."

Acker was censured in January and her access to employees was restricted after council members heard the recommendations of Attorney Karen Sloat from FitzGerald and Mué, a law firm hired by City Manager Greg Devereaux to investigate complaints by city employees made about Acker.

Acker also was directed to initiate contact with selected department heads via a designated phone line, and was banned from nonpublic areas of City Hall and city facilities unless by appointment....

Councilman Jerry DuBois said he has received the same information as Acker about the investigation through Sloat's verbal report of her findings to the council.

"I'm waiting in anticipation to see whatever is released for public records requests," he said. "If there's more in-depth information, I don't think it will be less incriminatory."...

DuBois said Acker's evaluation of the city manager should be based on the goals and directions given to him by the council, not on the opinion of Devereaux's employees.

"(Devereaux) is her direct employee," he said. "She should be asking the questions of him."

Meanwhile, the advertising agency rolls on. I'd quote from the page, but it's all in Flash and therefore unquotable. But it's kewl, I guess.

Actually, the contact information isn't in Flash, but I note that there's no listed Vice President. Not sure what will happen next.

1131 West. 6th Street. Suite 100
Ontario, CA 91762
909.984.3736 fax

Jerry DuBois - President / CEO
Greg Poutré - Creative Director
Nelson Faustino - Web Designer
Stephen DuBois - Art Director
J. Dami Madugu - Art Director
Eric G. Kent - Public Relations
Amy Rush - Copywriter
Kim Perkins - Production Manager
Amanda Orphan- Exec. Assistant
Dennis Tannen - Visual Media

They've worked in a number of areas, including branding.

We'll see what happens.

From the Ontario Empoblog (Latest OVVA news here)

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