Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Open Board of Directors Meeting
San Bernardino Community College District
114 S. Del Rosa Drive
San Bernardino, CA 92408
Present: Dimitrios Alexiou, Don Averill, Deborah Barmack, Carole Beswick, Tom Brickley, Erin Brinker, Ann Bryan, Ken Coate, Bill Easley, Ron Fremont, Ray Gonzalez, Dick Hart, Scott Hofferber, Mark Kaenel, Ed Kilgore, Lowell King, Ed Lasak, John Mirau, Lou Monville, John Prentice, Kristine Scott, Paul Shimoff, Steve von Rajcs, Phil Waller, A.J. Wilson and Ray Wolfe.
Guests: Jill Eaton and Adam Eventov
Announcements: 1) The Inland Valley Development Agency invites the Inland Action membership to a ribbon cutting ceremony commemorating the opening of the newly constructed Mountain View Bridge. The event will be at noon on Wednesday, September 25, 2013 at Central & Mountain View Ave., San Bernardino. Please contact Cathie Webber at 909-382-4100 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to Rsvp or for more information. 2) Members were encouraged to apply and or suggest to others to apply for the Governor’s appointment to the Santa Ana Regional Water Board. The primary duty of the Regional Board is to protect the quality of the waters within the Region for all beneficial uses. This duty is implemented by formulating and adopting water quality plans for specific ground or surface water bodies and by prescribing and enforcing requirements on domestic and industrial water discharges. Those interested should complete and submit the application available on line.
M/S/P: Minutes from September 10, 2013
Ray Gonzalez introduced San Bernardino County First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood. Supervisor Lovingood’s district includes Victorville, Apple Valley, Hesperia, and Needles.
Supervisor Lovingood spoke about his first year in office noting that his emphasis is to run the County like a business. He sees too many regulations that not only hinder but discourage business. The County must provide a better business climate to encourage new investment and be competitive. We lose over 150,000 professionals per year to other areas. He noted that we must stop “out-migrating” our best and brightest and start creating good jobs within the County.
Supervisor Lovingood stated he welcomes renewable energy project applications but the County must approach them as a long term fixtures of the communities and landscape. The location of these solar projects and other renewable projects are critical and appropriate planning and reviews are needed. A balanced approach is necessary and staff will revise design standards, sighting criteria and land use compatibility for commercial solar projects. The moratorium is aimed at protecting rural neighborhoods from solar projects which can hurt property values, create dust, blight, glare and can be thought of as an eyesore. The county’s development code currently allows commercial solar projects in rural residential neighborhoods. Residents from around the High Desert have grown increasingly concerned about mixing industrial solar projects in rural residential neighborhoods. He is pleased that the Board voted unanimously (5-0) to extend a temporary moratorium on new commercial solar projects in unincorporated communities.
The Supervisor has pushed to return some $480,000 in unclaimed property tax refunds in the First District. More than $2.2 million in refunds remain unclaimed throughout the County. He would like to see the same emphasis on refunding as on the collection process.
Senator Feinstein’s legislation, the California Desert Protection Act of 2011, is an expansion of her 1994 Desert Protection Act that closed huge tracts of land across the Mojave Desert. The new bill expands previous closures in the High Desert y designating new national monuments totaling 1, 679 square miles, plus expanding national “wilderness” areas by another 390 square miles. The 1st District Supervisor said he is concerned over further federal expansion because the mining industry is the largest private sector employer in the district. Concerns are that the bill will prevent hundreds of thousands of acres from being explored for mining. This would shut out any production of long term growth and business in those areas. Supervisor Lovingood recently returned from a trip to Washington where he spoke to members of Congress and their staffs regarding Feinstein’s bill. The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors has not taken a position on the Senator’s bill as they are trying to verify that local interests are protected.
The high desert area was hit hard by the burst of the housing bubble but the market is slowly returning. The Supervisor anticipates slow growth for another 2-3 years.
They are working to drive down gang activity with the cooperation of the District Attorney, Sheriff and other law enforcement. He will continue to push all discretionary funds towards public safety.
The Supervisor commented that he gives basic support of toll lanes as a “necessary evil” to move traffic.
Supervisor Lovingood enjoys working with the other supervisors and they collectively look and work for the common good in the best interest of the county.
A Q & A period followed.
The meeting adjourned at 8:27 a.m.