September 13, 2022 Minutes-San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe -Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM

Tuesday, September 13, 2022

Hybrid Meeting In-Person and via ZOOM


Present:  Megan Barajas, Deborah Barmack, Peter Barmack, Carole Beswick, Greg Bradbard, Mike Burrows, Mark Cloud, Ken Coate, Michelle Decker, Kevin Dyerly, Louis Goodwin, Otis Greer, Fran Inman, Mark Kaenel, Lowell King, Steve Lambert, Mike Layne, Darcy McNaboe, Miguel Mendoza, Jacquelyn Mercado, John Mirau, Robert Nava, Vikki Ostermann, Bansree Parikh, Catherine Pritchett, Karen Richmond, Michael Rivera, Elizabeth Romero, Dan Schenkel, Kristine Scott, Eric Ustation, Pete Van Helden, Michael Wells and Ray Wolfe.

Guests:  Rebeccah Goldware, Anne Myles, Arnold San Miguel and Marisa Yeager.

Announcements:  1) Congratulations were expressed to The San Bernardino International Airport for their first passenger service with Breeze Airlines that began in August.  2) The Riverside Community College District is hosting “Growing a Future Regional Workforce for the Inland Empire” at the Riverside Convention Center on Friday, September 30, 2022, from 8:00a.m.-3:00p.m. The event is free of charge.  For more information call 951-235-3055 or

Staff report: During the month of August:

  • Participated in 2 Ontario International Airport legislative roundtable work groups discussing regional issues where we concur and can advocate for together.
  • Met with members of the Little Hoover Commissioner re: the 1991 Realignment and the continuing impacts on our region.
  • Participated in a roundtable discussion with Department of Commerce Undersecretary for Economic Affairs, Jed Kolko. He was greatly interested in the unique nature of our economy and discussion was had about the economic competitive shift from Northern CA vs Southern CA to the now Coastal CA vs Inland CA.
  • Representatives of the President of the Federal Bank of San Francisco have contacted Inland Action regarding what the Federal Reserve can do understand the impacts economic policy in the Inland Empire. Initially the President is interested in manufacturing and in logistics and goods movement.  Members in those sectors will be contacted both individually and as participants in small roundtables.
  • The Inland Empire Caucus meeting to be hosted by Inland Action at Esri on 9/27/22 has robust participation. You must Rsvp to attend. Caucus leader Assemblymember Ramos has asked that we focus on small business challenges. Among other things, we will discuss the impacts of being a “Donor County” when we meet with the Caucus.
  • Met and had a brief conversation with Secretary of Transportation Buttigieg at a Fontana event to highlight $15 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, to help connect the Inland Empire, rebuild two major roadways, and create good-paying jobs.
  • Staff took Chief Judge Gutierrez to meet with Congressman Ken Calvert to talk about the Riverside Federal Court. The Judge explained that the GSA study would take 5 years.  Congressman Calvert stated that they could potentially put it in a Bill which could potentially reduce the time to 1 year.  Inland Action will team up with Monday Morning Group on this project.
  • Staff is scheduling a luncheon with the Monday Morning Group within the next 30 days.
  • Planned an Inland Action Retreat for November 5, 2022, at the Redlands Country Club where Steve Lambert will serve as Facilitator.

Motion by L. Goodwin/Second/Passed: Dr. Sam Gibbs will serve as alternate member to Reggie Webb, Cooperative Economic Empowerment Movement, replacing Dr. Judy White.

Motion by M. Burrows/Second/Passed: Rebeccah Goldware, Vice Chancellor, Institutional Advancement and Economic Development, Riverside Community College District will serve as alternate member, replacing Marisa Yeager.

Lowell King, Chair presiding.

Motion by L. Goodwin/Second/Passed: Minutes from July 19, 2022.

Ken Coate summarized the Southern California Edison Alberhill System Project which will enhance the southern Riverside County and other areas.
Motion by the Environment Committee/Second/Passed: A letter of support will be sent for the Southern California Edison Alberhill System Project.

Eric Ustation introduced San Bernardino County Supervisor Dawn Rowe who discussed a previous County Charter Amendment that, in addition to other issues, limited the term of County Supervisor to one four-year term, made the position of County Supervisor part-time, and reduced the salary to $60,000 a year.  A new County Charter Amendment addressing these limitations and establishing additional new requirements for raising taxes in County-governed special districts has been approved for the November 2022 ballot.

In November 2020 Measure K was put on the ballot and voter-approved by a 2 to 1 margin.  The Measure initiated by the Red Brennan Group is thought to be retaliatory for the County Board of Supervisors actions in October 2018 with the adoption a resolution that expanded the boundaries of Zone FP-5 to include Upland and San Antonio Heights.  In adopting the resolution, the Board determined that expansion of the boundaries of Zone FP-5 would provide additional necessary revenues to maintain current fire protection and emergency response services.

Measure K reduces a San Bernardino County supervisor’s pay to $5,000 a month and imposes a lifetime one-term limit.  Advocates believe limiting a supervisor to four years in office would make them more responsive to the needs of county residents as they wouldn’t be concerned with re-election.  Additionally, they cited that four years is ample time for a supervisor to at least attempt to tick off all the boxes on his or her legislative to-do list.  The measure was temporarily blocked when the County Board of Supervisors sued to keep it from being enacted. Although still in litigation to date judges have rejected the Board’s arguments.  Measure K, in essence, makes the Supervisors part time with pay at $22.00 per hour.

County Supervisors are an arm of the state, and they are responsible to implement most state regulations.   As the largest geographical county in the U.S. board members can be responsible for some 10,000 sq. miles and emergency situations can require them to work far beyond a typical 8-5 schedule.  Examples cited were the recent mud slides, COVID-19, and illegal cannabis cultivation.  These unexpected issues are emergencies, and none were campaign issues or on their radar.

Concerns for the county if Measure K remains include:

  • Limited amount of time for new Supervisors to educate themselves to intelligently to sit on various boards such as air quality, transportation, healthcare, education, public works, flood control, land use (each sits on 15 or more Boards and/or Commissions).
  • What candidates will be attracted to part-time positions? Possibly retirees, special interest groups, or those with unclear reasons for running.
  • What part-time candidates are prepared to manage the counties 24,000 employees and work with a $8.3B budget?
  • The power of the Board can easily shift from these part time Supervisors to staff level and dramatically change response times

To address these concerns the Board has placed Measure D on the fall Ballot.  The main components are:

  • Requires a supermajority vote from the Board of Supervisors (4-5) for proposed tax increases.
  • Requires voter approval for any tax increase the Board of Supervisors proposes or approves.
  • Prohibits the Board of Supervisors from voting to increase their own salaries, which will be tied to the salary of Superior Court Judges.
  • Sets term limits to no more than three terms.

Measure D will institute the fiscal responsibility voters demand on instituting taxes, while enabling real accountability for County Supervisors by preserving already strict term limits (three terms), thus keeping them accountable at the ballot box.

The Board has recognized a general lack of voter understanding of the duties and responsibilities of County Supervisors and has now created a Good Government for San Bernardino Committee.  They encourage everyone to get the word out in the next 30 days as absentee ballots will go out in October.  Continued education is planned, but time is of the essence, and they hope that social media, word of mouth, and newsletters will help spread the information.  Supervisor Rowe indicated she and other Supervisors are happy to speak on the issue.

A Q & A period followed.
Meeting adjourned at 8:32 a.m.