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Fire Chief Munsey to attend State of the Union, promote federal support for public safety

San Bernardino County Fire Protection District Chief Dan Munsey will attend the president’s State of the Union address on Tuesday as the guest of San Bernardino County Congressman Pete Aguilar. Chief Munsey said he sees his attendance as an opportunity to build upon the good working relationships the County has with federal agencies and lawmakers.

County Fire Chief Dan Munsey

“I’m honored to have the opportunity to represent our region and San Bernardino County Fire at the president’s State of the Union address,” Chief Munsey said. “Our county depends on the relationship we have with our federal partners to ensure the safety of our residents, and I look forward to the chance to reinforce that relationship.”

“The County is proud and fortunate to have Chief Munsey represent us and the public safety needs of our residents in Washington and at the State of the Union address,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. “When disaster strikes our county, the men and women of County Fire stand bravely on the front lines. It is appropriate to have their organization stand as a symbol of the value in partnerships with the federal government.”

Dan Munsey was appointed County Fire Chief in November. Munsey began his career in the fire service in 1995 as a paid-call firefighter. He became a full-time firefighter in 1998, where he was assigned to Lake Arrowhead. He has worked in every division of County Fire, promoting to captain in 2004, battalion chief in 2008, and assistant chief in March 2014.

The San Bernardino County Fire Protection District has about 1,000 employees, covers approximately 19,000 of the county’s 20,105 square miles, and serves more than 60 incorporated municipalities and unincorporated communities within four Regional Service Zones – Mountain, North Desert, South Desert and Valley – including the City of Grand Terrace, City of Hesperia, City of Needles, City of San Bernardino, City of Twentynine Palms, City of Upland, Town of Yucca Valley, and unincorporated areas. Additionally, County Fire provides contractual fire protection services to two cities: Adelanto and Fontana, via its independent fire protection district.

County Fire is a community-based, all-hazard emergency services organization providing emergency mitigation and management for fire suppression, emergency medical services, ambulance services, hazardous materials response, arson investigation, hazard and terrorism/weapons of mass destruction abatement, and technical rescue, including water-borne, flooding and mudslide, and winter rescue operations.

 

Santa Ana River Trail Bike Day and Open House

San Bernardino County Regional Parks invites families and riders of all abilities to come and ride at your own pace along the Santa Ana River Trail, Saturday, Oct. 5 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m.

There will be three access points on the trail with community information, resources, water and bike-related goods and services.

Registration is open and this event is free to the public.

For more information or to register, visit www.santanariverbikeday.com.

 

County’s Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge wins Best of Big Bear honor

Readers of the Big Bear Grizzly have chosen the County’s Big Bear Alpine Zoo at Moonridge as the Big Bear Valley’s Best Natural/Cultural Attraction for 2019. What better reason to visit the zoo this weekend?

The Big Bear Alpine Zoo is a rehabilitation facility offering injured, orphaned and imprinted wild animals a safe haven, temporarily while they heal, or permanently, as they are unable to survive on their own. Current residents include very rare snow leopards, black bears, bald eagles, mountain lions, gray wolves, and many more.

The Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, a Special District of the County of San Bernardino owns the zoo, the facilities and the animals.

Find out more here.

 

Board approves balanced, visionary 2019-20 County budget

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday unanimously adopted a balanced $6.9 billion budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.

The budget fully funds increased costs to maintain current public service levels, makes a substantial contribution to capital project needs, and allocates funding to many projects and programs that support the Countywide Vision and the board’s goals and objectives.

“The Board’s longstanding fiscally prudent approach, coupled with continued growth in property and sales tax revenues, has placed the County in a position to take care of immediate needs and strategically invest in the future,” County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride wrote to the Board.

Examples of funding recommendations include allocations to:

  • Enhance public safety, such as the Sheriff Department’s Hope and START programs),
  • Improve decision-making capabilities through the use of technology, such as Esri GIS licenses and support),
  • Address workload issues, particularly staffing for the District Attorney and Public Defender,
  • Invest in capital projects, such as gully funding the Valley Dispatch Center project.

The budget includes $406.9 million in reserves, $1 billion toward law and justice, $2.3 billion for human services, and $721 million for Arrowhead Regional Medical Center.

S&P Global upgrades County’s credit rating to AA+

Citing prudent budgeting practices by the county and an improving county economy, one of the nation’s top three credit rating agencies today upgraded San Bernardino County‘s credit rating from AA to AA+.

“This is a testament to the great work being done by our budget staff, our department managers and all County employees, who provide the public with a high level of service with efficiency and innovation,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman.

The County requested the credit review by S&P Global as part of a $335.2 million dollar refunding of outstanding debt approved by the Board of Supervisors last month. Based on current market conditions, the County expects the higher rating to help save over $30 million dollars on that refunding alone.

In its notification to the county, S&P Global cited a strengthening local economy as part of the reason for the upgrade, particularly employment growth, a rise in retail activity and rebounding real estate values.

It also praised the County for using “fiscal discipline” in the face of surging tax revenue from the improved economy.

“We view the county’s management as very strong, with strong financial policies and practices,” S&P wrote in its notification to the County. “We view the county’s budgetary flexibility as very strong. … Management reports that stronger tax revenue and continued actions to reduce expenditure growth contributed to a rebound in general fund performance in recent fiscal years.”

Among the specifics S&P Global cited were:

  • Strong budgetary performance, with operating surpluses at the general fund and the total governmental fund levels in fiscal 2018.
  • Very strong debt and contingent liability profile.
  • An analytically robust budget development process that uses trends and forecasts to build assumptions with input from local economists, and a budget document that includes details on assumptions to support decision-making by the Board of Supervisors.
  • Quarterly budget updates to the Board of Supervisors that include details on year-to-date revenue and expenditures.
  • Good debt disclosure online and in annual financial reports as well as a debt policy that is integrated with the strategic plan.

Join the Museum’s biggest party of the year

Celebrate the San Bernardino County Museum’s incredible work focusing on the region’s nature, art, history and science at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, May 18. By attending Bucky Ball, you support the Museum’s mission to inspire the community about the Inland Empire’s rich cultural and natural history through year-round STEM-based and family-focused programming.

The Museum impacts the lives of nearly 70,000 schoolchildren, families, researchers and others annually in our diverse community at our Redlands site and an additional 12,000 at Victor Valley Museum and our historic sites. For many, the Museum is their first introduction to the wonders of nature and the remarkable region in which we live. These learning experiences set the stage for a life-long interest in science, art and the natural world.

This special night of festivities raises much-needed support for new exhibits and upgrades to permanent spaces inside the Museum and its branch sites, and for the Museums for All discount admission program, providing access regardless of ability to pay.

This year’s gala will include an exclusive preview of the upcoming exhibit, Pulp Culture: A Juicy Story in the Orange Empire. Enjoy beautiful décor, live music and dancing, a gourmet dinner and wines, the esteemed Good Egg Awards, silent and live auctions, and a few surprises designed to provide our guests a truly pleasurable evening.

To purchase tickets go to: https://thesbcma.org/bucky-ball/

County Fleet Management among the best on the continent – again!

For the 14th time in the past 15 years, San Bernardino County Fleet Management has been named one of the 100 Best Fleets in North America, coming in 17th place this year – up from 23rd last year.

The 100 Best Fleets competition recognizes fleet operations that perform at a high level using industry recognized processes and procedures, key performance indicators and best practices. The 100 Best Fleets results are announced every year at the National Association of Fleet Administrators Institute and Expo conference.

The approximately 100 men and women of San Bernardino County Fleet Management provide acquisition, maintenance, repair, modification, and disposal services for the majority of county vehicles and equipment. Fleet Management’s main garage in San Bernardino includes four shops: automotive, heavy duty, welding/metal fabrication, and generator services, as well as a parts room and fueling station. The department also operates five smaller service centers in Barstow, Victorville, Needles, Rancho Cucamonga and Twentynine Palms and 60 strategically located fueling sites.

Additionally, Fleet Management operates a motor pool, which has ownership and/or maintenance and replacement responsibility for approximately 1,940 vehicles and pieces of equipment assigned to or used by county departments.

This is NOT the weekend for roadside snow play

Southern Californians looking to play in the snow this weekend won’t find any of it by the side of the roads in the San Bernardino County mountains.

The Crestline, Lake Arrowhead and Running Springs areas are open for business and great for food, shopping and general relaxation, but Thursday’s relatively warm storm washed away most of the snow.

Snow conditions are great in the higher-elevation Big Bear area, but both of the roads between the San Bernardino and Big Bear valleys are closed while they recover from this week’s storms. The only way into Big Bear and to the area’s two major ski resorts is through the High Desert on Highway 18.

For those who plan on visiting the local mountains this weekend, the county continues to urge visitors to be safe, smart, and polite.

–Heavy fog is common on mountain highways. Motorists are reminded to be alert, slow for weather conditions and use headlights while driving. Avoid travel during storm events and check road and weather conditions before you travel.  Motorists should anticipate delays and longer travel time.

–Carry tire chains, but do not stop in the roadways to put them on. Chains are not a convenient option for motorists when ice and snow are present. They are required. Motorists must carry chains or other legally compliant traction devices. The San Bernardino Mountain regions have Caltrans-permitted and -trained chain installers available during periods when chains are required.

–Motorists are urged to drive carefully and use turnouts to allow faster traffic to pass.

–Stock vehicles with water, snacks, blankets, a charged cell phone, flashlight and a full tank of gas before visiting the mountains. For safe winter driving tips and chain control information please go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html. Check out Caltrans’ “Quick Map” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. For real-time traffic, download the Quick Map app on iTunes or Google Play.

–Be courteous. The mountains are a full-time home to thousands people. Visitors should carry their trash with them or use one of the dumpsters located along state highways 18 and 330, which are generously provided through a partnership between county government, Caltrans and Burrtec.

–Park only in areas clearly designated for parking. Illegally parked vehicles, especially those blocking roads or snow plows, will be quickly towed away.

Law enforcement will be present in greater numbers and will actively enforce laws concerning driving, chains, parking, roadside play and littering.

Generation GO! : High school seniors begin county internships

More than 100 San Bernardino County high school seniors got a jump start into careers on Wednesday as they began internships with more than 20 county departments.

The internships are part of  Generation Go!, a countywide program established by the County Workforce Development Board providing work-based learning opportunities to high school students. A key component of its work is ensuring that the county’s youth are ready to enter the workforce with the skills needed to compete today and for the future.

Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman, County Chief Executive Officer Gary McBride and Deputy Executive Officer Reg Javier offered encouraging remarks to the students during their orientation Wednesday. McBride expressed a particular connection with the students, recounting how he began his career with the county at a young age in an entry-level position. 

Generation Go! is an essential element of Vision2Succeed, a project of the Countywide Vision aimed at preparing San Bernardino County residents for the jobs we have and the jobs we want to attract.

The county is currently seeking businesses that are willing to provide work-based learning experiences as part of a high school curriculum. Targeted industries include utilities/energy, logistics/transportation, construction/engineering, automotive, manufacturing and culinary.

Be safe and courteous when visiting the mountains

Recent storms have transformed the San Bernardino County mountains into a winter wonderland, and mountain residents, public safety agencies and government service providers are bracing for the usual mass migration of snow lovers from all parts of Southern California.

County government joins mountain residents and businesses, police and fire agencies, Caltrans and other mountain “locals” in welcoming weekend visitors while urging them to be courteous, be prepared, and be safe in their quest for snow and adventure.

  • Snow and rain are expected throughout the weekend. Heavy fog is common on mountain highways. Motorists are reminded to be alert, slow for weather conditions and use headlights while driving. Avoid travel during storm events and check road and weather conditions before you travel.  Motorists should anticipate delays and longer travel time.
  • Carry tire chains. Chains are not a convenient option for motorists when ice and snow are present. They are required. Motorists must carry chains or other legally compliant traction devices. The San Bernardino Mountain regions have Caltrans-permitted and -trained chain installers available during periods when chains are required.
  • Motorists are urged to drive carefully and use turnouts to allow faster traffic to pass.
  • Stock vehicles with water, snacks, blankets, a charged cell phone, flashlight and a full tank of gas before visiting the mountains. For safe winter driving tips and chain control information please go to http://www.dot.ca.gov/cttravel/winter.html. Check out Caltrans’ “Quick Map” for current road conditions and chain requirements at http://quickmap.dot.ca.gov. For real-time traffic, download the Quick Map app on iTunes or Google Play.
  • Be courteous. The mountains are a full-time home to thousands people. Visitors should carry their trash with them or use one of the dumpsters located along state highways 18 and 330, which are generously provided through a partnership between county government, Caltrans and Burrtec.
  • Park only in areas clearly designated for parking. Illegally parked vehicles, especially those blocking roads or snow plows, will be quickly towed away.

Law enforcement will be present in greater numbers and will actively enforce laws concerning driving, chains, parking, roadside play and littering.

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