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200 rescued dogs available to loving homes starting Monday

Nearly 200 dogs that have been at the San Bernardino County Animal Shelter in Devore as part of an animal cruelty, neglect and abandonment investigation will be available for adoption beginning Monday, Feb. 23, 2015. Some of the dogs will be taken to the Upland Animal Shelter, Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter and Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA  in Pomona.weim

The following dogs will be available at the following shelters:

​– Upland Animal Shelter – (909-931-4185) ​Cocker Spaniels (7) ​Weimaraners (11)

— Rancho Cucamonga Animal Shelter – (909-466-7387) ​Bulldogs (8) ​goldGolden Retrievers (18)

— ​Inland Valley Humane Society & SPCA (909-623-9777) ​Labradors (16) ​Poodles (10) (miniature, toy, and standard) ​

— San Bernardino County Devore Animal Shelter – (909-386-9820) ​Monday – Dogue De Bordx(3), Shihtzu(2), Chihuahua (31), Yorkshire Terrier (11)  (total of 47) ​Tuesday – American Eskimo (10), Lhasa Apso (10), Maltese (28) (total of 48) ​Wednesday – Pomeranian (26), Schnauzer (12), and Terrier (10) (total of 48)

See more at http://youtu.be/iHKhJZmtViA.

Forest Falls grateful for Public Works support

 

Dozens of Forest Falls residents took the time to thank County Public Works road crews in writing for cleaning up their community following a powerful storm that sent a river of mud and boulders through the heart of their mountain village.

Forest Falls letter

On Sunday, August 3, a thunderstorm parked itself just upstream of Forest Falls and dumped almost five inches of rain in less than an hour. A terrifying torrent of water, mud, boulders, and uprooted trees came roaring down into the community, closing Valley of the Falls Drive, Prospect Drive, and other roads, stranding many residents. The incident prompted an emergency proclamation by the Board of Supervisors.

20140804_092940Within a day, County Public Works had cleared roadways enough for residents to gain access to a shelter that had been established at the community center. Within two days, Valley of the Falls Drive and Prospect Drive were re-opened to the public. Unfortunately, Forest Falls is no stranger to these types of disasters.

The community’s unique canyon geography and the tendency of summer thunderstorms to stall upstream make sudden debris flows an all-to-common occurrence. Undeterred, residents have come to take these incidents in stride, and are grateful for the quick and consistent support they receive from numerous County agencies, including the Department of Public Works.

Volunteers needed to help Mt. Baldy community cleanup efforts

In response to the recent flash floods that hit parts of San Bernardino County and specifically the Mt. Baldy community, Inland Empire United Way is working with the San Bernardino County Fire Office of Emergency Services and San Bernardino County Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster to coordinate cleanup efforts tomorrow, MT.-BALDY-FloodingSaturday, Aug. 9, and Sunday, Aug. 10.

Volunteers are needed to shovel and remove dirt, mud, and general debris. The work needed to be done involves hard physical labor, so volunteers must be in good physical shape and 18 years of age or older.  If you are interested in volunteering you must register online at www.handsoninlandempire.org and follow the link titled Emergency Mt. Baldy Cleanup.  People interested in volunteering may also dial 211 or call 1-888-435-7565 for more information.

 

County crews continue cleanup

The County’s Department of Public Works and County Fire Department have been busy helping to restore order to various county communities following Sunday’s floods and debris flows.

ap-image-f8f0fb7fa7fc45d9b8484f6b96aef929Mt. Baldy, Forest Falls, and Oak Glen were hit the hardest. County Public Works Crews have cleared Mt. Baldy Road of debris, and a loader and grader are staged in the area in case additional work is needed. Some reports hold that thunderstorms might return as soon as Sunday.

In Forest Falls, crews were able to open Valley of the Falls Drive, even though cleanup in the community is expected to last at least through August 22. Crews are also expected to spend two more weeks cleaning up in Oak Glen, where at least four major storm culverts were completely blocked. Oak Glen Road is now open.

County Fire Hand Crews have been in Mt. Baldy and Forest Falls helping residents dig out from the mud and debris. County Fire also brought in equipment to start clearing driveways of mud and debris.

The desert areas of the county are suffering as well, with Barstow Heights and Big River the hardest hit. Public Works crews were also dispatched to Helendale, National Trails Highway, and various earthen flood control channels.

Keep up to date on road closures by visiting Public Works’ award-winning website at http://www.sbcounty.gov/dpw/

On Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors ratified a declaration of local emergency signed Monday by County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux. If the governor concurs, the county’s cleanup costs will be eligible for reimbursement and low-interest loans might be available to residents who lost property.

 

Supervisors pass balanced budget

The Board of Supervisors today unanimously adopted a balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.budget-2014

The budget is geared toward achieving the Countywide Vision, www.sbcounty.gov/vision, while reflecting the County’s ongoing struggle to cope with a deep economic downturn and dramatic and continuing increases in pension liabilities.

The $4.8 billion budget is $165.2 million smaller than the current budget and responsibly closes a $21 million gap between projected ongoing revenues and expenses without using reserves to cover ongoing expenses. The gap was fueled primarily by $12 million in federal and state takeaways and $9.7 million to cover the costs of AB 109 state prison realignment.

The budget fills the gap mainly through anticipated concessions from labor union members. If for any reason those concessions do not materialize, the only alternative will be to make deep and drastic cuts to other county programs.

County Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux described his staff’s effort to bring the Board a responsibly balanced budget as “two steps forward, one and a half steps back.” The economy has improved and revenues are slowly on the rise. However, it will take the County several more years to recover from the recession, which put the County behind in funding infrastructure, pensions, and basic services.

The economic downturn forced the County to make 47-percent cuts in non-public safety services such as parks, museums, and Registrar of Voters; get many employees to agree to forgo raises and fund their share of retirement contributions; and eliminate funding for community projects.

Needs that have gone unmet include jail staffing, adequate law enforcement patrol and Code Enforcement in unincorporated areas, roads and other needed infrastructure, and funding for worn out vehicles and other equipment.

The budget leaves 84 percent of the recently built 1,392 High Desert Detention Center expansion unstaffed and unused. There are also $117.1 million in county assets – vehicles, computers, etc. – that are beyond their useful life and there is no funding to replace them.

The budget manages to build up County reserves, but reserves will only be at 13.8 percent, which is well below the 20 percent mandated by County Policy. Healthy reserves are essential to maintain the County’s good credit rating and are necessary to fund large projects and to cover unexpected expenses.

“When we have an earthquake we will need this pot of money available,” Mr. Devereaux said.

Recommended budget available online

On Tuesday, June 17, the Board of Supervisors will conduct a public hearing and then consider adoption of a balanced budget for the fiscal year that begins on July 1.Budget Cover

The $4.8 billion recommended budget is $165.2 million smaller than the current budget and reflects the County’s effort to achieve the Countywide Vision. It also reflects the County’s ongoing struggle to recover from the Great Recession and cope with dramatic increases in pension liabilities. However, it does manage to fund the  first phase of High Desert Detention Center staffing, fully fund the County’s leave liability, invest more in road maintenance and improvements, and fund an upgrade to the County’s public safety radio system without incurring additional debt.

The Executive Summary for the 2014-15 Recommended Budget can be viewed here. The complete 2014-15 Recommended Budget can be viewed here.

Early voting starts today in Hesperia and Montclair

votingThe San Bernardino County Elections Office is continuing to make it convenient for voters to cast a ballot in the 2014 Statewide Primary Election by expanding early voting in the County. Beginning today, voters can vote early during normal business hours at the Hesperia Branch Library and the Montclair Branch Library. Earlier this month, early voting began at the San Bernardino County Elections Office.

All three early voting locations will also serve as a mail ballot drive-thru drop-off location on Election Day. Elections Office staff will be stationed in the parking lot to accept voted mail ballots and distribute “I Voted” stickers. The drive-thru drop-offs will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Election Day, Tuesday, June 3, 2014.

“These new early voting locations and mail ballot drive-thru drop-offs are just two examples of the many improvements we’ve implemented to make voting more convenient for San Bernardino County voters,” said San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters, Michael J. Scarpello. “In addition to these improvements, we recently added 55 locations throughout the county where voters can deliver their mail ballots,” Scarpello said.

Voters can also drop-off their mail ballots at any one of the county’s 413 polling places on Election Day. All mail ballot drop-off locations and polling places can be found on the Elections Office website at www.sbcountyelections.com. Voters can sign up to receive a mail ballot by filling out the Mail Ballot Application found in their Voter Information Guide, by downloading an application from the Elections Office website, or by calling the Elections Office. The deadline to apply for a mail ballot is tomrrow, Wednesday, May 28.

For more information about this election, visit the Elections Office website, www.sbcountyelections.com, or call (909) 387-8300.

 

Newspapers praise County’s progress

County government earned some well-deserved praise from The Sun and Daily Bulletin newspapers over the weekend. In an editorial, the newspapers said:

“Residents have regained faith in their county government.color seal small

“Supervisors have wisely ceded much of their former power to the county CEO. They now rely on him to carry out their policies — rather than shady old practices like directing staff members to move a favored project ahead of others, for example — and they have given up the massive discretionary funds — slush funds, if you prefer — that they used to control.

“As the economy has slowly improved, the county has been able to build its reserves while reducing its projected budget deficit. Most of the county employee unions have agreed to pick up the employee portions of their pensions costs, as they all should.”

The editorial also mentioned how other counties are now looking to emulate San Bernardino County’s good government practices.

It was encouraging to see the news media so clearly acknowledge the efforts made by the Board of Supervisors and all County employees to create a county in which those who reside and invest can prosper and achieve well-being, as articulated in the County’s Job Statement.

 

County employee scores appointment from governor

Gov. Jerry Brown today announced he has appointed San Bernardino County Public Works traffic chief Mohammad Qureshi of Redlands to the California Board for Professional Engineers, Land Surveyors, and Geologists.

formal with glasses Qureshi has been chief of traffic at Public Works of since 2012. He was regional director and senior project manager at LIN Consulting from 2007 to 2012, director of the Jackson State University Institute for Multimodal Transportation from 2006 to 2007 and assistant professor and director at the University of Missouri-Rolla’s Missouri Local Transportation Resource Center from 2000 to 2006. Qureshi was a research specialist at the University of Tennessee Center for Transportation Research from 1998 to 2000 and senior associate at the Resource Systems Group Inc. from 1995 to 1997. Qureshi earned a Doctor of Philosophy in civil engineering from the University of Tennessee and a Master of Science in civil engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.

Back to work!

jobsSan Bernardino County’s steady march back to prosperity has reached a significant milestone. For the first time in years, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County is lower than the rate in Los Angeles County. In December 2013, the unemployment rate in San Bernardino County was 8.7%, its lowest level in nearly six years. In contrast, unemployment reached a high of 14.8% in July 2010. The December 2013 rate for our neighbor to the west was 8.8%.

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