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Monthly Archives: June 2015

County retirement plan wins national award

logosmallerThe County’s Department of Human Resources won a 2015 Leadership Recognition Award from the National Association of Government Defined Contribution Administrators (NAGDCA) for its employee defined contribution plans.

Every year, NAGDCA recognizes defined contribution plans for outstanding achievements in plan design. The award will be presented at the NAGDCA annual conference on Sept. 29 in Indianapolis.

“We’re very proud to have won this prestigious award,” said James Ramos, Chairman of the Board of Supervisors. “The award is recognition of how committed the County is to helping our employees achieve financial security in retirement.”

The County’s Defined Contribution Committee oversees the investment funds available to employees. This committee ensures employees have the best options available when saving for retirement. In 2014, the County implemented several plan design and administrative improvements which helped provide employees with quality investment choices. The new plan structure reduced fees with vendor partner Voya Financial and also reduced average investment expenses for participants.  Overall, fees were reduced by an average of 44 percent.  Additionally, the new structure provides complete fee transparency to plan participants. In partnership with Voya Financial, the County developed a variety of communication materials to help educate employees on the plan design and fee changes to help demonstrate the benefits of the new plan.

San Bernardino County was one of five national winners in the Plan Design and Administration category of the Leadership Award. The City and County of Honolulu, the Commonwealth of Virginia, Ohio Deferred Compensation and the State of Maine were also recognized.

NAGDCA is a non-profit organization comprised of state and local government administrators and private sector companies that service and support defined contribution/deferred compensation plans for public employees nationwide.

North Etiwanda Preserve closed due to fire potential

etiwanda preserveDue to dangerous fire conditions and extremely low vegetation fuel moistures throughout the region, the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, along with our partners at Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District, will be issuing a closure order for the North Etiwanda Preserve, effective at sunset Friday, July 3, 2015, and ending at 6 a.m. on Monday, July 6, 2015.  This order is pursuant to Section 11 of the San Bernardino County Fire Protection District Ordinance and the Rancho Cucamonga Fire Protection District Ordinance FD-054.

This closure order restricts the public’s access to the North Etiwanda Preserve in an effort to help prevent the potential ignition of a wildfire that could be capable of damaging and/or destroying natural resources and historical areas, while providing the utmost in public safety.  Signs will be posted at the all entry points to the Preserve.  Failure to comply with this order may result in a fine of $1,000.

The North Etiwanda Preserve is located at the north end of Etiwanda Avenue and north of Redcliff Drive in Rancho Cucamonga. A map of the closure area can be located at under latest news.


Supervisors approve emergency declaration for Lake Fire

logosmallerAs the Lake Fire continues to burn nearly 30,000 acres in the San Bernardino Mountains, the Board of Supervisors today unanimously ratified an emergency proclamation during an emergency meeting this morning.

The proclamation will enable the County to seek State and/or Federal reimbursement for the cost of fighting the fire. So far, the cost of all resources in response to this fire has been estimated at $17.6 million.

“The County is putting every effort into making sure people are safe and that they have access to all of the resources they need to survive this fire and recover,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “I commend the brave public safety personnel who are fighting this fire and keeping our communities safe.”

The proclamation notes there are conditions of extreme peril to the safety of people and property near the Lake Fire, which started just before 4 p.m. on June 17.  Since the fire began, visitors and residents and animals in mountain communities have been evacuated and taken to emergency shelters. Four firefighters have been injured.

Firefighters are working diligently to get the fire under control. Containment was at 19 percent at 8 a.m. today. Mandatory evacuations include areas along Highway 38 east of Angeles Oaks to Onyx Summit, Barton Flats, Seven Oaks, South Fork, Heart Bar Rainbow Lane, Burns Canyon and Rimrock.  Highway 38 is closed between Angeles Oaks to Lake Williams.

For more information and updates about the Lake Fire, visit or San Bernardino County Fire at

Apple Valley Library reopens at Victor Valley Museum

Man Reading Book and Sitting on Bookshelf in LibraryThe San Bernardino County Library’s Apple Valley branch, currently undergoing construction, will temporarily reopen at the Victor Valley Museum in time for customers to join the Summer Reading Program.

Beginning Monday, June 29, the Apple Valley branch will offer access to library materials, programs, services, and the ability to request materials from other branches. The temporary location is at the Victor Valley Museum, 11873 Apple Valley Road in Apple Valley. Computer access is the only service that won’t be available.

Apple Valley customers are invited to “Join the Galactic Forces” during the Summer Reading Program. Throughout the summer, the Library will give away awesome incentives to participants who sign up and read.

Reading for rewards is just the beginning. The Apple Valley Library will host various programs of galactic proportions, including performers, space-themed crafts, movies and more. Tuesdays will feature 3 Performer shows which will begin at 2, 3, and 4 p.m. Space will be limited, so please come early to secure a spot. Additional programs include family movie nights on Mondays at 4:30 p.m., kids craft station on Thursdays at 4 p.m., and teen programs on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 2 p.m. For a full listing of Summer programs, please refer to the Library website, The Summer Reading Program is open to all ages, so come on in and sign the whole family up. This program is absolutely free!

For more information, call the Victor Valley Museum at (760) 240-2111.

The San Bernardino County Library System is a dynamic network of 32 branch libraries that serves a diverse population over a vast geographic area. The County library system strives to provide equal access to information, technology, programs, and services for all the people who call San Bernardino County home.

The library plays a key role in the achievement of the Countywide Vision,, by contributing to the educational, cultural, and historical development of our County community.

For more information on the San Bernardino County Library system, please visit or call (909) 387-2220.

Community garden opens in Big Bear City

community garden big bearGardeners are invited to begin planting fresh fruits and vegetables at the new drought-friendly Ranch Community Garden located at 2050 Erwin Ranch Road in Big Bear City.

The site offers 10 by 12 feet garden plots filled with screened dirt and a nearby water source.

Plots are $50 per year, paid annually to the Big Bear Valley Recreation and Park District, and are selling fast.  Gardeners are required to use only organic soil additives and planting materials and are encouraged to grow their favorite vegetables.

The garden was designed by Robbie Bos, Big Bear’s community garden guru, and built by the Park District maintenance staff, under Robbie’s watchful eye.  The property used to be a large grass soccer complex that was not drought-friendly, using 15,000 gallons of water per day. The community garden is expected to consume only 500 gallons per day with the added benefit of producing food.

“I am excited about this project because it supports the Countywide Vision of promoting healthy communities,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “This community garden will provide an opportunity for ‘farm to table’ produce and will teach people the benefits of healthy eating and sustainable agriculture.”

Thirty gardening plots are ready for planting and more will be available in the near future. The weather is perfect for growing some vegetables. Gardeners can sign up for a plot by logging on to and registering. Gardeners may also call the Park District at (909) 866-9700 for plot assignment, or come in to the office located at Meadow Park, 41220 Park Avenue, Big Bear Lake, CA, 92315.

Coming soon:  18 more garden plots, including two ADA-compliant raised beds, composting bins, wash sink and counter beds, fruit trees, redwood privacy fencing, benches, decorative education beds and large crop fields for fun crops like pumpkins and melons.

The Park District is also seeking groups and students interested in gardening, tending to large crop fields and educational beds, as well as assisting people new to gardening.

County CEO receives regional leadership award

Devereaux portraitCounty Chief Executive Officer Greg Devereaux today received a regional honor for his work with the Board of Supervisors and other county leaders on the Countywide Vision, as well as his 19 years of service as an executive with the County and the cities of Ontario and Fontana.

Mr. Devereaux became the 59th recipient of the Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government from the Southern California Chapter of the American Society for Public Administration during ceremonies in Los Angeles.

“My fellow Board members and I are proud of the work Greg has done to develop and achieve the Countywide Vision, which will make our county community a better place for our residents and investors,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman James Ramos. “Greg also deserves credit for working so closely and so well with the Board of Supervisors to get County Government back on the right track.”

Information on the Countywide Vision is available at

“It is very rewarding to work for a Board of Supervisors that is committed to good government and to achieving the vision the people of our county have for our community’s future,” Mr. Devereaux said.

“No one accomplishes anything alone in government,” Mr. Devereaux said. “In government, you always work as a team, and everything for which I have been given credit would not have been possible without the elected representatives, elected department heads, executive staff, line staff, and community members who have worked with me over the years.”

Mr. Devereaux has served as the County’s chief executive since early 2010. He served as city manager for Ontario from 1997 to 2010, and city manager for Fontana from 1993 to 1997.

The American Society for Public Administration, ASPA, is a 9,000-member organization of government and nonprofit administrators, scholars, educators, and students. ASPA advances the art, science, teaching and practice of public and non-profit administration through its programs and services and fosters core public service values, including accountability and performance, professionalism, social equity, and ethics at the local, national and international levels.

The Southern California Chapter of ASPA was founded in 1948, has approximately 400 members, and is the second-largest chapter of ASPA. The Southern California Chapter’s mission statement is, “To inspire and promote leadership in the Southern California region.”

The Clarence A. Dykstra Award for Excellence in Government was first awarded in 1956 and is named for the nation’s first city manager, having held that position in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Dykstra also served as provost of UCLA from 1945 to 1950. Mr. Devereaux will join a long line of distinguished Southern California leaders who have received the award. Mr. Devereaux was nominated for the award by Phil Hawkey, executive vice president emeritus and assistant professor of Public Administration at the University of La Verne.

During the past four years, San Bernardino County has claimed nearly 150 national and state innovation awards for developing or improving services for county residents and investors. Earlier this month, the county led the nation in claiming 46 Achievement Awards from the National Association of Counties.

Public Health issues a heat advisory for the weekend

Rising TemperatureSan Bernardino County Health Officer Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare has issued a heat advisory for residents. High temperature above 100 degrees are forecasted for the inland valleys, mountains and desert regions for the weekend. Residents are urged to take precautions that will help prevent heat-related illness.

High or unusually hot temperatures can affect your health. Most vulnerable are the elderly, those who work or exercise outdoors, infants and children, the homeless or poor, and people with chronic medical conditions.

Take the necessary precautions to prevent serious health effects such as heat exhaustion or heat stroke by following the tips below.

Stay cool

  • Stay in air-conditioned buildings.
  • Find an air-conditioned Cooling Center open to the public by dialing the United Way’s toll-free resource telephone line at 2-1-1, or online at
  • Do not rely on a fan as your primary cooling device.
  • Limit outdoor activity, especially midday when it is the hottest part of the day, and avoid direct sunlight.
  • Wear loose, lightweight, light-colored clothing.
  • Take cool showers or baths to lower your body temperature.
  • Check on at-risk friends, family and neighbors at least twice a day.

Stay hydrated

  • Drink more than usual and don’t wait until you’re thirsty to drink.
  • Drink from two to four cups of water every hour while working
  • Avoid alcohol or liquids containing high amounts of sugar.
  • Make sure your family, friends and neighbors are drinking enough water.

For more information on the extreme heat visit the San Bernardino County Department of Public Health website here. Or visit the California Department of Public Health website here. 


Community Transformation plan to be launched

communityvitalsignsA plan to transform San Bernardino County into a healthier place to live, work, learn, and play will be formally unveiled during the National Innovative Communities Conference on June 23, 2015, at the Ontario Convention Center.  The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors received and  filed the plan during Tuesday’s meeting. The Community Transformation Plan is currently available on the Community Vital Signs website at and copies will also be available at all local San Bernardino County Public Library branches.

“Releasing a transformation plan alone is not enough to achieve transformation,” said San Bernardino County’s Public Health Officer, Dr. Maxwell Ohikhuare. “It is a call for community action with an understanding that wellness extends beyond just physical health. On behalf of Community Vital Signs, I invite everyone to join us to create opportunities for health and wellness in all of our communities.”

The Community Transformation Plan, which will be presented during a conference breakout session entitled, Transforming Health in our Communities through Collective Impact, offers a common understanding of key issues facing County residents, and potential cross-cutting strategies and policy recommendations for addressing the priority areas of:  Education; Economy; Access to Health and Wellness; and Community and School Safety.  It is a culmination of over two years of data analysis, community engagement and feedback, and input from subject experts across a broad spectrum of sectors.  In addition to establishing collective goals and measures of success, the plan will be used for prioritizing existing activities, setting new priorities, aligning the use of resources, and mobilizing action among all sectors in a strategic manner.

The Community Vital Signs Initiative addresses the Wellness Element of the Countywide Vision.  Developed through collaborative efforts of residents, community organizations, and government agencies, it sets evidence-based goals and priorities that align and leverage resources to improve the overall health and well-being of the County’s residents.

Since 2013, the Community Vital Signs initiative has engaged more than 2,000 stakeholders from healthcare, education, public safety, business, government, transportation, faith-based and community-based organizations, and residents for developing a collective plan to create a healthy county through prioritized and strategic action.

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