Meeting of the minds

Teresa Sitz, left, presides over a Wonder Valley commnity meeting with Karen and Ted Myers in attendance.

WONDER VALLEY — Residents here received written instructions for protesting a county plan that could raise the amount their annual fire protection assessments from $35 to $157.26.

Teresa Sitz, who represents Wonder Valley on the Basin Wide Municipal Advisory Council, provided protest instructions to residents at a community meeting here Saturday, Sept. 15.

Residents have until Oct. 16 to file protests with the county over a proposal to create a uniform fire assessment fee across county communities served by the county fire service.

When the protest period is complete, the county board of directors will determine the value of written protests filed and not withdrawn.

If at least 25 percent of landowners in the affected territory, owning at least 25 percent of the land in the territory, submit valid protests, the proposed will be submitted to voters for their approval.

If protests are received from more than 50 percent of landowners who own at least 50 percent of the assessed value of land within the territory affected, the proposal will be withdrawn.

Sitz organized regular community meetings in the Wonder Valley community center, where she is also the coordinator.

She brought 20 copies of instructions and protest forms for residents who wanted to protest the proposed expansion of Fire Protection Zone 5.

“They will send you the letter but not the form,” she said. “If you want to protest and you need a form I will give one to you.”

Protest forms may be mailed to Service Zone FP-5 Expansion Protest, 157 W 5th Street, Second Flood, San Bernardino, California, 92415-0451 or brought in person to San Bernardino County Fire Protection District, 157 W 5th Street, Second Flood, San Bernardino, California, 92415-0451.

Written protests will be accepted at the hearing at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 16, in the Covington Chamber of the San Bernardino County Government Center at 385 North Arrowhead Avenue in San  Bernardino.

Residents also heard from representative of Morongo Basin Ambulance and Mercy Air about services provided to the area. After the meeting they got the chance to look through a Mercy Air helicopter which had been landed behind the community center.

(6) comments

Branson Hunter

What can we take from this is (i) that LAFCO will send you the notice of new taxes letter but not the protest mail in ballot form; and (ii) that those whom go online to download the protest ballot will have a difficult task of finding it; and (iii) that LAFCO's new director publicly stated LAFCO will not change their bogus voting process in any shape or form. Simply put, it fails to meet constitutional muster.

I find this disturbing. I find it offensive. I find the pretend protest fiasco un-American.

Talk to neighbors, help them get a physical copy of the ballot to protest. Download it; pass it on.

Blayd

I find this current protest form debacle: reprehensible, sleazy, and unconstitutional.

This is a direct attack against those without online capabilities, a printer, or have a difficult time navigating the internet.

This targets the infirm, the elderly, the poor, and the poorly educated.

This should be a complete mail in ballot question as a complete package sent to each taxpayer/voter. Even a postcard would have been an improvement.

Clearly the Board of Supervisors desire no opposition to this new tax. Obviously they have no shame, however as a taxpayer I am embarrassed and angry at this current debacle.

I guess this is what its like to live in a DICTATORSHIP!

Perhaps a class action lawsuit is in order directed at this taxing process WITHOUT representation.

In my travels I will print this up in bulk and disburse as needed. A ream of copy paper is cheap enough.

Maybe some local businesses can step up to the plate and offer copies? Create some neighborly goodwill?

Blayd

Here is the needed ljnk to the protest form:

https://www.sbcfire.org/ServiceZoneFP-5.aspx

Page down until you see line item 4 in forms - protest form and hit the blue button to download the PDF file. Print it out, fill it out, MAIL IT IN.

Blayd

Helpful hint: Our taxpayer funded San Bernardino Public Library System will have friendly staff that should be able to locate and print this document for those unable to do so at home.

Blayd

I commisioned a small copy run of the protest form (page 3of3 only) and dropped them off at the Big Horn Desert View Water Agency so that the front office staff can disburse the protest form(s) to those they know are not online capable. Hopefully the most vulnerable of our neighbors will be able to now participate in this protest.

It is my understanding that others have ALSO commisioned rather large print jobs of this protest form as well to be distributed.

Many thanks to those that took the initiative to assist in bringing democracy and fiscal responsiblity BACK to San Bernardino County.

Thank YOU in advance for filling out and mailing in your protest form(s) and also helping to spread the word, and assisting others less able to either find or print the protest form.

CheRojo

I have no problem paying more for fire service if it is actually warranted, but this is being done in such a ham fisted manner they lost me. I've filed protests for each property I own.

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