Yucca Mesa, Ca.,- There are two choices facing Yucca Mesa when LAFCO, Local Agency Formation Commission of San Bernardino, reviews their next SOI, Sphere of Influence…a bad choice or the worse choice. Neither one would be anything to celebrate but let’s look at both options and the bottom line. Yucca Mesa may soon be peppered with solar farms butting up next to their properties because they live in San Bernardin0 County and not within the boundary of the Town of Yucca Valley, where large commercial solar farms are prohibited.>LINK
Adding insult to injury, they have no representation on the newly formed Municipal Advisory Council. Elizabeth Karman, resident of Landers voting precinct and not even in the SOI of the Hi-Desert Water District, has been selected to represent Yucca Mesa by the staff of 3rd District Supervisor, James Ramos.
Forgetting what community service is all about as an appointed (not elected) government official, Karman promised these residents she would not lift one finger to help them for her own personal political reasons. Seeking retaliation and abusing the privileges of her appointment she sat silent on her thumbs during four Big Mac meetings regarding the concerns of Yucca Mesa and refuses to attend any community meetings.
The residents suffered another major blow when Field Representative Donna Munoz, recently left her position with Supervisor James Ramos. Munoz often stepped up to the plate to voice concerns on behalf of the Mesa and attended their meetings to understand the current events and concerns.
So what are the real benefits of remaining in county if there is no representation?
Reporter Rebecca Unger writes this story on September 27, 2008-
YUCCA VALLEY — The Yucca Valley Town Council is moving to annex Yucca Mesa into Yucca Valley’s sphere of influence, and although Town officials say nothing will change for mesa residents in the near future, some Yucca Mesa residents nevertheless are upset at the Town and suspicious of its motives.
Council members approved a review on the annexation in an Aug. 28 meeting and told staff to to file applications with the Local Agency Formation Commission for amendments to the Town’s sphere of influence.
Yucca Valley’s borders now end at Buena Vista Road and Yucca Mesa Drive. The area to be annexed as a sphere of influence extends from Buena Vista Road north to include Aberdeen and La Brisa drives and in some cases Luna Vista Lane and Winters Road.
To the east, the boundary extends to Sunny Vista Road.
To the west, the annexation boundary falls just on the east side of Old Woman Springs Road.
The Town estimates it would cost just under $600,000 a year to provide services to Yucca Mesa if the area were physically annexed, which would require reviews and approval by the Local Agency Formation Commission of San Bernardino County.
The unincorporated neighbor already is served by the Yucca Valley-based Hi-Desert Water District, and the council members agreed to shadow the district’s boundaries through the mesa.
“While the Town has considered the possibility of becoming the governing body of the HDWD, for this study it is assumed to remain as an independent district,” is the assessment in a report prepared for Yucca Valley by Stanley R. Hoffman Associates.
Though this is not a physical annexation, and it will not change any of the ways that services are provided by San Bernardino County to the unincorporated community, it does qualify as the first step toward annexation.
The draft review posed two questions: Does the Town have the capacity to extend its municipal services to adjacent unincorporated areas, and would the level and quality of the Town’s services be an improvement for said areas? Hoffman Associates found the answer to each question to be “an unequivocal yes.”
But does the Mesa agree? At the Town Council’s meeting, Jim Sammons of the Yucca Mesa Improvement Association told the council, “We don’t want to be involved with the Town if we can help it.”
He said the YMIA had it on “good report” that County Supervisor Dennis Hansberger and local representative Bruce Davis compared the Mesa’s mindset to that of Yucca Valley’s other next-door neighbor, Joshua Tree.
“Why do you want us if we’re slow-growth advocates?” Sammons challenged the council.
“I’m not sure Yucca Valley wants Yucca mesa!” joked Councilman Chad Mayes. “It would cost us a lot to provide those services.”
Another complaint by the YMIA was the Town’s perceived secrecy surrounding its annexation intentions and motives. But Deputy Town Manager Shane Stueckle said this has not been the case. Discussion of the subject has never taken place in closed session; in fact, Stueckle said the item is not eligible for inclusion in closed session.
Deputy Town Manager Stueckle is clear in his statements that Yucca Mesa will experience no change in the county services provided, nor will anything change between the Town and the water district, which will remain two separate entities.
“Let’s go on record with Yucca Mesa,” Mayes said in closing. “We don’t see annexation in the near future.”
Mayor Bob Leone agreed, “We’re still dealing with Super Wal-Mart.” Story Source>LINK
With NO concerned representation on the San Bernardino Municipal Advisory Council for Yucca Mesa, NO protection against commercial solar farms and NO road maintenance offered by the county…what are the real benefits if Yucca Mesa were annexed by the Town of Yucca Valley?