S.B. County voters will decide whether they want to secede from state; Fontana mayor likes the idea | News

After receiving input from some constituents, the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted on Aug. 3 to put an extraordinary measure on the November ballot that would allow voters to decide whether they want the county to secede from California.

The succession idea is very unlikely to be implemented, but it has given supporters — including Fontana Mayor Acquanetta Warren — a way to express their frustration with the unfair way they believe the county is being treated by the state.

Even if the county’s voters approve of the succession, authorization from the state and federal governments would be necessary.

Supervisor Janice Rutherford, whose 2nd District includes Fontana, said that the suggestion that was first mentioned by real estate developer Jeff Burum was quite unexpected.

“Last week speakers came here expressing a desire to secede from California, citing the state’s unwillingness to address quality of life issues and provide fair funding to our inland region. I was surprised by that idea, and I do not believe it is feasible politically or financially,” Rutherford said in a statement.

“However, I join with my constituents who have a growing, palpable anger about everything from high gas prices to burdensome taxes; growing homelessness to an ineffective justice system; broken schools to the state’s over-reaching, counter-productive regulatory scheme; housing unaffordability to the ineptness of the state’s preparation for this drought — to name just a few issues.”

Rutherford said that residents are paying “high taxes and don’t believe those taxes are coming back to their neighborhoods to address the problems they are most concerned about.

“And there is nothing crazy at all about being angry about what is happening to the Golden State. Our residents deserve better from California than what they’re getting and this measure will give them the opportunity to express that.”

Warren said she is happy that discussions are taking place about how to fix problems in California.

“The number one thing that frustrates me is that Sacramento acts as if the Inland Empire does not exist,” she said in a statement.

“Mandates are forced on us and most of the mandates are unfunded and the cities are forced to carry the burden. We are doing a great job in maximizing the funding that we have, but there is much more that needs to be done.

“Sacramento took away redevelopment but still expects us to build housing. Now we don’t have anything to incentivize home builders.”

San Bernardino County is the largest county geographically in the United States and has about 2.16 million residents. Local leaders have long complained that some other counties receive a disproportionately larger amount of funding.

“We just want our fair share,” Warren said.

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