San Bernardino County officials and business leaders gathered Wednesday, Oct. 5, to celebrate the past year’s successes, including investments in transportation and infrastructure.
“Our theme, Vision Forward, embraces our county’s amazing resilience, strength and innovation,” Curt Hagman, chairman of the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, told those gathered Wednesday evening for the annual State of the County address at the Ontario Convention Center.
The presentation highlighted the county’s economic outlook, along with a video featuring the other four members of the board spotlighting different successes around the region — including the Brightline all-electric train from Las Vegas and Rancho Cucamonga, which is expected to create 40,000 construction jobs and 1,000 permanent jobs.
The train will eventually connect to Rancho Cucamonga’s HART district, which will combine a transit hub with a walkable commercial district.
Growth at Ontario International Airport, meanwhile, has led to its designation as one of the top 10 cargo airports in the nation, according to the county.
“It is so rewarding, especially as a board member of the Ontario International Airport Authority, to see how much our airport has grown since the historic moment we achieved local control in 2016,” Hagman said.
Meanwhile, progress at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center in Colton has been “amazing,” Hagman’s co-presenter, county spokeswoman Martha Guzman-Hurtado, said.
“In addition to the new Cancer Center and Medical School, (ARMC was) approved and certified as a level one trauma center, one of two in San Bernardino County,” Guzman-Hurtado said, “and they’ve established a state-of-the-art cardiovascular program that includes open heart surgery.”
Good evening. I’m at the San Bernardino County State of the County address at the Ontario Convention Center. pic.twitter.com/9DxMSIIQsd
— Beau Yarbrough ⌚🐕 (@LBY3) October 6, 2022
This year’s event also spotlighted the Curtain of Courage memorial for the victims of the Dec. 2, 2015 attack on the Inland Regional Center, which opened in June.
“The Curtain of Courage memorial gives all of us in San Bernardino County, the state, and the nation, the courage to move forward,” Hagman said.
Other wins spotlighted in the presentation included the record 82 awards the county received from the National Association of Counties earlier this year, more than any other county in the United States.
Hagman also boasted of the county passing its largest ever budget of $8.6 billion for the 2022-23 fiscal year. Among the items paid for in the new budget is the forthcoming San Bernardino County Animal Care Center.
“We are America’s biggest county and now more than ever we are showing everyone that biggest also means the best place to live, work, learn and play in California, if not the nation,” Guzman-Hurtado said near the conclusion of the event.
The event finished with a performance by country music singer Chayce Beckham and his band. Beckham, who grew up in the High Desert, is the first Southern Californian to win “American Idol,” which he won in May 2021.