Sign, Sign, Everywhere A Sign

Hesperia has been overwhelmed with political signs; They’re  everywhere you look, ranging  from huge monolithic ones to small pieces of plastic blowing in the wind.

Outside of our primary elections, every two years our community has the obligation and opportunity to elect individuals to oversee the workings of Hesperia City, Hesperia Unified School District and Hesperia Recreation and Park District.  In this year’s election cycle, each of the elected bodies will have three seats up for grabs.

For those that want to complain about the order of the candidates listed below, the order was again selected by the ballot draw that is done by the Secretary of State

  • On Hesperia City Council we have Bill Holland, Anthony Rhoades, James Roberts, Paul Russ, Cody Gregg, Russell Blewett, Stirling Christiansen and Christopher Elvert.
  • For Hesperia School Board we have Eric Swanson, Kelly Gregg, Maria Gomez, Hardy Black, Niccole Childs and Marcy Kittinger.
  • For the Hesperia Recreation and Park District we have Jack Hamilton, Rebekah Swanson, Michael Limbaugh and Kelly Gregg.
  • On Victor Valley College Board we have Dennis Henderson, Lorrie Denson, Marianne Tortorici, Adele Turner-McClain and Brandon Wood.

Each of the above candidates are looking for your vote this November 4th, 2014, votes that are, in part, facilitated by political signs that promote name recognition.  The city and county do have code restrictions that the candidates are supposed to follow; code restrictions that, as we can see, are often ignored

Our Hesperia is not writing this article to attack the candidates that have put up sign or pushed the legal limit, but to give the community additional information on what this 60 to 70 day window means to the residents of Hesperia and Oak Hills, as well as to Victorville’s Golden Triangle area across the I-15 freeway.

Our Hesperia believes that candidates should be responsible for their actions in reference to their political signs, and how they do- or don’t- follow code:

From Chapter 16.36.090 of Hesperia City Code . . .

  • Political signs may be displayed up to sixty (60) days before a scheduled election and must be removed within fifteen (15) days after the election.
  • Political signs may be placed in the public right-of-way, subject to certain exceptions to ensure safety:
  • Political signs are not permitted in median strip areas.
  • Political signs must be freestanding and are not permitted on traffic signs, trees, shrubs, bus stops, power poles, utility cabinets or other public appurtenances.
  • Political signs may not be placed within fifty (50) feet of an intersection and no closer than six feet from the curb. Where no curb exists, signs shall be at least ten feet from the edge of pavement.
  • Political signs may not be located within any clear-sight triangle and may not obstruct any regulatory sign or traffic signal. In no case shall any political sign be placed where it will obstruct or impede traffic visibility.
  • Political signs may not be placed on city or other public property outside of city right-of-way, such as parks, buildings, facilities or appurtenant landscaped areas.
  • Political signs may be up to thirty-two (32) square feet in area and six feet in height.
  • All political signs on private property must be authorized by the property owner.

Now, as we know what the rules are, there are many of you that may be thinking about a specific sign that may not meet city or county code, but Our Hesperia is trying to look beyond this by understanding that the signs are a product of free speech and a method of promoting name recognition for the candidate.

With the right of free speech and the legal right to place signs across our community there comes responsibility, and Our Hesperia would like to suggest a few questions for the community to ponder;

  • Does the message fit the community viewpoint?
  • Did the candidate or their sign installation team show the correct moral compass when it comes to abiding by Hesperia’s city or county code?
  • Have signs been placed intentionally to block other candidates’ signs?
  • How many signs does a candidate need to place to gain name recognition in the community?
  • And who will or won’t remove their signs after Election Day?

And there are vast number of questions that many of you would wish to add to the above list.  We, the voters, can look back at both the track records and achievements of our current elected officials to help us decide to re-elect, but we have very little time to assess the unknowns of the newer candidates and political sign will not fill this void of knowledge with catchy phases.

Our Hesperia believes that there is something to be said about a candidate in their method of presenting a message to the community.  Do sloppy or trashy signs indicate what a candidate thinks of our community?  Maybe; or, maybe not, but Our Hesperia does recognize the improper sign placement and unprofessional looking signs take away from the look and feel of our community.

Candidates, remember; attaching your sign to someone’s structure or chain-link fence, as well as respecting Hesperia sign code rules and sign appearance, can paint a very distinct picture of what you think of your community.

Now as most of Hesperia has received their “Sample Ballot and Information Pamphlets” we can start bring to light who can take our community to the levels we want to achieve.

When it comes time to vote, remember never vote for who you don’t know, you could very well be making it worse.  Find out who the candidates are, what they have done, and what they can do for you, then make the choice.

In the days to come I will be presenting Our Hesperia’s take on who (candidates) can help our community achieve the great heights that we wish to reach and also trying to understand the wide viewpoints of Measure M.

Our Hesperia

 

Hesperia, Here Are Your Local Candidates for November 4th, 2014

Hesperia 2014 ElectionThis year’s candidates are here!  Yes, every two years the voters of Hesperia have the opportunity to decide who will be leading and making crucial decisions for our community with the City of Hesperia, Hesperia Unified School District, Hesperia Recreation and Park District and Victor Valley College all having seats up for the November election.

In the past, Hesperia has had anywhere from just a couple of candidates to 14 for the same office.  This year we have eight candidates running for city council, six for school board, four for the park district and five for Victor Valley College board.

This is also the first year that one candidate in particular, Kelly Gregg, is running for two elected offices (Hesperia Recreation and Park District and Hesperia Unified School District) at the same time.

Only one Incumbent, Smitty Smith, chose not to run for reelection.

(The candidates in each of the categories below are listed in the order they will appear on the ballot November 4th, 2014)

City of Hesperia council seats (voting for three):

Current elected candidates;

Bill Holland (incumbent),  first elected to City Council in 2010

Russell Blewett (incumbent), first elected to City Council in 2010

Past candidates;

Christopher Elvert, last ran in 2010

James Roberts, last ran in 2010

New candidates;

Anthony Rhoades

Paul Russ

Cody Gregg, currently in his second year on the Hesperia Unified School District Board

Stirling Christiansen

Hesperia school board seats (voting for three):

Current elected candidates;

Eric Swanson (incumbent), first elected to school board in 2001 and also in 2010

Hardy Black (incumbent), first elected to school board in 2006

Niccole Childs (incumbent), first elected to the school board in 2010

Past candidates;

Marcy Kittinger, ran in 2010 and 2012

New candidates;

Kelly Gregg, who is also running for Hesperia City Council and Hesperia Recreation and Park board, simultaneously in the same election.

Maria Gomez

Hesperia Recreation and Park District director seats (voting for three):

Current elected candidates;

Rebekah Swanson (incumbent), first elected to the park board in 2006

Michael Limbaugh (incumbent), first elected to the park board in 1997

Kelly Gregg (incumbent), first elected in to the park board in 2010

Past candidates;

Jack Hamilton, who was on the Hesperia School Board from 1987 to 2006, was appointed to the Hesperia Recreation and Park District in 2007, was re-elected in 2008 and last ran in 2010.

Victor Valley College Trustee seats (voting for three):

Current elected candidates;

Dennis Henderson (incumbent), first elected to the college board in 1997

Lorrie Denson (incumbent), first elected to the college board in 2010

Brandon Wood (incumbent), appointed to the board in 2013

New candidates;

Marianne Tortorici

Adele Turner-Mcclain

 

Hesperia voters will need to consider whether the current incumbents have done a good job for us in our community, and can they, and would they, continue to lead in a positive manner.

Our Hesperia believes that the three local elected bodies (City, Schools and Parks) have done a great job for Hesperia and the candidates that have helped lead these local agencies should be considered for reelection.  The Victor Valley College board, on the other hand, has gone through its ups and downs, but may be on the right track if it can pull everyone together.

In the weeks to come, Our Hesperia will break apart the issues and delve into each of the candidates.

- Our Hesperia

Election Results That Effect Hesperia

Below are the election results as of 5:00 pm November 16th 2012.  Keep in mind that these number are not he final count, but will not change very much from this point:

Next Update: November 21, 2012 3:00 p.m.
Approximate number of provisional ballots that remain to be counted: 36,000

Congressional – District 8
868/868 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
REP – GREGG IMUS 67,730 41.97%
REP – PAUL COOK 93,663 58.03%
Total 161,393 100.00%
State Senator – District 21
172/172 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
REP – STEVE KNIGHT 45,454 58.97%
DEM – STAR MOFFATT 31,632 41.03%
Total 77,086 100.00%
State Assembly – District 33
580/580 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
DEM – JOHN COFFEY 47,848 40.27%
REP – TIM DONNELLY 70,965 59.73%
Total 118,813 100.00%
Victor Valley Comm College District
292/292 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
JOE RANGE 30,070 25.78%
JOSEPH W. BRADY 43,970 37.69%
JOHN PINKERTON 42,622 36.53%
Total 116,662 100.00%
Hesperia Unified School District
73/73 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
MARCY M. KITTINGER 6,288 20.42%
CODY C. GREGG 8,119 26.37%
ELLA M. ”LEE” ROGERS 10,953 35.57%
CHRISTOPHER BENTLEY 5,432 17.64%
Total 30,792 100.00%
County Supervisor – District 1
357/357 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
RICK ROELLE 44,279 48.45%
ROBERT A. LOVINGOOD 47,113 51.55%
Total 91,392 100.00%
Hesperia – City Council
35/35 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
ERIC E. SCHMIDT 6,132 19.57%
DAVID HOLMAN 1,334 4.26%
DENNIS R. DE HAY 655 2.09%
BRENT FARR 2,879 9.19%
JAMES ROBERTS, III. 2,199 7.02%
CODY LEIS 733 2.34%
MIKE LEONARD 5,545 17.70%
CHRIS ELVERT 4,145 13.23%
PAUL BOSACKI 2,885 9.21%
JAMES MADISON BLOCKER 1,356 4.33%
DON PARKMAN 3,472 11.08%
Total 31,335 100.00%
Hesperia Recreation and Park District
47/47 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
ANDREW ”ANDY” COWAN 9,133 33.68%
BOB CHANDLER 9,048 33.37%
JACK HAMILTON 8,935 32.95%
Total 27,116 100.00%
Mojave Water Agency Div 3
47/47 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
RICHARD HALL 5,884 38.38%
JOE FAHRLENDER 4,426 28.87%
NORMAN MEEK 5,019 32.74%
Total 15,329 100.00%
Mojave Water Agency Div 7
30/30 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
ROBERT CRITZMAN 2,885 20.76%
DOUGLAS SHUMWAY 8,546 61.50%
HARVEY C. WILKIN JR. 1,583 11.39%
DAVID MUELLER 882 6.35%
Total 13,896 100.00%
Measure Q – County of San Bernardino
1609/1609 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
YES 327,826 67.44%
NO 158,297 32.56%
Total 486,123 100.00%
Measure R – County of San Bernardino
1609/1609 100.00%
Vote Count Percent
YES 311,102 64.35%
NO 172,351 35.65%
Total 483,453 100.00%

*Due the the fact that Q received more votes than R, Q will win

Ref: Daily Press – Rene De La Cruz / Schmidt On Track To Oust Bosacki From Hesperia City Council

Schmidt on track to oust Bosacki from Hesperia City Council

Leonard maintains seat, per preliminary results

November 06, 2012 9:07 PM

HESPERIA • The Hesperia City Council will likely have a slightly different look soon, with candidate Eric Schmidt and incumbent Mike Leonard on track to serve the people of Hesperia for the next four years, according to preliminary results late Tuesday night.

Leonard had a narrow lead to keep his seat, with 17.73 percent of the initial votes counted as of 10 p.m. by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters.

Schmidt, who is a business owner and engineer, received 17.04 percent of the vote, edging out Chris Elvert by 356 votes.

Incumbent Councilman Paul Bosacki was in position to be ousted from his seat when he came in fourth behind Elvert with 10.47 percent of the vote.

Here’s how the remaining candidates were looking as of initial results:

• James Blocker — 4.34 percent

• Dennis De Hay — 2.19 percent

• Brent Farr — 7.96 percent

• Dave Holman — 4.93 percent

• Cody Leis — 2.15 percent

• Don Parkman — 12.22 percent

• James Roberts III — 7.10 percent

These results represent the final numbers available as of press time Tuesday night. Check VVDailyPress.com for updated results Wednesday.

Rene De La Cruz may be reached at (760) 951-6227 or at RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com.

Get complete stories every day with the “exactly as printed” Daily Press E-edition, only $5 per month! Click here to try it free for 7 days. To subscribe to the Daily Press in print or online, call (760) 241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.


The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Ref: Daily Press – Lynnea Lombardo / Hesperia Candidates Report Funds

Hesperia candidates report funds

Committee opposes two candidates

October 30, 2012 9:12 AM

HESPERIA • The race for Hesperia City Council is the only election in the High Desert to have a committee devoted to opposing certain candidates.

Incumbent Mike Leonard and Eric Schmidt are targeted in a committee aimed at re-electing Paul Bosacki. Bosacki, who is one of 11 candidates vying for two seats, did not submit a form called a 460 — a document that discloses how much money each candidate is working with. By state law, any candidate who has raised or spent more than $1,000 is required to file a California Form 460. Some candidates fill out the form even if they have collected and spent no money on their campaign.

Al Vogler’s “Hesperia Free Press Committee to Support Paul Bosacki and Oppose Mike Leonard and Eric Schmidt, Hesperia City Council 2012” has gathered $16,300 in loans, $11,300 of which are from Vogler himself. He has received no contributions and does not specify where the remaining $5,000 came from on his most recent 460, which is dated from Oct. 1 to 20.

Eric Schmidt for City Council 2012 has the largest amount of all the candidates, raking in $17,636 in contributions and loans. A large majority of this total comes from contributions, including a $1,000 donation from Hesperia Mayor Russ Blewett and $2,500 from ‘Buck’ McKeon for Congress. The remaining balance of Schmidt’s contributions are loans from private donors, all of which had been paid in full. Schmidt’s loans come mainly from his business and his wife, a teacher in the Hesperia Unified School District.

The Committee to elect Chris Elvert to Hesperia City Council has the second largest campaign fund, which totals $11,189. Almost $2,000 of this total is from loans, and the remaining came from public works employee unions, such as the San Bernardino County Safety Employees Benefit Association and private donors.

David Holman for Hesperia City Council 2012 raised $7,984, year-to-date. He has received $5,284 in contributions, most of which came from the San Bernardino Public Employees Association political action committee. A large portion of the remaining balance came as a $2,500 loan to himself from his business, Holman Travel.

Business owner Don Parkman has $6,400 in total contributions, almost $2,000 of which are donations and $4,500 in loans from himself. His largest contributors are small businesses and personal donors.

Incumbent Mike Leonard has raised $3,536 this period, but also claimed $3,536 on last period’s form, which was dated from July 1 to Sept. 30. He did not specify it his year-todate totals, however, this amount was contributed as a loan to himself.

James Blocker’s committee, on the other hand, has only raised $202 toward his campaign, $100 of which came from a private donor in Hesperia.

Some candidates submitted 470s, a form filled out by candidates that do not anticipate receiving contributions totaling $1,000 or more. Three candidates filled out 470s, James Roberts, Paul Bosacki and Cody Leis. Two remaining candidates, Dennis De Hay and Brent Farr, have not submitted 460s or 470s.

Lynnea Lombardo may be reached at (760) 951-6232 or at LLombardo@VVDailyPress.com.


The article was taken from the Victor Valley Daily Press 760-241-4411

Ref: Hesperia Star – Staff / Candidates Beginning To Stack Up In Local Races

Candidates beginning to stack up in local races

August 03, 2012 8:00 AM
From Staff Reports

A total of 16 candidates have so far indicated an interest in running on the November ballot for Hesperia offices.

The nomination filing period opened July 16 and runs through 4:30 p.m.

Aug. 10. By that time, candidates must file the papers they’ve pulled and get clearance to officially be in the race.

There is no fee to pull or file papers. An optional cost is a candidate statement on the November ballot, which the Registrar of Voters estimates will cost $1,387.

City Council race

Ten potential candidates had pulled papers as of press time indicating their interest in running for two seats open on Hesperia City Council.

Both incumbents — Paul Bosacki and Mike Leonard — pulled papers, according to city clerk records.

The other eight interested candidates include:

• James Blocker

• Dennis De Hay

• Chris Elvert

• Brent Farr

• David Holman

• Don Parkman

• James Roberts

• David Tellis

No candidates had filed papers as of Monday morning.

Those interested in running for the Hesperia City Council can stop by the city clerk’s office in Hesperia City Hall at 9700 Seventh Ave. For more information, call (760) 947-1007.

HUSD race

Three candidates are running for two open seats on the Hesperia Unified School District board.

Current board president Christopher Bentley has pulled and filed his papers to run for reelection, including opting to print a candidate statement, according to records from the San Bernardino County Registrar.

Challengers Cody Gregg and Marcy Kittinger had also pulled papers as of Friday evening, the latest records available from the Registrar at press time. Neither had filed the paperwork yet.

The other HUSD incumbent, board member Anthony Riley, won’t be running for reelection. That means the deadline to file will be extended by another five days until Aug. 15.

Would-be school board candidates should stop by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters office at 777 East Rialto Ave. For more information, call (800) 881-VOTE.

Park district race

Three candidates have pulled and filed papers to run for two open director seats with the Hesperia Recreation and Park District.

Both incumbents — Bob Chandler and Jack Hamilton — have filed their paperwork, including candidate statements.

Andrew “Andy” Cowan is also running for a park district director seat and filed his papers July 20.

Would-be park board candidates should stop by the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters office at 777 East Rialto Ave. For more information, call (800) 881-VOTE.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Staff / 9 Candidates Pull Papers For City Council

9 candidates pull papers for City Council

July 24, 2012 8:46 AM
From Staff Reports

Nine potential candidates had pulled papers as of press time indicating their interest in running for two seats open on Hesperia City Council this November.

Both incumbents — Paul Bosacki and Mike Leonard — had pulled papers by Friday, according to city clerk records.

The other seven interested candidates include:

• James Blocker

• Dennis De Hay

• Chris Elvert

• Brent Farr

• David Holman

• Don Parkman

• James Roberts

The nomination filing period opened July 16 and runs through 4:30 p.m. Aug. 10. By that time, candidates must file the papers they’ve pulled and get clearance to officially be in the race.

No candidates had filed papers as of Friday evening.

There is no fee to pull or file papers. An optional cost is a candidate statement on the November ballot, which the Registrar of Voters estimates will cost $1,387.

Those interested in running for the Hesperia City Council can stop by the city clerk’s office in Hesperia City Hall at 9700 Seventh Avenue. For more information, call (760) 947-1007.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Beau Yarbrough / Microbrewery Gets Thumbs-Up From Commissioners

Microbrewery gets thumbs-up from commissioners

Oak Hills Brewing Company to open later in 2011

September 10, 2011 4:10 PM
Staff Writer

The way has been cleared for Hesperia’s first microbrewery to open later this year.

The Hesperia Planning Commission voted Thursday night to approve a required permit for the Oak Hills Brewing Company to set up shop in the industrial district of the city on the 12200 block of Poplar Street.

City staff recommended the planning commission approve the microbrewery’s conditional use permit to allow the manufacture and sale of beer.

The city did receive one phone call opposed to the microbrewery. The caller promised to fax a letter detailing why but never sent one.

The commission voiced their support for the proposal.

“I like the idea,” commissioner Bill Jensen said. “I hope you have a good Oktoberfest brew.”

When it opens, the Oak Hills Brewing Company will offer tasters, pints, kegs and growlers — refillable jugs of beer — of a rotating selection of beers, according to a press release from the company.

The microbrewery’s public hearing went much smoother than Thursday night’s main event: a proposal to allow marijuana dispensaries to operate within city limits.

“Pretty easy on you today,” commission president Chris Elvert told Oak Hills Brewing Company co-owner Jerry Hackbarth. “We’ll see about the next subject coming up.”

The commission approved the brewery’s permit by a 5-0 vote.

Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Beau Yarbrough / Planning Commission Gives Thumbs-Up To Marijuana Dispensaries

Planning commission gives thumbs-up to marijuana dispensaries

Commissioners recommend allowing dispensaries, 3-2

September 10, 2011 8:02 AM
san-photo-francisco-canna
Staff Writer

If it were up to the Hesperia Planning Commission, the city would be granting business licenses to medical marijuana facilities.

In a split decision, the commission voted Thursday night to recommend that the Hesperia City Council pass a proposed code amendment put forward by a medical marijuana advocacy group.

“With the ban in place, we have 12 dispensaries and they’re not regulated,” commissioner Julie Jensen said. The city has had an ordinance banning medical marijuana distribution dispensaries since 2005. “Banning medical marijuana isn’t going to get rid of it.”

“That’s been our experience,” Principal Planner Dave Reno said.

In theory, the city could fine dispensaries away, as they can levy fines up to $500 a day on dispensaries and their landlords.

Commissioners and medical marijuana proponents pointed to the current dispensaries — all of which city officials say are operating without business licenses — as an untapped source of sales tax or separate special tax.

“You are going to be faced with a choice of making money off these things or spending money” fighting the dispensaries, resident John Douglas said.

Dozens of residents came out to the meeting to voice either their support or opposition to the proposal, which would be passed to the City Council for action later this fall no matter how the commissioners voted.

“Hesperia has about 50 outlets for liquor, hard or soft,” resident Al Vogler said. “What is the image that you want to create for Hesperia?”

“I’m just asking for your compassion for people like me,” quadriplegic Stacy Miller said.

“I do believe that God made marijuana,” Charity Meyer said, “but he also made poison oak.”

“Kids do not come into the dispensaries,” Brian Novak said. “You cannot get a (medical marijuana) card under age 18.”

The medical marijuana issue has dominated much of the commission’s year since the West Coast Patients Group first requested the code amendment in January.

Commissioner Paul Russ expressed a desire for the issue to be resolved either by a referendum or a state agency.

“I think it should be regulated by the state,” he said. “We should have one rule, rather than the patchwork of local regulations.”

Commissioner Bill Jensen said that “waiting for Sacramento to come to the rescue is a nightmare.”

“This community is not ready for this,” Russ said.

“It’s here, though,” replied commission president Chris Elvert.

The commission voted 3-2 for the West Coast Patients Group’s proposed amendment allowing dispensaries, with Russ and Commission Bill Muller dissenting.

“The motion passes,” Elvert told the medical marijuana advocates gathered. “Good luck with the City Council.”

The City Council is expected to take up the issue in October or November.

Beau Yarbrough may be reached at (760) 956-7108 or at beau@HesperiaStar.com.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Peter Day / Will Marijuana Advocates’ Plan Go Up In Smoke

Will marijuana advocates’ plan go up in smoke?

Staff recommends commission deny medical marijuana dispensaries’ proposal

July 11, 2011 4:00 PM
City hall
Star Editor

If Hesperia Planning Commissioners vote as staff recommends on Thursday, the medical marijuana dispensaries proposal by the West Coast Patients Group could become a distant pipe dream.

But at previous meetings, several of the five-member commission expressed mixed feelings about the issue. They noted that they knew people with serious health conditions who were helped by smoking medicinal marijuana. Only vice-chair Bill Muller’s comments appeared to lean against allowing the dispensaries.

“There’s much more at stake,” Muller said. “We have to look at the community at large.”

The group contends that the Compassionate Use Act of 1996 and Senate Bill 420 mandate the city allow dispensaries. But, the staff report states, “The laws do not prohibit a jurisdiction from regulating or restricting the establishment of these facilities.”

While the proposed ordinance provides safeguards such as limiting the number of dispensaries and their proximity to schools and day care facilities, city staff contend the proposal “does not provide regulations on how to address facilities that have been established illegally. …”

Although Hesperia has received “a large number of requests” to establish dispensaries, some of the requests have not included complete information, including a lack of business addresses. “Therefore, it is suspected that many more operate from residential properties,” according to the report.

Of the 24 incorporated cities and towns within San Bernardino County, four — Barstow, Big Bear, Loma Linda and Needles — have moratoria on allowing medical marijuana dispensaries. Twenty town and city councils have voted to permanently prohibit dispensaries. They include Victorville, Adelanto and Apple Valley, according to the report.

A total of 27 dispensaries are operating illegally in the Victor Valley with 11 in Hesperia, nine in Victorville and six in Apple Valley. Three have popped up in Hesperia since March, the report stated.

Medical marijuana advocates have made emotional pleas at earlier Planning Commission meetings.

“All I want is safe access,” Hesperia resident Tim McNamara said in April.

“Now I’m down to one pill a day since I’ve been on medicinal marijuana,” said a man in a wheelchair. “We need this in our town.”

Kevin Sutman, a Hesperia resident who has acted as group spokesman, urged commissioners to look at all of the facts before making their decision.

“I just want to make sure you guys keep an open mind,” Sutman said.

Vice-chair Bill Muller said he preferred the state authorize medical marijuana dispensation via contentional doctor prescriptions.

Commissioner Julie Jensen spoke about how cancer, whose symptoms can be relieved with marijuana, has affected her family.

Commissioner Paul Russ said he was sympathetic to those with health problems seeking marijuana as a solution.

Chairman Chris Elvert, a sheriff’s deputy, said the Sheriff’s Department currently is not pursuing out-of-compliance medical marijuana dispensaries.

Commissioner Bill Jensen requested city staff provide additional information.

“This is a real touchy situation, you guys,” Jensen said.

The Hesperia Planning Commission will meet at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, July 14 at City Council Chambers, 9700 Seventh Ave., Hesperia.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Peter Day / Commissioners Request Detailed Report On Cannabis Collectives

Commissioners request detailed report on cannabis collectives

Proposed ordinance could bring 11 active marijuana dispensaries in Hesperia into compliance

April 19, 2011 7:00 AM
City hall
Star Editor

After hearing numerous testimonies on medicinal marijuana benefits, Hesperia planning commissioners told staff to take a comprehensive look at the pro’s and con’s of allowing medical marijuana dispensaries.

“This is a real touchy situation, you guys,” said commissioner Bill Jensen. “I want more facts.”

All five commissioners agreed and voted for staff to touch base with other California cities allowing collectives, look more closely at the impact collectives have on crime — either positive or negative — and consult with a medicinal marijuana expert. The commission will take up the issue again during its July meeting.

City staff had recommended the commission deny a development code amendment to the city’s current ordinance, which prohibits medical marijuana dispensaries. The amendment was proposed by the West Coast Patients Group.

Currently 26 dispensaries operate in the Victor Valley with 11 in Hesperia, according to senior planner Stan Liudahl.

“None of these have been licensed,” Liudahl said.

Before the item came to a vote, commissioners heard numerous comments from Hesperia residents and medicinal marijuana proponents. Many emotional testimonies came from patients who said cannabis was more beneficial than pills or other traditional medication.

“We don’t want this to become the Wild West. We want this to be access for patients,” one proponent said. “These things are not going away. We believe they need to be licensed like other businesses in the city. We want this for patients.”

“All I want is safe access,” said Hesperia resident Tim McNamara, a patient who uses marijuana.

“I don’t see what’s wrong with it,” Erica Jones, said.

A man in a wheelchair said medicinal marijuana allowed him to cut down on the number of pills he takes daily.

“Now I’m down to one pill a day since I’ve been on medicinal marijuana,” he said. “We need this in our town.”

Another man who said he had AIDS said his pain has been greatly reduced because of cannabis.

Leticia Pepper, an attorney who supports the Sacramento-based “Crusaders For Patients Rights,” said she has gone off traditional medicine and is successfully treating her multiple sclerosis symptoms with marijuana.

“It’s important that people be able to use marijuana safely,” Pepper said.

Resident Kevin Sutman implored commissioners to learn more about the topic. Knowledge, he said, would alleviate their fears.

“I just want to make sure you guys keep an open mind,” Sutman said.

Commissioner Paul Russ shared his battle with kidney disease 24 years ago.

“It nearly killed me,” said Russ who also successfully battled lymphoma. “I’ll tell you if I was going through that situation again I’d find a dispensary.”

However, he added, “I’m really conflicted on this.”

Chairman Chris Elvert, who is a sheriff’s deputy at the Victorville station, said the Sheriff’s Department does not currently pursue out-of-compliance medical marijuana dispensaries.

Commissioner Julie Jensen, who read a prepared statement, said cancer has impacted her life through family members.

Vice-chair Bill Muller said he was concerned about allowing medical marijuana dispensaries in Hesperia.

“The issue I see is much greater than [what’s in] this room,” Muller said.

Rather than collectives, Muller preferred the state authorize medicinal marijuana dispensation via doctor prescription and drug stores.

“There’s much more at stake,” Muller said. “We have to look at the community at large.”

Ref: Hesperia Star – Beau Yarbrough / Resolution To Amend City’s Density Bonus Program Approved By Commission

Resolution to amend city’s density bonus program approved by commission

Move gets Hesperia in line with state density bonus guidelines

January 17, 2011 3:15 PM
Pair with plaque
Star Editor

The Hesperia Planning Commission on Thursday approved a resolution amending the city’s density bonus program.

The program lets developers build housing projects with more units than their land is zoned. In turn, developers promise to rent the housing at affordable prices to lower-income renters.

The amendment, which passed 3-2, follows recent revisions to California’s planning and zoning laws. Hesperia’s density bonus program was adopted in 1992.

According to the amendments, a bonus of 20 percent will be given for very-low and lower-income units, 5 percent to moderate-income and 20 percent to senior housing of 35 units or more.

Following a staff presentation by Lisette Sanchez-Mendoza, new commissioner Bill Jensen started an in-depth discussion about the proposed changes.

“Whey are we doing this density change thing?” Jensen asked.

“What we are doing, Bill, is codifying these two (state) bills and putting them into a readable format,” senior planner David Reno said.

After additional input from other commissioners, Jensen suggested the commission table voting on the item until a representative of the Baldy View Chapter of the Building Industry Association could comment. A motion was made to postpone the density bonus program amendment vote until March, but the vote was rejected 2-3. Afterward, the commission voted 3-2, with new commissioners Jensen and Paul Russ voting no. Later, Jensen said he suggested delaying the vote to ensure he and fellow commissioners had ample input on the topic.

The amendment will go before the City Council, which will consider the item as an ordinance.

Earlier in the meeting, new planning commissioners Jensen and Russ were sworn into office by recording secretary Kathy Stine.

Commissioner William Muller nominated Chris Elvert to continue as chairman. The vote passed 5-0. Elvert nominated Muller to continue as vice-chairman. The vote passed 4-0 with Muller abstaining.

Also, outgoing commissioner Joline Bell Hahn was acknowledged for her years of service. Senior planner David Reno presented Hahn with a plaque.

“You brought a good sense and sensibility to this commission,” said chairman Chris Elvert.

Bell encouraged commissioners to continue their hard work for the community.

“I think you got a good thing going,” Hahn said. “Move forward and continue to do your best.”

Ref: Hesperia Star – Peter Day / A View From Main Street: Choices Are Good, But Sometimes Painful

A View from Main Street: Choices are good, but sometimes painful

January 10, 2011 11:31 AM
Peter Day

Peter Day

Star Editor

I walked into Burger King on Main Street last week and there they were, staring me in the face: the calories for each item.

My first inclination was to hightail it and avoid the truth. But sooner or later, I figured, I’d have to face the fact that all California eateries must now list the calorie counts.

A month ago, I would have ambled up to the fast-food restaurant counter with a cocky grin and ordered my side salad with low-calorie dressing with confidence. But today, a few weeks after my dieting hit the dust after discovering holiday sweets, I look askance at such things.

Something tells me I’m not the only one who has mixed feelings about the new law.

Here are some interesting tidbits about our country’s restaurant habits, according to the American Journal of Public Health:

• Americans spend about half of their food budget on food purchased at restaurants.
• Fast food junkies dine out about a dozen times monthly; the rest of us eat out about eight times.
• Portions have grown. A serving of French fries from McDonalds in 1955 is equivalent to a small size today, but most people size up. A large French fry order today has about triple the calories of the original.

Hopefully the new information will have its intended effect and Californians will lose weight — or at least not gain pounds as quickly. But if a number of people are resistant, perhaps Burger King, McDonalds, Wendys, Carls Jr. and the like will greet some customers’ desire to hide calorie numbers with a unique promotion: the two-eyed Super Hero eye patch.

***

It’s interesting to see who was selected by the recently seated city councilmembers to serve on the planning commission and city committees.

Bill Jensen, a former Hesperia city councilman, was appointed to Planning Commission by new city councilman Bill Holland. Newcomer Russ Blewett appointed Paul Russ. Councilman Thurston “Smitty” Smith kept appointee Chris Elvert on the commission.

Al Vogler, who had served on the City Council Advisory committee, was replaced by Sophie Steeno, wife of architect Tom Steeno, by Mayor Mike Leonard. Blewett appointed Eric Schmidt. Holland selected Boulder Creek Ranch owner Jim Hasty. Smith chose Chris Mollenkamp, a Victor Valley Community College District Board trustee.

For the Public Safety Advisory Committee, Blewett picked Joline Bell Hahn. Lee Rogers, who narrowly lost her school board seat, was chosen by Holland. Leisa Lewis was reappointed by Smith.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Beau Yarbrough / Former Mayor, School Board Vice-President Appointed To City Committees

Former mayor, school board vice-president appointed to city committees

January 05, 2011 3:51 PM
Staff Writer

Some familiar faces will be seen at Hesperia City Hall in the coming months, as a number of political veterans were appointed to the planning commission and various city committees at Tuesday’s meeting of the Hesperia City Council.

Each member of the city council had the ability to appoint a member of the planning commission, the city council advisory committee and the public safety advisory committee.

Each appointee serves until 30 days after the expiration of each appointing member’s term. With three council seats were up for election in November, there are three openings on each committee — the appointees of council members Russ Blewett, Bill Holland and Thurston “Smitty” Smith. In addition, Mayor Mike Leonard replaced his city council advisory committee member, Al Vogler.

Blewett returned former planning commissioner Paul Russ to the Hesperia Planning Commission. Former Mayor Bill Jensen was appointed to the commission by Holland. Smith kept his current planning commission appointee Chris Elvert. Elvert has served continuously since being first appointed to the position in 2007.

Blewett appointed local defense contractor Eric Schmidt to the City Council Advisory Committee. Boulder Creek Ranch owner Jim Hasty was appointed to the committee by Holland. Leonard replaced Vogler with Sophie Steeno, the wife of local architect Tom Steeno. Smith appointed Victor Valley Community College District Board trustee Chris Mollenkamp.

Blewett appointed former planning commissioner Joline Bell Hahn to the Public Safety Advisory Committee and Holland appointed former Hesperia Unified school board vice-president Lee Rogers. Smith kept his previous appointee, Leisa Lewis, who has held the position since April 2010.

The next regular meeting of the Hesperia City Council will take place on Jan. 18 at 6:30 p.m. at Hesperia City Hall, 9700 Seventh Avenue. There will also be two city council workshops later in the month, one on the budget and the other a joint workshop with the planning commission.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 760-956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com. Follow us on Facebook at Facebook.com/Hesperia.Star.

Ref: Hesperia Star – Peter Day / Choices Are Good, But Sometimes Painful

A View from Main Street: Choices are good, but sometimes painful

January 10, 2011 11:31 AM
Peter Day

Peter Day

I walked into Burger King on Main Street last week and there they were, staring me in the face: the calories for each item.

My first inclination was to hightail it and avoid the truth. But sooner or later, I figured, I’d have to face the fact that all California eateries must now list the calorie counts.

A month ago, I would have ambled up to the fast-food restaurant counter with a cocky grin and ordered my side salad with low-calorie dressing with confidence. But today, a few weeks after my dieting hit the dust after discovering holiday sweets, I look askance at such things.

Something tells me I’m not the only one who has mixed feelings about the new law.

Here are some interesting tidbits about our country’s restaurant habits, according to the American Journal of Public Health:

• Americans spend about half of their food budget on food purchased at restaurants.
• Fast food junkies dine out about a dozen times monthly; the rest of us eat out about eight times.
• Portions have grown. A serving of French fries from McDonalds in 1955 is equivalent to a small size today, but most people size up. A large French fry order today has about triple the calories of the original.

Hopefully the new information will have its intended effect and Californians will lose weight — or at least not gain pounds as quickly. But if a number of people are resistant, perhaps Burger King, McDonalds, Wendys, Carls Jr. and the like will greet some customers’ desire to hide calorie numbers with a unique promotion: the two-eyed Super Hero eye patch.

***

It’s interesting to see who was selected by the recently seated city councilmembers to serve on the planning commission and city committees.

Bill Jensen, a former Hesperia city councilman, was appointed to Planning Commission by new city councilman Bill Holland. Newcomer Russ Blewett appointed Paul Russ. Councilman Thurston “Smitty” Smith kept appointee Chris Elvert on the commission.

Al Vogler, who had served on the City Council Advisory committee, was replaced by Sophie Steeno, wife of architect Tom Steeno, by Mayor Mike Leonard. Blewett appointed Eric Schmidt. Holland selected Boulder Creek Ranch owner Jim Hasty. Smith chose Chris Mollenkamp, a Victor Valley Community College District Board trustee.

For the Public Safety Advisory Committee, Blewett picked Joline Bell Hahn. Lee Rogers, who narrowly lost her school board seat, was chosen by Holland. Leisa Lewis was reappointed by Smith.

The article was taken from the Hesperia Star 760-956-7827