Ref: Daily Press – Rene Ray De La Cruz / Officials Visit Nation’s Capital

Officials visit nation’s capital

March 19, 2014 9:48 AM

HESPERIA • A small delegation from the city visited Washington, D.C., in an effort to showcase its projects and garner financial support.

Hesperia Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith, City Manager Mike Podegracz, City Grants Coordinator Georgia Lantsberger and Councilman Eric Schmidt made the trip last week to brief Rep. Paul Cook, R-Apple Valley, as well as staff from Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer on the city’s projects.

The projects include the city’s $16.7 million reclaimed water distribution system project, which will require 15 miles of pipeline, booster stations and reservoirs to deliver recycled water from the subregional wastewater facility to residential and commercial users.

The city has set aside $500,000 toward the distribution project and is seeking $2 million from the federal fiscal year 2015 budget to begin the design process, a staff report said.

“Priority Project 2” includes the widening of Main Street and Ranchero Road as they cross over the California Aqueduct.

Cost of the aqueduct bridge improvements at Ranchero Road is marked at $11 million, while cost of the Main Street bridge is $15 million.

The city, which has set aside $2 million toward the projects, is seeking another $4 million from the federal government.

The Rail Spur Infrastructure is the city’s “Priority Project 3,” which includes the construction of a sewer, streets, curbs, gutter and utility facilities on 80 acres owned by the city.

The $5 million infrastructure improvements project is critical to allow the city to bring industrial, manufacturing, warehousing and logistic businesses to the city’s “struggling I Avenue Industrial Area,” a staff report said.

Hesperia has set aside $1 million toward the rail spur project and is seeking $2 million from the federal budget.

“We met with the Federal Highway Administration to communicate our dismay with overhead charges billed to the city by BNSF,” wrote Schmidt, as he prepared to fly back from the East Coast on Tuesday.

Overhead costs were more than 200 percent of the labor costs, with BNSF’s additive rate costing the city an extra $202,900 above the original deposit to close out the project, a staff report said.

Schmidt said the team also met with the Economic Development Administration of the Department of Commerce to discuss potential follow-up support for the G Avenue industrial rail spur.

The team also met with representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency to discuss the city’s reclaimed water project, with potential funding opportunities in the 2015 federal fiscal year budget for the water distribution system, which should begin construction by October.

Schmidt said his group met with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to better understand concerns the city has with the SAFER (Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response) grant, which the council approved in 2013.

The group successfully negotiated a revised methodology, which will work with Hesperia’s specific fire safety contract with San Bernardino County, thereby allowing the city to maximize the grant award, the staff report said.

“Although most of the meetings were informational in nature, the meetings with FEMA and the FHWA yielded potential cost-saving to immediate projects the city is working on,” Schmidt wrote. “The trip was also quite beneficial to me in particular because it was my first opportunity to represent the city in D.C. and to meet key D.C. staff who are working with city staff to help our priority projects move forward.”

Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLa Cruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter@renegadereports.

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

Comments :

  • Et Snell · Following ·  Top Commenter · MT

    Mayor Shty Smitty AKA Puss Gut just recieved kudos from Shiek (To Much Money) for allowing teenage total nude in Hesperia.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 19 at 12:51pm
  • Darling Analaarj Johnson ·  Top Commenter · Phelan, California

    Local government officials, suckling at the big government teat. They are willing to swallow any conditions that come with this feted money they seek. It is all for our good, don’t you know?
    Reply · Like · 2 · Follow Post · March 19 at 10:19am
    • Llano Arbol ·  Top Commenter · University of Phoenix

      shaaaaaaad up.
      Reply · Like · March 19 at 7:44pm
  • Sanford W. Cramer III · Follow ·  Top Commenter · Victor Valley College

    A waste of time visiting the socialist Progressives at our expense.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 20 at 8:29am

Ref: Daily Press – Letter To The Editor / Larry E. Hoover

Still in the woods

Larry E. Hoover
Spring Valley Lake

In a Feb. 7 letter to the school, the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC) removed Victor Valley College from probation and reaffirmed accreditation because VVC “substantially meets or exceeds” the relevant requirements, but still has “a small number of issues of some urgency which, if not addressed immediately, may threaten the ability of (VVC) to continue to meet (those) requirements.”

VVC must submit a follow-up report no later than March 15, which, among other things, must “demonstrate” and “the visiting team must verify” that VVC “has sustained compliance with the standards” they previously failed to maintain and for which they were put on probation.

Of the three areas of concern, one is that VVC “should develop long-term fiscal plans that support student learning programs and services that will not rely on using unrestricted reserves to cover deficits. Additionally, the College should provide timely, accurate and comprehensive financial data and budget projections for review and discussion throughout the institution.”

The ACCJC letter’s supplementary notes refer to the Fiscal Crisis Management Assistance Team (FCMAT) report which says “salaries are an issue,” that salaries and benefits “are a constant 85 percent of total” expenses, and “personnel reductions will have to be a large part of overall reductions.”

According to a headline article in the Feb. 8 Daily Press, announcing that VVC was taken off probation, the California Teachers Association (VVC full-time faculty) union negotiator is eyeing unrestricted funds

— presumably to further pad the nests of full-time faculty members, most of whom already take home well over $100,000 each year?

In the context of the issue under scrutiny, I don’t understand why the union rep would call attention to the unrestricted funds, which the ACCJC said was off limits. Given that VVC must resolve its longterm structural deficit problem without using unrestricted funds, and must make reductions in personnel costs, it appears to me that VVC Trustees still have a challenge on their hands to keep the college off probation.

I’d like to see whether the College will provide “timely, accurate and comprehensive financial data and budget projections for review and discussion throughout the institution.” Frankly, I don’t think VVC is “out of the woods” yet.

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

Ref: Daily Press – Rene Ray De La Cruz / Hesperia Agencies To Consider Victor Valley Museum Support

Hesperia agencies to consider Victor Valley Museum support

March 17, 2014 3:16 PM

HESPERIA • The City Council on Tuesday will discuss its support of the financially struggling Victor Valley Museum in Apple Valley.

The council may give direction to staff for the joint-agency support of the museum, which would include the city, the Hesperia Unified School District and the Hesperia Recreation and Park District.

If approved by all agencies, funding could be allocated in a manner proportionate to each agency’s operating budget, with $10,000 coming from the city and HUSD, and $5,000 from the park district.

The city’s annual portion would be added to the budgets from 2014 through 2017, if approved by the council.

This item is also being presented by staff to both boards for consideration, a city staff report said.

The city received a request from 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood for an annual contribution of $25,000 for the next three fiscal years.

Allocations would support the museum as an education resource in the High Desert and allow the city to work with curators on a historical Hesperia display.

In 2013, the struggling museum continued to stay open with a portion of $200,000 in bridge funding from the county.

The county’s $4.4 billion budget for 2013-14 revealed limited one-time sources to fund certain costs as part of a multi-year plan to address a five-year structural deficit.

A few of those one-time fund issues include covering shortfalls in the county museum system Fire Department and underfunded programs and projects in Land Use Services and Public Works.

The 2013-14 county budget also revealed that the county will work with other government agencies to explore opportunities to “transfer the ownership/operation of the Victor Valley Museum to another entity.”

The museum opened as an independent nonprofit in 1992. It closed for a one-year renovation project after the county acquired it in February 2010 after declining revenue threatened its closure.

Rene Ray De La Cruz may be reached at 760-951-6227, RDeLaCruz@VVDailyPress.com or on Twitter @renegadereports.

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

Comments :

  • Al Vogler ·  Top Commenter

    A possible source of funding would be the Mojave Water Agency, since they are in the nature-trail, historical business. In fact, it would probably be far more important to operate the museum than to put money into a questionable hiking trail and shrubries system on Deep Creek Rd., south of Rock Springs Rd. Hesperia has a museum. How about supporting what is already here and closer to visit?? Traffic signals and museums. Tax and spend.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 17 at 7:46pm
  • James Peron ·  Top Commenter

    Maybe, it should be closed. If the visitors are not willing to fund it with admission fees sufficient to finance it, then maybe it is a waste of resources. When a business fails to cover it’s costs it goes under. And, it can’t be said that it’s demise makes us worse off, since most of us have never even been tempted to visit it. When I first learned they were their I checked out their website. I did so again today. It really isn’t much at attracting crowds.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 17 at 7:21pm

Ref: Daily Press – Brooke Self / Educators Attend Common Core Conference In Hesperia

Educators attend Common Core conference in Hesperia

National Teacher of the Year provides keynote address

March 16, 2014 2:27 PM

HESPERIA • Nearly 350 educators participated in an educational conference focusing on new learning benchmarks called the Common Core State Standards at Hesperia High School on Saturday.

“Plugged In 2014: Empowering Today’s Student — Tomorrow’s World” was hosted by the Hesperia Unified School District. It invited teachers from across the Victor Valley and California.

Keynote speaker Rafe Esquith, a renowned elementary school teacher from Central Los Angeles, told the teachers that students learn by their examples. He said he teaches his students to work hard and is the first one in his classroom at 6 a.m. and the last one to leave the school in the evening.

Esquith has been recognized by Oprah, the Dalai Lama, Queen Elizabeth II and has been awarded the President’s National Medal of the Arts, as well as National Teacher of the Year.

Even with his list of accolades Esquith stays modest and says he has “the best job in the world” teaching fifth-grade. His students in room 56 at Hobart Boulevard Elementary School come almost entirely from households of poverty and most learn English as a second language, yet many eventually graduate from elite colleges.

“The statistic that kills me about Hobart is that only 32 percent of kids at the school finish high school,” Esquith said inside the Hesperia High gymnasium. “I say that’s unacceptable. That means we’ve either got the dumbest kids on the planet or something in our system is failing — and we all know the answer to that. So I decided to kind of change things up a bit.”

Esquith has been teaching for 30 years and has written four books. His students annually perform Shakespearean plays, travel the world and are referred to as Hobart’s Shakespeareans.

“The best thing about the Hobart Shakespeareans is that they know what they’re saying, and that can’t be said for all actors who perform Shakespeare,” English actor Sir Ian McKellen is quoted on the class’s website at www.hobartshake speareans.org.

Maq McNair, an English teacher and track and field coach at Hesperia High, said he presented the conference on the transformation to Common Core.

“I talked about where we were as an education system before Common Core and how Common Core looks next to California State Standards,” McNair said. “Basically, it’s how we need to make that transition and what best helps our students. We were able to touch not just our district, not just neighboring districts, but it went down as far as some of the people from (Los Angeles) and I think that’s awesome.”

Hesperia Assistant Superintendent Jovy Yankaskas said she was amazed by the approximately 40 workshop presentations taught by Hesperia teachers and administrators. Session topics ranged from how to teach Common Core math, writing and engineering, to foreign language learning and ideas for project-based teaching.

“I wanted to just pop into a lot of them and just see how they were going,” Yankaskas said. “There were a couple that I just got sucked in and I couldn’t leave.”

Yankaskas said she thought the event was “a step in the right direction” by providing opportunities for local teachers to improve and learn more about their craft.

“I’m just excited on how well it turned out and to see the number of people in here,” Yankaskas said.

Brooke Self may be reached at 760-951-6232 or BSelf@VVDailyPress.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @DPEduNews.


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

Comments :

  • Willy Olsen ·  Top Commenter · Real Estate Consultant at Trillium Real Estate Group

    “He said he teaches his students to work hard and is the first one in his classroom at 6 a.m. and the last one to leave the school in the evening”. Wow, what an idiot. How about working smart, using your brain and thinking outside the box. Kids learn best when they are doing something they are interested in. Forcing math, reading, social studies and so on doesn’t work unless it is somehow tied into what a child has an interest in.
    Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · 15 hours ago
    • Christina Davis ·  Top Commenter

      I am pretty sure this guy is the farthest thing from an “idiot”.
      Reply · 2 · Like · 7 hours ago
    • Don Cook ·  Top Commenter · Chapman University

      Wow; Willy; just wow.
      Reply · Like · 3 hours ago
    • Our Hesperia · Hesperia, California

      Willy, before you make such a wild comment about this guy, you need to go do a Google search on him, then come back and update your comment. I did not hear him talk, but this guy is through the roof and Hesperia hit a home run with this speaker.
      Reply · Like · Edited · 2 seconds ago

Ref: Daily Press – Shea Johnson / Supervisors Uphold Solar Project Denial

Supervisors uphold solar project denial

March 16, 2014 1:09 PM

OAK HILLS • An earlier decision to nix a widely disputed solar facility was upheld this week by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, prompting a sigh of relief from one of the proposed project’s biggest opponents.

“It was a common sense objection,” Oak Hills Property Owners Association President Terry Kostak said by phone. “Luckily, the county agreed with us.”

Kostak and 22 others spoke out against the 2.7-megawatt photovoltaic facility during a county Planning Commission meeting in August, saying the project would upset the “rural character” of the area, a county staff report shows.

Eleven other attendees also opposed the project, according to the staff report. Only one person was in favor. The commission unanimously voted Sept. 19 to deny the project.

Following an extensive hearing Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors unanimously voted to deny an appeal filed by project developer Sycamore Physicians Partners LLC. A call to Sycamore on Thursday was not immediately returned.

Proposed to encompass approximately 20 acres on the northeast corner of Fuente Avenue and El Centro Road, the project “would not be consistent with the Oak Hills Community Plan,” according to the Planning Commission staff report. Other concerns included property value decline, aesthetics and the environment.

First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood, who represents the Victor Valley, said Wednesday that the majority of the affected community did not want the facility.

“The consensus in the neighborhood is that this commercial solar project doesn’t belong there,” Lovingood said in a written statement.

Kostak said she is just happy that the planned 8- to 10-foot solar panels won’t cause strife among local residents.

“It was an inappropriate location because this particular neighborhood was surrounded by nice homes on those streets that would literally be looking at this project,” she said Wednesday. “The (commission meeting) was a huge battle; yesterday, we won the war. It’s a huge weight lifted off all of us.”

Shea Johnson may be reached at 760-955-5368 or SJohnson@VVDailyPress.com.


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

Comments :

  • W Daniel Tate ·  Top Commenter · Whittier College

    There is ample land to develop solar fields without detroying the character of a neighborhood. this location was a poor choice from day #1. the county needs to be more proactive in defining the renewable energy cooridors which will avoid this unecessary process and expense ….wate of tax payers dollars
    Reply · Like · 5 · Follow Post · March 17 at 12:29pm
  • Tom Tessier ·  Top Commenter · Salinas, California

    They don’t want electricity so take away their swamp coolers , air con and swimming pool pumps
    Reply · Like · 1 · Follow Post · March 17 at 7:58am
    • Steve Herron ·  Top Commenter · Fontana High

      The community members already subsidize the solar industry with their tax dollars, so why would they want to further subsidize it with lower property values? The investors would profit and the adjacent homeowners would take the hit. Of course they want electricity, just like everyone else does, but they are not so hard-up that they want their neighborhood ruined by a solar farm. The people that live there bought or built their homes with the reasonable expectation that the homes just across the street would be homes similar to theirs. I know that most members of the community support solar as a viable green alternative energy source, but I think the placement of large solar farms needs to be appropriate and reasonable. Don’t you?
      Reply · Like · 3 · March 17 at 2:14pm
    • Jim Wilhelm · Chaffey College

      Steve Herron
      Agreed, there are thousands of available acres for solar, in the form rooftops. An industrial site in a rural residential area is not the lifestyle the homeowners bought into. I understand the convenience of buying electricity from a large utility like Edison, but a little self sufficiency would be helpful. These giant utilities can’t stand the idea of people making their own energy.
      Reply · Like · March 17 at 3:36pm
  • John Shield ·  Top Commenter · Lucerne Valley, California

    AB32 requires 33% “renewable” by 2020. Failure to meet it means: shortages, out of state producers sticking it to us through an exchange, hastily built systems that will be imposed upon everyone like in the late 70s and higher taxes. All this aggravation due to conjecture based on junk science and biased “research” from government workers whose employment requires mandates and imaginary crises. Man can’t change the weather nor can we stop it from changing.

    http://suspendab32.org/

    Or else!

    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 17 at 4:11pm
  • Tom Tessier ·  Top Commenter · Salinas, California

    Nice place for a horny toad farm
    The physicians group need the tax credits and depreciation to offset their commission from Crestor and medical devices . In the meantime Edison co continues to thwart and interfere with rooftop solar with impossible rebate programs that are underfunded and micro managed . Keep that fossil fuel burning power plant cranking out profits and depleting your wallet
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 18 at 12:24am
  • Geena Lyon ·  Top Commenter · 1tenthAngel Shop Owner at Etsy

    Solar panel company gave an estimate to a local church of one hundred thousand dollars. That is so ridiculous and so obviously greedy – it makes me laugh.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 17 at 8:13am
    • Jim Wilhelm · Chaffey College

      Geena,
      If the estimate was $100k, it was a large system for a large building. I’ve seen solar systems on some churches and apparently they felt it was a good investment. The local church could have had multiple estimates done and possibly have gotten a better price. Because it’s a church did you expect them to get it for free or heavily discounted? God already supplies all the sunlight for free!!
      Reply · Like · 3 · March 17 at 8:37am
    • Geena Lyon ·  Top Commenter · 1tenthAngel Shop Owner at Etsy

      No one gets anything for free Jim, 100,000 makes no common sense and is Ridiculous. Thanks for info on who supplies sun light, I often wondered…
      Reply · Like · 2 · March 17 at 8:47am
    • Jim Wilhelm · Chaffey College

      Geena

      Depending on how much electricity the church uses, among other factors, determines whether it makes sense or not. Tossing out a 100k number without any other details makes no sense and is ridiculous. Thanks for enlightening me on getting “anything for free”. Who would have guessed! Apparently the “greedy” solar company figured this out as well.

      Reply · Like · 2 · March 17 at 10:19am
  • Scott Reiboldt ·  Top Commenter

    Ok then build a prison there instead…
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 16 at 1:52pm
    • Steve Herron ·  Top Commenter · Fontana High

      It is better to remain silent…
      Reply · Like · 3 · March 16 at 5:44pm
    • Scott Reiboldt ·  Top Commenter

      Steve Herron so why didn’t you ?
      Reply · Like · March 16 at 6:48pm
    • Xenia Szabo ·  Top Commenter · Hesperia, California

      Because the residents of this quiet, rural residential area must, of course, have to choose between these two horrible options, a prison or a solar farm, in their back yard, right?
      Reply · Like · March 16 at 7:13pm
    • Scott Reiboldt ·  Top Commenter

      Xenia Szabo a solar farm isn’t horrible, bad neighbors are horrible, a solar farm would be a nice quiet neighbor.
      Reply · Like · March 16 at 7:38pm
    • Steve Herron ·  Top Commenter · Fontana High

      Scott Reiboldt , It is better to remain silent…
      Reply · Like · 2 · March 16 at 7:42pm
    • Scott Reiboldt ·  Top Commenter

      Steve Herron so why do you keep commenting ? typing practice ?
      Reply · Like · 1 · March 16 at 8:19pm
    • Xenia Szabo ·  Top Commenter · Hesperia, California

      Scott, if YOU want to live next to a solar farm that is your prerogative. Most people find them ugly and intrusive. They should not have to have one in their backyard.
      Reply · Like · 1 · March 16 at 8:34pm
    • Steve Herron ·  Top Commenter · Fontana High

      Scott Reiboldt , It is better to remain silent…
      Reply · Like · 1 · March 16 at 10:47pm
    • Scott Reiboldt ·  Top Commenter

      Xenia Szabo Like I said, there are worse things that could take up that real estate, you may be wishing it was a quiet solar farm someday..
      Reply · Like · 1 · March 17 at 6:08am
    • Xenia Szabo ·  Top Commenter · Hesperia, California

      Scott, while I don’t live in that area of the high desert I totally understand the concerns of those that do, and that would have their vistas and property values impacted by the construction of a solar farm in their quiet, pretty community. Kudos to the BofS for making the right decision and not shoving an incompatible development in their backyard.
      Reply · Like · March 17 at 3:07pm

Ref: Daily Press – Letter To The Editor / Tom Pinard

Time’s running out

Tom Pinard
Wrightwood

Time is running out, for the Victor Valley, and perhaps it matters not whether motorists cresting the Cajon Pass at “the Summit” will see a landscape of big box warehouses, six story high boxes with Comfort Inn or Holiday Inn Express or truck stops stretching as far as Barstow and beyond, or the Joshua trees, a million mile view across the desert, and an appreciation that there is something left of what motivated many to make their home here.

We are within a few years of losing this scenic entry to our High Desert.

Residents of Oak Hills need to come together to fight for quasiindependence, fight for a voice at the table, whether in the city of Hesperia or the county of San Bernardino. Their upscale residential community is building out as it was informally planned, and they have every right to keep their low density-high dollar homes quality of life. Along with that quality of life goes land use along the Mojave Freeway, the landscape that gives all of us the pleasure and tranquility that a scenic tableau offers — not one of Ontario and the Pomona Freeway.

If those in Oak Hills and others who want to keep the Mojave Freeway a scenic throughway, they should contact the folks in Los Gatos, Mountain View, Palo Alto and Redwood City and inquire how those communities were able to allow construction of Interstate 280, but with limited or no industrial or commercial development and with a huge investment to maintain the natural landscaping along the freeway through their communities.

While it is late — Hesperians are pounding their chests that more “boxes” are going to be allowed to develop around the new Ranchero Road/Mojave Freeway interchange — perhaps it isn’t too late to demand of city fathers that any commercial construction at that site be aesthetically planned and developed to reflect the ranch and open space aspect of the Oak Hills community.

No large signing, no box buildings, huge amounts of natural vegetation to screen the low rise motels and restaurants would be a good start.

The quaintness of the commercial structures already located on the Mojave Freeway, some dating back to Route 66, should be continued in a limited way. But not one Joshua tree or native plant should be uprooted for a “Pomona big box” monster. And those who argue that we need industry and jobs need only look at the huge tracks of industrial properties set aside in Adelanto, the former George Air Force Base, Hesperia’s Santa Fe-I Street industrial area and the huge area in North Apple Valley to know that our Victor Valley has plenty of industrial property for the development of jobs.

Someone should wake up before the last gasp occurs and we become Pacoima, El Monte or Sunnymead.


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

Ref: Daily Press – Letter To The Editor / Diana J. Carloni

Responible sewardship

Diana J. Carloni
Victorville

Congratulations to the Victor Valley College Board of Trustees. The policies introduced at the March 11 board meeting demonstrate responsible stewardship of taxpayer funds and efforts to live within the means of the institution’s annual revenues (“Budget Caps, policy changes proposed,” Daily Press , March 13).

What remains disturbing is the gobbledygook union doublespeak attributed to the chief negotiator of the VVC fulltime faculty. She claims that the new policies will somehow limit the enrollment and availability of classes for students at VVC and that fiscal responsibility by the board and management is somehow a “blatant disregard of the bargaining process.” Really?

Common sense and simple math refute the position. More students equal more dollars in tuition. The 80 percent figure is not stagnant, it grows with the tuition dollars. Secondly, since when are sound financial policies equivalent to bad faith bargaining? Only when unions don’t get their way. Sadly, the VVC faculty union remains part of the problem. I wish it would change its position and so become part of the solution.

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

Ref: San Bernardino County Sentinel – Mark Gutglueck / Supervisors Turn Down Oak Hills Solar Project

Supervisors Turn Down Oak Hills Solar Project

March 12, 2014

The San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors this week upheld the county planning commission’s September denial of Sycamore Physicians Partners’ application for a permit to construct a solar energy project in Oak Hills.

Sycamore Physicians Partners’ application had been filed with the county prior to the county’s imposition of a moratorium on the consideration and approval of solar projects that went into effect in May of 2013 but has now elapsed.

Sycamore had asked the county land use services division to certify a 2.7-megawatt photovoltaic solar facility on 20 acres in the unincorporated county area south and west of Hesperia in a rural living land use district on the northeast corner of Fuente Avenue and El Centro Road.

County staff, however, acceding to widespread objections by homeowners in rural desert communities throughout the county who maintain that solar fields are a too-intensive use that is incompatible with nearby residential neighborhoods, recommended that Sycamore’s application for the conditional use permit be denied. According to the county land used division’s staff report from last year, the project would have a “significant impact on the environment, specifically with regard to scenic resources.” According to county planning director Terri Rahhal, at public hearing for the project held on August 8, 2013 , there was considerable public opposition to the project and  some participating “expressed concerns about land use compatibility, given the location of the project site in an area surrounded by rural residential uses.”

Rahhal said the planning commission made a tentative finding at that time that the proposed project “would not be compatible with the rural character of the Oak Hills community and would therefore not be consistent with the Oak Hills Community Plan. On September 27, 2013, Sycamore Physicians Partners, LLC, filed a timely appeal of the planning commission’s action to deny the project. The applicant’s appeal contended that the planning commission’s findings for denial were inaccurate and that the project is consistent with the goals and policies of the county general plan and the Oak Hills Community Plan. The applicant contended that the project will provide a much-needed renewable source of energy and that the design of the project will not impact existing view sheds or significantly impact the environment and will be compatible with the existing rural character of the neighborhood.”

As first proposed, the project would have entailed an unmanned solar array operation including 54 arrays containing non-reflective modules mounted on a fixed tilt system.
The proposed modules would have been oriented to the south and angled to a degree to maximize solar resource efficiency. The modules were to be connected to inverters, which convert direct current into electrical alternating current. The electricity was then to be stepped up and collected in conduits that terminate at the point of interconnection to the local electricity grid via an existing Southern California Edison (SCE) power line along Fuente Avenue.

Each solar module was to have been fastened to the ground surface via hydraulically driven, two-inch diameter, galvanized pipe. Sycamore Physicians Partners maintain this method of fixing the arrays would result in minimal topsoil disturbance and would allow retention of much of the on-site vegetation, which would moderate ground-level wind speeds and, consequently, minimize erosion. The maximum height of the panels had been set to range from 8-10 feet depending upon existing site topography.

Project approval would have required a conditional use permit. A conditional use permit is a discretionary application that requires a finding of consistency with the general plan and any applicable community plan, among other findings for approval. The proposed project would have provided, according to Rahal, a renewable source of energy for the surrounding community, consistent with several conservation policies of the general plan. Rahal also maintained that the proposal “conforms to applicable design standards of the development code. However, based upon the testimony and information provided at the August 8, 2013, and September 19, 2013, planning commission hearings, the commission found that the project is incompatible with the existing rural community and that sufficient evidence has not been provided to justify a finding of no significant impact on the existing aesthetics and views of the area.”

On December 27, 2013, Sycamore Physicians Partners submitted a proposal to scale down the project from 2.7 megawatts to 1.5 megawatts, reducing the number of solar arrays from 54 to 15, while the boundaries of the project site were to remain the same. The applicant requested that the board of supervisors consider approval of the revised site plan, which was not presented to the planning commission.

“Staff continues to recommend upholding the planning commission action on the project because the site plan revisions do not alter the basic land use compatibility and aesthetic issues cited in the findings for denial,” Rahal said.

sbcsentinel

Ref: Daily Press – Brooke Self / ‘Plugging In’ To Common Core

‘Plugging in’ to Common Core

March 10, 2014 11:11 AM

HESPERIA • Hesperia school officials will be “plugging in” next weekend as they host their first ever Common Core conference, inviting educators from across the county and state to free professional development workshops.

The keynote speaker for “Plugged In 2014, Empowering Today’s Student — Tomorrow’s World” on Saturday will be Rafe Esquith, a renowned fifth-grade teacher from central Los Angeles, who is the only teacher to be awarded the President’s National Medal of the Arts.

He has been recognized by Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II and the Dalai Lama, and has also been named National Teacher of the Year.

Equith was called both “the best classroom teacher in America” and “the world’s most famous teacher” by the Washington Post. He’s authored several books and will discuss his latest called “Real Talk for Real Teachers” at the conference.

Hesperia Director of Curriculum and Assessment Robert McCollum is spearheading the conference.

“It’s resonating because no one has done anything like this before,” McCollum said. “They’re hungry for the information to take back to their classrooms.”

The event will be held at Hesperia High School from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

Attendance is open to all teachers from any district and is free.

Registration is available at www.hesperia.org.

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

Comments :

  • Shannon Blocker · Following ·  Top Commenter · Executive at Christianbelle Electric Inc

    Quick!! Top 3 reasons to not listen to a word this man has to say…. ‘Oprah Winfrey, Queen Elizabeth II and the dalai lama”. Recognition from those three are reason enough to steer clear.
    Reply · Like · 5 · Follow Post · March 10 at 3:06pm
    • Lisa Natera-Wilson · Fontana High

      Probably more interesting than anything you have to say !
      Reply · Like · 1 · March 10 at 6:45pm
    • Gary Elder ·  Top Commenter · Anatomy/Physiology & Microbiology teacher atUniversity Preparatory School

      I have seen Rafe speak and I have read his books, the man is fantastic.
      Reply · Like · 2 · March 11 at 3:52am
    • Shannon Blocker · Following ·  Top Commenter · Executive at Christianbelle Electric Inc

      I have no doubt he is a fantastic speaker… the better to fluff up common core. Horrible. Horrilbe. Horrible.
      http://www.freedomworks.org/content/top-10-reasons-oppose-common-core
      Reply · Like · March 11 at 10:59am
  • Matthew Alaniz ·  Top Commenter · Diocese of San Bernardino

    Conferences like these are needed and listening to a good speaker can be inspirational but the success of our schools and students depends less on conferences and guest speakers and more on informed and empowered parents. Where is their county-wide conference for parents paid by taxpayers? These top-down, educational celebrity-type conferences are just fine, filled with good people, but their impact in the classroom is very limited because they exclude a critical stakeholder, the parents.

    The truth is, some educators consider themselves successful when they get awards and are recognized (several local educrats are impressed with such things) but most teachers work hard to make emotional investments into our children, to instill values and work ethics into our children, and to build a sense of community and safety for all children; the only awards they get are more federal regulations, a head full of gray hair from argueing EVERY YEAR for a living wage, and lectures from straight-from-college administrators who want to tell them how they should teach because their up on the latest state directives.

    Reply · Like · 5 · Follow Post · March 11 at 9:30am
  • Curt Cope · Follow ·  Top Commenter

    Common Core-frustrated teacher’s resignation letter: ‘My profession … no longer exists’

    http://www.bizpacreview.com/2014/03/10/common-core-frustrated-teachers-resignation-letter-my-profession-no-longer-exists-105574

    Reply · Like · Follow Post · March 11 at 1:59pm

Ref: Daily Press – Letter To The Editor / Bryan Barkley

Animal non-control

Bryan Barkley
Hesperia

Re: “Quality of life?” (Michelle Boklage, Letters, March 2), about the recent mauling by a pit bull and the numerous calls to Hesperia’s animal control office prior to this that animal control apparently has no record of.

We have had several stray aggressive pit bulls in our business area of Catalpa street in Hesperia. I have personally called the local Hesperia Animal Control more than a half dozen times. To this day the aggressive pit bull still chases cars and pedestrians in the front of our business.

Animal control has come out, but if the dog won’t walk into their cage, there’s nothing they do and the case is closed. This is poor performance by our local tax-paid animal control office. I guess when another person is mauled, maybe something will happen — a bit late at that point.

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

Ref: San Bernardino County Sentinel – Mark Gutglueck / Long Languishing Rancho Las Flores Project In Summit Valley Resurrected

Long Languishing Rancho Las Flores Project In Summit Valley Resurrected

February 18, 2014

HESPERIA—The defunct Rancho Las Flores project, which was originally projected to result in the construction of 9,100 residential units in Summit Valley, has been resurrected by its current corporate successor as a three-phase 19,396 home development.

Shortly after the city of Hesperia’s 1987 incorporation, the Dana Point-based ARC Las Flores Corporation sought city approval of the 10,000-acre property at the city’s extreme south end that consisted of the 490-acre Las Flores Ranch and several adjacent parcels, including Bureau of Land Management property obtained through a series of land swaps.

Hesperia’s first city manager, Robert Rizzo, convinced members of the city’s maiden city council – Percy Bakker, George Beardsley and Bruce Kitchen, among them – that the project would generate economic development and create neighborhoods to rival those in upscale Orange County. Within two years, under Rizzo’s guidance as well as that of Hesperia Planning Director Rob Zuel, the scope of the project grew and in 1990, the city approved the Rancho Las Flores specific plan, which called for development of 15,540 housing units in eight phases.

The project never got off the drawing boards, however, and suffered setbacks after Zuel left the city in 1991, followed by Rizzo’s demise as city manager in 1992 following revelations about his illicit efforts to filter money from Orange County development interests into the campaign coffers of council member candidates amenable to the aggressive development proposals that would have doubled the city’s population.

The proposal remained active under succeeding city managers and the guidance of community development director Tom Harp and principal planner Dave Reno, but encountered significant challenges that retarded its progression, such as the economic downturn of 1991 and 1992, the listing of three species that inhabited the property – the  arroyo toad, the Least Bell’s Vireo and the willow flycatcher – as endangered.

In 1993, the project encountered a significant roadblock when the city of Barstow filed a lawsuit against upstream water users along the Mojave River, resulting in protracted litigation over water rights. The lawsuit led to a stipulated settlement in 2000 among the municipal and other water rights holders within the Mojave River Basin and a water allotment to Hesperia that brought into question whether Hesperia would have access to enough water to allow the project to proceed. The city subsequently sought to secure the project’s viability through the purchase of $30 million in water rights, deemed sufficient for ARC Las Flores’ purposes. The developers also obtained from the federal government clearance to proceed with the project subject to certain habitat protections for the endangered species living upon the property.

That ten year delay, however, resulted in the expiration of the project’s specific plan and its environmental impact report, requiring ARC Las Flores to reformulate those documents, which were not finalized until 2008. By that point, the economic downturn of 2007 inhibited progress on the project and in 2012 ARC Las Flores declared bankruptcy. Texas-based Terra Verde Group last year purchased the 10,000 acres for roughly $45 million.

The company has since rechristened the Rancho Las Flores project as the Tapestry Project, by which it intends to maintain the eight-phase nature of the undertaking.
Last month, Terra Verde’s director of development, John Ohanian, gave indication to the Hesperia City Council his company is now purposed to proceed with the project.  Without defining the terms he was using, Ohanian said the density of the residential units would fall in the “low-to-medium” range. The currently applicable specific plan calls for the construction of 11 schools on 207 acres,  372 acres of recreation facilities, two mixed-use town centers on 137 acres, public and civic buildings and a wastewater facility.
The project would retain an element of the historical nature of the property, with a portion of the residential neighborhoods being reserved for equestrian use and a 114-acre trail system built into the overall project as open space.

The massive subdivision would have three major points of access, including Ranchero Road and  State Routes 138 and 173, together with four lesser methods of ingress and egress, including the extensions of Summit Valley Road and Maple and Santa Fe avenues.

sbcsentinel

Ref: Daily Press – Brooke Self / Parents Learn English At Local Schools

Parents learn English at local schools

Improved student achievement, parent involvement the result, administrators say

February 15, 2014 11:00 AM

HESPERIA • The Hesperia Unified School District will soon be recognized for having one of the highest levels of college readiness in California among high school students who are English language-learners, an administrator said Friday.

The ranking is a direct result of offering English classes to the parents of ELL students, or those who come from homes where English is not their first language, said Darrel Nickolaisen, coordinator of curriculum and language support.

“We’ve been doing these classes now for the past five years,” Nickolaisen said. “We’ve seen just a dramatic increase in the achievement of our English-learner student.”

Nickolaisen said the primary reason the classes are offered is to “promote student achievement.” The classes are taught at five elementary schools during the school day in Hesperia and through the district’s designated Parent Center.

“Our English-learner parents tend not to be involved to the same level in the schools of their children because of language difficulty,” Nickolaisen said. “So having them learning English helps them volunteer, understand school programs, and the way the school system here in the U.S. and in our district works.”

One barrier of getting ELL parents involved in schools is that some are nervous about exposing their undocumented status and fear school officials will report them to federal authorities. Nickolaisen said HUSD does not monitor or report any of that type of information and school districts are not legally obligated to do so.

“What often times happens is maybe the parents are here illegally, but their children are considered legal citizens,” Nickolaisen said. “In essence, we’ve taken the stance that our job is to educate students, and we can’t do as an effective job without parental support. So we need to pull in our parents.”

The classes are taught by parent volunteers and are funded through federal dollars designated specifically for reaching out to immigrants.

“No district monies — general fund monies — are used for these classes,” Nickolaisen said.

At Topaz Preparatory Academy, about 25 women meet in a corner classroom of the campus to learn English for more than two hours, four days a week. On Thursday, the women were reading passages out loud from their textbooks. Occasionally, a student would let out the Spanish pronunciation of an English word that has a similar spelling and meaning.

Instructor Bernice Alvarez said that sometimes the adult students are wary of reading out loud because they say they do not understand what they’re reading.

“I tell them, ‘Don’t worry, you don’t have to understand,’ ” Alvarez said. “The more you read, the more you learn.”

Alvarez said she learned English in a similar class at Topaz five years ago. She took the course two years in a row, and has regularly volunteered at Topaz in her older daughter’s classroom for the past eight years. She’s since earned her U.S. citizenship.

“Bernice is amazing,” said Principal Karen Prestwood. “She has her college degree and was a mathematics teacher in Mexico. She’s intelligent and she learned to speak English at Topaz. She’s just the sweetest and most humble lady, and no pretense.”

Alvarez said she began volunteering at the school without knowing any English. She was so shy at first, she admits, and did not understand on the first day when her daughter’s kindergarten teacher asked her to “cut some pages.” She says she survived those early days with lots of “sign language.” A few years later Alvarez took the English courses, became more involved at the school as a proctor and is now employed as a community liaison.

Anna Hernandez, 49, is a mother of three children and has a daughter who is in eighth grade at Topaz. She said she wasn’t able to take English classes in the past due to transportation or time issues.

“I came to this country 20 years ago, but I didn’t have time to learn English,” Hernandez said. “I didn’t have transportation; the school was far for walking.”

Hernandez has only attended the class for three months but said it’s helped her greatly. Another mother said she couldn’t imagine how she raised her now-adult children without the English language skills she’s since acquired.

“I can say ‘good morning’ in English,” Hernandez said with a big smile on her face, “and I can understand more with the teachers and principal. So it’s better for me.”

Trenae Nelson, assistant superintendent in the Apple Valley Unified High School District, said parent English courses are the “hidden gem” of the district. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the district offices are full of the adult students, and their cars fill the parking lot. The classes at AVUSD are also taught by parent volunteers.

AVUSD offers a class in civics education including American history and government, and four levels of English. Nelson said she’s seen many parents become citizens while enrolled in the courses.

“We want them to feel encouraged to be at campuses and supporting children,” Nelson said, “and that they can communicate, and it’s not a scary place to be. We’re so proud of the program. This is my favorite thing to talk about. You just love to see the enthusiasm that goes on and outcomes here as a group.”

 

Brooke Self may be reached at 760-951-6232 or BSelf@VVDaily Press.com. You can also follow her on Twitter at @BrookeSelf.


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

Ref: Daily Press – Staff / District Opens Enrollment For 2014-2015 School Year

District opens enrollment for 2014-2015 school year

Deadline students enrolling, requesting transfers is March 21

February 11, 2014 4:21 PM
Staff Reports

The Hesperia Unified School District is now accepting open enrollment applications for students in all grades for the 2014-2015 school year, according to a district news release.

The open enrollment process allows students who live within the attendance boundaries of one school in the district to transfer enrollment to another school in the district. This process also applies to students who are currently attending private schools and wish to enroll in the Hesperia Unified School District for the 2014-2015 school year, the release states.

Approved transfer students will begin attending their school of choice on Aug. 11, the first day of the 2014-2015 school year.

Those interested can obtain applications at either the Hesperia Unified School District Office, 15576 Main Street, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. or at the school the student wishes to attend. Completed applications should be turned in to the school the student is requesting to transfer to by the end of the school day on March 21. Completed applications may also be turned in to the Director of Student Services’ Office, located at the HUSD office, in the Instructional Services Division, no later than 5 p.m. March 21.

Students who wish to participate in high school athletics and are considering on open re-enrollment transfer should contact the athletic director at their school of preference regarding athletic eligibility.

Students who live outside the boundaries of the HUSD may apply for enrollment in the district by submitting an inter-district application through their local school district’s Student Services’ office. Students applying for an inter-district transfer for the first time, who wish to remain eligible for participation in C.I.F. athletics, must submit their application no later than March 21.

For more information, call Kelly Garcia at the district office at 760-244-4411, ext. 7233.


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

Ref: Daily Press – Rene Ray De La Cruz / Hesperia To Review Racing, Restaurant

Hesperia to review racing, restaurant

February 10, 2014 12:05 PM

HESPERIA • The city’s Development Review Committee will discuss the establishment of a new restaurant and an indoor racetrack.

During Wednesday’s meeting, the DRC will look at a revised site plan to establish a remote-control car racing track and a retail outlet within 10,000 square feet of an existing industrial park.

“We’re just waiting for the city to tell us what is required and we’ll be ready to roll,” said Jerry Bermingham, 60, whose dream is finally taking shape after years of planning.

Bermingham, owner of HDRC Indoor RC Raceways, said if all goes well, he will have a dual-track facility with a shop where remote-control cars can be rented and parts sold.

“We’ve done a lot of work and we’re just about ready to open,” Bermingham said. “If all goes well, we’re looking at a March (opening).”

The track will be at 17205 Eucalyptus St. Unit A-1, near Santa Fe Avenue and just east of the railroad tracks.

Also on the agenda is a permit for Louisiana Cajun Seafood House, which is planned for an existing business at 14466 Main St. Unit B-103, near the corner of Maple Avenue in the Stater Bros. shopping center.

The committee will consider a conditional use permit to allow the sale of beer and wine as part of the proposed 2,607-square-foot restaurant.

The shopping center is also home to AutoZone and several takeout restaurants.

Wednesday’s meeting begins at 10 a.m. at City Hall’s Joshua Room, 9700 Seventh Ave. For more information, call 760-947-1000.

Rene Ray 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 oronline, call 760-241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.


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

Comments :

Willy Olsen ·  Top Commenter · Real Estate Consultant at Trillium Real Estate Group

Well, lets see how smart or dumb the City of Hesperia is. Here is an opportunity for the city to be able to collect some sales taxes and have a couple of businesses that will be able to create a handful of jobs for the local economy. And maybe by chance those employees will spend some of that earned money in one or more of the other local businesses. If they let this opportunity pass them by, then they might want to go talk with the city leaders in Adelanto so they can both go file bankruptcy at the same time.

Ref: Daily Press – Rene Ray De La Cruz / Ranchero Interchange Reaches Halfway Point

Ranchero Interchange reaches halfway point

Nighttime closures expected to begin later this month

February 08, 2014 10:15 PM
Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • Commuters who pass the construction area of the Ranchero Road Interchange should be pleased to hear that the project has reached the halfway point, according to a San Bernardino Associated Governments official.

Tim Watkins, public information officer with SANBAG, said motorists will begin to notice some major changes as bridge construction over Interstate 15 will begin in the coming weeks.

“Nighttime closures of I-15 later this month and early March will be necessary for crews to start setting the falsework (temporary bridge support system) for the main structure construction,” Watkins wrote in an email Friday. “Specific dates, times and direction of closures will be announced soon once coordination is finalized between our construction team and Caltrans.”

Watkins said previous work has included improvements to Mariposa and Caliente roads, as well as construction of on- and off-ramps that will be used as detours during the upcoming nighttime closures of the interstate.

Watkins said the collaborative effort among SANBAG, Hesperia and Caltrans will continue to look for opportunities to accelerate the progress to be able to open the new interchange to traffic as soon as possible.

Hesperia spokeswoman Rachel Molina said the absence of weather-related setbacks has kept the project running smoothly.

Molina said a “rough timeline of project milestones for this year” includes on- and off-ramp completion this month, the preparation and construction of the interchange bridge in March, and bridge completion in August.

Watkins said the entire project is scheduled for completion by early 2015.

The $60 million interchange project, which broke ground January 2013, is set to include a seven-lane bridge over the freeway, with on-ramps, off-ramps and other ancillary improvements.

The interchange project is phase two of the Ranchero Corridor Project, with the completion and ribbon cutting of the $27 million Ranchero Underpass Project in June completing phase one.

The underpass project, which was jointly funded through city, regional, state and federal dollars, connects both sides of Ranchero Road under the BNSF railroad tracks.

Phase three of the project involves the widening of Ranchero Road from the interchange to the underpass.

Daily photos of the interchange construction progress can an viewed online at www.cityofhesperia.us.

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


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

Comments :

Posting as Our Hesperia (Not you?)
  • Greg Shields ·  Top Commenter

    Stop construction and tear it down. Lets build a skate park for William instead.
    Reply · 2 · Like · Follow Post · February 9 at 6:09pm
  • John Solorio · VALENCIA HS 1974 “TIGERS RULE”

    They should have upgraded Rachero at the same time.
    Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · February 9 at 7:41am
    • Tony N Debbie Bareham · Hesperia, California

      YA I agree on this, its already a nightmare. Only will get worse.
      Reply · Like · February 9 at 1:32pm
    • Troy Here · Follow ·  Top Commenter

      Tony N Debbie Bareham Teah I lived off Ranchero and 11th for many years I used to drive down the hill for work coming down Ranchero was always good of course I didn’t have regular hrs so I got to beat the traffic most the time I came down Ranchero a couple of weeks ago took me a half hour to get to 11th when it used to take around 5 to 10 minutes wait till they start doing Ranchero Rd one reason I moved didnt want to hear all the noise from the traffic!!
      Reply · Like · February 10 at 11:07am
  • Yotie Munoz ·  Top Commenter · Hesperia, California

    Who wants to bet Walmart will try to put a store right here???
    Reply · 1 · Like · Follow Post · February 9 at 6:24am
  • Carolyn Olsen ·  Top Commenter · Pasadena City College

    Troy Here Try living right off Ranchero cant sleep at NIGHT And mornings Are even worse !!! wakes my Grandaugher every morning between 4&5 because of all the traffic noise !!!!
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · February 10 at 11:57am
  • William CrazyLacy Furmage ·  Top Commenter · Works at RAD Riders Against Discrimination

    If only Hesperia spent 1% of 1% of that money on the Hesperia Lime Street Concrete park for the bikers and skaters. I think they’d have one hell of a park they could be proud of. But, That’s just me :)
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · Edited · February 9 at 4:06pm

Ref: Daily Press – Rene Ray De La Cruz / Deputy City Manager Leaving For Murrieta Position

Deputy city manager leaving for Murrieta position

Summers says the ‘time is right’ after working 15 years for city

February 07, 2014 10:23 AM

HESPERIA • The city will lose a key player when Deputy City Manager Kim Summers departs Feb. 27.

Summers, who has worked for Hesperia for 15 years, has accepted a job as Murrieta’s assistant city manager. She plans to relocate to the Riverside County city.

“It’s going to be a big transition, but the time is right,” said Summers, who begins work March 3. She will replace Assistant City Manager Jim Holston, who is retiring after 20 years with Murrieta.

Summers, who will oversee Murrieta’s library and community service programs, said she looked for a city that held similar values and growth patterns as Hesperia, and the move also offered the opportunity to become city manager one day.

“As (Hesperia) city manager, Mike Podegracz has a lot of years left in him before he retires,” Summers said. “I went back to school to get my masters, and Mike mentored and supported me as he let me attend a variety of meetings so I could learn the ropes.”

Summers said Podegracz never held back, passing down his “broad knowledge and wisdom” of managing a growing city of nearly 92,000.

After starting out as a temporary employee for Hesperia’s public information department, Summers also served as assistant city manager for a municipality that has seen much development, such as the design and construction of the library, city hall and Civic Park Plaza.

“As a city manager, you have to have a broad knowledge of everything,” Summers said. “Mike let me learn things, such as what a sewer crew does and how streets are paved. He also put me to work with the redevelopment wind-down team. All these things are invaluable tools when it comes to running a city.”

Summers said Assistant City Manager Brian Johnson also played a huge part in her development.

“Kim has been an exceptional team player and leader in Hesperia,” Johnson said via email. “Murrieta is lucky to have her join their team.”

Melinda Sayre-Castro, Hesperia’s city clerk, said Summers had been a mentor and role model, and her enthusiasm and passion for public service has always been admirable.

Rachel Molina, the city’s public information officer, said the city staff will miss Summers’ leadership and positive attitude.

Summers will leave behind her duties of overseeing the City Council and clerk’s offices, environmental and legislative programs, information technology, emergency management and special projects.

Summers earned a bachelor’s degree in communications/public relations from Cal State Fullerton and a master’s degree in public administration from Cal State Long Beach, she said.

No decisions have been made on Summers’ replacement, according to Molina.

“Leaving is a bittersweet thing,” Summers said. “The city of Hesperia has been a wonderful place to work and learn.”

Rene Ray 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 oronline, call 760-241-7755, 1-800-553-2006 or click here.


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

Comments :

  • Dan Harley · Following ·  Top Commenter · Owner at PrimeConcepts for Internet Solutions

    If there’s one good thing about Hesperia, it would be an exceptional city manager and staff who knows how to make things land on their feet no matter all the craziness their council can make things. Kim is an invaluable part of the entire community who will be missed and not easily replaced.

    Congratulations to Kim and Good luck to her, Dave and their family as their life’s path leads them to a new community.

    Reply · Like · Follow Post · February 8 at 11:50am
  • Angela Valles · Following ·  Top Commenter · Director of Finance at Victor Valley Wastewater Reclamation Authority · 881 subscribers

    Congratulations Kim! Thank you for all your help. You will be missed good luck with your new career.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · February 8 at 12:09pm
  • Terry Kostak ·  Top Commenter · Works at Oak Hills Property Owners Association

    Good luck with your new career choice. Hesperia will be losing a great asset.
    Reply · Like · Follow Post · February 7 at 10:39am