Community meeting scheduled for Dec. 10
November 15, 2014
By Mike Lamb
Blog note: This article refers to a grand jury report. See text highlighted in red below.
BARSTOW — A meeting involving the communities of Yermo, Newberry Springs and Daggett will be held Dec. 10 to review a draft plan which recommends combining services from all three communities.
The Local Agency Formation Commission for San Bernardino will be holding the meeting at 6 p.m. Dec. 10 at Silver Valley High School. A draft plan with several options will be presented to residents before being presented to the commission at its Jan. 21 hearing for action. That hearing will include an update from the community and outline of the public’s sentiments.
At a minimum, LAFCO’s staff position urges Daggett Community Service District and Yermo CSD to consolidate. However, the staff report recommends Daggett CSD, Newberry CSD and Yermo CSD form one district.
The staff draft report said such consolidation would benefit residents by providing consistent services, allow for flexibility in assigning resources, streamline governance and management, and provides for appropriate location of resources.
The staff report says the Plan for Service shows that a consolidated district would be fiscally feasible during the five-year forecast period and beyond at a cost at or below that of the status quo.
The meeting comes on the heels of a 2012-13 Grand Jury report and several investigations by LAFCO. The 2013 San Bernardino County Grand Jury report investigated the Newberry CSD and identified numerous issues and challenges related to governance, accounting and financial management, and internal controls.
At a September 2013 LAFCO hearing, the commission initiated a special study for the Newberry CSD and the bordering Daggett and Yermo CSDs based on the 2012-13 Grand Jury report. LAFCO staff conducted visits to the three districts in November 2013. There was a second site visit to the Newberry Springs CSD in February because of director and staff changes.
The LAFCO staff report says a previous service review in 2009 was met with disdain and resulted in controversy.