Wednesday, May 13, 2015

MAC Meeting - Monday, May 11, 2015

Hello, Wonder Valley!

I went to my second MAC (Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council) meeting last night and picked up my business cards - thanks, Gayl!  What follows is my take on the meeting – UNOFFICIAL in every way, and I invite correction for anything I got wrong.

Review the meeting for yourself, on YouTube on Bob Stepheson's channel.

Call to order: 6:30 p.m. by Chair Mark Lundquist

Roll Call: 5 members present = quorum. Mark LUNDQUIST, Joshua Tree; Lib KOENIG, Flamingo Heights; Pat FLANAGAN, Desert Heights; Teresa SITZ, Wonder Valley; Mary Helen TUTTLE, Copper Mountain MesaAdoption of the Agenda and Approval of Minutes from April 13, 2015

Public Comment:
David FICK:
spoke on Dollar General in Joshua Tree, that they have filed a notice to prepare an EIR. The comment period is open from May 8 through June 9. Asked that the MAC prepare a resolution to vote on for the June 8 meeting. Issues attached to the Dollar General have to do with traffic, the Joshua Tree Plan, and urban decay. If one is overturned they’ll all be overturned.

Donna LANDRY: Suspects that money is at the root of the BLM’s WEMO Plan and suggested that we “follow the money.”

PUBLIC SAFETY REPORTS
COUNTY FIRE
Mike SNOW
, Batallion Chief of San Bernardino spoke. He was married on March 27 so has been away. He said that in April there were 242 responses: 6 fires, 105 medical aid, 22 calls of service (cats in trees type of stuff), 39 good intent investigations (like smoke scares), 4 false alarms and 1 miscellaneous (undetermined).  He said we are in the vegetative fire season and suggested we maintain a 30’ vegetative clearance around our properties in the flats, more on the hillsides.

CHP
Joan GRIFFIN
said that tomorrow is the first day of the nationwide “Click it or ticket” campaign regarding seatbelt compliance. A first ticket for not wearing a seatbelt is $142 for an adult and $445 for a child. The Age Well drivers course is taking place. Seniors 55 and over can sign up for the free course. There is no driving test. Some insurance companies may offer a reduction in rates for those who take the course.

SB SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT
Captain Dale MONDARY
is being hired by Desert Hot Springs. His last day here is June 12. He will be at the next MAC meeting. No word yet on who is taking his place.
Almut FLECK asked about the arrest of Pastor Stephen Burns who was recently charged with terrorist threat.
MONDARY could not comment on the ongoing investigation.
Teresa SITZ (I) asked about the charge of “terrorist threat,” that I associated the term “terrorist” with terrorism and wondered how the term became associated with “threat” which is a crime as it is.
MONDARY said it originated with the legislature and that it had been problematic. Minorities had been beaten in jail when others incarcerated learned they’d been charged with “terroristic threat.” He believes it may have since been changed to “criminal threat” and will look into making sure they are using the correct term.

ACTION ITEM – Approved unanimously.
MAC Resolution 013, May 11, 2015
https://www.dropbox.com/s/pz6sg7nbyjb3zjj/mac013_resolution.pdf?dl=0

COMMUNITY, OFFICER and COMMITTEE REPORTS
Teresa SITZ, Wonder Valley The Wonder Valley Well Owners Association met on Sunday, May 3 with 28 people in attendance. Clarence Chambers, president, spoke on the state of wells in our area, water levels remaining unchanged. He advised people to secure a small generator, pump and tank so they would have access to their water in the event of an electrical outage.

The neighbors then moved to the topic of community safety. I was able to speak on efforts to arrange a meeting with the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department who have agreed to come address various issues including dumping, crime, Citizens on Patrol and setting up a Neighborhood Watch.

Kip’s Hi-Desert Book Club met Monday, May 4th at my house and many of our Wonder Valley neighbors attended.

We had a Meet and Greet this morning at the Community Center with 7 people attending. Many issues were discussed.

The Neighbors of Wonder Valley will meet on Saturday, May 23, at 11:00 a.m. for a presentation on the WEMO Plan given by Pat Flanagan. Everyone is invited and welcome to attend. I am distressed to see a new ORV route adjacent to my own property, fronting 10 acres of pristine BLM desert with intact desert pavement. The BLM is unwilling to answer questions regarding this route. I urge everyone to write and send their letters before June 4th.

Issues of crime, dumping, access to social services, road safety and access to representatives top the list of community concerns.

My own goal is to raise the profile of Wonder Valley. I am blessed to have met many of my neighbors and find them to be some of the finest people I have met anywhere. We have world-class musicians, artists, academics, engineers, and fine retired folks living in our area. They embody the pioneer spirit of independence and interdependence, resilience and creativity that formed this area into a community so many decades ago. I count myself very fortunate to live in Wonder Valley.

I’m also happy to see that WV attendance at this meeting has doubled – thank you almut and donna for attending.

Thank you.

ADJOURN 7:30 p.m.

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