Tuesday, July 11, 2017

WV Community Center not closing, never was closing

Last night at the MAC meeting, a Wonder Valley resident told me he came to speak out against the closing of the Wonder Valley Community Center. I assured him that the WVCC was NOT closing. In fact, I told him, I couldn’t conceive of any way that it could be shut down.

The landowners of Wonder Valley pay an assessment every year with their property tax and that money goes to San Bernardino County Special Districts to maintain and manage the Wonder Valley Community Center and park.

The resident was worried because the Salvation Army Food Distribution had not happened during May and June.

Programs, like the Salvation Army and Community Action Project food distributions contract with the County of San Bernardino to have their programs at various community centers, both public and private. Contract changes and updates were required so there was a break in service as contracts were renegotiated. It’s unfortunate that this happened and it’s been difficult to fix blame as there are many players involved and many moving parts.

The upshot is that the state of these programs is unrelated to whether or not the WVCC remains open. More of a concern to me is whether or not the WVCC is USED. I would like to see more people there on a regular basis. I would like to see the WVCC humming. That is up to no one other else but us, as well.

The long time lead of the food programs, Star Javier, has played a pivotal role in making sure the food distribution programs continue with as little downtime as possible. Next time you see Star, give her a big high five and a big thank you for all her selfless work. She’s a true Wonder Valley (s)hero!

Third District San Bernardino County Supervisor James Ramos attended the MAC meeting last night in Joshua Tree. It was the first time he had done so since I have been on the MAC. I was happy to hear the words “Wonder Valley” come out of his mouth, not once, but TWICE during his presentation. He referred to the work he did getting our fire station funded ($1.5 million) and the work he and Mark Lundquist (his aide) have done in the last weeks to ensure that the food distribution programs go forward as regularly scheduled. Ramos seemed committed to not only seeing that they continue on time, but that structural issues - such as maintenance on trucks, and getting refrigerated trucks online - are addressed.

Ramos even came out to Fire Station 45 yesterday and went on a ride along, going on a medical call with our paramedics. He saw firsthand the value of our Fire Station 45 to our community.

When I was first seated on the MAC two and half years ago I was shocked at the negative things people said to me about Wonder Valley. I made a point of giving detailed reports of Wonder Valley at each meeting and there is evidence that people have come to value and appreciate our little community if for nothing other than the squeaking that I give that wheel every chance I get.

I’ve had a really nasty and love-lived flu and had to cancel the last two community meetings. There will be a WV Community Meeting on Saturday, August 12, even IF the creek does rise. See you then.