Sandra Emerson Staff Writer
Created: 05/27/2010 06:19:42 PM PDT
San Bernardino County’s $102 million settlement with a Rancho Cucamonga developer has been a major influence in the endorsements for supervisor by four elected Upland officials.
Mayor John “JP” Pomierski, Councilman Ray Musser, Councilman Ken Willis and City Treasurer Dan Morgan have announced their support for Fontana Councilwoman Janice Rutherford for county supervisor against 2nd District incumbent Paul Biane.
Rutherford “has a great record in her own city of being fiscally conservative and doing the right thing,” Pomierski said. “When it comes to being fiscally responsible, one of the things you don’t do as a supervisor is sue one of the cities you represent when in fact you weren’t fiscally responsible in the first place.”
Biane is a figure in the investigation by the district attorney and state attorney general into the settlement the county made with Colonies PartnersLP.
The county is suing Upland, Caltrans and San Bernardino Associated Governments to recoup part of the settlement money.
“Why are we supporting her and not Paul Biane? Because we can’t afford Paul Biane,” Willis said. “We take great umbrage at being sued by our own county supervisor for a mess he created of his own will.”
The city has spent $2.5million in legal fees fighting the lawsuit, officials said.
Pomierski said it is likely that $7.5million in taxpayer money has been spent by the city, Sanbag and Caltrans collectively, not to mention the county’s million-dollar legal fees.
A letter was sent to Upland residents announcing the foursome’s endorsement of Rutherford over Biane.
Biane said the letter is typical of a campaign that has a lot of mudslinging and that much of the information in the letter was incorrect.
“The bottom line is when you look at the Colonies settlement the Board of Supervisors was faced with a possible $350million judgment going against the county flood control and against the county itself, and I still stand behind settling,” Biane said. “History will play out that it saved the county and the county taxpayers money.”
Although he does not have the support of the Upland mayor, two councilmen and the treasurer, Biane said he still has support within the community.
Rutherford said gaining the four officials’ endorsement helps her gain more support from Upland residents, who may be unfamiliar with her record.
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