10:00 PM PST on Saturday, March 5, 2011

By SANDRA STOKLEY
The Press-Enterprise

More than four years after a small group of Jurupa-area residents began quietly meeting to discuss the possibility of resurrecting the concept of incorporation, voters in this far-flung unincorporated community will have their say on cityhood.

On Tuesday, voters will go to the polls to decide if the Jurupa Valley will become Riverside County’s 28th city.

The Jurupa Valley includes the communities of Mira Loma, Glen Avon, Pedley, Indian Hills, Sunnyslope, Rubidoux, Belltown and Jurupa Hills.

The area has an estimated population of 85,000 to 90,000 people.

The ballot proposal, known as Measure A, needs a simple majority to pass. Voters also will be asked if they want their future city council elections — if cityhood is approved — to be at large, from districts or by districts.

Voters also will be asked to select five city council members. The top five vote getters would serve if voters support incorporation.

Sixteen candidates will appear on the ballot. Sylvester Bland, the pastor of a Jurupa-area church, announced last month that he is running as a write-in candidate.

Tuesday’s vote comes nearly 20 years after voters rejected competing cityhood measures for Jurupa and Mira Loma.

Don Davies, president of the Jurupa Valley Incorporation Research Committee, said things are different this time around.

“Twenty years ago, there were competing measures. It divided the community,” Davies said. “This time it’s bringing together the entire community.”

He predicted Measure A would receive strong support.

“It looks good. The public that has come forward is really in support of cityhood,” Davies said.

The research committee is hosting its final “meet and greet” with city council candidates from 4 to 6 p.m. Monday at the Eddie Dee Smith Senior Center, 5888 Mission Blvd.

Rebecca Spencer, Riverside County’s chief deputy registrar, said there will be 18 polling places throughout the Jurupa Valley. They will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

As of March 2, there were 30,753 registered voters in the Jurupa Valley.

If Measure A is approved, the date of incorporation would be July 1, 2011.

Cityhood proponents have stressed the importance of self-determination and home rule in trying to convince voters to support incorporation.

It makes sense to have five residents who live in the community and have raised their families there make decisions on what types of services are needed and what types of development will be allowed, proponents say.

“It’s quality of life issues,” Davies said.

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