Josh Dulaney Staff Writer
Posted: 11/16/2011 12:46:27 PM PST

SAN BERNARDINO – In a move that has caused the City Council to draft a resolution in opposition, Caltrans has decided to move its South Region Transportation Permits Office to Sacramento, taking around 20 jobs out of the city.

Employees who want to remain with the south office are required to work at a consolidated center with the North Permits Office in Sacramento, effective Dec. 5.

Caltrans officials say the move will cut costs, streamline the permitting process and improve business operations.

“It’s a major move, but we evaluated it very thoroughly before we did anything,” said Malcolm Dougherty, acting director of Caltrans.

The permits office issues special permits for oversized loads – vehicles and loads that exceed limits on the size, weight, and load of vehicles found in the state Vehicle Code.

While Caltrans officials say the move makes for a better permits office, officials here say they are concerned about the loss of jobs and the potential for decreased public safety, with Caltrans’ only permits office in the region moving to Sacramento.

“This is not only a jobs issue. This is a safety issue,” said 2nd Ward Councilman Robert Jenkins. “Our local permitting office knows our freeways and roads.”

Jenkins and his council colleagues – acting swiftly after two public speakers presented a petition to stop the move at the last council meeting – moved to draft a resolution in opposition to consolidating the permits offices in Sacramento.

According to a petition circulated by the permits office on 655 W. Second St., the office produces roughly 65 percent of the oversize and overweight permits, and 7,000 walk-in customers will not be able to get permits.

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