Archive for the ‘ Hesperia ’ Category

VVDailyPress: Some campaign signs violate code, officials say

Campaigns

ELECTION SEASON
Code officers encounter mixed bag of compliance issues
GARY BRODEUR
STAFF WRITER
Posted Oct. 3, 2014 @ 4:08 pm
Updated Oct 3, 2014 at 4:14 PM

Victor Valley municipalities are facing a mixed bag of campaign-sign enforcement actions, with one reporting no problems and others actively impounding code-infringing displays.

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VVDailyPress: Candidate forums coming this week

Campaigns

ELECTION 2014

By STAFF REPORTS
Posted Sep. 14, 2014 @ 10:05 am
Updated Sep 14, 2014 at 10:31 AM

VICTORVILLE — Partnering with Victor Valley College and its Associated Student Body, the Daily Press will facilitate forums on back-to-back nights this week to provide voters a chance to hear from candidates in various races impacting the High Desert.

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VVDailyPress: Study: JPA a complicated undertaking

Calculator

Many questions unanswered as cities seek to save money

ANNELI FOGT
STAFF WRITER
Posted Aug. 17, 2014 @ 11:09 am
Updated Aug 17, 2014 at 11:29 AM

APPLE VALLEY — Council members from Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia and Victorville still had several questions this week after they were presented with the findings of a feasibility study for the creation of a joint powers authority to manage the Victor Valley’s police and fire services.

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VVDailyPress: Council races shaping up

Campaigns

GARY BRODEUR
STAFF WRITER
Posted Aug. 8, 2014 @ 6:10 pm
Updated Aug 8, 2014 at 6:15 PM

The fields for council elections in three Victor Valley municipalities firmed up at the Friday filing deadline, according to information from city and town officials and the San Bernardino County Registrar of Voters.

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InlandPolitics: This and That!

Edit

Thursday, June 19, 2014 – 11:00 a.m.

Here’s some news flowing across the transom Thursday morning, in case you missed it!

High Desert cities approve budgets

Two High Desert cities have approved balanced budgets, for their 2014-15 fiscal years.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia budget healthy at midway point of fiscal year

hesperia_logo

February 24, 2014 12:20 PM
Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The Hesperia City Council reviewed the city’s mid-year budget at its most recent meeting and established new goals for the future.

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VVDailyPress: Most local city workers paid lower than state average

High-Desert City Logos

Barstow tops list in average salary, while Hesperia pays highest in health and benefits

December 21, 2013 3:51 PM
Shea Johnson, Staff Writer

The average city worker’s salary was lower than the state average in four of five local cities and towns last year, according to data recently released by the California State Controller.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia to appoint new mayor Tuesday

hesperia_logo

December 02, 2013 6:19 PM
Rene Ray De La Cruz, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • There will be handshakes, hugs and cupcakes on Tuesday night as the Hesperia City Council appoints a new mayor to take the High Desert’s “Gateway City” into the New Year.

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InlandPolitics: County Sheriff policing contracts losing their luster

SBSO Sheriff

Thursday, June 20, 2012 – 12:15 p.m.

San Bernardino County cities contracting for law enforcement services with the sheriff’s department are now reconsidering the strategy.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia council approves budget

hesperia_logo

June 19, 2013 12:04 PM
Rene De La Cruz, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The Gateway City to the High Desert will have an emptier wallet as it enters the new fiscal year, but there’s no panic at City Hall.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia looking to break from county services

hesperia_logo

February 21, 2013 2:47 PM
RENE DE LA CRUZ, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The Hesperia City Council took the first step in joining with local municipalities in an escape from rising county fire and police costs.

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VVDailyPress: Victor Valley cities may band together

Victorville considers feasibility study on Public Safety JPA
February 20, 2013 12:49 PM
Jim E. Winburn, Staff Writer

Victorville is considering banding together with other local cities to create their own police and fire services.

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VVDailyPress: Holland chosen as Hesperia mayor

Smith named mayor pro tem
December 04, 2012 9:04 PM

HESPERIA • The Hesperia City Council will begin the new year with a slightly different look, after a new mayor was appointed and two council candidates were sworn in during Tuesday night’s meeting.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia signs $31M water deal

City plans to issue bonds to buy water rights from defunct housing project
October 31, 2012 6:40 PM
RENE DE LA CRUZ, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The city of Hesperia signed a $31.7 million agreement to buy permanent water rights held by Ranchos Los Flores, LLC., according to a document obtained from the Mojave Water Agency on Wednesday.

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VVDailyPress: With RDAs axed, time to unload debt, property

Oversight boards charged with navigating complex process
April 14, 2012 2:11 PM
Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writer

Two and a half months ago, they lost their battle against the state to keep redevelopment agencies alive.

Now, in a complicated, untested process that’s likely to take years, local government officials are members of a select group serving on new boards charged with overseeing the agencies’ demise.

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The Sun: San Bernardino County has vision to help underwater homeowners

Joe Nelson, Staff Writer
Posted: 04/11/2012 07:05:54 PM PDT

San Bernardino County and the cities of Ontario, Fontana and Hesperia are joining forces to establish a program to assist homewoners who are underwater on their mortgages.

It is part of the county’s “Vision” plan – a roadmap to the county’s future that establishes clear-cut goals to achieve optimum quality of life for the people who live in its 24 cities and unincorporated areas.

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VVDailyPress: Buying up Victor Valley

Investors purchase undervalued abandoned housing subdivisions
March 22, 2012 9:09 AM
Tomoya Shimura, Staff Writer

A private investor who recently bought 233 abandoned housing lots in four Victor Valley subdivisions plans to sit on them until the housing market picks up, according to a broker involved in the deal.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD assistant supe won $500K in sexism settlement

Karen Kelly won lump sum plus was reinstated to former job
March 13, 2012 12:37 PM
Beau Yarbrough, Staff Writer

HESPERIA • When Karen Kelly landed a settlement from Hesperia Unified School District, she got more than her six-figure job back: She also walked away with half a million dollars, newly obtained court records show.

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InlandPolitics: Voters soundly reject Hesperia fire tax

Wednesday, November 9, 2011 – 06:00 a.m.

Hesperia voters rejected a union-backed fire tax Tuesday night.

Measure F garnered just 19.13% of votes cast.

The measure fell victim to a sour economy and the fact it was a “parcel” tax.

The Sun: Airport developer owes more than $500,000 in property taxes

Spencer

Joe Nelson and Josh Dulaney, Staff Writers
Posted: 11/01/2011 05:59:53 PM PDT

Embattled San Bernardino International Airport developer Scot Spencer has racked up roughly $545,876 in delinquent property taxes since 2005, of which $31,618 has been seized by the county tax collector.

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VVDailyPress: Valles, Jensen running for Congress

Valles

Victorville, Hesperia leaders make fourth, fifth to announce for new seat
October 24, 2011 2:46 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer
Related stories:

A former mayor of Hesperia and a current member of the Victorville City Council are the fourth and fifth people to formally announce their candidacy for the newly created 8th District Congressional seat.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia Council votes against medical pot dispensaries

October 19, 2011 9:18 AM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • After months of buildup, more than 100 Hesperians crowded into City Hall on Tuesday night to hear the City Council unanimously reject medical marijuana dispensaries in the city.

Prior to the vote, audience members who spoke were split on the issue.

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VVDailyPress: Battle over Hesperia’s fire tax heats up

Residents will vote Nov. 8 on $85 parcel tax
October 18, 2011 4:28 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • Thousands of dollars have already been spent in the debate over whether Hesperians should pay an additional $85 tax per property parcel next year to support firefighting efforts.

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VVDailyPress: Generous benefits for Hesperia school board

Perk may clash with California government code
September 25, 2011 2:33 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

School board members in the Victor Valley’s largest district are getting free medical benefits worth up to $905 a month — a generous perk that may clash with state law.

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VVDailyPress: Planning commission gives thumbs-up to marijuana dispensaries

Commissioners recommend allowing dispensaries, 3-2
September 09, 2011 1:54 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

If it were up to the Hesperia Planning Commission, the city would be granting business licenses to medical marijuana facilities.

In a split decision, the commission voted Thursday night to recommend that the Hesperia City Council pass a proposed code amendment put forward by a medical marijuana advocacy group.

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VVDailyPress: Last dance with marijuana amendment for Hesperia planning commission

Medical marijuana advocates ask commission to consider changing code
September 07, 2011 4:10 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

The Hesperia Planning Commission is scheduled to take a last whack at a proposed code amendment that would allow medical marijuana dispensaries in the city on Thursday night.

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The Sun: Rep. Lewis appears in Hesperia, Redlands

Staff Report
Posted: 08/31/2011 06:13:01 PM PDT

Rep. Jerry Lewis, R-Redlands, was in Hesperia on Wednesday to help break ground on the city’s largest transportation project.

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VVDailyPress: Proposed Hesperia fire tax debated

Ballot statements on controversial ‘Measure F’ released
August 18, 2011 3:50 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The City Council is divided over a proposed $85 parcel tax to support the Hesperia Fire District, and their disagreement will be on full display for voters in November.

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Hesperia to pay $7.1M to keep RDAs’ doors open, Victorville to pay $2.8M
August 03, 2011 5:15 PM
BEAU YARBROUGH AND BROOKE EDWARDS, Staff Writers
Staff Writers

Both Hesperia and Victorville have agreed to pay the state a combined $10 million “ransom” this year to keep their redevelopment agencies alive, joining Apple Valley and a regional redevelopment agency in opting into California’s new alternative RDA program.

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VVDailyPress: Local cities consider ‘ransom’ RDA payments

Regional redevelopment agency is $9.1 million short
August 02, 2011 8:44 AM
Brooke Edwards
Staff Writer

To keep all of the Victor Valley’s redevelopment agencies alive under a new state law, data released Monday shows local cities will have to revisit their strained budgets and come up with a combined total of nearly $29 million over the next year.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia Council votes to place fire tax on November ballot

$85 parcel tax would offset $1.3 million fire district shortfall
July 20, 2011 9:36 AM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • A parcel tax to partly fund Hesperia’s fire service will appear on the ballot in November.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia council to consider property tax vote Tuesday

July 11, 2011 11:23 AM
From Staff Reports

HESPERIA • As the City Council considers putting a property tax hike on the ballot, three council members are on record as opposing efforts to increase taxes.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia to ponder $85 fire tax

July 07, 2011 5:17 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • The City Council is expected to consider putting an $85 per parcel tax on the November ballot.

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VVDailyPress: High Desert home prices drop nearly 10 percent from last year

June 14, 2011 3:03 PM
Tomoya Shimura
Staff Writer

The High Desert housing market in May mirrored that of Southern California overall, where median home prices saw the largest year-over-year drop in 20 months.

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VVDailyPress: Do budget cuts mean possible gang team reductions?

June 13, 2011 5:16 PM
Beatriz Valenzuela
Staff Writer

The economic woes that have plagued the state, county and Victor Valley cities could lead to reductions in specialized law enforcement teams.

Due to budgetary cuts, some members of local gang teams may be reassigned, according to those close to the program.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia proposes fire, sheriff’s cuts

June 13, 2011 5:32 PM
From Staff Reports

HESPERIA • The Hesperia city council will discuss a proposed budgetary cut that would eliminate nine full-time San Bernardino County firefighters and five sheriff’s deputies’ positions Tuesday night before they vote on June 21.

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InlandPolitics: Colonies PAC donations actually went far and wide – Part 1

Sunday, May 29, 2011 – 10:50 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, June 2, 2011 – 08:09 a.m.

A review of public records from 2007-2009 show alleged bribes, made in the form of political action contributions by Colonies Partners, inexplicably went far and wide.

Not politicians pockets as has been portrayed in the media.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD lays off 36

May 03, 2011 3:13 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

The Hesperia Unified school board voted Monday night to cut an additional 36 employees, following a previous move to lay off 24 teachers.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD fires another head of personnel

May 03, 2011 2:45 PM
Beau Yarbrough
Staff Writer

HESPERIA • At their Monday night meeting, the Hesperia Unified school board fired Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Matt Spencer “without cause,” by a 3-2 vote.

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VVDailyPress: VVEDA shopping for new attorney

Andre de Bortnowsky

 

Split commission may oust Victorville’s de Bortnowsky over conflict of interest concerns
April 21, 2011 3:49 PM

He’s been their attorney for 20 years, since representatives from each local city formed the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority to help redevelop the area surrounding shuttered George Air Force Base.

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InlandPolitics: Victor Valley Economic Development Authority fires attorney

Thursday, April 21, 2011 – 07:30 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, April 21, 2011 – 09:05 a.m.

On a 3-2 vote the governing board of the Victor Valley Economic Development Authority (VVEDA) fired its general counsel Wednesday night.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD to charge for busing in fall

April 20, 2011 4:30 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Parents in the Hesperia Unified School District will have to pay for home-to-school busing beginning in the fall.

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VVDailyPress: School board orders investigation into McKinney allegations

McKinney

 

District’s law firm will handle the investigation
April 01, 2011 4:54 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • The Hesperia Unified school board has begun an investigation into allegations made against Superintendent Mark McKinney.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD ponders cuts

With voters unlikely to support more tax hikes, schools will have to get creative — and efficient
March 31, 2011 5:18 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • As the California state legislature creeps toward a budget for the next year, Hesperia Unified officials are preparing for the worst-case scenario, and everything is on the table for potential cuts.

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VVDailyPress: Blewett blew it

Hesperia councilman apologizes for off-color remark; city removes video segment from website
March 18, 2011 5:09 PM
From Staff Reports

HESPERIA • City Councilman Russ Blewett apologized Friday for making an obscene remark following a heated discussion on a service animal ordinance during a break in Tuesday’s council meeting.

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VVDailyPress: Cities shuffle RDA money amid state cash-grab

March 17, 2011 8:49 AM
BEAU YARBROUGH AND BROOKE EDWARDS, Staff Writers

Victorville and Hesperia have joined the ranks of California cities scrambling to shift assets from their redevelopment agencies to city control.

The moves come in advance of Gov. Jerry Brown’s threatened shutdown of the redevelopment agency system, which he says will save the cash-strapped state money and give local agencies more money in the long run.

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One in a series on the census and the changing complexion of the High Desert.
March 12, 2011 5:40 PM
Brooke Edwards

The Victor Valley has grown much more rapidly over the past decade than San Bernardino County or California overall, according to 2010 U.S. Census data released this week.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD to cut 42 teachers

Elementary teachers bear brunt of cuts, with 27 pink slips
March 08, 2011 5:15 PM
Beau Yarbrough

The Hesperia Unified School District board voted 3-2 to potentially lay off 42 teachers in the coming weeks.

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VVDailyPress: Big money in final weeks of VV council race

February 20, 2011 8:46 AM
Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • Four City Council candidates raised more than $38,000 in the weeks surrounding the November election, according to campaign finance forms recently filed with the city clerk.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia teachers face layoffs

Board hears laundry list of suggestions to close expected $7M shortfall
February 20, 2011 8:40 AM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Facing the prospect of a $7 million shortfall in the next school year, the Hesperia Unified School District is contemplating a wide variety of cuts, including laying off almost four dozen teachers.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD considers cuts to police, alternative education

February 15, 2011 4:31 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Although Gov. Jerry Brown has said there will be no new cuts to public education, the Hesperia Unified School District is preparing for them anyway.

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VVDailyPress: Redevelopment agencies scramble to justify their existence

February 12, 2011 3:00 PM
By Natasha Lindstrom and Brooke Edwards, Staff Writers

Local leaders are blasting accusations that redevelopment agencies are ineffective at spurring jobs and construction, as Gov. Jerry Brown pitches dismantling the agencies in his proposed state budget.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia ponders huge, multi-business freeway signage

Proposed signs would resemble Fontana’s freeway signage
January 26, 2011 6:43 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Freeway advertising similar to Fontana’s iconic towering sign on Interstate 15 could be coming to Hesperia’s freeway interchanges.

The multi-business signage was discussed at a joint workshop of the Hesperia City Council and the city’s Planning Commission on Tuesday night.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia demands answers from Victorville

Regional redevelopment group steps up efforts to take control of SCLA
January 22, 2011 8:11 PM
Natasha Lindstrom and Brooke Edwards

VICTORVILLE • Members of a regional redevelopment agency are ramping up efforts to take control of Southern California Logistics Airport away from Victorville, with Hesperia demanding details on how its neighbor has been handling the agency’s $300 million in outstanding debt.

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VVDailyPress: Should Victor Valley cities merge?

November 27, 2010 12:00 PM
Brooke Edwards

Adelapple Victeria? Hespelanto Appleville? Or perhaps just Victor Valley?

“If there ever was a time to have serious discussions about consolidating, with all the municipalities struggling as they are — and despite how monumental a task it would be — the time is now,” argued Mike Stevens, a 35-year Victor Valley resident and community activist.

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InlandPolitics: FPPC issues warning to Vogler

Saturday, November 27, 2010 – 07:35 a.m.

The California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) has issued a warning letter to Hesperia politico Al Vogler.

A complaint had previously been filed against Vogler for the placement of a political billboard not containing a proper legal disclaimer identifying the source who funded the sign.

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VVDailyPress: All votes counted: It’s Black over Rogers by 76

School board president joins Childs and Swanson
November 25, 2010 3:40 PM
Beau Yarbrough

On Election Night, it became clear that only one Hesperia Unified incumbent seeking reelection would make it back into office. When voters went to bed that night, it looked as though it would be Lee Rogers, who had just edged out board president Hardy Black. But in the morning, the situation had reversed, and in the weeks since, Black’s small lead has grown ever larger.

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VVDailyPress: 59 Victor Valley city employees in the $100K club

AV, VV government compensation details now posted on state website
November 22, 2010 3:38 PM
Natasha Lindstrom

Nearly 60 city and town employees in the Victor Valley made more than $100,000 in 2009, according to the state Controller’s new database on local government compensation.

State Controller John Chiang recently announced new salary and benefits reporting requirements for all California cities and counties on the heels of public outrage over salary scandals among city of Bell employees.

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VVDailyPress: New Hesperia City Council looks to a calmer, productive 2011

November 12, 2010 4:00 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Although the Hesperia City Council was spared in the anti-incumbent wave that swept through Victor Valley on Election Day, look for a very different City Council in December.

The lone incumbent in the race, Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith, was reelected. Two two-term council members, Ed Pack and Rita Vogler, who chose not to run for reelection, will be gone. And two new candidates, Russ Blewett and Bill Holland will be replacing them.

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VVDailyPress: County government center opens in Hesperia

November 10, 2010 6:20 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Victor Valley residents now have a single central location for county services without braving the Cajon Pass.

The Jerry Lewis High Desert Government Center, next to the new Hesperia Police Station, and across from Hesperia City Hall and the Hesperia branch library, held its official grand opening on Wednesday, although many of the county offices inside have been in operation for days or weeks.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia candidates talk business-friendly climate at chamber forum

Six out of eight city council candidates speak at chamber of commerce monthly luncheon
October 18, 2010 5:02 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • For city council candidates eager to prove their business-friendly credentials, the monthly Hesperia Chamber of Commerce luncheon was very friendly territory.

Six of the eight candidates running for the three open seats on the Hesperia City Council attended the candidates’ forum, held at the Courtyard by Marriott Monday.

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October 16, 2010 6:06 PM
Brooke Edwards

For the next 40 years, property owners from across the Victor Valley are on the hook to help pay down tens of millions of dollars in debt for failed or stalled Victorville projects.

Last year alone, more than $2.3 million in property taxes from portions of Apple Valley, Hesperia and unincorporated San Bernardino County went toward a $21 million payment on bonds for Southern California Logistics Airport. And the Daily Press has learned that at least a quarter of the $300 million in outstanding bonds funded Victorville’s own projects off SCLA property, including land for a city-owned library and work on the Victorville 2 power plant.

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VVDailyPress: Medical marijuana group wants Hesperia to mellow its stand

October 06, 2010 5:29 PM
Peter Day

HESPERIA • Medical marijuana users should be able to legally acquire pot in Hesperia, a spokesman for a nonprofit advocacy group told the City Council.

“We would love to work with the city of Hesperia to help provide safe access to these patients while keeping it out of the hands of our children,” said Kevin Sutman, who was one of about 20 members of the West Coast Patient Group, Inc. in attendance at the council meeting Tuesday night.

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VVDailyPress: Council members trade barbs at meeting

“I guess this is ‘pick on the mayor night.'”
– Councilman Ed Pack

October 06, 2010 5:12 PM
Peter Day

HESPERIA • While the official Hesperia City Council business was humdrum, the session-ending councilmember comments on Tuesday night were anything but boring.

“Councilmember Vogler, I didn’t want to rehash this,” Mayor Thurston “Smitty” Smith said during his segment, “(but) you’re blaming me for you not becoming mayor?”

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The PE: TEMECULA: City manager’s pay is election issue

Nelson

10:58 PM PDT on Monday, October 4, 2010

By JEFF HORSEMAN
The Press-Enterprise

Just five city managers in California — and only one in the Inland area — earned more than Temecula City Manager Shawn Nelson in 2009, according to a survey.

Nelson, 51, earned $336,288 last year, an amount that includes his base salary, deferred compensation and other payouts, according to the survey released last month by the League of California Cities, an advocacy group for cities and towns. Nelson’s base pay is $291,571 a year, according to Temecula.

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VVDailyPress: Who’s signs are those?

September 24, 2010 9:31 AM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • At Tuesday’s meeting of the Hesperia City Council, local resident Debra Ann Peterson wanted to talk about the City Council campaign.

She wanted to know which candidate was anonymously putting up ads telling voters to vote “No on (Thurston ‘Smitty’) Smith, (Russ) Blewett, (Dave) Holman.”

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VVDailyPress: Candidate forums planned Sept. 29, 30

September 13, 2010 5:22 PM
From Staff Reports

VICTORVILLE • With the November general election just seven weeks away, the Daily Press and Victor Valley College are partnering on a series of local candidate forums.

Daily Press news staff will moderate the forums designed to give candidates an equal opportunity to respond to questions and voice their positions. Public question-and-answer periods are also planned.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia city manager gets five-year extension

September 08, 2010 5:19 PM
Peter Day

HESPERIA • City Manager Mike Podegracz received a five-year contract extension during Tuesday’s City Council meeting.

His employment agreement will extend his initial contract, which was to end July 31, 2011, to July 31, 2016.

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VVDailyPress: Kirk won’t run for HUSD board; 15 others will

August 06, 2010 6:18 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • There will be 15 candidates on the ballot for the Hesperia Unified school board in November, but none of them will be Robert Kirk.

“I don’t intend to run again,” Kirk said Friday afternoon, blaming “the uncivil nature of politics.”

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9 now seek three seats on city council
August 06, 2010 5:49 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • City Council incumbents Ed Pack and Rita Vogler will not seek third stints on the council as nine candidates joined the race for three seats.

“It’s always been my plan to take some time and focus on something else,” Vogler said Friday afternoon, on the phone from Northern California. She said she would elaborate on her future plans in the near future.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia on the hook for $80,000 of Rizzo’s pension

AV, Barstow, MWA shoulder portion too
August 04, 2010 5:42 PM
Brooke Edwards

HESPERIA • Robert Rizzo worked for Hesperia for just four years nearly two decades ago. But now that he was forced to resign as city manager for Bell amid a scandal over his massive salary, Hesperia is on the hook for roughly $80,000 of Rizzo’s expected $600,000 annual pension, according to Daily Press estimates.

Rancho Cucamonga will pay an estimated $160,000 annually for the eight years Rizzo served there before coming to Hesperia.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia weighs sales tax ballot measure

July 31, 2010 12:00 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • After a round of public hearings, the City Council on Tuesday night is set to discuss putting a half-cent sales tax hike on the November ballot.

If approved by the voters, the tax would go into effect just as a state one-cent sales tax goes away in July 2011. Effectively, Hesperians would trade a penny tax going to Sacramento for half of a penny going to Hesperia City Hall.

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VVDailyPress: Average local council member gets $8,683 per year

July 29, 2010 8:51 AM
By Brooke Edwards and Natasha Lindstrom, Staff Writers

As public outrage brews over the city of Bell carrying some of the nation’s most bloated municipal salaries, some Victor Valley elected officials are trying to spread a message: When it comes to compensation, we’re not Bell.

Members on the Apple Valley Town Council took a few minutes during Tuesday’s meeting to state the amount of money the city pays them annually out of taxpayer dollars.

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DailyBulletin: Ousted Bell city manager worked in Rancho in 1980s

Wendy Leung, Staff Writer
Created: 07/28/2010 10:28:23 PM PDT

RANCHO CUCAMONGA – The former city manager of Bell, who stepped down last week after news reports unveiled his unusually high salary of more than $787,000, got his start in Rancho Cucamonga, where he rose through the ranks in eight years to become assistant city manager.

Robert Rizzo, 56, possibly the highest-paid city manager in the nation, was hired by Rancho Cucamonga as an administrative aide in 1980 and later became an administrative analyst and an assistant to the city manager before becoming an assistant city manager.

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VVDailyPress: HUSD, teachers reach tentative agreement

Deal includes furlough, cuts
July 27, 2010 5:41 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • The Hesperia Unified School District and Hesperia Teachers Association have apparently resolved their differences and have reached a three-year agreement, officials said Tuesday.

The tentative agreement includes nine furlough days (an effective salary cut of almost 5 percent), 1 percent pay cut and 2 percent savings on other monetary benefits for teachers.

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VVDailyPress: Former Hesperia manager quits lucrative post in Bell

Bell officials step down
July 23, 2010 3:16 PM
FROM STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS

BELL (AP) • The city manager, assistant city manager and police chief of this small, poverty-plagued suburb of Los Angeles stepped down following a public outcry over their salaries, which total more than $1.6 million a year.

Robert Rizzo, who served as Hesperia’s city manager from 1988 to 1992, was the highest paid Bell employee at $787,637 a year — nearly twice the pay of President Barack Obama. Census figures for 2008 showed about 17 percent of the city’s less than 40,000 residents live in poverty.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia school board to hold special meeting

July 22, 2010 5:42 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Two weeks after a school board meeting that abruptly ended with board members taunting one another and calling each other names, the board will try again on Monday to finish their July agenda.

At the July 12 meeting of the Hesperia Unified School District school board, board members returned from a second period of closed-doors discussions determined to get through the 13 points remaining undone in the first four hours of the meeting.

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VVDailyPress: Public to Hesperia Council: No tax hike

Increase would fund fire, police, roads
July 21, 2010 9:03 AM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • The largest crowd at a Hesperia City Council meeting in recent memory showed up Tuesday with a single message: “Don’t hike sales taxes.”

Approximately 100 residents attended the City Council meeting. It was their first chance to speak directly to the City Council about a proposed halfcent hike to the city’s current 8.75 percent sales tax.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia School board meeting ends in chaos

July 16, 2010 6:22 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • Politics can stir passions.

But a recent Hesperia Unified School District school board ended prematurely when board members erupted into shouting, name-calling — and even an invitation to throw down.

HUSD school board meetings are scheduled to end by 10:30 p.m., unless board members vote to extend the session longer. Monday night, they voted to stay until the 13 remaining action items were voted upon.

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VVDailyPress: Victor Valley property values see largest drops county-wide

July 01, 2010 5:22 PM
From Staff Reports

SAN BERNARDINO • Victor Valley property values plummeted faster than every other city in San Bernardino County over the past year, according to the annual property assessment roll signed this week by Assessor Dennis Draeger.

County-wide, property values saw a 4.5 percent decline compared to 2009-10, the assessor reported. The county’s roll of 819,827 parcels is now valued at $162.8 billion.

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VVDailyPress: State: HUSD may not be able to pay its bills

June 29, 2010 5:53 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • The Hesperia Unified School District is one of 174 public school districts statewide to end up on the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s list of schools that are having “trouble meeting their financial obligations.”

Two Victor Valley school districts, the HUSD and Lucerne Valley Unified School District, were among 160 districts to receive a “qualified” certification of their financial status, meaning the districts “may not meet (their) financial obligations for the current or two subsequent fiscal years.”

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LATimes: Undone by their dreams

HIGH DESERT HOPES

Drawn by the promise of affordable housing, thousands put down roots in arid Hesperia. But long-term security proved an illusion.
Vacant lots

By Thomas Curwen, Los Angeles Times

June 26, 2010

First of two parts

Dirt is cheap in the Victor Valley, and amid tumbleweeds and rabbit brush, Joshua trees and juniper bushes, home developments rise up like islands where the desert has been rolled back.

About 300,000 people call this region home. Baked in the summer, frozen in winter, it is scoured by winds that sweep down the mountains — and yet they come, drawn by what they can’t find elsewhere in Southern California: the promise of large and affordable houses in clean and safe neighborhoods.

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iePolitics: Is it really double dipping? (Revised)

www.iepolitics.com

Written by Administrator
June 20th, 2010 at 4:26 pm

This past week San Bernardino County Deputy District Attorney John Goritz and state of California Deputy Attorney General Melissa Mandel unveiled their “conspiracy theory” in the trial of former Assessor’s Office employee Rex Gutierrez. In addition to having worked for the county, Gutierrez also is an elected member of the city of Rancho Cucamonga City Council. Gutierrez is accused of conducting city of Rancho Cucamonga business on county time.

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VVDailyPress: State owes HUSD $23 million

Late pymts leave district cash-strapped
June 09, 2010 5:36 PM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • California’s $19 billion deficit has meant both the governor and legislature have looked toward cutting programs and delaying payments on those that survive. And local governments are left holding the bag, unable to pay their own obligations in a timely fashion while they wait for checks from Sacramento.

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VVDailyPress: Hesperia faces budget woes

City’s deficit grows to $2 million; union rep urges council to dip into rainy day fund
March 19, 2010 9:26 AM
Beau Yarbrough

HESPERIA • The city’s budget situation has gotten a little bleaker in the past month, and that might mean belt tightening for employees.

At Tuesday’s meeting of the Hesperia City Council, about a dozen employees stood in silent protest before the council, as Bridgette Washington, a labor relations representative for the San Bernardino Public Employees Association, read a prepared statement asking the city to “take another look at the instructions you have given to the city’s chief negotiator.”

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