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JV NEWS The County Fire Parcel Tax, Causes and Challenges

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Hi, all,
If you own property in the unincorporated areas of San Bernardino County, or in other areas included in the FP-5 expansion zone, you will be interested in the press release attached.

The Red Brennan Group
has initiated legal action against the County for approving the Fire
Prevention Zone expansion with the purpose of levying a parcel tax on
all of us.

This press release details not only the legal issues here, but also tells the story of the governmental machinations that have overloaded the County Fire budget.

It also gives you the
picture of the October 16th meeting of the Board of Supervisors, how the
citizens who came to speak were treated (not unusual) and the outcome.

A seven-hour video has been posted at http://sbcounty.gov/Main/Pages/CountyDirect.aspx
No
doubt you will want to fast-forward through the first two hours or so.
I’m sure our friends and neighbors attending in person wished they could
have fast-forwarded through that morning.

The kindest description of that meeting that I heard was, “infuriating.”

When
you read the Red Brennan description, you will agree. Citizens with a
fair protest, many of whom took off work, all of whom had to travel a
long distance to speak to elected officials face-to-face, deserve more
consideration. The Board of Supervisors had received plenty of notice
that their constituents do not cotton to coming up with $157+ each year
for no increase in services. Of course, they would fill the
chamber. The order of business on the Agenda could have listed them
first; people with other business could have been informed that a long
session over the fire tax was expected. But, no.

JVIA members,
the next issue of the Johnson Valley Journal was sent to the printer
before we received the press release. However, the Journal does contain
the minutes of the meeting in Lucerne Valley when Chief Mark Hartwig
described his budget problems and the method by which they proposed to
solve them. He made little mention of the causes of the deficits, just
unspecified cost increases.

So now you will know how the hearing
turned out before you read Hartwig’s presentation; your Journal does not
mail until next week.

As I said before, we are happy to report
the unfair notification and protest procedures, as well as the actual
FP-5 Zone annexation and parcel tax levy that we complained about, have
been deemed illegal by more than one group.

If it looks like it’s illegal, and acts like it’s illegal, we were right to think it is illegal.

So stay tuned. Send the press release to everyone.

Betty

Betty Munson

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