You’ve got to be kidding… County to charge for use of Wonder Valley Community Center

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Updated 5/12/17 @ 6:35.

County Firefighters serve the eastern unincorporated communities of Desert Heights, Wonder Valley, TPWD ratepayers and the city of Twentynine Palms.

County or County Fire management has initiated a fee schedule to charge residents for use of their community center. The Desert Trail was short on detailed information, specific technical information as to legal use and ownership of the building or possible county requirements.

Suddenly, why is the county charging for use of Wonder Valley Community Center when it is used as a community center?

The county (County Fire managements)has created a situation whereupon “Public safety is at risk in the City of Twentynine Palms (see below).”

They spiked our property tax fees and assessments when they took over fire protection in our areas. And set into motion County Fire management can raise arbitrarily our property tax fees and assessments without a vote.

The Lear Station shut down and additionally residents are getting less protection now than before County Fire assumed jurisdiction for public safety and fire protection.

About a week ago, County Fire management under the leadership of S.B. County Fire Chief Mark A. Hartwig disclosed that they were adding 200 more square miles to only County Fire medic engine for our are from 59.1 square miles area of the city.

This leaves the only medic engine for Eastern Morongo Valley with the burden of an addition of 200 more sq. miles to cover.

Public safety is at risk in the city of 29 Palms, Wonder Valley and Desert Heights residents because the medic engine will be deployed along California U.S. Highway 40.

San Bernardino County Professional Firefighters Local 935 has warned the public in social media outlets that “Public safety is at risk in the City of Twentynine Palms.” Of course those public safety risk also encompasses TPWD ratepayers, Desert Heights and Wonder Valley residents.

It appears from available sources that the Twentynine Palms City Council isn’t interested in objection to these changes.

The local Morongo Basin Municipal Advisory Council meets regularly to view, explore and discuss local area problems. MAC has appointed local representatives in all the areas including those along Old Woman Springs (SR 247). Wonder Valley Community Chair and MAC represenative, Teresa Sitz, is not pleased with this new fee and assessment.

Why have they not raised concerns to our County Supervisor James Ramos about public safety being at risk in our area?

FACT: County Fire management is backtracking on public safety.

Many thanks to the San Bernardino County Professional firefighters for their outstanding services. County Fire management not so much. Harry Truman had a sign plaque on his desk: “The buck Stops Here.”  In these matters, the back stops with County Fire Chief Mark A. Hartwig. 

Postscript: The message is  Wonder Valley, 29 Palms and its unincorporated areas are on notice that the county is cutting services, and creating public safety issues in our area. What message is this sending the 2.5 million visitors to JTNP?: “Visit Twentynine Palms at your own risk.” What is the city council and the Morongo Basin MAC Advisory Council doing? Both ought to investigate these matters and raise concerns where applicable. County Fire management, MAC and the city council have failed its residents in terms of advocacy concerning public safety risks?

Feature photo County Fire Chief Mark A. Hartwig. 
Department Headquarters
157 W. 5th Street, 2nd Floor
San Bernardino, CA 92415-0451
Front desk – 909.387.5974
Fax – 909.387.5542
Mark A. Hartwig, Fire Chief – 909.387.5779
Don Trapp, Deputy Fire Chief – 909.387.5749
John Chamberlin, Deputy Chief of Administration – 909.387.5975


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