The Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCO) is once again pushing a
proposal that Daggett, Newberry Springs, and Yermo consolidate their Community Service Districts
(CSDs). This time LAFCO has support from the Grand Jury.
On October 16, 2014, Kathleen Rollings-McDonald, Executive Officer of LAFCO for
San Bernardino County, released a draft 96-page
that includes the LAFCO staff's recommendation for the consolidation of the three CSD districts.
A consolidation of the districts would require a vote of the people.
This is something that the CSDs in the past have felt confidently safe with. The
residents of each CSD have been fiercely independent in not desiring a consolidation of any district.
In following the wording of the draft, there are strong inferences that
all property owners ' would have the final say.' This indicated a possible
ploy by LAFCO to be pushing for all property stakeholders to have an opportunity to vote.
This would include absentee landowners.
We have now received direct communication from Kathleen Rollings-McDonald that
only the registered voters within the impacted districts will have the final vote, if a
Protest Proceeding receives sufficient opposition.
From new information acquire this posting date, this is what we understand
the procedure to be:
LAFCO's staff is doing a regular Service Review of our three CSDs.
That is all that it is, a review that is prepared about every five years for LAFCO's
commission. In its current draft, LAFCO's staff is following the Grand Jury's
recommendation that the three CSDs be consolidated. This they did in 2009 even
without the Grand Jury's recommendation.
As part of the Service Review, a public hearing is expected to be held
in late November, or early December, at the Silver Valley High School's auditorium.
Notices of the hearing will be prepared next week for mailing to all registered voters and
property owners. So some addresses will receive multiple notices when they are mailed.
After the public hearing, LAFCO's staff will finalize the Service Review
and present it to the Commission in January. As stated in the draft, it is expected that
LAFCO's staff will recommend that the three CSDs be consolidated; and if not the three, at
least Daggett and Yermo's CSDs. For anything to go further, the Commission
must accept the report.
If the report is accepted, nothing will happen UNLESS someone takes the
recommendation and initiates a proposal for consolidation. The someone (the applicant)
can be the CSDs themselves, any overlaying agency, such as county fire,
any single property owner, or even LAFCO itself.
The deterent of a property owner initiating an application are the very
high requisite fees.
If the CSD districts themselves request consolidation, LAFCO must approve the
application. If another overlying agency, puts forth an application, LAFCO's Commission
could deny it.
If a consolidation application is put forth and approved by LAFCO's Commission,
then the matter goes to a Protest Proceeding. Notices are mailed to all registered voters
and property owners.
If the Protest Proceeding acquires a 25-percent response
opposing the consolidation; or only 10-percent if the applicant is LAFCO itself, then
consolidation would be determined by a vote of the registered voters. Plurality of
the vote determines the outcome.
Due to the high costs to an applicant in initiating a proposal to
consolidate, and the low 10-percent opposition for a LAFCO application, it is unlikely
that the Service Review will proceed beyond the LAFCO Commission's acceptance of the