Tuesday, March 8, 2011
MEASURE A - FISH OR CUT BAIT
Today's the day our part of the county votes on whether or not it wants to become a city. It has tried before and failed. The measure may win this time. But then again it may not.
Did I vote? No. Do I care? No. I have absolutely no vested interest in the area and it will make no difference to me what the outcome is. I rent my tiny apartment in a part of this area that is within spitting distance of another county, and although I have been following all the pros and cons, my position is to let the people who DO have a vested interest chose. (Realizing of course that my not voting is like tossing a "no" vote into the ballot box.)
The pictures in this blog show you some of what I see as I drive around the area. Believe me, it does NOT look city-like.
The impetus this time for cityhood seems to be that a different area, but still nearby and made up nearly 100% of tract housing and a large developing big-box type shopping area, has recently become a city, and our residents locally feel that the new city is going to gobble up every piece of profitable land to enhance themselves. Our area, primarily rural (with lots of horses, cows, pigs, goats, bulls, etc.) but not farmland, is fearful of losing its right to have animals on their property and having to have sidewalks and having to clean up the junkyards on their property.
The last census figured out there are about 90,000 people in this 50+ square mile area that will be included in the city. Of that 90,000, some 30,000 are registered voters. There is one fairly large enclave of "more expensive" houses with a couple of golf/country clubs nearby, but for the most part "rural" is the operative word.
The city will also incorporate some pretty nasty gangs that have moved out here from the Los Angeles area. Also included will be a number of rural strip malls, and a high concentration of very old and bedraggled trailer parks.
Those who live in the boonies live there because they like that lifestyle. They don't like the idea of anybody telling them what to do or how and when to do it. And the proponents of cityhood are swearing on a stack of bibles that they won't make them toe any lines.
This proposed city will integrate 5 or 6 little areas that always have had names they were called by - Glen Avon, Pedley, Mira Loma, Belltown, Rubidoux, etc. - but they all carried a "Riverside" mailing address. If cityhood proponents win, the whole area will become "City of Jurupa Valley." I won't mention what I think of THAT name, since it is immaterial. I just have a hard time imagining this area as a viable city. Smarter men/women than I have determined that it will be, so let the balloting begin.
If I had to guess as to an outcome, I'd guess the poor economic condition of the state and the country right now will cause a few more "no" votes to be cast and send the measure down to defeat.
In the six years we've lived here, this is the most exciting thing to happen in the area -- well, except for a new school board member filing suit because the other members refused to address her in meetings as "Captain So and So." (She's retired military). Now THAT was exciting. Measure A is second most exciting!