By Manny Otiko | IVN
The San Bernardino Board of Supervisors held a special meeting last week to discuss potentially splitting from California and creating a new state. The meeting was held in the evening. Regular supervisors’ meetings are held during the morning. Board member Col. Paul Cook (rtd.) was not present.
The issue of creating a new state, which would be called Empire State, was raised in a recent Board of Supervisors meeting by Rancho Cucamonga developer Jeff Burham. He was supported by two local mayors. Aquanetta Warren, mayor of Fontana, and Bill Velto, mayor of Upland.
One of the common themes raised by the group is San Bernardino County residents are not receiving their fair share of resources from Sacramento.
This issue was also addressed at the special meeting.
Board Chair Curt Hagman said there are other ways to address the county not getting enough resources from Sacramento such as hiring more lobbyists or lawsuits. Seceding is also an option, he said.
Hagman also pointed out that the movement for Empire State is similar to a movement in Oregon, where some counties want to break away and merge with Idaho.
Board member Dawn Rowe said it was important to consider San Bernardino county’s economic might because if the county formed its own state, it would be bigger than 16 other states. She also brought up San Bernardino County not getting its fair share of resources.
“So many people think they are being taken for granted,” said Rowe.
However, one board member pushed back against suggestions about forming a separate state. Board member Joe Baca Jr. said he didn’t support the move.
“It’s not realistic,” he said.
However, Baca said the needs of San Bernardino County are different from the needs of counties such as Los Angeles and San Francisco.
Board member Janice Rutherford also said she didn’t think seceding was realistic. But she said many local residents were frustrated by high taxes and lack of services.
“People are paying high taxes and the tax money is not being brought back to their neighborhoods,” she said.
Tom Bunton, county counsel, pointed out that any move to secede or merge with another state would have to be voted on by all state legislatures, Congress and require a signature from the president.
The board members also heard comments from members of the public. José Gonzalez, a San Bernardino resident, said he didn’t like the way things were going and “the money is not coming back.”
He added he was frustrated by vaccine mandates, which he called “fake,” and mask mandates which were ineffective.
The board members voted 4- 0 to move forward with a study to look into whether San Bernardino County is receiving its fair share of resources from Sacramento, with the possibility of putting a vote for seceding on the ballot.
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