VICTORVILLE – On the eve of an important public meeting over renewable energy and its place in the California desert, 1st District Supervisor Robert Lovingood talked Tuesday about High Desert residents working together with the county to get the results they want.
Lovingood told the Rotary Club of Victorville that his office is tasked with providing services and taking care of constituents’ needs. That included working with residents – and groups like the Mojave Communities Conservation Collaborative and the Alliance for Desert Preservation – in helping to convince E.ON Climate and Renewables to withdraw its application for the North Peak Wind Energy Project in Juniper Flats.
“They wanted to put up 71 windmills up to 800 feet high,” Lovingood said. “If we wanted to look like Palm Springs or Banning we’d all move there.
“We simply informed these folks it’s not going to work. Collectively, groups in the county worked together.”
E.ON pulled its application last week, according to Bureau of Land Management officials.
The Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan will be the subject of a public meeting from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. today at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center, 12603 Mariposa Road, Victorville. Residents may make verbal or leave written comments about the plan, as well as learn more about it. The DRECP will cover more than 22 million acres of California desert, about 11.9 million of those acres in San Bernardino County.
Lovingood also discussed jobs, education, infrastructure and trash in a 20-minute talk. He also took questions.
He stressed the need for more trade and technical training nationwide, as there already are about 4 million jobs that can’t be filled. He noted the out-migration of professionals from California to other states because of high taxes and said he’d like to work to reduce taxes and fees.
Lovingood also pledged to continue to support the Sheriff’s Department as it seeks to tackle the High Desert’s gang problem, and crime in general, both through operations like Desert Guardian and in increasing patrol staffing in unincorporated areas.
“(Desert Guardian) involved 15 officers and one from probation and there were nearly 1,200 arrests, 600 felonies,” he said “We’re going to continue to support Sheriff McMahon and those efforts.”
Lovingood also said his office is working with Athens Services to see if a free dump day can be reinstated in the High Desert. He also wants to explore placing surveillance cameras in desert locations heavily targeted by illegal dumpers. A previous county surveillance camera program implemented in 2007 was hailed as a success in March of 2009 and credited with catching one-third of all people dumping illegally. A county code enforcement official said Tuesday that program is no longer in use, but couldn’t say when it ended.
Lovingood said he would like to see people who are caught – either in person or via surveillance camera – dumping objects in the desert have their vehicles confiscated by the county and then sold.
“If we hit a couple of people and they lose their vehicles, people are going to start paying attention,” he said.
|Wind Watch relies entirely
on User Funding