San Bernardino County’s First District Supervisor Robert A. Lovingood visited Helendale on September 22 for a “Lovingood Listens” event where residents were encouraged to ask questions.
Similar to a Town Hall meeting, it took place in the Silver Lakes clubhouse, and started out with three of the supervisor’s assistants shaking hands and talking with some of the 40 people in the crowd.
They were Deputy Chief of Staff Melissa McClain, Senior Field Rep Ron Frame and Field Rep for Helendale Curtis Green, who gathered major concerns and questions that people wanted to discuss.
Upon taking the podium Lovingood mentioned that he has spoken with Greg Heldreth, president of the Silver Lakes community board of directors, who voiced his own concerns for the community.
The first concern was about Route 66 safety, from road conditions to speed control.
Lovingood said that much of the road resurfacing has already been done but will not be completed for a bit longer. One citizen asked what life-saving mesaures can be implemented to keep drivers on Route 66 from crossing over the double yellow line and disregarding the speed limit.
Lovingood responded that he has lived in the High Desert for 25 years and knows first-hand how dangerous some people drive these rural roads and will look into possibility of more Highway Patrol cars, although the program is 85% regulated by federal and state agencies.
The next subject of concern is the California drought. Lovingood right away gave praise to the Mojave Water Agency for collecting water for over five years and commented that Governor Brown does not recognize the work that agency does.
Another concern is a possibility of 300 new homes being built in Helendale, apparently in the near future, and the financial and economic consequences.
Quite a few people are upset with the unknowns that could affect the community, and what say local residents will have in this expansion. Lovingood did not know who the developers are, and said future town meetings on this issue would occur.
Another resident wanted to know why there are no county street sweepers cleaning the streets, and fixing cracks, potholes and removing weeds from sidewalks, when residents pay property tax but don’t get anything back from the county. The resident offered photos taken that very day showing huge cracks in crosswalks where someone could get hurt.
Lovingood replied that he is working hard to improve the roads, but there is just not enough funding. He said Helendale would be better off if the CSD and HOA handled the streets, and things could get done quicker.
Residents asked about having a local sheriff on-site 24 hours. Lovingood stated that 25 High Desert officers have been added in the past 12 months. He expressed dismay over Prop 47, where criminals only get a citation for thefts under $1000.
Lovingood said “that’s a good question,” many times, and offered to get names and information and get back to people. After the meeting his three reps approached the individuals to collect their information and listen to more concerns.
When pressed, Lovingood said “It boils down to we don’t have the funds, but are trying to address these problems as proactively as we can.”
The 45 minute meeting ended with Angels/ Dodgers baseball humor, and which team to root for this season.