Thursday, August 31, 2006

Mayors meet to keep up with region's growth (Daily Bulletin 082706)

Mayors meet to keep up with region's growth
Paul Leon, Guest Columninst Daily Bulletin 082706

Over the last decade, the Inland Empire has exploded. We have experienced a rapid increase in population, jobs and housing. John Husing, the area's pre-eminent economist, projects, "from 2000-2020, the area's population is expected to go from 3.26 million to 5.28 million, up 2.02 million. That is more people than will be added by 44 of the 50 states. Interestingly, the region is expected to add more people than Los Angeles County (1.77 million) as well as San Diego, Orange, Ventura and Imperial counties combined (1.69 million).

"As a separate state, the Inland Empire's January 2006 population of 3.9 million people was above 24 states, having recently passed Oregon (3.6 million), Oklahoma (3.5 million) and Connecticut (3.5 million). U.S. Commerce Department data showed the Inland Empire with $98 billion in total personal income during 2004. That tied Oklahoma and was more than 21 states."

The west end of San Bernardino County which is comprised of the cities of Chino, Chino Hills, Fontana, Montclair, Rancho Cucamonga, Upland and Ontario, has and will continue to lead this growth.

With this growth has come a host of issues and opportunities – some of which arise among us, others in relation to the rest of Southern California, the state and the federal government.

Although the mayors of the west end cities see each other at events from time to time, and participate in regional agencies with other cities and county representatives, there is no forum where we meet with the focus solely on the west end. It is for that reason that on Aug. 14 I took the initiative and hosted a meeting of these mayors at the Ontario Convention Center.

Joining me were Mayor Dennis Yates, Chino; Mayor Mark Nuiami, Fontana; Mayor Paul Eaton, Montclair; Mayor Bill Alexander, Rancho Cucamonga, and Mayor JP Pomierski, Upland.

Our discussions were wide ranging, covering transportation deficiencies, economic development, the need for higher-wage jobs, local government's role in education and the availability of health care, air-quality challenges, and the desire for additional recreational and youth sports facilities.

Being able to discuss issues unique to each of our cities and residents, as well as our mutual concerns, in an open and friendly environment allowed for a frank and meaningful exchange of ideas.

Given our decision to establish this as an ongoing forum, I believe that we have taken the first step toward forming an even closer partnership which will benefit the entire west end and all of our residents and businesses. If there is strength in numbers, the west end is stronger today than ever.

My thanks to Ontario's neighboring cities and the good mayors who lead them.

– Paul Leon is mayor of Ontario.


BSRanch Perspective

it is scary how fast we are growing and all they are doing is building a freeway! That saying in Field of Dreams is true! Build it and they will come, and they are building that freeway and they are comingFasterer then the freeway can be built. Which is a good thing.

With growing Population comes growing crime unless the council's of our perspectivcity'sys don't keep building up the Police Departments. Rialto right now is over 25 to 30 positions down, unless they started hiringSincece mretirementnt in 2000 most of the department has changed. Why it changed so much that when mretirementnt came that they didn't even have retirementnt party for me!! YES IT HURT ME!! But I am trying every day to get over it!

You know I was involved in a near fatal collision in 1997 and I was unable to go back to work even though I tried so hard to get back to be able to work. As it is I am unable to work anywhere, for anyone. My pain disorder and the medication to control that said pain doesn't mix with police work. So, I am stuck at home! A Fixture that I hate as much as not having that retirement Party. You know not having that Party was like not having thafarewellll funeral that cops have when they die on dutyAndnd you know that is what I did. I was dead when the first unit arrived and thparamediccs were forced to do CPR on me the whole way to the hospitalTheyey kept me alivmanuallyly! It was not my own design. If this was thforties's OR fifties I would have died!! Well so long, have a great day, and I hope the crime rate doesn't go wild with the shortage of Officers and the growth of thcity'sys in the I.E.

BS Ranch

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