Big Bear Lake, CA — At this week’s meeting of the City Council of Big Bear Lake, the full Council supported a ballot measure for the November 2 election that would allow Big Bear Lake voters to determine whether they are in favor of a city charter amendment to extend Department of Water and Power Board requirements to all DWP customers, Valley-wide.
Council, at their meeting on March 8, also lent their support to a ballot initiative proposed by the League of California Cities Mountain Desert Division, billed as the Local Taxpayers, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act. The state budget presentation by Nancy Cisneros of the League of California Cities reiterated that in fiscal year 2009/2010, the state borrowed $2 billion in property taxes from local governments, resulting in a trickle down effect for Inland Empire communities, some of which have been forced to close libraries, while also making cuts to fire and law enforcement agencies, and delays in road and infrastructure projects, just to name a few. Her presentation was essentially a request for Big Bear Lake’s endorsement of the ballot initiative which, Cisneros said, “would protect local tax dollars by keeping them local.” Mayor Pro Tem Bill Jahn, who serves as the League’s Vice Chair of the Mountain Desert Division says that there are about 10 reform initiatives proposed for the Statewide General Election but, he added, “This particular initiative aims at the heart of the problem.” Mayor Liz Harris expressed her support, noting that the state’s “raid on cities and education is really criminal.”
In other news from Council this week, the unanimously adopted Consent Calendar included approval for construction of a fishing pier for Boulder Bay Park, and an expenditure of $31,000 for surveying and engineering work for the Knickerbocker Street improvement project; this project at the east of the Village will include street widening, sidewalks and parking stalls.
During Public Comment, Jennie Boyington, on behalf of “we, the bingo players of Big Bear Lake and Big Bear City” asked that the City might consider extending bingo payouts up to $500 as allowed by California state law; at present, Big Bear Lake, home to bingo at the Big Bear Senior Center and the Elks Club, only allows for payouts up to $250. City Manager Jeff Mathieu said that city staff would continue to look into the matter.
Mayor Harris adjourned the March 8 Council meeting in memory of local historian Tim Sweet, who had passed earlier that day.

The League of California Cities presentation before Council outlined the state's history of revenue cuts to local governments. Of the 91 initiatives proposed for the November 2 election, 10 of them are related to economic reform, including the Local Taxpayers, Public Safety and Transportation Protection Act discussed by presenter Nancy Cisneros.