bbcsd-thumbIn other news from this week’s meeting of the Board of Directors of the Big Bear City Community Services District, the implementation of an identity theft prevention program was unanimously adopted. As presented by CSD’s Utility Billing Specialist Donna Horn, the intent of the new program is to identify, and mitigate, red flags so as not to compromise the personal identity of CSD’s customers. Though caution has been exercised by CSD personnel, this will be the first identity theft prevention program to be officially implemented; as such, CSD staff will be trained in procedures for detecting, and responding to, red flags. No new software will be needed to implement the program and, per CSD’s General Manager Mike Mayer, “It won’t put a burden on staff, but it will heighten awareness.”
At their April 20 meeting, the CSD Board also discussed who would receive their collective vote for the alternate position on the Local Agency Formation Commission–a position for which CSD Director Jeff Newsome has been selected as a nominee, as well as Big Bear Municipal Water District Director Todd Murphy, and seven others representing districts from within San Bernardino County. Directors Marge McDonald and Barbara Beck made the motions to vote for Newsome, though Director Rick Ollila was reluctant to endorse Newsome, explaining, “This is kind of sticky.” Ollila went on to express his concern that the LAFCO Board, if put to a vote, may be in favor of annexing Big Bear City into the City of Big Bear Lake, adding, “There are forces that would like to see this happen, for any number of reasons, and we need to keep our guard up.” If there was a vote concerning CSD, Ollila added, Newsome would have to recuse himself, so Ollila reasoned that Murphy would be a better choice. However, as Newsome pointed out, there are no plans to merge Big Bear City and the City of Big Bear Lake; and, secondly, if there were, Newsome would be an alternate member of the LAFCO Board, and not in a position to vote anyway. After much debate, four CSD Directors (including President John Day) voted in favor of Newsome, and Ollila, with apologies to Newsome, did not. Following the vote, Newsome said, “I would like to thank the ladies” and, referencing contentious moments with McDonald in years past, added, “Marge, I want to say how much I appreciate your support.”
In a subsequent conversation with Big Bear Lake City Manager Jeff Mathieu, he tells KBHR that there are no plans to annex Big Bear City into Big Bear Lake’s jurisdiction. Per Mathieu, “The City of Big Bear Lake has not initiated–or had any discussions whatsoever–regarding a concept of merging. We appreciate working with all those in the Big Bear Valley as a collaborative partner.”