Tuesday's Election Could Beget a New Southland City

A view of Rubidoux from Mount Rubidoux Park

As Vernon in L.A. County stands to lose its cityhood, some Inland Empire residents from several unincorporated communities on Tuesday will decide if they should become a city or stay under county control. If approved, Jurupa Valley will become Riverside County's 28th city, consuming 43.5 square miles to the east of Riverside that will be home to 88,000 residents -- making it the sixth largest city in the county -- from Mira Loma, Glen Avon, Sky Country, Indian Hills, Pedley, Rubidoux, Belltown, Jurupa, Jurupa Hills, and Sunnyslope.

"As long as we remain unincorporated, our community has very little control over our area," reads the official argument for Measure A on the ballot (.pdf). Land use, public safety and the fear of being annexed by the neighboring city of Eastvale are some of the other reasons, urges the YES on Measure "A" Committee.

The Local Agency Formation Commission found that the city would be able to economically sustain itself -- provide sufficient public services and facilities while maintaining a reasonable reserve -- during at least the first three years after incorporation, according to the county's impartial analysis.

Measure B, which is the only other measure under consideration throughout Riverside County, asks voters if elected officials, should Measure A pass, will represent the city by district, from district or at-large. 16 people are vying for the five-seat city council. If by district or from district are chosen, representatives must live in a particular district to be in office, but the latter distinction allows voters, not just the ones that live in a particular district, to vote on all candidates.

There is no official opposition to creating the new city, but Rubidoux resident Art Fuentes has been described as a "one-man campaign against" cityhood. "The county provides everything residents need," he told the Riverside Press-Enterprise. "I don't think there's anything cityhood could improve upon."

The photo on this post is by Flickr user Neil Armstrong2. It was used under a Creative Commons License.

About the Author

Zach Behrens is KCET's Director of News, Region and State, working on digital and on-air news products that relate to Southern California and beyond.
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