San Bernardino County Secessionist Movement Gains Steam

Move over, State of Jefferson. We’ve got another secessionist movement in the works – this time in Southern California.

Citing disproportionate allocation of resources and “unfunded mandates,” a San Bernardino County developer proposed this week that the Board of Supervisors explore seceding from California to form a new state that would be called “Empire.”

“Our Sheriff’s Department, our judges, are constantly taxed with too much with not enough resources,” Jeff Burum, chairman of development firm National Community Renaissance, said Tuesday at the Board of Supervisors meeting.

“The state of California continues to allocate resources to the high-cost areas to our detriment and other inland valley communities,” he said. “It’s time to stop it.” – Los Angeles Times  

Sure, the idea sounds crazy. But Burum has some serious support. The mayors of Fontana and Upland are on board with the plan.

"[State officials] act like we don't exist," said Fontana Mayor Aquanetta Warren. "We are the economic engine of the state, and you need to pay attention to that."

Claremont McKenna College Government Professor Jack Pitney explained why secession would never work.

"It's not practical," he told ABC 7 News. "It's just not going to happen." 

"It's one thing to say we should manage things ourselves, it's another thing to pencil it out. For one thing, education. If you live in San Bernardino County, you might want to go to UCLA or Cal State Long Beach and get in-state tuition. If San Bernardino County becomes its own state, that's not possible anymore. Every state has its own national guard, so the new state would have to figure out how to do that. Transportation and infrastructure, no more Caltrans ... it adds up very quickly."

Pitney added that the plan would be “dead on arrival” in the Legislature, which would need to give its approval.

Hey, a frustrated county can dream.

UPDATE: Secession meaure will appear on San Bernardino's ballot.


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