San Bernardino Supervisors Vote to Place Secession on the Ballot

As County News reported last week, a secessionist movement is gaining steam in San Bernardino County. This November, residents will even have the chance to vote on the proposal.

County supervisors approved the ballot question on a 4-0 vote Aug. 3. It asks:

“Do the citizens of San Bernardino County want the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors to study all options to obtain its fair share of state and federal resources, up to and including secession?”

Despite the 4-0 tally, not all supervisors support the secession plan. 

“I do think we have to look at anything we can do to enhance services for our residents,” said Supervisor Joe Baca Jr. “I’m not in favor of seceding. I’m proud to be from California. I love California.”

In the end, even if the voters go for it, the idea of creating a new state of “Empire” is dead on arrival. For starters, it would need approval from the Legislature. What the measure could do is bring attention to some major gripes San Bernardino County has with the state.

San Bernardino is the fifth most populous county in California and one of the largest by land mass. Yet it ranks 36th out of 58 counties for per-capita state and federal revenue received. That sort of data casts the Aug. 3 vote in a different light.

“If the worst thing that comes out of this is a study that will be ammunition for our state representatives to fight for more money for us that would be acceptable,” said Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman. 

A final vote to place the measure on the Nov. 8 ballot will take place Tuesday.