A group of Riverside County residents, seeking to create a new city out of a handful of semi-rural communities, filed the petitions, feasibility study and fees Friday that are required to launch their proposal toward a communitywide vote.
Representatives of the Jurupa Study Committee submitted their report, $1,550 in fees and about 7,400 signatures requesting a vote on incorporation to county officials late Friday afternoon--six months after their original, self-imposed deadline.
Instead of making the November ballot, as they had originally planned, supporters of incorporation now hope that hearings before the county's Local Agency Formation Commission and Board of Supervisors can be completed in time for a March 3 election.
Before the public hearings can begin, the study committee's petitions must be certified to include a quarter of the proposed city's estimated 26,000 registered voters.
In the meantime, co-chairman Karen Shuerger said, the Jurupa Study Committee will work on persuading the residents of Mira Loma, Glen Avon, Pedley, Rubidoux, Sunnyslope, Indian Hills and Agua Manza to support cityhood.
They point to statistics showing that the communities pay Riverside County $6 million more in taxes each year than they receive in public services. By incorporating, they maintain, the area could retain a greater share of its tax dollars to improve public services.
Supporters also argue that as a city, they would have a more influential voice in persuading state and federal officials to clean up Glen Avon's infamous Stringfellow Acid Pits--widely regarded as California's worst toxic-waste site.
Opponents of incorporation say they fear that another level of government is not only unnecessary but likely to encourage development that would rob the area of its rural character.
"Next is our (public relations) work," Shuerger said Friday. "Between now and the time that (the county) decides to give us our election, we will be circulating flyers . . . (and) raising more money. . . ."
"We're in the black by a little less than $100," Shuerger said. So far, "this whole thing has cost us around $31,000." And the election campaign hasn't even begun.