YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

Riverside County Fetes `2 Millionth' Folks

April 19, 2006|Susannah Rosenblatt | Times Staff Writer

With the help of some creative math, two amused Riverside County families were proclaimed the county's symbolic 2 millionth residents and loaded up with swag Tuesday by the Board of Supervisors.

After analyzing census data, birth records and property deeds, the county assessor/clerk-recorder's office randomly selected a retired Corona couple and a Temecula family of four for the 2 million designation.

The board's action was designed to highlight the county's breakneck growth. Officials estimate that the county, one of the fastest-growing in the nation, adds 211 residents a day and passed the 2-million mark in mid-March.

One of Riverside County's newest residents, 5-week-old Estelle Natalie Massa, fidgeted and fussed during Tuesday's board meeting as she was honored along with her parents, Christine and Steve, of Temecula.

"This was completely random, but super," said part-time fitness instructor Christine Massa, 37, of the county's recognition. The family moved to Temecula from San Diego in 2003 for more affordable housing.

They lugged home a carful of gifts from the county, including gift certificates to local shops, a baby car seat, bike helmet, a giant SpongeBob SquarePants toy for Estelle and a two-year scholarship for her to Riverside Community College. Some of the items were donated.

County officials wanted to put "a face and a name to a number," said Larry Ward, county assessor/clerk-recorder. Their populations make San Bernardino and Riverside counties the fourth- and fifth-largest in the state, respectively, according to the state Department of Finance, though they may be essentially tied.

Roy and Irene Lycett, who bought their home in Glen Ivy outside Corona on March 10, also lucked out and took home armloads of similar gifts from the county. The semiretired couple, in their early 60s, left their Yorba Linda home of 32 years to be closer to their grandchildren.

Los Angeles Times Articles