Registrar of Voters 90-day report
After three months as the Riverside County Registrar of Voters, Kari Verjil submitted her report of the agency’s operations and needs to the Board of Supervisors on June 28.

She reviewed several areas including organizational structure, voting systems, equipment and office space needs, election night procedures and voter communication and education.

For the 2012 Presidential Election cycle, she recommended that the county purchase additional scanners and mail sorters, expand the offices’ space, and implement a voter education campaign to promote more voting by mail.

Verjil also evaluated implementing a remote vote-counting center, to speed the results from the desert communities. Verjil did not recommend this step now. “At this time the Registrar of Voters does not have additional experienced permanent staff available for oversight of [a] remote counting center … [and its] estimated cost … is substantial,” she concluded.

Expanding the use of vote-by-mail would reduce the number of paper ballots that must be read election night. Currently about 50 percent of Riverside County ballots arrive by mail, she said.

“In order to be effective, voter education must focus on returning ballots early and informing voters of the benefits to having their vote included in the initial results posted on election night,” Verjil wrote. “Santa Clara County ‘First In, First Counted’ voter education campaign increased their vote-by-mail participation to 70 percent.”

Third District Supervisor Jeff Stone asked his colleagues to request county staff recommend that Temecula be included in a congressional district wholly within Riverside County.

For those concerned about Idyllwild being separated from Hemet and San Jacinto in proposed state Senate and Assembly seats or wishing to comment on other redistricting issues may contact the California Citizens Redistricting Commission:

  • By phone: 1-866-356-5217
  • By fax: (916) 651-5711
  • By email: [email protected]
  • By mail: Citizens Redistricting Commission
    901 P Street, Suite 154-A
    Sacramento, CA 95814

Cost recovery fees
The new cost recovery fees went into effect July 1, according to Peter Lent, deputy director of the county Office of Emergency Services. These fees will be used for the types of calls for which the county currently collects fees, e.g., Hazmat, arson and fire.

“We still need to bring back an ordinance to the board that specifies the details of the new types of call we will seek cost recovery for,” Lent said. “I expect much more board discussion when this ordinance is brought forward. That should be in the next four to six weeks.”

Supervisor John Tavaglione announces run for Congress
Riverside County Supervisor John Tavaglione announced he plans to run for Congress in a new district that includes the Riverside, Norco, Eastvale, Moreno Valley and Jurupa Valley areas.

“I’m a fourth-generation Riverside resident and have lived in the proposed district since I was born. I’ve worked my entire life with one goal in mind — to improve our community,” said Tavaglione, who has held elected and appointed office in the area for three decades.

Tavaglione said he would run in the new district as long as the boundaries drafted in California’s statewide redistricting process remain substantially as they have been proposed by the state redistricting committee.

Tavaglione was elected to the Riverside County Board of Supervisors in 1994 and ran unopposed in three out of four bids for re-election. Before being elected to the Board of Supervisors, he served one year on the Riverside City Council and seven years on the City of Riverside Public Utilities Commission. In private life, he was a successful commercial real estate executive.

Property assessment values
Last week, Riverside County Assessor/County Clerk-Recorder Larry Ward announced to the Board of Supervisors that the county’s assessed property values would decline $3 billion in fiscal year 2011-12. This is 1.45 percent less than the current year (2010-11) and the third consecutive year of lower values and concomitant property taxes.

Ward’s office provided the following data for the Hill (only Idyllwild, Pine Cove and Mountain Center):

2010 Value 2011 Value Change % Change
$689,142,724 $670,166,365 -$18,976,359 -2.75%