Riverside County supervisor Jeffries updates community on latest county news

The following updates were provided by Riverside County First District Supervisor Kevin Jeffries. 

Animal Service Medical Bus
Riverside County Animal Service has a large medical bus (some call it the neuter scooter) they utilize to conduct spay and neuter procedures in various communities across the county. Unfortunately, the age and deteriorating mechanical condition of the bus have led to some cancellations. We are pleased to announce that two new replacement buses will (hopefully) be arriving in November and February.

Dismissed Criminal Cases
During the recent budget discussions, Riverside County District Attorney Mike Hestrin was pleased to share that the crisis involving the dismissal of pending criminal cases has largely been fixed by the new presiding judge, via better scheduling of courtrooms and adjusting trial judge schedules. Our local courts still remain short-handed for the population and number of cases heard, resulting in lengthy delays, particularly for civil and family court issues – but that requires action from the State Legislature and governor to fix.

Behavioral Health Campus
Plans to locate and construct a roughly $100 million comprehensive Behavioral Health campus could not find any love in Coachella or Hemet, and it is now being evaluated for the 215 corridor. The Mead Valley Municipal Advisory Council (and attending residents) will receive a presentation on the proposed “Wellness Village” campus at its July 5 community meeting. The community will also receive an update on the installation of street lights on a few busy streets – mostly near schools. Streetlights are also in the works for a few busy streets in Good Hope and Lakeland Village. For those of you who reside in Good Hope/Meadowbrook (located between Lake Elsinore and Perris), you will soon have a new non-profit managing your local Moses Schaffer Community Center and Park. The formal announcement is forthcoming. 

Firefighting Aircraft
I had previously written about a federal lawsuit seeking to stop firefighting aircraft from using fire suppression retardant because it can pollute the environment. A judge in Montana has reportedly ruled that the retardant material could indeed be polluting some streams and rivers – BUT the judge allowed the USFS to continue fighting fires with the retardant while they seek a waiver from the regulations. 

Surface Mining
Back here in Riverside County, a surface mining “vesting rights determination” (hearing) for land off Cajalco Road near Corona is being continued to August 1 at the request of Robertson’s Ready Mix (and the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians). Long hours of technical and historical data, as well as extensive public comments were heard before the Public Hearing was concluded in May. It is unlikely that the item will be continued beyond Aug 1.

Newly Adopted County Budget
The newly adopted county budget beefs up a lot of services for a variety of county departments to the public, including reopening the mothballed Animal Services shelter in San Jacinto (which will help reduce the pet intake and population at the Jurupa/Riverside shelter). The budget also includes a temporary fire season staffing increase at 10 county fire stations that serve communities that are intertwined in high wildland fire danger areas. It, unfortunately, won’t help with the severe homeowner insurance crisis that is hitting parts of our county – but it could help keep fires from rapidly growing.

Fourth of July
The Fourth of July is typically a great holiday for families to enjoy outdoor activities and catch some professional firework shows. Unfortunately for Riverside County, it’s also when we get hit hard with illegal fireworks and the chaos they bring. The hand injuries, house/roof fires, tree fires, and sometimes large wildland fires typically come with the illegal fireworks. It was just a few years back that our county temporarily ran out of available fire engines because of the extremely high number of emergencies and fires occurring (and strong winds that rapidly expanded many vegetation fires). The county and many cities are putting extra enforcement teams in place (along with steep fines) to help prevent some tragedies from occurring. For more information on the effort, as well as a list of public fireworks shows across the county, visit:


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