Not too long ago, the California primary was held in June. By the time it rolled around, the national candidates were all but decided. Moving the primary to March, better known as Super Tuesday, gives California voters a say in something besides state and local elections.

Voting is a right that shouldn’t be taken lightly. You should exercise that right. Do your homework, vote your conscience. Whether you are Democrat or Republican, vote.

The Big Bear Grizzly doesn’t often endorse candidates, especially at the state or national level. We feel in 2020 there are a number of qualified candidates who will rise to the top following the primary. If the time comes we feel the need to support a candidate on Election Day in November, we will do so.

In Big Bear, Measure I is the main item on the ballot we at The Grizzly feel will impact this community significantly. No one wants to pay more taxes. Living in California is expensive to the point the exodus to other states is growing daily.

The Grizzly has done its homework. We’ve asked questions, we’ve looked at the numbers, looked at the alternatives and considered both sides. The Grizzly supports Measure I.

We feel that Measure I is the best option to continue to provide the level of fire service necessary to protect our community. Big Bear is a resort community dependent on tourism. Those who say it’s overrun with visitors should consider moving. The goal of a tourist-driven economy is to increase tourism.

The Grizzly agrees that the visitors need to pay their fair share when it comes to impacting the infrastructure of the community, including the fire service. Measure I addresses that need. It’s up to the resorts and lodging facilities to pass that cost along to their customers if they so choose.

A 6 cents per square foot annual assessment for a 1,500 square foot home is $90 per year under Measure I. That’s $7.50 a month or less than 25 cents per day. To us, that’s a small price to pay when we need help in an emergency.

Even those who live within the Big Bear City Community Services District area who already pay the $135 annual assessment, the cost is manageable. Your annual tax assessment for fire will increase to about $225. That is still less than what you were paying a year or so ago with the state fire fee you didn’t have a chance to vote on.

In an emergency, when you call 9-1-1 you want to know that your call will be answered and help will be dispatched quickly. If Measure I fails, a station is closed and fire service levels reduced, we  know the consequenses could be dire. Are you willing to take that chance for 25 cents a day?

We don’t disagree that San Bernardino County Fire is an alternative. But County Fire has its own budget problems. And local control is a better alternative in every aspect when possible.

We at The Grizzly urge you to vote on March 3. And we encourage you to vote yes on Measure I.

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