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Residents of California county will be asked to consider secession on November ballot

The Charlotte Observer logo The Charlotte Observer 4 days ago Daniella Segura, The Charlotte Observer

A California county board plans to ask if residents want to consider seceding from the state.

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors voted 4-0 to place the measure on the November ballot during a special meeting Wednesday, Aug. 3. One board member was absent.

San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors Chairman Curt Hagman said the county wants to know if it is missing out on its fair share of state revenue.

“Do we want to spend our taxpayer dollars to go do a study. . . of what we are or not getting as a county and to go fight for that in a way that we haven’t done before,” Hagman said.

Hagman said if residents approve the measure “then we can look at options.”

Those options could include secession.

The wording of the measure is: “Do the people of San Bernardino County want San Bernardino elected representatives to study and advocate for all options to obtain the county’s fair share of state funding, up to and including secession from the state of California?”

The idea of secession arose when Jeff Burum, a Rancho Cucamonga businessman, asked the board to on this November’s ballot ”an initiative to tell California that we need to consider seceding from the state. . . .”

“I promise you, you will get an affirmative vote. The people of San Bernardino County have had enough,” he said during the board’s meeting Tuesday, July 26.

While not all the members were on board with secession, they were interested in exploring whether the county was receiving equitable state funding.

Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr., the district’s Fifth District supervisor, said he was concerned the county would lose resources if it chose secession.

“I’m not for seceding from the state,” he said. “I’m proud to be from California. I love California. I love San Bernardino County. . . That’s not what I want to do.”

Nonetheless, Baca said he was open to the study as a means of conducting a financial analysis.

In an emailed statement to McClatchy News, Janice Rutherford, the county’s Second District supervisor, said she was surprised by last week’s talk of secession and does not “believe it is feasible politically or financially.”

Even still, Rutherford said she shares her constituents’ “growing, palpable anger” regarding issues stemming the state.

“And there is nothing crazy at all about being angry about what is happening to the Golden State,” she said. “Our residents deserve better from California than what they’re getting and this measure will give them the opportunity to express that.”

This would not be the first attempt to break up California, according to the California State Library. Since it gained statehood in 1850, there have been at least 220 documented attempts, according to the library.

County supervisors urged to secede from California and form new state, ‘Empire’

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