Bob Smith has done much for Yermo

Since Bob Smith was elected to the Yermo Community Service District Board he has accomplished the following:

He applied for and received a Community Block Grant from the First District Supervisor that placed 4 new picnic tables, including a cement walkway to an ADA accessible table, in the tree-filled shaded area of the existing Yermo Park.

He applied for grants, begged for donations of materials and time, waded through miles of county red tape, reviewed and haggled down numerous construction bids, to finally achieve the soon to be built Yermo Community Skateboard Park.

He's attended countless PUC meetings regarding the fate of the worn out and rusted Yermo Water Company, reviewed reams of documents from the current owner, haggled over price and the settlement of numerous outstanding liens and loans, applied for and received two grants that will more than cover the purchase price with funds left over to make much needed repairs. These grants allow the CSD to keep water rates low for Yermo residents by eliminating the need to recoup purchase costs. This purchase will put control of Yermo's water into the hands of the CSD and Yermo residents.

He's approached the nearby Marine Corp Base about tying the Yermo Water system into theirs as a backup contingency should the Yermo wells fail or become contaminated. Something that seems to be happening everywhere around us these past few years.

He's volunteered thousands of hours and responded to emergency calls all hours of the day and night to the community of Yermo as a firefighter, assistant chief and currently fire chief of the Yermo Volunteer Fire Dept. He instated a program of billing non-residents (primarily calls to traffic accidents on the I-15 freeway) for emergency service calls that has generated funds that have been used to buy needed equipment and make needed improvements to the department. He's installed a computer program to track and report all fire calls, something that is required by state law and carries heavy fines for failure to do so. This was not being done by the previous fire chief.

He's organized an internship program through the Victor Valley College Fire Academy that provides for additional young, enthusiastic firefighters in the community at no cost to the CSD as their equipment and insurance is covered by the college. He has used earned money and donations to build a small sleeping quarters into the fire department so that out-of-town interns can stay on hand to respond quickly to emergency medical and fire calls.

He's worked to clean up the fire department buildings that were messy and disorganized when he started. Supplies are now neatly sorted and stored. Equipment is clean and in good repair, and volunteers look and act proud of what they have accomplished.

I invite anyone in the community of Yermo to take a look around, visit your park and your fire department and see the improvements made since Bob Smith was elected.

Deborah Harris, Yermo