Sunday, November 29, 2020
EconomyOpinion

Saving the High Desert; Crafting the Future of the Region — Part 2

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The single most important survey of 2019 needs your input

To understand the importance of this survey and why we need folks who live or work in the High Desert region to participate, we’ve put together a Q&A with Mr. Joseph W. Brady, President of Joseph W. Brady, Inc., dba The Bradco Companies, Alliance Management Group, Barstow Real Estate Group, publisher of The Bradco High Desert Report and Trustee at Victor Valley Community College District.

Why is this survey so important?

A survey like this in the High Desert region has never been done. After living here for 31 years and three (3) months, it became very clear to me that in the last ten years, the High Desert region has ended up in a pretty serious slowdown.

  • New home construction is off 88%.
  • From 2000-2008 in the five incorporated cities, we built 34,400± new homes. From 2009-2018, we built 4,445± homes. An 88% decrease.
  • We took a look at the numbers for home resales. We hired CoreLogic and looked at the year 1985. In that year, we did ($194,704,450). We then looked at what we did in 2005 and we did ($4,536,491,000). In 2018, we did ($1,748,141,000). So, if you take a look, roughly the High Desert Real Estate economy is now a $2.7 billion per year.
  • Our welfare numbers continue to increase which adds an ongoing pressure for medical services, police services and other social services within the area.
  • Homelessness is not only a major issue with our country and the cities of New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, but has almost impacted the City of Victorville and Barstow.
  • Crime continues to increase (no matter what anybody tells us) and while Sheriff John McMahon told me on Sunday, October 1, 2017 (while I was driving to church) and the day before a Daily Press Facebook live event, that he needed 52 additional sheriffs within the four (4) incorporated cities that he manages; i.e., Adelanto, Apple Valley, Adelanto, Victorville and portions of the county including Lucerne Valley, the Tri-Communities, (Pinon Hills, Phelan), Newberry Springs and Helendale. I believe that they have only hired two (2).

What are some of the most crucial social economic challenges of the High Desert area?

  • Under-educated workforce
  • Lack of quality high paying jobs
  • Homelessness
  • Crime
  • The Cajon Pass (since the Cajon Pass has been reconstructed by Caltrans of the San Bernardino County Transportation Authority (SANBAG), we have more accidents and people cannot rely on it as a major transportation corridor as they did in the past. The challenge will be what industrial companies think about the future if they wish to put warehousing in the High Desert region.
  • Negative perception of crime

Where do you see the High Desert in 5 to 10 years?

I believe that once Dr. Sirotnik at Cal State San Bernardino finishes the survey on August 31, 2019, and Dr. John Husing completes the “Solutions Report” in March or April of 2020, a meeting of the entire High Desert region will take place for the 1,400-1,500 stakeholders to have a “candid conversation” to see what comes out of the report, what are the unidentifiable problems, what are the identifiable and attainable solutions and who’s going to “roll up their sleeves” and do what we need to collectively as a region (the Mojave River Valley region), to approve our lifestyle and reposition ourselves for greater growth. I strongly believe in the High Desert (Mojave River Valley) area.

How can the business community help with this initiative?

Take the survey, take the survey, take the survey at www.highdesertsurvey.com.

What do you want the community to know about the High Desert?

It is a great place to live, work and play. It’s had many challenges. We went through the close of George Air Force Base and the market grew substantially. You can grow substantially and still deal with some of the social impacts that come from growth. While we have had great leadership in the past, we need even better leadership today and we need leaders that can bring the valley together vs leaders that are working on their own personal political agendas and are not working in tandem with the cities. We need elected officials that can show “measurable results.”

 

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Inland Empire Business Journal
The Inland Empire Business Journal (IEBJ) is the official business news publication of Southern California’s Inland Empire region - covering San Bernardino & Riverside Counties.