The Board of Supervisors put the spotlight on opportunity, growth and innovation at the 2023 State of the County event at the Ontario Convention Center on Wednesday, Sept. 27. 

More than 1,000 local and state elected officials, business owners, tribal government leaders, educators and community leaders attended the event. 

Board of Supervisors Chair and Third District Supervisor Dawn Rowe moderated the program, which featured interviews with fellow Board members Col. Paul Cook (Ret.), Jesse Armendarez, Curt Hagman and Joe Baca, Jr. offering overviews of important initiatives and programs within each of their districts.  

Col. Cook, the Board’s vice chairman, said affordable housing rates and some of the best schools in the county are attracting more families to the First District. He’s also excited about the new Brightline West high-speed rail system that will provide service from Southern California to Las Vegas, with stops in Apple Valley and Hesperia. 
“This 218-mile high-speed rail project will be the first true high-speed passenger rail service in the nation,” said Cook. “It will be a game changer for our region by reducing commute times, increasing job opportunities and improving the quality of life for county residents.” 
Second District Supervisor Jesse Armendarez reported on housing, homelessness and mental health services. 

“I am inspired by a new 101-acre master-planned, mixed-use community in North Fontana being partially developed by Frontier Communities, a San Bernardino County-based builder,” said Armendarez. “Another inspiring new development is being delivered by Water of Life Community Church. They broke ground on a five-acre master plan to construct and operate a mixed-use project that will include wrap-around homeless services and transitional housing units. I know that San Bernardino County will continue to lead the way.” 

Armendarez also provided an update on the creation of the Office of Suicide Prevention, which the Board of Supervisors approved in its Fiscal Year 2023-2024 Annual Budget. Recognizing that one suicide death occurs every 11 minutes in the U.S., enhancing mental health services remains a priority for Armendarez. 

The event continued with an update from Fourth District Supervisor Curt Hagman who reported on innovations in technology such as the county’s use of Starlink, which allows residents to connect to high-speed internet in some of the county’s most geographically remote areas.  

As a commissioner for the Ontario International Airport Authority, Hagman shared noteworthy achievements such as the airport serving nearly six million passengers this year, its highest rate since 2008. Also, on March 23, the airport welcomed its 30 millionth passenger since its return to local control.  

“Ontario International Airport creates $3.8 billion a year in economic activity, supporting 27,800 jobs and serving as the hub for a global logistics network that generates $17.8 billion in economic output,” Hagman said. 

He also pointed out San Bernardino International Airport was experiencing growth with new passenger services to San Francisco and Las Vegas, and the airport is now home to the Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS) Center. Additionally, a mixed-use development project is planned near the Toyota Arena in Ontario.  

Next to be interviewed by Rowe was Fifth District Supervisor Joe Baca, Jr. In his report, he discussed park improvements, including ADA compliance updates to restrooms, splash pads, new gating and upgraded amenities. He also announced an affordable housing project coming to Bloomington.  

“One of the things we found out through the strategic homeless plan is that capacity is necessary for our investment in the county,” Baca, Jr. said. “On September 12, the Board of Supervisors voted to purchase some land to add an affordable housing project. Just think about the families who are on the cusp of losing their home. This affordable housing project will put a roof over their heads, restore dignity and ultimately prevent families from becoming homeless.”  

Baca, Jr. also touched on improving access to healthcare in his district through a partnership with Arrowhead Regional Medical Center’s mobile clinics. He is also seeking to expand Animal Care services by purchasing a mobile veterinarian clinic.  

The event was capped by a presentation from Rowe, which included a demonstration of one of Garner Holt Production’s animatronic figures. In her Third District, Rowe said that Garner Holt has partnered with San Bernardino County schools to create Education Through Imagination and an AniMakerspace to provide young children with opportunities to learn more about STEAM education – science, technology, engineering, arts and math. She also spoke about growth and development occurring at Loma Linda University.   

“Loma Linda University Health is a leader in education, research and clinical care,” Rowe said. “The California Health Facilities Financing Authority recently awarded Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital with a $135 million grant that provides funding for several major projects including construction of a new pediatric medical office building.” 

Following Rowe’s presentation and closing remarks, attendees participated in a networking reception to foster new partnerships that will continue to move the county closer to achieving its Countywide Vision of a complete county that creates ever-increasing opportunities for residents and investors.  

One of the event attendees, Rancho Cucamonga City Councilwoman Kristine Scott, described the event as exciting.  

“I always love coming to the State of the County because you can hear about the exciting things happening in your own backyard,” she said. “Just seeing the opportunities and the upcoming projects makes me proud to be a resident.” 

Another attendee, San Bernardino City Councilman Damon Alexander, said the event was inspirational.  

“I am very encouraged and inspired by what our County Board of Supervisors are doing,” he said. “They’ve played a critical role in our region’s economic growth and I look forward to continued success.”  

To learn more about economic development projects in San Bernardino County, please visit  

Additional County Update News – September 29, 2023