High Desert Daily
(Victorville) As 2012 ended, and 2013 is here, one thing is apparent: change. Change of leadership, change of office, and with that comes a change for the San Bernardino County First District Supervisor title, formerly held by Brad Mitzelfelt. Business owner Robert Lovingood now holds the position, and he sees a future of opportunities on the horizon.
Those unfamiliar with Lovingood should take note on his past, as he is deep rooted in the High Desert and with what so many community members are seeking: employment. President of ICR Staffing in Victorville, Lovingood spoke to High Desert Daily about his company, his new position as First District Supervisor and more as the new year moves closer and closer.
“The first district has tremendous opportunity,” said Lovingood in a telephone interview when asked about his thoughts on the First District. “We have 60,000-80,000 daily talented professionals that we export out of this valley to work everyday. We’re the only area in the High Desert that has addressed the water; we have the MWA (Mojave Water Agency) and the programs that it offers. We’re really the last bastion of open space for development. That should be well managed and carefully planned to the benefit of our citizens in the first district.”
Some have often overlooked the First District, which includes Victorville, Apple Valley, Adelanto, Hesperia, Phelan, Baker, Oak Hills and more; at least that is how some community members have felt about it in the past. Not so in the eyes of Mr. Lovingood, though he expressed his disappointment in losing some key High Desert cities. “I don’t believe it goes unnoticed. You have to understand, I was completely disappointed in losing Barstow out of the first district. I say that because I know folks in Barstow, we worked in and around Barstow for 24 years, great people in Barstow. I also lost the folks in Lucerne Valley: great, great citizens and constituents. Here’s my belief, that we now have two supervisors that represents parts of our areas. This is a tremendous opportunity and benefit. I can share with you that I am working with Supervisor Ramos, and he is intent. We already have scheduled times where he and I are going to go out and meet people. He understands the value, and I think that’s a benefit to the citizens in the first and the third districts and the rest of the county.”
2013 is only a short time away, I asked the Supervisor on his thoughts as we look to the future for the First District, including the High Desert. “We have to address the issues in our economy and understand how to remove the obstacles that are created by government. That’s not in a negative sense, there is a lot that the government does and does well. But we have to identify the ones that are obstacles and we have to change those. We have to. For every commuter that we can take off, that’s an improvement to our communities. If it’s unincorporated, if it’s Victorville, Adelanto, Apple Valley, Hesperia: every home owner that we get to let stay at home and not spend 3-4 hours a day commuting is an improvement to our community. As I look at what we can do in 2013, we can collectively work to strengthen our opportunities. I’m going to a meeting right now to discuss potential opportunities to address issues that should hopefully, in the end, have some companies that are interested in looking at being here. I’m moving that closer to a reality. “
Lovingood knows all about the employment plight felt by so many High Desert community members, as his time at ICR Staffing has made him well aware of the growing problem. “I got 24 years, going on 25 years this year in business, our company is ICR Staffing. We staff from engineers to entry-level opportunities throughout the High Desert and even outside the High Desert. That’s given me the opportunity to talk to businesses that have two employees, businesses that have 300 employees. It really lets you understand the frustration and barriers to be identified, and how can we work to remove them. We have an opportunity very unique: we have, I think, a board that wants to work together, that’s all five members. All five members want to work to the benefit of the entire county. There’s a silver lining in these hard, economic times. The sliver lining is that people have to work harder, they have to work smarter, and we have to make our dollars more accountable. That’s the opportunity I see, not only in the first district, but in all of San Bernardino County.”
For more on Mr. Lovingood and the First District of San Bernardino County, feel free to visit the First District’s website at http://www.co.san-bernardino.ca.us/bosd1/.