COLTON – Former Omnitrans finance director Stephen P. Compton will fill in as interim city manager in Colton while a replacement for just-departed city manager Rod Foster is carried out.
Foster left Colton on March 14, closing out more than three years as city manager in the 52,154-population Hub City between the San Bernardino County seat of San Bernardino, the Riverside County Seat of Riverside, and Grand Terrace, Loma Linda and Rialto.
Compton, who has 32 years of public administration experience and was once assistant city manager in Ridgecrest, will be provided with a $10,920 per month salary that is augmented with no benefits other than mileage reimbursement for travel outside the city. He is a resident of Redlands.
The groundbreaking for the Veterans Living Memorial Garden at the Veterans Success Center at Cal State San Bernardino was held on March 23.
That ceremony included the planting of 15 olive trees, three each for the five branches of the U.S. military.
“This living memorial of trees will stand as a lasting tribute to the men and women who have served this nation,” said Bill Moseley, director of the county Department of Veterans Affairs.
Sheree Stewart, the first woman to rise to the command echelon of the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department, is retiring tomorrow, bringing to a close her 31-year law enforcement career.
Stewart holds two firsts with the department, being the first person of her gender to reach the rank of captain and the first to accede to the status of deputy chief.
Known as “Big Mama” by many of the deputies, Stewart cut a sharp swath through the department even relatively early in her career.
A native of Lockport, N.Y., she came to Southern California in 1980 and landed the relatively humble position of a department intern in 1981. She graduated from the department’s academy and then went to work as a patrol deputy. Under former sheriff Floyd Tidwell, she advanced to the rank of sergeant and was given what many considered to be an exile assignment in the department’s internal affairs division, then known as professional standards. In that billet, she promoted to lieutenant and exhibited a flare for in-depth analysis and independence, often sustaining citizen complaints against deputies in an era when such occurrences were rare to non-existent.
Subsequently she was promoted to captain and was given command of the department’s Highland station, where she remained a half dozen years. In 2005, she was promoted to deputy chief.
During her career, women made slow and sometimes uncertain progress but nevertheless steady, and in a few cases such as Steward’s, dramatic strides in San Bernardino County law enforcement as the oftentimes machismo ethos of policing has strained to accommodate distaff officers. In 2007, former Los Angeles police lieutenant Diane Burns became the county’s first police chief when she was hired to head the Barstow Police Department.
Stewart, 54, who is married to a former helicopter pilot with the sheriff’s department, has four sons and a granddaughter.
The Superior Court of San Bernardino County will maintain limited operations in one courtroom in Barstow for three days a week beginning May 6, avoiding the entire closure of the courthouse that was previously slated to begin on that date, according to Stephen Nash, the court’s executive officer.
The remainder of the Barstow Courthouse will close as previously announced, with many of the cases there being transferred to the Victorville and San Bernardino courthouses. Nevertheless, traffic, landlord-tenant, small claims and domestic violence cases will continue to be heard in Barstow. Civil, family law and criminal cases will still be transferred to other locations, Nash said, as was previously announced.
Nash, together with San Bernardino County Presiding Judge Marsha Slough moved to close the Chino Courthouse and transfer cases there to Rancho Cucamonga last year following notification that the state was reducing the county court system’s annual funding from $105,194.436 to $89,732.965, effective July 1 of 2014. Slough and Nash further resolved to reduce the court’s employees from 1,028 to 875.
On December 11, 2012, the court announced a second phase of cost reduction measures, including the closure of the Barstow courthouse by May 6, 2013.
On March 15 of this year, the California Judicial Council distributed unused monies from a two percent statewide reserve to courts throughout the state. Of this amount, San Bernardino Superior Court is scheduled to receive approximately $1.2 million. Slough and Nash apportioned that money to maintain the limited Barstow court operations and to also maintain juvenile delinquency court, including delinquency drug court, three days a week, effective May 6.