Hesperia To Seek Recovery From “Negligent” Users Of Safety Services

(September 6) The Hesperia City Council on September 3 approved an ordinance granting city staff the authority to seek cost recovery from users of municipal emergency assistance if they are deemed to have been responsible for the service need.
Until now, the city has picked up the cost for emergency response involving public agencies.  Under the newly passed ordinance, which will require a second confirmation from the council later this month to go into effect in October, the city is entitled to recoup up to $12,000 in emergency costs per person per incident.
While the city used driving under the influence incidents as the ostensible impetus for assuming the recovery authority, it will also apply to assistance rendered to individuals who find themselves at risk during flash floods in the 73 square-mile city, which is plagued with inadequate roads and has extensive drainage problems.
According to a staff report by Mike Podegacz, Hesperia’s city manager and city engineer, in 2012 there were 304 arrests within the city limits related to driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, of which roughly 50 involved accidents and five involved fatalities.
But elsewhere in the report, Podegracz said the ordinance would allow the city to recover its emergency service costs not only where the costs resulted from “the negligent operation of a motor vehicle” but could be applied to “individuals convicted of filing a false police report, entering areas closed to the public, and becoming stranded on closed roadways due to flooding.”

Leave a Reply