In Yucca Council Return Effort Herbel Cites Need For Town Water Treatment Program

(September 9) Former Yucca Valley Town Councilwoman Lori Herbel, who served a single term on the council from 2006 until 2010, said she is running to regain a position her position  to “address the concerns of the people and the business community by holding quarterly open Town Hall community meetings and to encourage the growth of local small businesses by making it the town’s primary goal to understand expectations and assist in making the permitting process easy.”
If elected, Herbel said she would “examine the annual budget line-by-line to justify all expenditures and restore the Hi-Desert Nature Museum to full service and honor its past contributions to community education and cultural activities.”
Herbel said it is vital that the town “expand and enhance community programs for our youth and seniors.” She said she was committed to “engage the community, the town council and Hi-Desert Water District in an immediate and intensive effort to make the sewer affordable for all.”
She elaborated on this last point.
“Our greatest challenge is the prohibition on septic discharge placed on property owners in Yucca Valley by the Colorado River Water Quality Control Board (CRWQCB),” Herbel said. “The Hi-Desert Water District (HDWD), the sewer authority, is doing their best to address this prohibition with plans for a town-wide sewer collection system and waste water treatment plant. In 1974 the CRWQCB warned Yucca Valley that it needed a sewer. With no enforcement, permits for septic systems continued. When the town was incorporated in 1991,  first priorities identified in the general plan was to work with the HDWD to ensure the town had a sewer. Unfortunately, this infrastructure was neglected, now property owners are dealt a huge financial shock and the daunting task of how to deal with the cost of the septic prohibition.”
Herbel said, “Compliance is the responsibility of individual property owners; the town isn’t responsible for individual compliance, and neither is the HDWD nor the CRWQCB. We must solve this together and it must be affordable for all, otherwise, we are going to suffer greatly as community.”
During her previous tenure on the council, Herbel said, “My votes were always informed, I came to each council meeting well studied and prepared with a listening ear to the voice of the people.”
She said the town needs to come to terms with “the cost of the sewer. Phase 1 is estimated at $146 million.”
She said solutions to the town’s challenges can be had by “engaging the community, the town council and Hi-Desert Water District in an immediate and intensive effort to make the sewer affordable for all.”
What qualifies her to be returned to the council, Herbel said, is that “as a resident of Yucca Valley for the past 11 years, a business woman, founder of Certified Farmers’ Market and communication trainer for companion animals, I am highly aware of the challenges facing our citizens and business community. I have the time, the will, to faithfully listen and serve the people of Yucca Valley.”
In touching on what she said she believes distinguishes her from the other candidates for town council, she said, “I have the highest regards for anyone that steps up to the plate to serve their community. It takes a lot of time and commitment. Each candidate is to be commended. Because of my experience as an elected town council member, I understand the workings of the town government and have kept abreast of relevant issues, I will be able to immediately focus on mitigating challenges facing our town. My business life keeps me in touch with the people. As a council member, I will listen to their concerns and respond.”
She vowed, “I will listen and represent the people with common sense, compassion and courage.”
Herbel graduated from Lowell High School in Whittier and obtained an A.A. degree from Fullerton College in Orange County.

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