On a 3-2 vote by the San Bernardino County Board of Supervisors, First District Supervisor Robert Lovingood joined Second District Supervisor Janice Rutherford and Fifth District Supervisor Josie Gonzales to give its transportation entity known as Omnitrans the ability to implement eminent domain proceedings against county landowners. Supervisors James Ramos and Curt Hagman voted against the board item.
Eminent domain is the power of government to take private land from citizens against their will for public use for compensation. The amount of compensation often falls short of what landowners believe the land is worth. If there are dwellings on the property, the government can forcibly evict the landowners and bulldoze their homes.
Omnitrans is a public transit agency providing bus service to the valley section of San Bernardino County. Omnitrans was created in 1976 by a joint powers agreement between the county of San Bernardino and the cities in the valley region of the county. It has been amended several times to include new cities as they incorporate and now includes Chino, Chino Hills, Colton, Fontana, Grand Terrace, Highland, Loma Linda, Montclair, Ontario, Rancho Cucamonga, Redlands, Rialto, San Bernardino, Upland, and Yucaipa.
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