County Counsel Junior aka Christian Curtis gives advice to keep the Sierra County Supervisors and the County out of trouble.
The Board of Supervisors was called to order by Chair Scott Schlefstein. During the Public Comment Opportunity Supervisor Schlefstein asked for a moment of silence to remember the bravery of the Granite Mountain Hotshots and the 19 members who were killed fighting a deadly fire in Arizona.
There were no Committee reports or announcements or Department Managers Reports and the Board moved on to the U.S. Forest Service update.
Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood thanked the Board for their acknowledgment of the Granite Mountain Hotshots. Youngblood then went on to give an update of the Red Rock fire north of Hallelujah Junction which had burned 1500 acres, and saying they were concerned as conditions are extreme and lightning is predicted for the next couple of days.
Ann Westling, the Public Affairs Officer for the District has retired and her replacement, Gwen Ernst-Ulrich, will be on board very soon. Youngblood also thanked Tim Beals and Supervisor Paul Roen for attending a meeting with USFS regarding developing Biomass projects. He then introduced Jonathan Cook Fisher who is acting Yuba District Ranger mentioning that Fisher is skilled and comes from the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit.
Acting District Ranger Jonathan Cook Fisher tells the Board he has an “open door” approach and commitment to communication and is looking forward to the coming months working with Sierra County.
So the meeting begins:
Health and Human Services – Director Janice Maddox
Item 6B The Board authorized J.Maddox to fill a vacant Case Manager I/II position with Supervisor Adams asking she try to use the less costly step in the hiring process.
Item 6C – Director J. Maddox gave an informative overview powerpoint presentation on the Affordable Healthcare Act to and enthralled Board.
Item 6C – A request to extend the current Mental Health Services Act until the August 6 Board meeting was approved.
Auditor/Treasurer/Tax Collector Van Maddox
7A – A Resolution authorizing extra help employee participation in County health insurance was delayed until August 6 per V. Maddox’s request.
7B – Resolution authorizing the new position of Department Specialist-Probation/Collaborative Court Assistant, recruiting, hiring and adjusting the budget for this position was approved as it is part of the whole State re-alignment process.
Planning / Building – Tim Beals
8A – A long contentious discussion regarding a Resolution authorizing the placement, by promotion, of Senior Planner to Deputy Director of Planning and Building effective July 2, 2013 and amending the 2013/14 budget to provide funding seemed to go on for eternity. Apparently some of the Board Supervisors did not grasp the concept of using an employee who has been trained and understands the process of county government, especially Sierra County, and thought the job should be advertised as a new position.
Jim Beard said certain Ordinances and county Codes had “been brought to my attention by one of my constituents”, which he then read for everyone’s entertainment, also pointing out irrelevant inconsistencies in various job titles. Deputy County Counsel Christian Curtis weighed in with the facts of the matter.
I could spend a lot of time going over details of the discussion but it would not serve anyone as it was apparent there were axes grinding and an unwillingness to act intelligently in the decision.
Planning Commissioner Irv Christenson, who just happened to be at the meeting for the lunch Barbque became frustrated with the conversation and spoke as a member of the public saying he has watched Brandon Pangman over the years and seeing his expertise and dedication knows that Tim Beals is 100% correct on this issue. “You need someone (las Brandon) who is dedicated and honest, we have the opportunity to keep an excellent employee.”
So eventually it was approved to promote an existing employee to the position of Assistant Planner, the same position as Deputy Director but consistent with prior Resolutions. The vote was 3/2 with Supervisors Beard and Schlefstein voting no.
8B – An authorization to extend to October 31, 2013 the employment status of Planner III and to include in the prelimianry budget for 2013-14 an appropriation $5,000 for completion of the county zoning code and general plan amendment process was approved by a 4/1 vote with Supervisor Beard voting No saying, “it isn’t our fault the process hasn’t been completed.” What?
8C – Authorization to amend the existing agreement for Sierraville School between the County and SPJUSD to include the modular office vacated by the school offices was approved.
8D – Referral to the Board of Supervisors Water Committee for coordination of the IRWMP administation and the Honey Lkake-Long Valley watershed Feather River watershed and the Yuba River watershed was approved.
Clerk-Recorder Heather Foster
9A – The second reading and adoption of an Ordinance to replace and update the Master Fee Schedule pertaining to fees for the Sierra County Clerk-Recorder, Clerk of the Board and Registrar of Voters was approved.
Item 10A – A Resolution amending the Board of Supervisors’ Rules of Procedures as adopted by Resolution 97-043 pertaining to the scheduling and conducting of Board meetings was delayed and referred to the Finance Committee when Supervisor Jim Beard said his constituents weren’t happy with the change, Supervisor Adams weighed in saying he understood the need for fiscal savings but it might be perceived as less transparency and a sole brave young woman in the audience suggested the Supervisors might consider lowering their pay scale as apparently with the county offices closing to the public every Thursday and now they only need one meeting, certainly they should get less pay. Although Supervisor Schlefstein once again reminded everyone how hard he works as a Supervisor the decision to delay the decision was approved.
Board of Supervisors
11A – A Resolution naming Downieville’s main plaza park “Gold Rush Park” was approved unaminously. Supervisor Adams commended the Downieville Improvement Group (DIG) for there hard work and innovative ideas. Representatives Cherry Simi and Ingrid Larson were in the audiience and explained the contest to name the park. There were 30 suggestions and the final five were voted on by the town folks with the winning name being submitted by David Marshall. David’s daughter Suzi Pangman and his 4 grand children, Tanner Pangman, Mason Pangman, Ellie Scholes and Emma Scholes were present for the event. David Marshall will be the ribbon cutter when Gold Rush Park is officially dedicated.
Suzi, Tanner, Mason Pangman and Ellie and Emma Scholes standing and Cherry Simi and Ingrid Larson seated. Tim Holabird representing Congressman Doug LaMalfa to Cherry’s right.
Tanner, Ellie, Emma and Mason proudly represent their grandfather David Marshall at the Gold Rush Park Resolution
12A – A presentation and discussion with Caltrans District 3 Director Jody Jones, was introduced by Tim Beals who told the Board how fortunate the County is to have someone like Jones to work with as she is skilled and dedicated to excellent performance. Many projects were discussed including culvert rehabs, how speed limits are set, pavement rehab and highway embankment repairs. According to Jones the DMV manual is what determines how speed limits are set, saying that if a certain percentage of vehicles drive a certain speed on a roadway then the speed may be increased to avoid making people lawbreakers. Of course this immediately made Supervisor Beard wonder if everyone smoked and sold pot then it wouldn’t be illegal, and how about murder how many people get murdered before that is determined to be a normal activity and not illegal… but you know… All the supervisors were in agreement that better warning signage for “dead man’s curves” possibly with blinking lights on Highway 49 between Sattley and Sierra City needed addressing as there are frequent motorcycle accidents and deaths in that stretch.
CalTrans District 3 Director Jody Jones addresses the Sierra County Board of Supervisors
12B – Recognition of Tim H. Beals for his 40 years of honorable public service to Sierra County and the State of California. A Resolution of Appreciation was approved unaminously and then everyone moved to the Public Works Building for a Barbque lunch provided by friends and family. see story here