Board of Supervisors April 2, 2013


County Counsel during "mum's the word" session

County Counsel known as “JC” during a  “mum’s the word” session

Chair Scott Schlefstein called the meeting to order and Supervisor Adams did awesome job leading the Pledge of Allegiance. Supervisor Peter Heubner absent for entire meeting and is believed to be recovering nicely.

Auditor Van Maddox gave report of Finance Committee which met Monday morning. Although the gap is narrowing between what the county spends and how much it has, there still has to be some whittling.

An agreement for discounted telecommunication services between low bidder Network Services and Sierra County was approved.

A discussion on delaying the County Aquatic Invasive Species boat inspection grant received from the Resource Advisory Committee (Title II Funds) resulted in all projects on hold due to Sequestration. The RAC board may have to set priorities for project if some money is freed up.
Another discussion regarding a delay of Secure Rural Schools Funding, including Title I,  II and III Funding and the effects on County programs due to the “sequestration” program ensued.

The status of the 2012-13 Snow Grooming Program resulted in news that the  Gold Lake program is over for season, and the east side is ongoing due to snow conditions. Planner Brandon Pangman will give seasonal wrapup in a future meeting.

An update was give on the Perry Creek flood control project in Sierraville.
A Resolution supporting the findings of the 2012 California Statewide Local Streets and Roads Needs Assessment was approved.

Staff was directed to move forward on the potential county acquisition of a tax sale property affecting the Sierraville-Dearwater Airport.

District Ranger Tom Quinn will appear at a future meeting to discuss activities of the North Yuba Ranger District reported to the Board at their March 5 meeting.

Lots of talk but no action was taken on a review of the Sierra Brooks Water System grant/loan application and future items requiring the Bd of Supes to hold hearings or actions related to the project.

Information was given by Supervisor Adams regarding USFS national land management planning rule process and opportunity to comment on proposed directives for implementing the planning rule.

Regarding a previous discussion on a RAC appointment Supervisor Adams told the Board, “As a part of this year’s appointments to commissions, boards, and associations, Supervsior Roen was subsituted for Supervisor Adams and Supervisor Adams was made the alternate. In a response to the USFS recently as to whether I was willing to continue with the RAC, I advised the USFS of this appointment change. They advised that there is a more formal process for getting appointed to the RAC, and that my appointment 4 years ago was for a six year term. They further advised that it could be a prolonged process to make the board requested change and that both could be appointed if the board was so interested due to a number of resignations on the RAC. While there is the option of me resigning from the RAC at anytime, that would leave no BOS member until the federal process is followed. I know my own appointment took approximatley 6 months before the secretary of the interior took action.”  No action was taken by the Board.

Chair Scott Schlefstein appointed Patricia Hall of Downieville to the Sierra Economic Development Corporation;  Sidonie Christian of Sierra City to the Economic Development Committee and Michael Filippini of Loyalton to the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation District Board.

A presentation was made by Lisa Selacek, USFS Resource officer from Beckwourth Ranger Dist, Plumas NF. She gave an overview of $631 grant application  to Calboating for expansion and resurfacing of the Gold Lake Boat Launching Facility. Concerns were raised as to whether the issue of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) were considered with the increase of use of Gold Lake. The Board approved a letter of support for the application, but added to letter concern with AIS being fully vetted with respect to both CEQA and NEPA issues.

A presentation by the Sierra County Fire Protection District No. 1 requesting authorization to utilize Title III funding to facilitate the completion of the Sierra County Community Firesafe Plan was approved with Resolution of Intent.

A special meeting followed the regular meeting with one item:  Closed session pursuant to Govt code section 54957.6 to discuss labor negotiations.

Board of Supervisors March 19, 2013

3/20/13 Loyalton

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in Loyalton on Tuesday March 19 and conducted business in a leisurely fashion, letting anyone talk as long as they wanted about whatever they wanted.

The Board approved  an Agreement approving the Title X, Family Planning Services agreement for the term of January 1, 2013 – December 31, 2013.

Then it approved a Resolution directing the Sierra County Planning Commission for an amendment to Ordinance 1042, zoning code section 15.12.282, pertaining to permitted uses in the floodplain overlay district; specifically to replacement/repair of existing septic systems.

Paul Roen was appointed to the Sierra Valley Resource Conservation Districts (RCD) proposal to form an implementation group for the Feather River Integrated Regional Water Management Plan with Plumas County  to represent Sierra County in the process.

An Agreement for professional services with Frances Heritage, LLC for environmentally sensitive action plan construction monitoring for the Little Truckee River Bridge Project and an Agreement for professional services with Frances Heritage, LLC for environmentally sensitive action plan construction monitoring for the Ridge Road Rehabilitation Project were approved.

A Resolution was approved authorizing additional expenditures from the Justice Facilities Fund for air conditioning upgrade and necessary electrical work to support the upgrade in the first floor computer room to mitigate overheating conditions.

The County’s required participation in the USDA Approval of required certifications for County’s participation in the USDA  grant/loan for the Sierra Brooks Water System to be submitted as part of the County’s formal application resulted in a long discussion. Direction was given to County Counsel to proceed with retaining independent bond counsel for USDA grant/loan for the Sierra Brooks Water System to be submitted as part of the County’s formal application and to set a public hearing required to satisfy USDA requirements for grant/loan application.  District 1 Supervisor Lee Adams noted that this issue was taking much time of Planning & Public Works staff and while “everyone deserves clean water, Sierra Brooks is the only part of the county that does not deal locally with their water and this is not fair to the balance of the county, especially Alleghany.”

Loyalton resident Don Yegge completed his presentation to the Board regarding a Veteran Services Officer in Sierra County and offered to fulfill this by working as an Advocate with the established Placer County program. The Board thanked Don for his willingness to do this and finding a good way to get it done.

The Plumas Librarian, Lynn Sheehy talked to the Board about Sierra County Library system and expressed concern of a lack of Literacy Program in Loyalton.

A State Assembly Resolution of Appreciation was presented to retired Supervisor Bill Nunes for his work and dedication to Sierra County by Supervisor Paul Roen.

Retired Supervisor Bill Nunes receives a State Assembly Resolution of Appreciatio to him by Supervisor Paul Roen

Retired Supervisor Bill Nunes receives a State Assembly Resolution of Appreciatio to him by Supervisor Paul Roen

A presentation by the Loyalton High School Future Farmers of America (FFA);  Devon Graham, Kolbie Johnson, Sierra Little, Austin DeBerg, Cathy Russell, Robin Griffin, Pepe Vasquez and Instructor Cali Griffin was about recognizing and celebrating the contribution of agriculture in our everyday lives.

Supervisor Roen introduced the group.  Each student gave some interesting facts about some item of agriculture.  Broccoli, grapes, peaches, and one talked about pizza. The Board enjoyed the presentation.

Supervisor Adams advised all of his appreciation of their interest in agriculture and its impact on calif. While known for gold, only $100 billion in gold has been removed from California in the past 162 years. Today, agribusiness is a $100 billion a year business in California.

Loyalton FFA members Devon Graham, Kolbie Johnson, Sierra Little, Austin DeBerg, Cathy Russell, Robin Griffin, Pepe Vasquez and Instructo Cali Griffin

Loyalton FFA members Devon Graham, Kolbie Johnson, Sierra Little, Austin DeBerg, Cathy Russell, Robin Griffin, Pepe Vasquez.  Not shown  Instructor Cali Griffin

At the last Board Meeting on March 5, the Board agreed to send a letter to the USFS in response to the surprise news of more mining site and cabin demolition. See the letter sent March 13 here 13_03_13 Quin re coordinating and opposition to activities

The Board went into closed session leaving the usual group of malcontent journalists muttering aimlessly in the cold outside.

Sheriff John Evans thinking about who will be arrested next... possibly Don Russell?

Sheriff John Evans thinking about who will be arrested next… possibly Don Russell?

If anyone wonders what goes on in closed session… this may be a clue…

Sources say this is how Supervisor Lee Adams deals with Closed Session...

Sources say this is how Supervisor Lee Adams deals with Closed Session…


Board of Supervisors 3/6/13

The Board of Supervisors met in Downieville on Tuesday, March 5 and what was thought to be an easy, short agenda had some exciting moments, and it didn’t take long for those moments to arrive.

Supervisor Huebner, Schlefstein, Roen,  Beard, Auditor Maddox and Editor Russell (back to camera as usual)

Supervisor Huebner, Schlefstein, Roen, Beard, Auditor Maddox and Editor Russell (back to camera as usual)

Chair Scott Schlefstein called the meeting to order and the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, no one took advantage of the Public Comment Opportunity. Under Committee Reports Supervisor Paul Roen gave a brief account of meeting with District Ranger Quentin Youngblood and a FS Biologist. The Board moved on to Department Manager Reports and Director of Health and Humans Services (H&HS) announced the east side Mental Health Psychiatrist was retiring and the county needs to find someone to contract with for the future. So everything was quiet and orderly and they moved on to the USFS Update.

A quiet, orderly, unassuming woman stepped to the podium and announced herself as Kathy Van Zuuk, a Community Liason and Botanist for Tahoe National Forest (TNF).

TNF Community Liason Kathy VanZuuk

TNF Community Liason Kathy VanZuuk

Van Zuuk said that District Ranger Genice Froelich was unavailable and had sent her to give the report. The report was 1) Robert Stuler has signed the relinquish documents to the USFS for his cabin on FS property and the cabin will be used as a training burn with the cooperation of DVFD and USFS.

2) The Peachay Mining Claim Cabin will be destroyed. This brought on quite a bit of dissension as various Supervisors and the audience muttered about the USFS abuse of power and wondering why this decision was made prior to the determination of the historical significance of the site which was established prior to the existence of the FS.  (see Peachay letter here: Peachay letter)

3) The Barbara Foust Claim was going to be addressed including occupancy trespassing. Which quickly tipped the issue to the boiling point as this was the first mention of the issue. Van Zuuk said a letter had been sent to Supervisor Lee Adams, who was not present during the Board meeting as he was in Washington, DC with other RCRC representatives meeting with representives about Secure Rural Schools funding, no one else had seen the letter and asked when it had been sent and she replied sometime after Feb 25, right around the time Adams had left on the trip. Lot’s of discussion bordering on anger ensued about District Ranger Froelich’s cowardly act of sending Van Zuuk into the fray knowing the news would not be taken well. Don Russell wanted to know why the County hadn’t been consulted as had been promised by the FS after the Nixon Mine debacle in Sierra City. He said, ” because you can doesn’t mean you should”, in referring to cabin and historical site destruction by the FS. Tim Holabird, District Rep for Congressman LaMalfa referenced the USFS actions as “an abuse of authority by an agency out of control.”  An audience member mentioned the displacement of people living on these various sites an it was just a wrong action by the FS.

Van Zuuk maintained her composure and said the FS was continuing to work on a Communications Plan during wildfires in the county, still addressing issues at the Kentucky Mine in Sierra City and expanding the parking area at Fiddle Creek Campground. After her report there was a break and both Supervisors and audience members apologized to Van Zuuk for having to experience anger that Ranger Froelich should have been there to address. More than one thought it was a deliberate attempt by Froelich to distance herself from the “firestorm of dissent”.

And then the Board Meeting began:  Director Janice Maddox discussed the portential impacts of Healthcare Reform on Sierra County H&HS and it was referred to H&S Committee.

A Professional services agreement with Priscilla Russell for the completion of H&HS Policies and Procedures was approved.

Update on the Loyalton Skilled Nursing Facility possibility of closure was given. Supervisor Jim Beard said the total job loss would be 40, in addition to having to find other facilities to lodge our seniors in need of a Skilled Nursing Facility (SNF) Chair Schlefstein said he had contacted Senator Ted Gaines, and Beard said he had called Assemblymember Louis Alejo, sponsor of AB900 even though it was “painful calling a Democrat”, forgetting for a moment that Supervisor positions are non-partisan.

A discussion about creating a a H&HS community consortium was civil. A letter from C. Ingrid Larson requesting non-profits be exempted from having to subscribe to solid waste collection service had been pulled from the Correspondence and added to the regular agenda. The discussion included County Counsel Jim Curtis who suggested, “just on legal grounds and Prop 26, the difference between taxation and fees is tightened up, and they have to maintain structure and not invite dissension” and the Board just can’t make those kind of exemptions.

Another letter pulled was from Sheriff John Evans regarding assault weapons ban of 2013 and the dismantling of the 2nd Amendment. Chairman Scott Schlefstein said he pulled the letter just because he wanted to commend the Sheriff for writing such a letter and “putting it out there.” Supervisors Beard and Roen agreed.

The Auditor, Treasurer/Tax Collector requested a letter in support of Assembly Bill 182 Capital Appreciation Bond tightening rules on issuing these types of bonds. Roen moved and Beard 2nd and it was approved.

An update and discussion on Secure Rural Schools Funding and report of the Quincy Library Group meeting included the news that Congressman Doug LaMalfa was committed to the QLG and SRS and that Supervisor Lee Adams was presently in Washington.DC  with RCRC lobbying for continuing SRS funding for rural counties.

Supervisor Adams in Washington. DC

Supervisor Adams in Washington. DC

Presentation of Bids and adoption of a resolution awarding a public works contract to the lowest qualified bidder for the Ridge Road Rehabilitiation Project in Alleghany resulted in 8 close  bids ranging from 1.9 million to 2.2 million  and it was awarded to Knight River Construction. The firm who did the Highway 49 surfacing last year. Sierra County residents will be happy to welcome the construction  firm’s return they did good work and helped the local economy. Contract Administrator Brian Davey said the project will be 100% federally funded including a $210,000 bid for the construction inspection and materials testing  for the project by Omni-Means Contractors.

A presentation was made by Loyalton resident Don Yegge, a veteran suggesting that the County of Sierra might be well served by having a Veterans Service Officer or joining in with a nearby county who does have an established VSO position and program. According to statistics provided by the California Department of Veteran Affairs Sierra County has 410 resident veterans. A good showing in a county of 3500 population.  Various scenarios and logistics were discussed along with the stringent requirements by the CDVA regarding confidentiality and programs. Tom Holabird from Congressman Doug LaMalfa’s office promised to work with Yegge on possible solutions and report to the Board in a month.

Tim Holabird and Don Yegge confer in the lobby of the Courthouse after meeting with the Supervisors

Tim Holabird and Don Yegge confer in the lobby of the Courthouse after meeting with the Supervisors

 The following picture says a lot:

Water dispenser and bottles waiting to be returned to vendor.

Water dispenser and bottles waiting to be returned to vendor.

This wasn’t a topic of conversation during the Board of Supervisors but it was an act of the Board a few months ago saying that water dispensers and bottled water in the courthouse and offices of county workers were no longer being provided in cost cutting measures. The program originally was one designed by a Risk Manager and Safety Officer for the county. In addition to providing cold water to employees it cut down on loss of employee hours due to sick leave via no longer sharing drinking fountains frequently a source of transferred viruses in the workplace. It was a strange cost saving as all employees, department managers and Board of Supervisors benefited from the water dispensers and the cost was borne by funding from the Trindel Insurance Safety Program rebates. It isn’t apparent if the funding is now being spent for employee benefit or in some other endeavors, at any rate it is just another example of how little the administration values the health of employees.







Board of Supervisors 2/6/13

2/5/13  Downieville — The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in Downieville for a quick, and somewhat tame session with no hurled words of anger or derision. In fact at one point frogs were claimed to be loved.

However, Supervisor Lee Adams reported on the Finance Committee meeting suggesting there may be a $450,000 deficit in the this years budget according to Auditor/Treasurer/Tax Collector Van Maddox.  Adams at one point during the meeting expressed concern about being able to keep the street lights on, “who knows how bad it will get”.

Supervisor Roen wanted the Board to be prepared for the possibility of the Yellow-legged Frog being responsible for the listing of portions of the Tahoe National Forest and other properties in Sierra County as critical habitat for the endangered species.

The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects

According to The Center for Biological Diversity, “mountain yellow-legged frog was once the most abundant amphibian in the Sierra Nevada and Transverse Ranges of Southern California. Only a few decades ago, it was difficult to walk around many of California’s alpine lakes without tripping over these diminutive “mountain gnomes.” Today the hardy survivors of freezing, high-elevation winters are vulnerable to a host of modern threats, which have driven the frogs extinct in more than 93 percent of their old mountain homes”. see more here Sierra Nevada Yellow-legged frog

Supervisor Paul Roen declares his love for frogs, especially the Yellow Legged Frog

Supervisor Paul Roen declares his love for frogs, especially the Yellow Legged Frog

In other business the Board of Supes authorized the Auditor/Treasurer/Tax Collector, Van Maddox to make adjustments to the 2012/13 County budget wages and benefits in the District Attorney’s Office and Maintenance Department.

Janice Maddox of Health and Human Services was successful in her quest to fill the Chief Accounting Technician position through internal promotions and recruitment. Maddox suggested having the employee working out of above the job classification was like having an “ant carry a pork chop”, which caused Chair Scott Schlefstein to be momentarily confused trying to get the picture in his head.  The department has 29 employees Supervisor Adams wondered how many employees were really needed for a county with 3200 residents. Maddox pointed out the needs are there evidenced by a $50,000 food stamp outlay, which included families who are working but there paycheck just isn’t enough. Supervisor Beard suggested mandates from the state required the county to enact programs.

Once again the Fiscal Year 2009 Homeland Security Grant program had the Board rescinding a 2012 Resolution and authorizing expenditures.

An update on Secure Rural Schools Funding was lengthy. Director of Planning and Public Works Tim Beals told the Board the secure schools funding payments are going to be late and it is the bread and butter of road fund. Currently Sierra County only receives  50% of what was alloted under the Clinton administration. Beals suggested Congress has loss its’ perspective as the Road Fund is no different to our needs than Dept of Defense to the country.. The Secure Rural Schools funding was designed to  make up for the USFS and other agencies aquisition of lands.  He believes Congress has loss perspective on why programs have been put into place.

An unknown bearded man came into the Board room sat for a while and then left.

An unknown bearded man came into the Board room sat for a while and then left.

Discussion continued about splinter groups attempting to force the USFS to allow more mining and timber production as a means of reclaiming funds. Board members felt this type of pressure would not work and it would be better to have a unified front making the case to Congress for the importance of the Secure Rural Schools funding to continue. Supervisor Lee Adams, RCRC rep for Sierra County said the SRS is the number one priority for them and they are concerned about groups looking for a way out. The Board agreed attacking the USFS with a bad attitude wouldn’t work and help nothing.

The Board decided to send a letter to Tom Tidwell, Chief of USFS requesting a portion of the fire settlement funds be directed to the County of Sierra as discussed at the Quincy Library Group (QLG). Beals brought up the issue of the QLG is now in peril as it has not been reauthorized and that has to be addressed. Without the reauthorization even the Sierraville Ranger District will be endangered.Supervisor Beard suggested the Board prepare a Resolution in support of QLG to be brought back to the next meeting in Loyalton.

The issue of funding an increase to wages of In Home Supportive Services was revisited and after a discussion the Board approved $10,000 in the IHSS budget to increase those employees by $1 per hour. The money comes from the State but the Board approves the budget. An unwieldy arrangement as pointed out by the  Supervisors would be like the Board telling CHP or CalTrans how to spend its money.

The threat of Medi-Cal funding cuts and the potential closure of the EPHCD Skilled Nursing Facility in Loyalton was taken seriously by the Board who immediately drafted a Resolution with the help of H&HS Director Janice Maddox. Resolution Hospital

Medi-Cal has demanded repayment of millions of dollars from small rural health providers, clinics and hospitals retroactive to August of 2011. This action has jeopardized many rural areas and is a real threat to Eastern Plumas Health Care and its satellite long term skilled nursing facility in Loyalton.

Meanwhile Brandy Ramirez of Sierra City was appointed to the Sierra County Children and Families Commission (First Five.

Bruce Coons of Alleghany was appointed to the Pliocene Ridge Community Services District.

Richard Devore of Sierra Brooks was appointed to the Area 4 Agency on Aging Advisory Council.


Board of Supervisors Tuesday January 22, 2013

1/22/13 The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in Loyalton on Tuesday, January 22, Chair Scott Schlefstein called the meeting to order at 9:00 a.m. and the fun immediately began.

Supervisor Paul Roen tries to fix a stubborn stuck door at the Loyalton Center while Supervisor Peter Huebner helps and Tim Beals directs...

Supervisor Paul Roen tries to fix a stubborn stuck door at the Loyalton Center while Supervisor Peter Huebner helps and Tim Beals directs…

Sierraville District Ranger Quentin Youngblood gave the USFS report to the Board saying the event held at the Little Truckee Summit OHV Park on January 11,12 and 13 was a big success. A Skidoo dealer offered snowmobile demonstrations and products and they expect another event like this later this year. There are no prescribed burns or logging operations now due to snow cover.

Health and Human Services had many items on the agenda, beginning with a report from Lori Marsh on why Sierra County got an “F” rating from the American Lung Association. It seems that all of Lori Marsh’s efforts to counter the effects of big tobacco on our children were not enough for ALA, because the County does not take action to prevent smoking in public places such as parks and recreational areas. It is not our program’s fault it is the Board of Supervisors not taking action by way of non smoking ordinances which is the problem.

An agreement between Sierra County and Northern California Emergency Medical Service (NorCal EMS) to  in the amount of $10,800 to pay its 1/6 share of the LEMSA Coordinator was approved.

A request by the for In Home Support Services (IHSS) to increase the wages of workers by $1 was denied by the Board in spite of the fact that the money was in the budget and it would not cost any more money to increase 31 workers from $8.56 an hour to $9.56 because other county workers are not getting any pay raises . Supervisor Huebner recused himself at the suggestion of County Counsel Jim Curtis as Huebner’s wife Louise works as an IHSS employee.

In other actions for Health and Human Services the Board approved a Medi-Cal Data Privacy and Security Agreement between DHCS and Sierra County. Authorized Child Welfare Services to purchase CWS/CMS computers for $15,000. Jim Beard was reappointed to the Sierra County Solid Waste Enforcement Appeals Panel as he was terminated as Public Representative.

Director Janice Maddox gave an overview of the structure of Sierra County Mental Helath Services and related Mandates. A discussion and Resolution regarding SC Mental Health Emergency (5150) Assessments was approved.

The Board decided that Sierra County becoming its own Mental Health Plan as opposed to functioning as an agent to the Placer-Sierra Mental Health Plan was a good idea and it is in process.

At 10 a.m. Loyalton Friday Night Live coordinator Barbara Weaver brought Jorge Garcia, Liz Lizarde and Cheyenne Little to make a presentation to the Board regarding the dismal rate of compliance with tobacco sales to minors in Sierra County, demonstrating that there is an 80% failure rate by establishments selling cigarettes to minors.

Jorge Garcia, Liz Lizarde  and Cheyenne Little wait to make their presentation to the Board

Jorge Garcia, Liz Lizarde and Cheyenne Little wait to make their presentation to the Board

Here they use panel demonstrating failure of compliance

Here they use panel demonstrating failure of compliance

Planning Director Tim Beals and Planner Brandon Pangman presented the staff report and analysis of the proposed initiative filed by the Plumas-Sierra County Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR) see the report here: CAPR Initiative Analysis . The Board once again discussed what to do, if anything, regarding the initiative . Chair Schlefstein said he was reading the report and “by the time I reached page 12 my eyes glazed over, and I had a depressed, sinking feeling seeing all the agencies involved and then I got to the Global Warning Act….”.  Schlefstein continued that he found a quote online that said it all.

Supervisor Scott Schlefstein quoted from a Roger’s Rules column ” i.e., the insidious proliferation of rules and regulations (and their concomitant rulers and regulators) that we’re told are being put in place for the commonwealth but in fact are really put in place to  squelch individual liberty and solidify state control over our lives.”

Supervisor Lee Adams said the real problem lies when, “what you want to do and what your neighbor wants to do don’t exactly mesh.”

Supervisor Jim Beard wondered if the work on the General Plan could eliminate the need for an Initiative.

Director Tim Beals suggested that “everyone is trying to come to the same end point”, where property owners are able to build SFR on their lot.

Robert Eshleman said he “felt Tim and Brandon were the best apologists for the county” and the report was fair but brings us back to the General Plan. He said if nothing else the initiative has so far brought the discussion to the forefront.

Supervisor Lee Adams said property rights are fine for everyone until “someone builds a nuclear reactor   next door.”

No decision was made nor was one suggested, and the discussion died until the next Board meeting maybe.

A mysterious visitor to the meeting was suspected of being a Federal Agent there to investigate Mountain Messenger editor Don Russell however eventually his real identify turned out to be Andy Gomez from Anthem Blue Cross there to address the Board regarding Medi-Cal issues.

Federal Agent investigating Mt Messenger Editor Don Russell turned out to be Andy Gomez from Anthem Blue Cross

Federal Agent investigating Mt Messenger Editor Don Russell turned out to be Andy Gomez from Anthem Blue Cross

Chair Scott Schlefstein recognized three members of the Sierra County Road Crew, Dennis Marsh, Rob Moore and Zack Filippini and three Solid Waste Gate Attendants Lisa Copren, James Wright and Jason Wardrobe for their hard work.

Dennis Marsh

Dennis Marsh receives Recognition from Supervisor Schlefstein

Supervisor Schlefstein presents recognition to Rob Moore and Zack Filippini.

Supervisor Schlefstein presents recognition to Rob Moore and Zack Filippini.


Lisa Copren receives Recognition from Supervisor Schlefstein

Lisa Copren receives Recognition from Supervisor Schlefstein

Jason Wardrobe receives Recognition from Supervisor Schlefstein

Jason Wardrobe receives Recognition from Supervisor Schlefstein




Board of Supervisors 1/9/13

Board of Supervisors Meeting of January 8, 2013.

This was the first meeting of 2013 and new Supervisors were sworn in and the passing of the gavel from Chairman of the Board in 2012 Peter Huebner to Supervisor  Scott Schlefstein.

District 1 Supervisor Lee Adams was re-elected unopposed to his second term, District 3 Supervisor Paul Roen was elected to replace outgoing Supervisor Bill Nunes who served four terms and District 4 Supervisor Jim Beard replacing one term Dave Goicoechea.

Supervisor District 1 Lee Adams, Supervisor District 4 Jim Beard and Supervisor District 3 Paul Roen


The newly seated 2013 Sierra County Board of Supervisors.
County Clerk Heather Foster, County Counsel Jim Curtis, Supervisor D1 Lee Adams, Supervisor D2 Peter Huebner, Chair Supervisor D5 Scott Schlefstein, Supervisor D3 Paul Roen, Supervisor D4 Jim Beard and County Treasurer/Auditor Van Maddox

Planning/PW Director Tim Beals with Miriam Dines who had just received praise from the Board of Supervisors for her 22 years of dedicated service to the County of Sierra.

After Chairman Schlefstein called the meeting to order, Supervisor Paul Roen was voted in as Vice Chair and so will be on the fast track for learning the job of Chair during his first year as a Supervisor.

Roen then requested two items be pulled off of the consent agenda both belonging to Dept of Health and Human Services Director Janice Maddox. The issues were approval of Sierra County’s updated Strategic Plan for Alcohol and Other Drug prevention and authorization to fill the vacant Health and Human Services Assistant Director position. Maddox explained the issues and assured Supervisor Roen the position would be an internal promotion type hire and both items were approved unanimously.

Next on the Agenda was the staff report and analysis of the proposed initiative filed by the Plumas/Sierra County Citizens Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR). This was a long involved discussion, led by Planning Director Tim Beals and Planner Brandon Pangman, who was attempting to revive his father’s (former County Counsel and now retired Superior Court Judge Bill Pangman) reputation for wordiness as Supervisor Adams noted, although the younger Pangman did an excellent job of being succinct and clear in his presentation.

Pangman demonstrated how the General Plan(GP) as it stands gives property owners the right to build a Single Family Residence (SFR) on their property and the Zoning Code is there to help build in flexibility and be able to look at each individual situation and to allow discretionary review. The most important issue is the discretionary or non-discretionary component. There are currently 29 base Zones in the GP with only 3 overlays. The current Zoning Code(ZC) is based on a 1973 ZC borrowed from Glenn County. After the 1996 General Plan update funding was an issue and any real work on a ZC was waylaid.

Pangman said the analysis shows that the Initiative does not succeed in its intent and it doesn’t deal with the details. Further Sierra County has always allowed SFR on property as a right but the problem is location, which is critical and the initiative isn’t going to deal with that and it completely ignores restrictions and doesn’t allow for discretionary review. According to Pangman, the County and CAPR have the same end goal but to accomplish it will take a lot more detailed amendments to the GP, we have to deal with this and there will still be conditional use permits.

When it was the Board’s turn Adams asked what result would be if Initiative was approved in its present form. The initiative would not change zone variance requirements, if property is R1 is “by right” buildable SFR, however there are setback requirements and special treatment and stream setback areas that need to be addressed.

County Counsel Jim Curtis spoke about the state mandate to the County requiring a General Plan, that ship has sailed and the GP elements and parts need to be integrated. Curtis also allowed that the initiative process is a cherished and allows the people to take matters into their own hands, but he does not want to create more legal battles and it is likely to have unintended consequences, even though the initiative writers may say, ” didn’t mean or what I meant was” a judge won’t be discretionary, they care about the written language.

Milt Holdstom talked to the Board about his TPZ land where there is a moratorium on building and said there has to be a solution for this type of quandary. Robert Eshelman also spoke and said that what Curtis said “is true and Brandon is fair”, he would encourage everyone to look at the Initiative as the county is unique and the reason we build by the river is because it’s the only flat spots.

The written analysis by County staff will be presented to the Board for the next meeting on January 22 in Loyalton and the focus will be on questions and issues the Board might have. Schlefstein requested the written analysis be in the Board packet and availble to Board members prior to the meeting.

County Planner Brandon Pangman presents synopsis of analysis of the CAPR Initative with a full written report to follow at the January 22 meeting in Loyalton

Milt Holdstrom of CAPR speaks to Board of Supervisors

Robert Eshelman arose to speak on the CAPR initiative and did not manage to remain within the three minute limit given to him

County Counsel Jim Curtis gives his take on what the CAPR initiative will do to the county General Plan and Zoning Codes

The Board of Supervisors adjourned and a meeting of the County Service Area Board of Directors was called to order to hear a Resolution approving expenditure from the Sierra Brooks Water System budget in an amount not to exceed $5,000.00 for a property appraisal of lands that will be needed by the County to proceed with the water system improvement project and authorization to the Director of Transportation to seek quotes from qualified appraisers and to return to the Board with a professional services agreement for the appraisal. Director Adams said he was good with the appraisal but not interested in an unfriendly condemnation as this concerns property owned by the Department of Fish &Game involving property swaps. A friendly condemnation as is currently being proposed with the City of Santa Clara would be fine.

The Board of Supervisors then reconvened  and agreed to send a letter to the state requesting an extension of time to meet landfill gas emission requirements  as that is what the whole property swap with is about to solve that problem.

The County directed Tim Beals to meet with CalTrans regarding the Perry Creek Bridge on State Route 49 in Sierraville.

County Auditor/Treasurer-Tax Collector Van Maddox was authorized by Resolution to open or close bank accounts for the county and all entities under the Board of Supervisors. Something Maddox has always done, but now it is formalized. Adams mentioned the Resolution must have been written by staff as there were no spelling errors.(laughter ensued)  Anyone receiving any written communication from the Van Maddox would understand the implication of that comment.

Louise Huebner and LeTina Vanetti were appointed to the Child Care Council Planning Commission. Supervisor Huebner abstained from the vote being married to Louise.


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