Members of Boy Scout Troop 151 took a front row seat and learned about local government during the July 17 Board of Supervisors meeting.
Most of the individuals and department heads who addressed the board shared some words of explanation with the Scouts, and even the Rev. George Tarleton offered up a prayer for the boys during the public comment portion of the meeting, and asked for patience for their leader.
The Scouts seemed surprised when Sheriff Greg Hagwood told them that he was once a member of the same troop.
Supervisor Lori Simpson talked to the Scouts about the responsibilities of citizenry and the other supervisors introduced themselves and described the areas that they represented.
Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, who represents Lake Almanor, told the Scouts that Plumas County is shaped like a camel and that her area represented the “head of the camel,” which left Supervisor Jon Kennedy wondering aloud about which part of the camel Board Chairman Terry Swofford represented.
Jobs well done
Public Health Director Mimi Hall recognized three employees for their work: Margaret Rees, Dotti Bok and Michael McLeod.
Rees, who is retiring, had worked at the health department since 2008 and even though she had been employed a relatively short time, Hall referred to her as “part of our family.”
Bok, who is also retiring, began as a volunteer 20 years ago and became an employee in 1994. Hall lauded her work with HIV patients and her dedication to health issues, which spilled over into her vacation and free time.
McLeod worked as the county’s veterans services officer, and Hall said that he came to Plumas at a time when there had been massive funding cuts, taking the office from three people to just one.
“We were really lucky to get Mike,” she said. “He consistently increased and maintained services.”
Hall said he recently collected $150,000 in back benefits for veterans and that he held a 90 percent success rate on claims.
McLeod resigned to accept a position with the Veterans Administration.
Paying his share
The board accepted Sheriff Greg Hagwood’s offer to pay a portion of his retirement cost, as other county employees and elected officials are doing. Hagwood belongs to a separate bargaining unit and was not included when other county leaders agreed to pay a portion.
“I want to personally thank you,” Supervisor Sherrie Thrall told Hagwood. “It sets a really good example.”
More mental health help
Mental Health Director Kimball Pier received approval to hire a behavioral health therapist and a mental health therapist at Step D, rather than the entry level Step A.
She said that both individuals have worked for other counties so they come with experience and wouldn’t accept the positions at a lower pay grade.
Supervisor Kennedy asked her if there were employees in her department who were working at a lower step.
“If you’re talking about fairness, my employees are chomping at the bit to get help,” Pier said. One of the positions has been vacant since December.
Pier also received permission to begin process to replace a clinician who will be leaving the department Aug. 23.
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