Board appoints interim VSO

Joshua Sebold
Staff Writer

Tuesday, Dec. 7, the Plumas County Board of Supervisors appointed Dale Snook to fill the veteran’s service officer (VSO) position for the next 60 days.

The board’s unanimous vote also included the creation of a committee to select someone to fill the permanent position.

“I’ve worked in the veterans office for over 10 years,” Snook told the board.

“I went out with ill health in June, but my health is better now, so when I was asked to return temporarily, I was glad to keep the veterans in line and keep work going.”

Indian Valley Supervisor Robert Meacher asked Snook what he thought about the idea of forming a selection committee.

“I hate to comment on it because I am going to apply for the permanent position,” he responded.

“I retract my question from you and direct it to the chair,” Meacher said as the crowd chuckled.

Chairwoman Sherrie Thrall indicated the board should appoint one veteran from each supervisor’s district.

County Administrative Officer (CAO) Jack Ingstad reported health department director Mimi Hall offered to coordinate the committee meetings.

Ingstad added the office has already received several applications for the position.

Veterans interested in serving on the selection committee may call the CAO’s office at 283-6315.

Ingstad said some of the applications were from people who weren’t certified to be a VSO.

Thrall explained, “The thing we discovered with this is that to have access to the veterans’ records and a lot of the privacy information and control that goes on there’s a certification process.”

“That normally takes awhile, but it’s a test, it’s how soon they can grasp the material,” Snook added.

Outgoing VSO Sheryl Austin decided not to apply for the new position after it was downgraded from a department head and moved under the umbrella of public health.

Austin also complained of a lack of communication from Ingstad at various times throughout the process.

Thrall told the public the board “made the decision to move the Veterans Service Office under public health to provide a little bit better coverage since we were down to one person in the office.”

“If that person were ill or on vacation or just out of the office doing business, we didn’t really have anybody to man the phones or meet somebody that came in the door.

“What we’re hoping ultimately when we permanently fill the position is that we’ll have more time for outreach into the community.”

Quincy Supervisor Lori Simpson told Hall she heard the health department would also be handling fiscal work for the VSO.

Hall replied that the board would have to decide who would have that responsibility in the long run, but in the short run her department would pick up the slack, as that wasn’t Snook’s area of expertise.

American Legion District Commander Marge Goosey, who oversees posts in several counties, including Plumas, commented, “We’ve really been quite unhappy with what’s happened in the last four or five months.”

Goosey added she would be applying for the position, although she wasn’t certified.

“So, we can’t put you on the selection committee,” Meacher quipped. “Is there a veteran who hasn’t applied?”

After the audience stopped laughing the board voted to appoint Snook and form the committee.

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