LAFCo completes merger and conducts interviews

Plumas County’s Local Agency Formation Commission welcomed comments on the merger of the two services districts in Quincy, and heard interviews from two prospective executive officers at the regular meeting Oct. 16.

Merger of service districts

Water comes by a new name for Quincy residents after the finalization of the consolidation between the Quincy Services District and the East Quincy Services District. Now, all Quincy residences will be under the American Valley Services District after the arduous process of merging the two districts together.

After a public hearing held the morning of Oct. 16, Executive Officer John Benoit said the merger has been finalized after a process that took years. He said the merger is just waiting on some mapping and it will be complete.

“That’s been a 15-year project …,” said Benoit. “It is really hard to do consolidations for numerous reasons, but this one kind of came together quickly.”

The subject of consolidation has been discussed since 1995. According to the consolidation analysis completed in 2009, the two districts voted to work on the dissolution and consolidation of the districts in to one that serves all of Quincy.

The reason behind the merger has to do with infrastructure and responsibility sharing. The two districts share some joint responsibilities and jurisdictions that have made new hookups for new development a complex process. There are also infrastructure needs that affect both districts, including necessary updates to the wastewater collection system.

The new AVSD board will meet to finalize all the agreements and policies and then commence with business as usual for residents of Quincy.

Interview of executive officer candidates

The commission brought in two potential candidates for the position of executive officer at LAFCo. Benoit has been the director.

The two candidates who would potentially take his place were Jennifer Stephenson from Policy Consulting Associates, and Elliot Mulberg from E. Mulberg Associates.

Stephenson has been the Plumas County LAFCo consultant for about seven years. She was also voted in as the Deputy Executive Officer of Plumas LAFCo at the Oct. 16 meeting. She said she has an extensive knowledge of the county and the issues that it faces, including the rural and declining population and the distinct political atmosphere.

Mulberg said he has been involved with LAFCo for more than 20 years, including four years as an executive officer. He has consolidated districts and worked with special district associations. He said he strives to work with people to accomplish tasks and he would do so in Plumas County.

LAFCo appointed an ad hoc committee to review the two applicants and conduct background checks.