Once again, Plumas County is preparing to select a new civil grand jury. Civil grand juries are charged with investigating the workings of county entities to ensure proper handling of the people’s assets.
The civil grand jury could investigate governing boards, accounting procedures, contracts, inter-agency protocols, daily administration of offices, maintenance of buildings and property and more. In essence, the grand jury is the overseer of the county government for the public.
Civil grand juries are not to be confused with criminal grand juries, although on occasion the grand jury does find evidence of criminal acts, which are then referred to the district attorney’s office for handling.
Citizens may have already received a summons from the court to appear as a potential grand juror. Interviews will take place at the Plumas County courthouse during the first two weeks of May. A minimum of 19 county residents will be needed to seat a jury.
Members of the jury should come with an open mind —holding no secret agenda or grudge. People must be willing to work with others in a civil manner.
Participants will receive training on the laws that must be followed. A two-day training session will be held in July to go over the basics of conducting an investigation.
The ability to maintain composure and keep the jury’s procedures under wrap until the reports are finalized are instrumental in producing solid, fact-based, unbiased results.
As a former member of two civil grand juries here in Plumas County and now a member of the California Grand Jury Association, Plumas Chapter, Cynthia White encourages citizens to seriously consider accepting a position on the 2017-1018 Plumas County civil grand jury.
Participants will learn much about the inner-workings of local government. Participation keeps county government in check — encouraging and praising the great work county employees carry out and calling attention to those issues needing improvement.
The benefits of this civic contribution are far-reaching, both to the county and to individual participants.
To learn more and speak with a former civil grand jury member, contact Mark Murray, president of the local Grand Jury Association at 310-3894 or [email protected]; Debbie Brownrigg at 258-304 or [email protected]; or White at (951) 840-5670 or cynthiar[email protected].
They welcome any questions about the selection process for the grand jury or the general operations of the grand jury itself.
Consider volunteering as a member of the grand jury and keep Plumas County a very special place to live and work.