Still time to serve

Key commission has opening for member of the public

LAFCo, or the Local Agency Formation Commission, is one of those organizations that flies under the radar — that is until its members do something such as attempting to consolidate health care districts or fire districts — and then all of those impacted suddenly find themselves Googling LAFCo to determine just exactly what it is and what it does.

It’s a unique setup to be sure. It’s a state commission run by local representatives. Plumas County LAFCo boasts a five-person board, with two representatives from the county, two from the city of Portola and one representing the public. There are also three alternates, one from each of the aforementioned entities.

Currently both the public member and the public alternate need to be filled effective May 5. The former alternate, Jeff Greening, is filling the unfulfilled term of the public member, which expires in May. Greening plans to submit an application. “I do and I hope many more applicants from the private sector/public do so as well,” he said when asked about his plans. “For a commission that is to represent the public interest, the tax and fee paying citizen, it is an ‘independent’ public member that is crucial to the process.”

We couldn’t agree more. LAFCo is charged with overseeing special districts and assists in their consolidations. The organization has considerable power, and while typically waits to help when approached by a district — such as may be the case if Quincy and East Quincy services districts move ahead with consolidation plans — LAFCo can also initiate the process.

There are more than 50 special districts in Plumas County, and there is certainly an argument to be made for finding common ground and consolidating when it’s advisable. But there’s also a time when it’s not. This is an opportunity for a member of the public to help define the future look of Plumas County.

Interested individuals are asked to write a letter describing their background and reasons for wanting to become the public member no later than Friday, March 31.

The letter of interest should be sent to LAFCo of Plumas County, P.O. Box 2694, Granite Bay, CA 95746 or emailed to [email protected]. Questions may be sent to the same email address or call John Benoit at 283-7069.

According to the state LAFCo website, “LAFCos are responsible for coordinating logical and timely changes in local governmental boundaries, conducting special studies that review ways to reorganize, simplify, and streamline governmental structure, and preparing a sphere of influence for each city and special district within each county.

“The Commission’s efforts are directed toward seeing that services are provided efficiently and economically while agricultural and open-space lands are protected.”

It can’t be repeated enough — this is your opportunity to shape the future of Plumas County. Don’t let it pass you by.