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Letter to the Editor: Plumas County Board’s failures

This is what I said to the Plumas County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday. Now we can add to this list violating the Brown Act by failing to agendize the decision and funding allocation to investigate the sheriff’s office, in a blatant move to blame others for their failure to properly compensate county employees.

People might be wondering why so many people are unhappy with the board. The board’s main job is to keep the county running smoothly and this is simply not happening.

The following are a few ways this board has led Plumas County astray:

— Most members of the board were ready to allow an industrial mine that would have destroyed the quality of life of the Portola area and with it the tourist economy, before the owner pulled out.

— This board has supported extreme logging that threatens tourism and puts our communities at higher risk of wildfire, and also failed to plan for (and prevent) climate risks

— For many months, the board failed to provide remote meeting access to residents during a pandemic, and only relented when they were publicly shamed.

—  They allowed the telecom industry itself to write and edit the ordinance meant to regulate the telecom industry, while ignoring overwhelming public demand for safety regulations.

— They constantly look at their phones during public comment, showing their contempt for the public

— They insisted on continuing the wildlife services killing contract even after they knew it was illegal, costing taxpayers more than $100,000 that could have been spent on salary increases for county workers

— They plan on spending thousands more to open up high mountain roads when this money could pay for public services and raises. If businesses want these roads open they can pay for it themselves. Plenty of lower elevation recreation areas are already open. The sun will melt the snow for free.

— For months, they refused to even acknowledge a growing public safety crisis and increasing discontent among employees. When they finally responded, they refused to take responsibility but instead pointed the finger at others.

— There is a pattern of Plumas County local governments (including Portola) ignoring and trying to silence the public because they are uncomfortable with criticism. This is not their private club, this is public service, this is the people’s house and if they’re not comfortable with it, maybe this isn’t the job for them.

— They’re planning a new courthouse that would consume limited open space in Quincy when the county can’t even afford to properly pay its employees.

— I am sick of the privileged ruling class of this county looking down their noses at the hard-working people who make this county function. There is more than enough money to pay for county employee wages that provide people with security and a decent life, and provide all of us with the security of having a functional emergency services system. There is a saying, ‘Only after the child drowns do they plug the well,’”— how long before we face a real emergency and are under-staffed and people die? It’s time to plug the well.

— The board needs to stop pointing the finger at others and take responsibility for the messes they have created. Is Plumas County heading the direction of the extreme right wing that has taken over Shasta County, wasting millions of taxpayer dollars on hand count voting based on twitter misinformation, putting their own residents at risk, and grinding county services to a halt? I truly hope not.

Enough is enough. The public needs to rise up and change things ourselves if this board is incapable or unwilling.

Josh Hart


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