Supervisor Michael Sanchez stood to give his farewell remarks to fellow members of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, department heads and others July 16. Although Sanchez would continue his responsibilities as supervisor until the end of the month, this was his final board meeting. He said he would miss it. Photo by Victoria Metcalf

Supervisor Sanchez bids farewell at last board meeting

District 1 Supervisor Michael Sanchez received two rounds of farewell Tuesday, July 16, his final meetings for Plumas County.

That morning Sanchez was sitting as a commissioner for the Plumas County branch of the California Development Commission. “This is my last meeting as you probably know,” he told members on the commission and CDC Executive Director Roger Diefendorf.

“You guys do the right things,” Sanchez said about the commission and the work staff at CDC does.

Less than a half-hour later Sanchez was saying his goodbyes to fellow members of the board of supervisors and a crowded audience.

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“Today is Supervisor Sanchez’s last meeting,” said Supervisor Lori Simpson during public comment period. “It’s been a pleasure working with you. Thank you for serving our county. Thank you for serving our country,” she told the Navy veteran.

“You’re a Portola guy, I’m a Quincy gal,” Simpson said. “Go big red!” she added starting a good-natured feud about whose team was better in the 1970s.

When Sanchez was a senior, the football rivalry with Quincy was 3-0 Portola, Sanchez shot back. Sanchez is a Portola High School graduate. Following that he served in the Navy until 1977.

“You’ve been the epitome of what a good supervisor should be,” said Supervisor Sherrie Thrall. “You’re going to truly, truly be missed.”

“I hung him up in the coat closet a few times,” said Supervisor Jeff Engel, another PHS graduate. “This is a thankless job as you all well know.”

County Counsel Craig Settlemire said that it had been a pleasure working with Sanchez. He said he thought Sanchez brought a balanced approach to the board. And he appreciated his dedication to veterans.

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Settlemire went on to point out that Sanchez’s background in the health field had assisted the local hospitals as well as public health and behavioral health.

Sanchez, too, agreed that he had enjoyed using his extensive background in those areas. He said that he thought hospitals are now doing well and he was seeing a big turn around in the behavioral health department.

County Administrator Gabriel Hydrick said that his time in working with Sanchez had been all too short. Hydrick said that Sanchez was another individual that he would like to have more time to be around. “Your support for me has been very much appreciated,” Hydrick concluded.

Plumas County Clerk Kathy Williams profoundly thanked Sanchez for remembering the people who actually run the county. “Thank you for your service.”

Plumas County Department of Social Services Director Neal Caiazzo thanked Sanchez for his support. He called Sanchez approachable and easy to talk with.

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Plumas County Public Health Agency Director Andrew Woodruff said, thank you for your dedication and unwavering support for seniors, veterans and others.

Jerry Sipe, director of Plumas County Environmental Health acknowledged Sanchez’s work in Sierra Valley.

And the voices of appreciation went on.

“I’m going to stand,” Sanchez said as he gave his farewell message. He said those in the audience deserved the honor.

Sanchez said that he had the privilege of serving on the Plumas County Grand Jury before he decided to run for supervisor and it opened his eyes about what was happening in the county.

Sanchez first thanked Joe Blackwell of the Public Works Department for directing crews to keep the road to Lake Davis open last winter. Sanchez was joking, but he did say it helped him get to supervisors’ meetings and meet his other responsibilities associated with the job.

Sanchez then thanked Plumas County Human Resources Director Nancy Selvage. “You’ve really brought us along.”

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He thanked Plumas County Sheriff Greg Hagwood for keeping everyone safe. He also kidded and asked if he could have his “get out of jail free” card renewed.

“Roberta, I can think of nobody else to hold the purse strings of the county better than you,” Sanchez said to Plumas County Auditor Roberta Allen.

Singling out Woodruff, Sanchez said that he did the work for public health, “I was just the sounding board.”

Sanchez told Settlemire that “he was head and shoulders” above everybody.

He called Engel “steadfast.”

Sanchez told Thrall that she brings a wealth of experience to the board and to the county. “You listen that’s what I like about you.”

He told Simpson that she tends to talk loudly when she’s upset, but that she does voice her opinions. “I respect that you do.”

Referring to the rivalry that Simpson started, Sanchez referred to his recent times as a substitute teacher in Portola and Loyalton. He said that students are students and it didn’t matter who their mascot was. “If I can influence even one student I’ve done my job.”

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Finally, referring to Hydrick, “I know we hired the right guy … trust him.”

Sanchez ended his comments with a farewell salute to the audience and the board.

Sanchez announced earlier in July that he and his wife had sold their home and they were moving to Reno. He said he was leaving for health reasons.

His seat will be filled by an appointment by the governor. Deputy County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr said at another meeting, that that appointment could take up to a year.