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Supervisors address various county issues during April 11 meeting

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

The Plumas County Board of Supervisors considered several items during its April 11 meeting including cleaning contracts, keeping county buildings open during power outages, and ongoing issues with the auditor and tax collector’s offices.

Honoring dispatchers

Sheriff Todd Johns announced that it was National Dispatchers Week and he invited the supervisors to visit the local dispatchers. “If you would like to stop by the dispatch center and thank them personally,” he suggested. Then he noted that a dispatcher who had been trained in Plumas County was working dispatch in Louisville, Kentucky during the bank shooting this week.


Payment to tourism association

The agenda item called for the supervisors to loan the Feather River Tourism Association $15,000 so that it could pay its bills, since a $30,000-plus payment it was owed from the county had been delayed. County Administrative Officer Debra Lucero said that “there is some dispute as to whether the money is from the fourth quarter or the first quarter, but while we sort that out, we want to give them this.”

But after comments from Tax Collector Julie White, Auditor Martee Graham and County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr, it was decided that the loan wouldn’t be necessary and a check for the amount owed to the tourism association (30,948.40 ) could be cut by Friday, April 14.

“I can’t believe we are spending all of our time on this,” Tax Collector White said at one point. “I can go down there and change it right now.”


Cleaning contracts

An amendment to a cleaning contract with Bob’s Janitorial regarding service for the former probation building in East Quincy (now referred to as the Blue Annex), led into a discussion about cleaning needs for county buildings in general, including the jail and the sheriff’s office. The additional amount of $19,800 annually to clean the blue annex would bring the total annual contract to not to exceed $202,210 annually.

Board Chairman Dwight Ceresola asked who checks on whether the job is being done correctly. Facilities Manager JD Moore said that he and his maintenance supervisor review the work as well as any complaints from staff should they arise.

Supervisor Jeff Engel said, “You don’t do the sheriff’s office.”

Sheriff Todd Johns responded that janitorial service for the sheriff’s office was canceled as a cost savings measure, but  “we don’t have inmate workers anymore.”

“We need to bring it up,” Engel said, and suggested that the sheriff’s employees need to be on the street and not cleaning toilets. “Do they also plow their own snow?” he asked.

JD Moore said that his staff has begun clearing the front parking lot.

CAO Debra Lucero suggested that the county should review all of its cleaning needs and how they are being met. “We might want to put more effort into it,” she said.

Sheriff Johns said that he contacted Bob’s Janitorial to request a bid, and it was his intent to include it in his budget.

It was decided that the supervisors would approve the contract amendment for the Blue Annex, add another for the sheriff’s office, and then look at the overall contract moving forward.

Organic waste disposal

Sean Graham, the county’s solid waste manager, presented an ordinance to the board, that applies to grocery stores in the county and keeps the county in compliance with state Senate Bill 1383 regarding organic waste disposal, designed to reduce food waste in landfills. “It largely formalizes what is already being done,” she said.  The grocery stores impacted would include Safeway, Sav Mor, Evergreen, Holiday and Grocery outlet. With regards to these businesses, they need to recover as much edible food as possible and give it to food recovery organizations, such as the local food banks. “These relationships already exist,” she said. “All this would do is require the relationships to be formalized. This ordinance also creates an educational period.”

Tier 2, which includes schools and hospitals and the fairgrounds, is scheduled to meet the new requirements in 2024.

The board held a public hearing, but there were no commenters. The supervisors voted to waive the first reading of the ordinance, paving the way for its passage.

CAO report

CAO Lucero discussed efforts to expand broadband in the county, as well as the need to coordinate those efforts. She said she is also reviewing the generator needs for county buildings. “We just need to look at how we can keep our buildings’ power on so we don’t send employees home,” she said.

A brief discussion ensued during which it was learned that the county has various generators that are not in use. An inventory will be taken and their distribution discussed before any are ordered.

Lucero announced that the county would be conducting a job fair May 20 at the fairgrounds, and she expected county departments with job openings to be present. There would be an opportunity for job seekers to apply for positions during the job fair.

Supervisor Jeff Engel said he was “concerned about applications being held up in HR (human resources)” and said he would like the applications to go directly to the department head. It was explained that HR does a preliminary review to ensure that the applicant meets the job requirements.

Lucero said that depending on the number of applications received, that if the job fair is held on a Saturday, a pool of applicants could be given to department heads by the following Friday.

“That’s too long,” Engel said.

Lucero reiterated that it takes time to go through the process to provide everyone an equal opportunity for a position.

Supervisor Tom McGowan asked if the applications for essential services could be prioritized.

Sheriff Johns said that the HR director should be present for a discussion of what could be done to speed the process, particularly the testing that is required. “I’m losing applicants; other departments are losing applicants; it’s a slow process,” he said.

County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr said there could be a discussion about the process, but in the meantime, it was agreed that applications for the sheriff’s office would be prioritized.


Accounting assistance

CAO Lucero asked for the board to approve a contract with a financial firm to help the auditor, treasurer-tax collector and human resources departments during the payroll conversion project. The contract would not exceed $128,000.

“This is part of getting the auditor’s office up to speed,” Lucero said. “We will also reach out to the treasurer’s office because these two entities have to work together.” Lucero said that the firm must provide someone with local government experience to help the county. “We will give them very specific jobs to do.” She reiterated that the county must transfer to the new financial system and is facing a deadline. “We don’t want to be late for another audit,” she said. The board approved the request, which will use one-time funding that is not coming from the county’s general fund.


The supervisors appointed Cynthia Lusk to serve on the fair board representing District 5, Jeff Engel’s supervisorial district.

They also appointed Curtis Marshal, Donald Powell and Mary Kliejunas to serve on the Portola Cemetery District Board.

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