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Supervisors approve new hires, ordinance for Seneca

By Debra Moore

[email protected]

The June 13 meeting of the Plumas County Board of Supervisors was remarkably succinct compared to the June 6th marathon  that lasted well into the afternoon — the agenda this week contained far fewer items and most were approved without discussion. (One of the items — a presentation by Rose Buzzetta — asking for cooperation from the county for a TNR program (trap, neuter, return) — will be covered in a separate article.)

Supervisor Greg Hagwood, who is vice chairman of the board, led the meeting for Chairman Dwight Ceresola who was not present.

As usual, the meeting began with public comment. One of the speakers, who addressed the board via Zoom but did not identify herself, commented on possible Brown Act violations by the board and supervisors and asked, “When does the DA enforce it?” She added, “I know the DA can fine the perpetrators and arrest them even.” She said they wouldn’t stop until they learned a lesson.

Typically the board does not respond to public comment, because that would mean addressing items not on the agenda. However, Deputy County Counsel Sara James responded, and said that “there have been no Brown Act violations that need to be prosecuted.”

Another commenter said she asked the board multiple times for a response regarding the situation with the Sheriff’s Office (losing employees due to pay) and received no answer. She considered the situation extremely disheartening and shared that she worried about the safety of her family, neighbors, the community and visitors. “I don’t think there is a way to sustain your business model,” she said and referenced a golf tournament that raised funds to purchase SWAT equipment. “I respect our local law enforcement and ask you to do the same.” District 3 Supervisor Tom McGowan said that it was a “misstatement” that she tried to contact anyone.

During the department head announcement period, Public Works Direct John Mannle said that he recently hired six people — three of whom were the result of the county job fair held at the fairgrounds.

Sheriff Todd Johns spoke about a recent training opportunity for the department focused on “how to make it better.” He said it has been “incredibly positive with staff.” Supervisor Greg: Hagwood thanked the Sheriff for taking those steps. “I know we look forward to supporting you and the staff,” he said.

Sheriff Johns also mentioned two recent correctional officer hires — one went to the probation department and one quit after two days on the job. Supervisor McGowan questioned the interview process if a new employee quit so quickly. Sheriff Johns said that issues were identified almost immediately, however, when you are so short staffed, you hope for the best.

Consent Agenda

Following are some of the items approved on the consent agenda (the portion of the agenda that is considered noncontroversial so is voted on as a whole): authorized the hire and recruitment of three positions including a part-time tax assessment specialist and two extra help data base analyst positions for Public Health; and an agreement between the Sheriff’s Office and Veritas Mountain Medical for nursing services not to exceed $415,000.

Departmental matters

Assessor Cindie Froggatt received authorization to recruit a new chief appraiser following a resignation, but in the meantime, retired Assessor Chuck Leonhardt will fill that position.

Two items that had been approved before — a job classification for the Office of Emergency Services Manager and a $92,400 training contract were brought back for approval after changes were made. The latter will provide training for the Auditor-Controller, Treasurer-Tax Collector, CAO and staff for Tyler-Munis financial implementation.

Annually, the Public Works Department provides a list of projects to the state under Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation funding. Public Works Director John Mannle said in years past the county has split the funding between maintenance and equipment. But now that the County is on track to meet its equipment goals, he is focusing on the roads. He said out of the $2.6 million available, half will go to asphalt, paint and other supplies. He said he is purposely not specifically labeling projects because of the “extreme amount of debris removal” crews are currently doing. They can’t fix the roads until the debris is removed. “We don’t know how our maintenance season is going to go,” he said. Also, another heavy winter is predicted and he will need to ensure that there is money for snow removal.

“I think you put it together with the measure of flexibility that will be needed,” said Supervisor Greg Hagwood.

Seneca

The supervisors approved a General Plan Amendment zoning ordinance to facilitate Seneca Healthcare District’s plans for a new hospital. Chief Executive Officer Shawn McKenzie thanked Planning Director Tracey Ferguson and her former Senior Planner Tim Evans for their work on the issue.

Budget

County Administrative Officer Debra Lucero announced that the budget process was proceeding, and she complimented the departments for their work. She said that in future years, the budget process will begin in January.

The next meeting of the Board of Supervisors is set for Tuesday, June 20, at 10 a.m.

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