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Reporter’s Notebook: Board of Supervisors 11/13/12

It was a quiet day at the Board of Supervisors meeting on Tuesday.  Some citizens came forward to complain; others to announce their seasonal charitable celebration (the Charity Trail of Trees at the Mount Shasta Mall).  The Supervisors did some of their own ceremonial activities: recognizing the Employee of the Month; recognizing a retiring employee; and proclaiming the week “Shasta County Community Foundation Week.”  The Board accepted the annual report from the Mental Health, Alcohol and Drug Advisory Board.

It is perhaps instructive to realize how much of the Board’s work is not in fact about “public policy” in the usual definition.  Much of what Supervisors do is run the business of a large and complicated organization.  The Board discussed at some length the pros and cons of a contract with an out-of-state provider that sells any surplus property the county has for disposal.  The contractor has provided higher returns per sale than efforts to sell equipment locally, and in the end was approved.  The county updated its code on waste removal to reflect current practice and renewed a contract with the waste removal contractor for most of the county.  It might comfort constituents to know that the supervisors’ contract review includes whether customers are happy with the service; whether the cost is competitive; whether the contractor complies with county and state codes and regulations; and whether garbage is collected well in rural areas and most weather.

The Board convened as the Joint Powers Financing Authority to consider whether to refinance the bonds issued in 2003 as part of acquiring the land and building the County Administration Building and adjacent parking structure.  Interest rates are currently at levels not seen since the 1950’s.  By taking action on these bonds, annual debt service is expected to be reduced by roughly $300,000 and total debt service through 2033 reduced by $4 million.  The Board approved this action: not a bad days work in any business.

The Board has cancelled meetings for the next two weeks, before and after Thanksgiving.

Catherine Camp is currently retired. She served as a Consultant to the California Senate Budget Committee in 2001-02, reviewing Social Services, Employment Development, Aging, Community Services, Alcohol and Drug Programs, Rehabilitation and Child Support budgets. From 1989-2000, Catherine was Executive Director for the California Mental Health Directors Association. During that period, Catherine staffed the county mental health system’s restructuring of public mental health through Realignment of community and long term care programs from the state to the county, transfer of the management of specialty mental health Medi-Cal services to those counties that agreed to provide them, development of risk mechanisms for consortia of small counties, and advocacy and policy analysis for the operation of public mental health programs throughout the state. Her prior experience includes Executive Director to the California-Nevada Community Action Association, Principal Consultant to the Assembly Human Services Policy Committee, and Director of Community Action and Head Start programs in Shasta County.