As happens more often than you would think, Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting began with a heartwarming presentation. The Board adopted a resolution commending Sheriff’s Office Deputy K-9 Maximus, who is retiring after 11 years of service with his handler, Sergeant Pat Kropholler.
Max is an immigrant, born in Czechoslovakia. He has assisted in the arrest of over 865 individuals and performed over 997 in-field searches resulting in the seizure of controlled substances and U.S. currency. He was stabbed six times in the head during one notable arrest of an individual wanted for assault and attempted murder. After recovery, Max was awarded a purple heart for his service in the line of duty.
Sheriff Tom Bosenko could not resist some doggone puns, but acknowledged that Max rarely barked up the wrong tree. Who let the dogs out, indeed?
The Board returned to the issue of the US Forest Service Travel Management Rule, in the form of a presentation by Recreation Outdoors Coalition Chair Sylvia Milligan, requested by Supervisor Les Baugh.
The Coalition has formed a Coordinating Committee, a volunteer group specifically to provide analysis and input to local government agencies who can participate in the federal coordination process. The presentation clarified that Subpart B of the Travel Management Rule has been completed in the Shasta Trinity Forest: that is the identification of unauthorized roads and trails in the forest that needed to be added to the authorized list of such roads and trails.
The Forest is now beginning the process of Subpart A: the identification of the minimum road system needed for resource protection and management and forest utilization. Subpart B has the potential to de-commission up to 20% of the roads in the forest.
The Coalition has done a field review of a couple of areas under consideration. They found that the Forest Service maps are inadequate, especially the Motor Vehicle Use Map that is the basis for community comment. The map legend is unclear about which roads are under consideration for decommissioning.
They believe that the public cannot provide informed comment by September 30, as requested, without better maps and better information about the status of roads and trails. The group also wants the Forest Service to suspend citations for driving on ‘closed’ roads until better and clearer maps are available. Finally, some members of the group believe that decommissioning will in many cases be more costly than leaving the roads alone, without maintenance or with minimal hazard abatement.
The Board asked staff to explore whether the Board could establish an official recognition of the Coordinating Committee to provide information and policy recommendations to the Board, on traffic management as well as water use, fire management and other issues. The Board also asked the Forest Service, whose representatives were present to hear the input on Traffic Management, to routinely notify the county about long- and short-term road plans.
Those interested in more information on the Travel Management Rule planning process can attend a Travel Analysis Information Meeting on August 7, 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Redding Memorial Veterans Hall on Yuba Street.
Supervisor Leonard Moty commented on two non-controversial items on the Consent Calendar. Both were actions to approve right of way contracts with private landowners in connection with road widening projects. Supervisor Moty noted that citizens often believe that public activities like this are always contentious and most often involve the use of eminent domain condemnation of private property rights. Supervisor Moty notes that most of the time such projects are negotiated satisfactorily, private property owners are compensated for their property, and projects proceed amicably.
The Board approved a letter to the US Bureau of Reclamation submitting comments on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) related to the proposal to raise Shasta Dam and expand the reservoir.
The letter does not take a position on the proposal. The letter is intended to assure that the EIS fully assesses aspects of the project that communities in the county care about. The letter asks that the EIS further expand its findings on the process for managing the effect on private property holdings; explore the impact on recreational use of the lake; specify the effect on local municipal water supply intakes; and provide procedures for relocating local roads and bridges.
The Board approved a comprehensive Memorandum of Understanding with United Public Employees of California (UPEC) for the period May 1, 2012 through April 30, 2015. The MOU specifies wages, benefits and other terms and conditions of employment for 900 plus employees in the General Unit of county personnel. The MOU is the result of more than a year of bargaining that included formal mediation.
The result is an agreement that employees pay a share of their health care benefit, and that employees receive a salary increase of 3% for the pay period beginning in September 2014. This pay increase will be the first since 2009.
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. nbsp;