The Board of Supervisors considered at some length hearing procedures and an appointment process for vacancies on the Board of Building Appeals. The BBA, as it is known, is an independent body, appointed by the Board of Supervisors. The BBA meets as needed to hear appeals from applicants to the County Building Division for building permits about issues that are contested by the applicants. The Board heard a report on the process being used to fill vacancies. The Board also voted 4-1 (Supervisor Bill Schappell voting no) to adopt an amended set of BBA hearing procedures.
The BBA consists of 5 members, filling spots specified as representative of building design, trade union, contractor, financial and citizen-at-large. The BBA has vacancies for the last two positions. The Clerk of the Board of Supervisors has received 19 applications. Because of apparent interest and controversy surrounding the BBA, the county requested an independent review of applications by a committee that includes the assistance of building professionals from the City of Redding and the City of Anderson. The review has been completed, and it is anticipated that the Supervisors will consider filling the vacancies at the October 8 meeting.
The amended hearing procedures were described as a template for the BBA to use, and were developed in response to a lack of clarity by the BBA as to their requirements. Under current county ordinance, the BBA may modify the procedures. If the Board of Supervisors then wish to change the BBA procedures, it would need to change the ordinance. The changes made were very modest: they clarify that a quorum is three members, and that the BBA may take action only upon an affirmative vote by three members. The changes also specify how decisions shall be transmitted to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors.
It remains surprising that this action should be controversial. The BBA had not met in 20 years until this year, when it was convened in response to an appeal by Reverge Anselmo and the 7 Hills Cattle Company of a Building Division action related to the chapel built by Mr. Anselmo. Anselmo’s lawyers were present to object to the Board taking any action with respect to hearing procedures, and to suggest that actions be taken when an affirmative vote of a quorum is taken (which could be two members if only three were present). If there are other, broader issues or interest groups beyond the long-running fight with Anselmo, they were not brought forward.
The Board of Supervisors also conducted a public hearing on an ordinance proposed for amendment by the County Agricultural Commissioner dealing with bees. Beekeeping, and especially the production of queen bees, has been a major element of the county’s agricultural industry. Indeed, the majority of the nation’s queen bees now come from Shasta County. The county’s bee strains are productive and gentle, and the area has been largely free of the pests and diseases that have decimated other bee areas.
Each spring, beekeepers from all over the country bring bees through California to pollinate almonds, fruit crops and seed crops, often moving the bees multiple times. This mobility is important, but constitutes a threat to the county’s queen bee industry. The proposed ordinance is the product of more than a year of discussions, including registered county beekeepers and beekeepers from surrounding areas. The changes eliminate outdated quarantine requirements, permit bee apiaries to be maintained closer to residences, and establish buffer zones for “nucleus yards” where the production of queens takes place. Generally, audience members spoke in support of the proposed amendments, and the open process by which they were developed. One beekeeper spoke in opposition to the ordinance, which would have the effect of limiting some private property flexibility. The Board adopted the proposed ordinance.
The Board of Supervisors received a report concerning tax-sharing discussions since May of 2012 between the County, the City of Anderson, the City of Redding and the City of Shasta Lake. The staff report that no progress has been made, and recommends that talks be suspended. In large part, staff belief that because sales tax revenue and property tax revenue are below pre-recession levels, joint projects are not likely. Supervisor Les Baugh stated his believe that an additional problems was the City of Redding’s representative, Vice Mayor Patrick Jones, who offered only one idea, that other jurisdictions put money into the City’s Oasis Road development, in return for future sales tax revenues. The Board of Supervisors agreed that tax sharing discussions be suspended.
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.