The Supervisors meeting on November 5 was the first after three weeks away for me, and the Board was kind enough to provide a brief meeting for my re-entry. The Board passed a resolution designating November 5-11 Veterans Awareness Week.
While this is hardly news, it did provide an opportunity to acknowledge that Shasta County has a wider selection of veterans programs and memorials than many places. The county’s Veterans Service Office will serve more than 9300 clients this year, and its casework with these clients will bring in more than $9.5 million in benefits to individual veterans this year.
The new State Veterans Home near the airport opened in October and the first residents have moved in. The selection of November 11 as Veterans Day acknowledges the fact that historically, the fighting between the Allies and Germany in World War I ended on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 (although the official end of the War occurred later).
The Board approved a tax exchange agreement with the City of Anderson. The agreement provides that Anderson annex 385 acres of unincorporated land near the area of Interstate 5, Highway 273 and the railroad.
The county will retain 100% of current revenue from property tax and revenue from existing sales tax accounts within the annexation area. The county and city will share equally future growth in property tax within the annexed area.
Future sales tax growth from new accounts will be shared 80% by the city and 20% by the county. The county’s share will be dedicated to law enforcement functions. The sharing agreement acknowledges that the annexation area is likely poised for development.
Supervisors were pleased at this agreement, and noted that the focus on the public good by all parties resulted in an agreement that met all parties’ needs. It was suggested that this project might be a model for other levels of government!
The Board adopted a method for measuring how the county will meet its obligations as a large employer under the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. The Act requires that large employers offer substantially all of its full-time employees and their dependents the opportunity to enroll in minimum essential health care coverage. The method adopted will assure that the county appropriately identifies employees that are full time.
Did you find that the federal government shutdown identified some hidden corners of government that you didn’t know about until they were closed? The Board of Supervisors meeting identified for me just such an unknown corner of the world: the Long Term Irrigated Lands Regulatory Program of the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board.
This Regulatory Program requires farmers and ranchers managing irrigated lands for commercial purposes to participate in monitoring and planning to assure that runoff, such as pesticides, fertilizers, salts, pathogens and sediment, do not affect aquatic life or make water unusable for drinking or agricultural uses. The Board of Supervisors approved a letter to the Central Valley Board expressing concerns that the Regulatory Program does not accurately assess the risk to water in the Shasta County area. Supervisors also believe that the Central Valley Board is not appropriately using the masses of monitoring information already collected. Who knew, except farmers and ranchers?
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.