Board of Supes – 5/7: Emergency Declaration on Drought

The Board on this day received a report from Lori Scott, Treasurer of the County, on Investments for the quarter ending March 31. This dry-seeming report provides an interesting look at the management of revenues by public agencies. The county manages a pooled treasury for county funds, plus those of other entities, including school districts and special districts. Although the County is no longer required by law to report publicly each quarter, or to maintain a Treasury Oversight Committee, Shasta County has chosen to do both. The pooled treasury contains more than $350 million and earns and distributes about $14 million in interest. The Treasurer’s office operates within specific investment policies. Overall goals for the treasury are, in priority order, for (1) security of resources, (2) liquidity as needed for budgeted expenses and (3) yield on the investments. In the most recent Compliance Audit provided to the Treasury Oversight Committee, the audit found that the Treasury pool was diversified, investments appeared to be prudent and of the type common to investment pools of other counties. The County was in compliance, in all material respects, with the oversight requirements. The presentation to the Board (which accepted the report) was supplemented for this report by background information from Kim Pickering, Deputy Treasurer-Tax Collector. When asked how the County was doing with its resources, she answered, “better than most counties.” Copies of the quarterly report, and the county’s investment policies, are available on the Treasurer’s web site: www.co.shasta.ca.us, then go to the Treasurer department.

The Board adopted a resolution declaring a Countywide drought emergency, prepared by Pat Minturn, Public Works Director. The resolution encourages all water users to reduce their water usage by 20% unless greater efforts are required by water providers. Minturn’s presentation was as bleak as you would expect. Overall, despite some good news in March and April, we have received only half the normal amount of rain. We will have only one-third the runoff, due to the desperate state of the snow-pack. Temperature in the state is expected to be slightly above normal this year. Water provision from the federal Bureau of Reclamation and the California Department of Water Resources is based on established water rights. Those with rights established before the Central Valley Project built dams on the river will receive 75% of their historic amounts; municipal and industrial water users will receive 50% of historic uses; agricultural contractors will receive no distribution. Ground water availability in this county is expected to be fine. Director Minturn warns that if there is a continuation of the drought into next year we will be in serious trouble.

Mary Pfeiffer, Agricultural Commissioner, presented a revised fee schedule for inspections, tests, and registration of a variety of commercial and non-commercial weighing and measuring devices and scales, as well as fees for inspection of apiaries, certified markets, fruit, nut and vegetable producers, and other items. The Board adopted a proposed ordinance to accept the fees; the ordinance will be voted on in a couple of weeks. Some fees were raised significantly, based on a careful review of cost for the inspections. Fees for some services, although not all, are set in state law. The Board indicated that they would review the cost calculations between now and the second hearing on the ordinance, and requested that the Agricultural Commissioner review and adopt changes based on cost more often, so that increases are not so steep.

The Board took some additional actions, including:

  • Received a report from the Health and Human Services Agency on the Brave Faces and Voices program, in recognition of May as National Mental Health Month. This moving project is a storytelling and public speaking project where Shasta County residents share their stories of dealing with mental illness, suicide and addiction, to reduce the stigma of mental illness and to encourage people to seek treatment. You can see individual stories from local people on the Shasta County web site. www.co.shasta.ca.us and enter Brave Faces in the site search space. Resources will also be available at the free Minds Matter Mental Health Resource Fair, 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. on May 8 at the Downtown Atrium, 1670 Market Street.
  • Approved an agreement between the Sheriff’s Office and the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) to house Shasta County inmates in CDCR Fire Camps. Requirements for referral of inmates are rigorous, in terms of security and fitness, but the costs are less than other jail placements and the benefits to fire suppression as well as jail space are great.
  • Extended the agreement with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association and awarded salary increases for this year, 2015 and 2016.

Catherine Camp is currently retired. During her career, she worked as a policy and budget analyst for the California Assembly and California Senate, in health and human services fields. She worked as a policy analyst and advocate for California’s public mental health system. Early in her career, she worked in the Community Action and Head Start programs in Shasta County.

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.

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