Dec. 5 Supervisors Meeting Summary: 2024 Chair, Vice Chair Selected, CEO Gets Bump in Salary, Severance Package

Editor’s note: Please join me in welcoming Barbara Rice’s summary of Tuesday’s Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting. Rice is perhaps best known to A News Cafe regulars as ANC’s admin assistant and comments moderator.
The complete agenda and video are available online.
Item C13 (appoint Amy Morin to Superior California Economic Development District) was pulled from the agenda. Later in the meeting, Mary Rickert clarified that this was at the request of Ryan Richardson, executive director of SCEDD.

Shasta County Supervisors stand with the Daughters of the American Revolution local chapter representatives at Tuesday’s board meeting. Photo courtesy of Shasta County Board of Supervisors.

R1 designating December 15, 2023, as Bill of Rights Day in Shasta County was adopted. The proclamation was presented to the local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution.
A member of the Major Pierson B. Reading Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution spoke, advocating for a memorial proposed at the Bidwell Mansion in Chico.
R2 was adopted recognizing Department of Support Services Chief Fiscal Officer Kristen Racki as Shasta County’s Employee of the Month for December 2023.
There were fourteen commenters during open comment time.  Mark Kent and Christian Gardnier had an exchange of words on the floor, at which point Patrick Jones told Kent he could take as long as he wanted to speak, exceeding the three-minute limit allotted to other speakers.
All consent items passed unanimously.
Bryce Ritchie, Administrative Analyst of Shasta County, discussed adopting a new impact fee program for the Anderson Fire Protection District. In May 2023 SCI Consulting recommended a new program that would replace the existing fee. The district is required to present the proposal to both the city of Anderson and the  Board of Supervisors for approval prior to implementation. The City of Anderson adopted a resolution approving it in July 2023.
There were no public comments on R9, bringing it back for the board’s consideration. Kelstrom mentioned that Fire Chief Steve Lowe said fees had not been raised since 2012; being a fire protection district, they do not get the money that a city fire department would. R9 passed unanimously.
Next on the regular calendar was Item C7, reappointing Carolyn Gomes as Distrct 1 representative to the Commission on Aging for a 2-year term to Jan 5, 2026, and appointing Jean Blankenship as District 2 representative to serve the remainder of a two-year term to Jan. 8, 2025.
Mary Rickert asked if Kevin Crye should disclose to the public that Carolyn Gomes is his employee, and asked if there was a conflict of interest.  Crye said, “Actually there’s a huge conflict of interest because what happens is she spends so much time on it, she probably does less work for me now.”
Jones asked county counsel to weigh in on whether Crye should recuse himself since Gomes works for Crye. County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr responded that typically, counsel does not advise on personal conflicts of interest and suggested seeking advice from the FPPC or private counsel. Jones asked Crye if he would recuse himself and Crye agreed. There was one public commenter who stated Carolyn Gomes was active with the Shasta County GOP and was helping Crye fight the recall. C7 was approved 4-0, Crye recusing himself.
Shasta Fire Protection District election certification
The BOS moved on to C14, “Declare persons elected and results as to each measure for the Nov. 7, 2023, Special Election based on the certified results and adopt a resolution which declares the Shasta Fire Protection District duly organized.” Crye requested that “Doctor Laura Hobbs” come up as he had a question for her regarding C14, regarding if there had been enough time for her to “take a look at and analyze the vote cast record. You’ve asked for this to be pushed back and I wanted to find out why that was.”
Hobbs, who is running for the District 2 Board of Supervisors race, said she felt it should be pushed back “so that we can analyze the CVR record. I can analyze it myself. We can also send it to other experts.”
Jones then asked Registrar of Voters Joanna Francescut if any legal issues were preventing the BOS from delaying the certification of the election until Dec. 19  meeting. She stated she would need to ask county counsel. County Counsel Stuhr said she was unaware of anything that specifically stated it had to be done that day, but it does need to be done before the electors take office. She said it was her understanding that members of special districts take office on the first Friday in December. Jones repeated there was a member of the public — Hobbs — who wanted to first analyze the results of the election.
More discussion followed concerning whether the board could legally delay certifying the results of the election. Tim Garman then asked Francescut what the results of the election were for Measure A, to form Shasta Fire Protection District. Francescut stated,  “91.85% of the voters in that district voted yes.”
Garman thanked her and said, “We need to stop the political play. I worked hard for that district out there so they could form the fire district… they need to take their seat on Friday. And if we try to stop that, we are way overstepping. You talk about local control… you had 91% of the people saying this and you have one person coming up here and say, ‘I want to investigate.’ Just stop. Let’s get back to business.”
Dist. 3 Supervisor Mary Rickert asked, “To be transparent – who is this person? Where are they?” Jones identified that person as Laura Hobbs.
“Anyone who’s familiar with districts – they need to assume their role. They were duly elected. I can’t imagine why we wouldn’t approve this. It doesn’t make any sense other than it’s overreach of this board’s power that want to halt county government,” Rickert said.
Francescut stated that the Gateway election would not come before the BOS because it is not the governing body over the school district. Interim County Counsel Stuhr reported she found the code referring to special district elections and that electors do need to be seated by the first Friday in December.
There were four speakers concerning C14. It was then voted on and passed unanimously.
Shasta County Mental Health Director Miguel Rodriguez spoke on C19, a retroactive agreement with the State of California Department of Health Care Services for Covered Drug Med-Cal Organized Delivery System services in an amount not to exceed $118, 236,000. There were four public speakers on C19 and it was passed unanimously.
CEO Rickert was asked if there were any legislative actions, and he said none.
After each supervisor reported on their districts, the board went into closed session. When they returned, Jones said there was no reportable action on R11, R12,  R13, or R14. Interim County Counsel Stuhr had to briefly step away and former Interim County Counsel McOmber stepped in.
Leo Salazar, planning division manager, addressed the board about R10 concerning rezoning a 65-acre project in District 3 at the intersection of Black Ranch Road and State Highway 299 in Burney. The development of a 5-megawatt biomass facility would necessitate rezoning from light industrial to general industrial. This would be privately owned but considered a public utility. There were four public speakers. Mary Rickert said she had attended a meeting with the developers several months ago and felt it would be filling a niche market. R10 passed unanimously.
R8, “Setting and Identifying Fees to Be Charged by the County of Shasta,” was presented by Auditor Nolda Short. There was one public speaker. The item was approved unanimously.
R5, a proposal to support changing Shasta County to a charter county, passed 3-2, with Garman and Rickert casting the opposing votes.
The next to last item was R6, Electing the 2024 Board Chair and Vice-Chair. There were four public speakers. Jones made the motion that Crye be elected Board Chair and Chris Kelstrom Vice-Chair. Rickert made a substitute nomination of Garman as chair. Garman and Rickert both advocated for Garman to be elected Chair as he is the Vice Chair, and in line for ascension to board Chair, as well as the fact he has as previous experience on various school boards.
Crye responded that despite have never sat on an elected board, he had described his past experience: “(I ran) … a multi-million dollar company and the experience I’ve pulled these eleven or twelve months has not just readied me, but I think catapulted me to a position that the things that are important to me that need to get done for this county.”
The vote on Rickert’s substitute nomination failed 3-2 with Crye, Kelstrom, and Jones casting the opposing votes. The nomination for Crye to be elected Chair and Kelstrom as Vice Chair passed 3-2 with Rickert and Garman voting no.
Supervisors Crye and Kelstrom will be seated respectively as Chair and Vice Chair in January.
The last item on the agenda was R7, terminating the current employment contract with CEO David Rickert and approving a new contract beginning Dec. 5, 2023 through Dec. 31, 2026, at the D Step Range, which is $130.54 per hour or $22,627 per month, a 5% increase. The new contract includes an 18-month salary severance pay.  R7 was voted on and passed 4 to 1 with Garman voting no.

Barbara Rice

Barbara Rice is anewscafe.com's administrative assistant. She grew up in Igo listening to the devil's music, hearing tales of WWII, and reading James Thurber and Mad Magazine while dreaming of travel to exotic lands. She graduated from Shasta High School, Shasta College, and San Francisco State University. After too many blistering Sacramento Valley summers, she's traded it all for the ocean breezes of Humboldt County. She's been told she's a bad influence and that makes her very happy. She tweets, travels, and spoils cats. There's a dance in the old dame yet.

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments