Citizens Group Slaps Impact-Fee-Dumping MAGA Supervisors With Cease-and-Desist Orders

From left, Shasta County Supervisors Patrick Jones, chair Kevin Crye and Chris Kelstrom look downward as public speaker Jeff Gorder comments from the lectern. Photo by Alan Ernesto Phillips.

As reported by A News Cafe, during Tuesday’s Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting supervisors Patrick Jones, chair Kevin Crye and Chris Kelstrom disregarded pleas from fellow supervisors Mary Rickert and Tim Garman, as well as numerous public speakers, to not suspend new development impact fees.

Friday, Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance announced a cease and desist order against the board regarding Crye, Jones and Kelstrom’s impact-fee vote, a vote that the SCSG alleges involved several Brown Act violations.

The alleged violations came to light during statements disclosed by Crye during his first meeting as board chair.

The Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance’s full statement is as follows:

Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance Announces Cease and Desist Order Against County Board

Redding, CA- Just before the close of business on Friday, Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance (“SCSG”) served copies of a Cease and Desist letter to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors (“Board”, or “BOS”), alleging the Board has violated various California Government Codes in the discussion and action taken around Agenda Item R3 on the Board’s January 9, 2024 meeting, where the Board ultimately decided on a 3-2 vote to waive reading of an ordinance to suspend the collection of public facility impact fees.

Members of the SCSG group were horrified at the meeting this week to see newly-seated Board Chair, Kevin Crye, admit to violating the ‘serial meeting’ prohibition of California’s Brown Act, when Chair Crye told everyone at Tuesday’s meeting, “I wish I could have talked people into this (suspension of the collection of public facility impact fees) three months ago when I knew I was going to be [Board] Chair.

What many observers understood from Crye’s comment is that a majority of the Board’s members had private, serial discussions about who should be chair of the Board for the coming year, and ensured a majority vote without having such discussions during a publicly-noticed and held meeting as should have occurred under the Brown Act. Crye’s indication that the Board’s chairmanship had been decided ‘three months ago’ is a timeline well in advance of the Board’s December 5, 2023 meeting where Crye was voted as the 2024 Chair by Board members Crye, Patrick Jones, and Chris Kelstrom.

Many in the community were further appalled by a majority of the Board suspending the collection of all public facility impact fees without further study, nor [with] any discussions affected departments, such as Public Works or the Sheriff’s Office.

According to Susanne Baremore, SCSG member, “It is unbelievable these county supervisors would make such a rash, fiscally irresponsible decision without fully understanding the costs and consequences associated with the decision. This is just one more reason we are trying to push for more responsible decision-making from this Board.”

The issue of fiscal irresponsibility is not the only concern with regard to the decision about the impact fees.

According to Baremore, “Supervisor Patrick Jones will be saving approximately $20,000 by avoiding these mitigation fees on his proposed gun range. He should never have been part of the discussion, nor the vote on this issue. It is such a flagrant conflict of interest.”

The County has thirty days to respond as to how they would like to cure and correct these issues.

Cease and desist details

On Jan. 12, the Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance emailed each Shasta County Supervisor a detailed explanation of the cease and desist order that included a Statement of Facts, Legal Citation, and Cause for Action. It was signed by Baremore of Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance, emailed, and hand-delivered to the Shasta County Board of Supervisors office at 1450 Court Street in Redding.

The document also provided a time stamp — 02:13:13 — of Crye’s admission during the meeting, “…I’ve worked on this for pretty close to six months … and I wish I could have talked everyone into this three months ago when I knew I was going to be chair …

Click here for Tuesday’s live-streamed meeting.

The email was cc’d to Shasta County Interim County Counsel Gretchen Stuhr, and Shasta County CEO David Rickert (no relation to Supervisor Mary Rickert).

Click here to read Shasta Citizens for Stable Governance’s entire statement.

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Doni Chamberlain

Independent online journalist Doni Chamberlain founded A News Cafe in 2007 with her son, Joe Domke. Chamberlain holds a Bachelor's Degree in journalism from CSU, Chico. She's an award-winning newspaper opinion columnist, feature and food writer recognized by the Associated Press, the California Newspaper Publishers Association and E.W. Scripps. She's been featured and quoted in The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, The Washington Post, L.A. Times, Slate, Bloomberg News and on CNN, KQED and KPFA. She lives in Redding, California.

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