January 23 BOS Meeting: Arm County Employees, Dump Impact Fees

The second Shasta County Board of Supervisors meeting of 2024 ran over six hours.  Streaming video and agenda for the January 23 meeting are available here. Video timestamps are provided in parentheses.
The invocation was provided by Pastor Mark Becker from Shasta Baptist Church and the Pledge of Allegiance was led by District 2 Supervisor Tim Garman.
R1 Adopt a resolution which recognizes Department of Public Works Custodian II Loren Brown as Shasta County’s Employee of the Year for 2023.  Lauren Brown acknowledged his supervisor and team at work for making the job go smoothly. Supervisor Chris Kelstrom presented Brown with several donated gift certificates.  There were no public commenters. (6:17)
R2 Adopt a proclamation which designates the week of January 21-27, 2024, as Coroner and Medicolegal Death Investigator Appreciation Week. There was one public commenter. Supervisor Tim Garman presented the proclamation award to Lt. Tyler Thompson and the Coroner/Death Investigative employees, saying his (Garman’s) father had passed away last week and acknowledged their difficult work. (22:40)
R3 Take the following actions: (1) Receive an update from the County Executive Officer on County issues and consider action on specific legislation related to Shasta County’s legislative platform; and (2) receive Supervisors’ reports on countywide issues. (25:55)
CEO David Rickert gave an update on the Fountain Wind project/website.
“I’d like to veer off a normal legislative update to point out some activity involving the Fountain Wind project…. the launch of the Fountain Wind Project on November 7th, 2023 marked the public launch of the campaign. Since that launch, our County Public Information Officer [David Muang] has initiated a mix of digital advertisements, emails, and physical mailers to inform them and call the public to oppose the Fountain Wind Project So far, the website has been seen by over 4200 visitors. Digital ads have been seen by 70,206 people across the state. And campaign emails have gone out to 53,000 households with 9068 opens with an open rate. Postcards have been mailed to 53,000 households also in the County of Shasta. Since the launch of the website, we have seen 225 public submissions to the docket log. with 87 of those submissions coming in the last week since the postcard has hit the mailboxes. We are through $22,000 of our $100,000 budget and have more ads to be considered going forward. , I’d like to recognize the phenomenal effort by our PIO David Muang and with the assistance of the CEO staff.”
Mary Rickert added,  “And I just want to also thank David. He’s done a great job of getting the word out and educating the public again. It isn’t that we’re against uh alternative energy in this county. It’s just we’re against the location and the safety and welfare of the people that live in District 3.”  She also acknowledged Matt McCumber and Paul Hellman among others for working on the Fountain Wind Project.
Supervisor Reports: (29:48)

Mary Rickert, District 3: Attended a SHARC meeting (Shasta Health Assessment Redesign Collaborative). She announced Ryan Harris, who was raised in the Fall River Valley, is going to be the new CEO at Mayers Memorial Hospital.  She attended the Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Board where there were presentations by the Shasta Triumph and Recovery Program which serves 68 clients.  She attended the Northern California Water Association Meeting and the Cattlewomen’s Dinner. She congratulated Tyler Faires for his documentary on the ACID Canal which has been nominated as a finalist at the Cannes Film Festival. She reiterated CEO Rickert’s comments on the docket concerning the Fountain Wind Project and encouraged local input and support for the Pit River Tribe’s opposition to the project. She asked for an update on the jail expansion.

Chris Kelstrom, District 5: Attended the Cottonwood Chamber of Commerce meeting and the monthly breakfast at the Anderson VFW Hall. On January 16 he attended the Anderson City Council meeting and on January 17 a meeting of the Enterprise Anderson Groundwater Sustainability Agency meeting in Anderson (he is on the board).  January 19th he met with CEO Rickard and discussed upcoming items, one being a county fire ordinance that he talked with Chief O’Hara about that. He attended the Cattlewomen’s dinner. He commended the sheriff’s department for quick action after a friend’s business had a Molotov cocktail thrown at it and the individual was arrested.
Patrick Jones, District 4:  Met with new Shasta County Health Officer James Mu. Attended Shasta County Elections Committee with Dr. Doug Frank.  Toured the old courthouse with Supervisor Crye, CEO Rickert, Public Works Director Troy Bartolomei, and HHSA Director Laura Burch. Attended the Addicted Offender Program which had 10 graduates this year.  Along with Supervisor Crye attended an At Home meeting, usually held in the community room at Redding City Hall.  Went to a Shasta Lake City Council meeting. Went to a Shasta County Republican Central Committee meeting. Attended a Lakehead candidates’ forum.
Supervisor Garman, District 2:  On January 11, met with Isla Tucker from PG&E who updated him on some underground works scheduled for later this year and will try to have her update the BOS about cuts happening to that. Went to French Gulch to discuss their radar signs that will hopefully affect speeding drivers. On January 12 he attended Sierra Sacramento Valley EMS meeting where he learned that a new law this year affects how much ambulance service can charge a patient: for persons without insurance, about $600. For patients with insurance, your copay is about $1200. On January 12 he met with Adam Fieseler,  Resource Management Assistant Director, about Carr Fire and Fawn Fire lots that are still available to build on, as well as keeping lots maintained. January 16, he met with CEO Rickert about issues he would like to see progress on. He said that he will give updates regularly on the jail. He attended the ribbon cutting on the Alturas Crossing project for low-income housing by Winco. He talked about fire hydrants in the Igo-Ono area with Troy Bartolomei and they are pursuing a grant to make that happen. They are also looking into cleanup vouchers for Keswick, Old Shasta, Igo and Ono. He spoke with Stacy from CalTrans about pedestrian and bike safety on South Market/Highway 273.
Supervisor Kevin Crye, District 1. Along with Supervisor Jones, attended the At Home.  Has been working with Laura Burch and Christy Coleman from HHSA about HHAP (Homeless Housing, Assistance and Prevention) funding. He attended the Addicted Offender program. Attended RCRC where they discussed AB 797 and Proposition 1.  He promoted a radio show featuring supervisorial candidates. He introduced Joe Larmour to the County Counsel’s office.
R4 Take the following actions: (1) Open a public hearing; (2) close the public hearing; and (3) enact “An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Shasta Amending Ordinance No. 665 of Shasta County Entitled, ‘An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Shasta Adopting Public Facility Fees for all New Development within the County of Shasta’ by Suspending the  Collection of New Public Facility Impact Fees.” (50:21)
Future General Fund Impact
Simple Majority Vote
Stephanie Blankenship, chief deputy clerk of the board presented the amendment to the ordinance. Auditor-controller Nolda Short and director of resource management  Paul Hellman were present to answer questions.
There were 21 public speakers.  Chair Crye instructed Blankenship to give additional time to a few speakers when audience members spoke during their three minutes, as well as when citizen Christian Gardinier stood and held a sign noting times when public comments were outside the board’s jurisdiction.

Christian Gardinier holds a sign noting the lack of board jurisdiction in Patty Plumb’s comments, including mocking Supervisor Tim Garman as the “Pillsbury Dough Boy”. Photo by Doni Chamberlain.

Patrick Jones: “We dealt with impact fees at the city of reading for years and years and years. I served from 2006 to 2015 and in 2007, when the economy really started to drop, we started seeing at the City of Redding in our general fund quarter after quarter, double digit drops that went on for over two years, unprecedented in the city’s history. We made a decision at that time and felt that the impact fee study was in error even then in 2008, we knew there was problems, the growth that they had anticipated was not happening. … As a council, we reduced impact fees for the next 200 permits by one third. And we had very little applications being taken out. And as soon as we dropped the fees by one third, we had 200 permits pulled in a very short time. I think 1 to 2 months, it absolutely showed that impact fees were affecting the growth and it helped our economy immensely. The only mistake that the board or the council made at those years was not doing it permanently and moving it forward, they reinstated that fee back and it continued to stifle growth all the way through this time. You see this type of mentality. When you go down to C SAC or League of California Cities, you see this mentality of excesses fees because what it does, it’s a method to control slow or reduce growth. They don’t want growth in the cities. But for a small county like us and for the small cities that we have here, growth is essential, reducing and in this case, terminating the impact fees is the correct decision. My decision will not change from last time. “
Supervisor Garman:  “My decision won’t change the last time either because I just feel like we are rushing this. I would like to have more information come forward but it doesn’t look like that’s going to happen. A couple of speakers got up and brought up a great topic, said the inability to obtain homeowners insurance or fire insurance is probably a problem with this. I would have to agree with that. Our church out in Happy Valley just got our insurance canceled us. So we will have to go to the fair plan as well. So building in the county when we build  in this county, which is what this is for. It’s not for the city when we build in the county, the majority of this county people’s insurances are getting canceled right and left. So I don’t know how this is really gonna spur any growth and people can’t build because of that. If people truly one of these developers out here, I heard a couple of you talk today. If these developers truly wanted to build, there’s over 300 inexpensive lots from Carr fire and Fawn Fire where there’s been no impact fees for the last four years. Has there been any building out there? Very minimal. So, I don’t think the impact fees are really what’s driving the slow economy with the housing market. I just think more data needs to be had and we need to see what other counties are doing…  Like I said, last week, I’m not against lowering them. If, if the data shows that I’m not against getting rid of them if the data shows that. But I want to see the data to back it up and that is an educated decision that we also want. So again, I’m just going to plead to the board that we just get all the data. Let’s get a wise decision on this and I’m not against it if it, if the data shows it, but you have to show me and if you’re not
willing to provide the data, my guess is you’ve already researched it and the data just doesn’t back up what you’re trying to do.”
Supervsior Rickert: “I just want to reaffirm as one that lives in a rural county that has been impacted significantly. Our insurance rates have quadrupled. People are not going to be able to be building in the rural counties because you can’t get fire insurance. This, this is a moot point to, to eliminate the impact fees if you can’t even build out there because you can’t get insurance and ask anybody who has gone through it. We’ve been dealing with it solid for one year. It’s a nightmare.
It’s an absolute nightmare. And you don’t live in the rural areas. You don’t understand it. I do.”
The motion to eliminate impact fees passed on a 3-2 vote with Jones, Crye, and Kelstrom voting yes.

From left, Shasta County board majority Patrick Jones, Kevin Crye and Chris Kelstrom. Photo by Richard DuPertuis

R5 Adopt a resolution opposing Senate Bill 2, passed by the California Legislature in  2023, supporting citizen rights established by the Second Amendment to the  United States Constitution (Sponsored by Supervisor Jones). (1:59:47)

No Additional General Fund Impact
Simple Majority Vote
There were 22 public commenters.
Supervisor Rickert: “I think this is kind of a slippery slope. Um, I do think that we’re going to lose employees over this.  I think that there’s some potential for people to be unhappy all the years I’ve worked here, I have never had one employee ever ask me, come to me and say, gee, I wish we could carry weapons on our person while we’re at work or on the county property. So I just want to make that clear. Uh, has anybody contacted the Department of Justice about this?”
Supervisor Crye: “I talked to Sheriff Johnson, who’s the constitutional individual over this county in terms of law enforcement.”
Supervisor Jones: ” Supervisor Rickert, have you ever tried to get a hold of California DOJ? Because you’re not going to be able to talk to the Attorney General’s office -“
Supervisor Rickert: “I actually have.”
Supervisor Crye: ” You don’t have to support this if you don’t want.”
Supervisor Rickert: “No, I’m just asking some questions. I think that we need to have questions asked if this is not a dictatorship. This is, this is something we need to as people, the citizens have the opportunity to know the answers to these questions. Another question I have, has anybody talked to the unions and to the county employees about this, to department heads about the constitution or no about this agenda item? Has anybody talked to the unions or the, or, or county employees about this because  this impacts them directly. So we’re going to ignore what the county employees have to say.
Supervsior Jones:  “This is giving county employees more rights. I’m not sure where you’re going to.”
Supervisor Rickert: “No, let me finish please. And, and I think Miss Bridgeford brought up a good point. You know, its statistics show that one out of five individuals will suffer a serious mental illness at one point in their life. And I think this is something that you need to take into consideration. I have a story to share and I haven’t talked about this very much because I didn’t think it was really worth sharing, but probably within about a year into COVID, there is a – who’s currently a former employee of Shasta County who has, I’m assuming he still does a concealed weapons permit.
And this, this morning I showed Mr. Garman an email I received from the gentleman. Would you consider that a death threat? I had a death threat from an employee at Shasta County and it is all documented in the County Council’s office. We had to have a crisis intervention team meeting over this. And uh I was given a picture of the man I was given a picture of his vehicle. Uh, and he worked at Shasta County and he had a concealed weapons permit to this day. I keep my eyes open for him because that was not the only threat I just showed Tim just one. He also threatened Mr Moty. So you can’t convince me because a person has a concealed weapons permit that they are totally harmless and he was a county employee. So don’t whitewash this.”
There was a discussion about how this would affect union regulations.
Roll call vote: passed 3-2 with Rickert and Garman casting no votes.’
Crye said BOS would move to R8. There were no public commenters anticipated.
(Government Code section 54956.9, subdivision (d), paragraph (2)):
Significant Exposure to Litigation: one potential case.
At the conclusion of the Closed Session, reportable action, if any, will be reported in Open
BOS adjourned for lunch. Resumed at 3:06:48
There was no reportable action from County Counsel.
There were 29 public commenters. (3:12:00)
After the 10th speaker, Supervisor Crye said, “Every time, uh, Mr Gardner you stand up and disrupt the speaker, I’ll just start the clock over.”
Doug Frank spoke from 3:52:59 to 4:04:20.

National election denier Doug Frank. Photo by Doni Chamberlain.

Richard Gallardo and Bob Holsinger announced they were members of the  California Rifle Pistol Association and made a presentation to Supervisors Jones, Kelstrom, and Crye.

A woman played a recording of what she claimed was a sixty-year-old Paul Harvey recording, “If I were the Devil”.
R6 Take the following actions: (1) Adopt a salary resolution, effective January 28,  2024, which amends the Position Allocation List to delete 3.0 Full Time Equivalent (FTE) position allocations in the Elections Administration and Registration budget and 2.0 FTE positions in the Personnel budget; (2) approve a budget amendment reducing appropriations in the amount of $403,353 in the Election Administration and Registration Budget (BU 140), offset by Reserves for Contingencies; and (3) approve a budget amendment reducing appropriations in the amount of $117,656 in the Personnel Budget (BU 130), offset by Reserves for Contingencies. (5:18:07)
General Fund Impact
4/5 Vote
There were 5 public commenters.
R6 passed on a unanimous vote.
R7 Receive a presentation from Shasta County Probation regarding the Juvenile Rehabilitation Facility.  (5:35:15)
No Additional General Fund Impact
No Vote
Chief Probation Officer Tracy Neal made the presentation.
This concluded the BOS video.

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.

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