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Audience members object to how board conducts business

Debra Moore
Staff Writer
2/14/2014

 

The supervisors and audience members were not alone during the Plumas County Board of Supervisors’ Feb. 4 meeting. A tiny camera mounted at the back of the room filmed the day’s proceedings and beamed it live within the courthouse. Soon residents across the county will be able to view the meeting from their homes or offices — actually, from anywhere they can access Internet.

The Feb. 4 meeting can be viewed by going to the Board of Supervisors’ home page on countyofplumas.com and clicking on meeting minutes. Future meeting videos will also be posted there.

 

Point of order

During the public comment portion of the meeting, Indian Valley resident Todd Anderson asked Board Chairman Jon Kennedy to define the rules the supervisors use to conduct their meetings.

When Kennedy didn’t immediately respond, Anderson asked, “How can you be the chairman?”

County Counsel Craig Settlemire said that the supervisors are governed by the Brown Act and that they use an abbreviated form of Roberts Rules of Order.

That didn’t satisfy Anderson, who said that the word “abbreviated” made it unclear, and he suggested that the board adopt a resolution that would clarify its meeting rules.

“If it’s deemed necessary to have a resolution we will get one,” Kennedy responded.

Another audience member, Dan Bailey, suggested that the board require all speakers to identify themselves, because when listening to an audiotape of the meetings, it is difficult to determine who is speaking. He suggested that Kennedy require identification.

Kennedy said that the Brown Act doesn’t require an individual to state his or her name.

“I think they should identify themselves,” Bailey said.

“I won’t ask,” Kennedy responded, though he said he would make an initial statement at the beginning of the meeting inviting people to identify themselves if they choose.

 

Timely response

The supervisors authorized a response to Judge Ira Kaufman regarding the board’s grand jury response.

Kaufman, who oversees the grand jury, sent a letter noting a lack of a timely response from the supervisors.

The two-sentence letter adopted Feb. 4 acknowledged receipt of the judge’s letter and promised a timely response to future grand jury reports.

The supervisors approved a response Jan. 7, more than six months after the report was released. State law requires a response within 90 days.

Supervisor Lori Simpson said that she had submitted her nine-page report Sept. 16, as did Supervisor Terry Swofford.

“Supervisors Simpson and Swofford weren’t late,” Board Chairman Jon Kennedy said. “But as a board we all were.”

 

Hiring

Sheriff Greg Hagwood received authorization to recruit and hire a deputy whose job will be to work with the probation department. Funding for the position comes from Assembly Bill 109 and not the county’s general fund.

Hagwood also received approval to fill a vacant dispatch position. Hagwood said the position had been vacant for a year as he waited for a suitable candidate to pass the testing and background process.

The Mental Health Department received authorization to fill two vacant clinical therapist positions, resulting from internal promotions.

 

Alcohol and drug administrator named

The supervisors approved Louise Steenkamp as the county’s new alcohol and drug administrator. Steenkamp is currently the assistant director for the public health department.

 

Opting out

The supervisors voted unanimously to withdraw as a member of Feather River Coordinated Resource Management. The group, consisting of multiple agencies, coordinates resource projects.

Supervisor Lori Simpson, the board’s representative to the group, said that recently there has been a lot of controversy with regard to methods used, including pond and plug.

“A lot of the agencies have not signed back on,” Supervisor Terry Swofford said. “I think we ought to step back.”

 

Appointments

The board appointed Jerry Crowe to serve on the Whitehawk Ranch Community Services District board of directors.


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