Board Notes 041712

Board Notes 041712

Fringe Editor


The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in continued regular session in Loyalton on Tuesday 4/17/12.  Supervisors Adams, Goicoechea, Nunes, Schlefstein and Chair Huebner were present. 


Chair Huebner was dressed in work clothes, including a cap.  He announced to the rest of the board that he was going to call a special meeting of the board to discuss the budget shortfall.  He said they’d better come to the meeting ready to work, as he was in his work clothes.  He recommended they meet right away, and so people began shuffling calendars and finally decided to meet right away at the end of May.  His work outfit was a cool and politically dramatic way to reinforce to the board that they would need to work hard to make up for the millions in shortfall the county could easily have. 


Huebner came ready to work.  We should have gotten a photo, but were busy BSing.  Here is an artist’s recreation instead.  We don’t believe the base photo to be copyrighted.

Auditor Treasurer Tax Collect Van Maddox spoke about the structural problems the county finances had, and didn’t specify at that time what they might be, but it sounded like people were going to be laid off just from the tone of his concern.  Editorial note: it’s been happening all around us, downsizing of government and business, and Sierra County has done very well to avoid red ink, but it is possible life as we know it will finally have to change.


Chair Huebner reported from the Sierra County Fire Safe and Watershed Committee, who declined to entertain Supervisor Bill Nunes’s suggestion that they broaden their representation in the county.  Part of the reply was that the bylaws already allow for representation from the different players in the county.  The suggestion was that different groups already had representation, though Council staff made much recently of the fact that Council board members represented the Council, and not the people of the county, and particularly not in a “constituent” or representative role.  Dave Goicoechea asked if the council was a non-profit and not answerable to the County, and the reply was “yes” but the truth is the council probably needs the county to live, for the cash it gets and for County approval and support for projects.  There is a new position on the Council board; interested parties should apply.  The Council reported they would advertise the position, so we’ll expect the press release and post it when it comes. Read more on non-profit boards this week in the Prospect, HERE


Director of Odds and Sods Tim Beals reported: broadband is being discussed; there’s good news at the dump in that the state has granted some reasonable requests regarding monitoring.


Jennifer Johnson reported to the board about the efforts of the business center to find jobs, and there aren’t many.


The Board reported out of closed session that they had reached a settlement of $280,000 with a claimant against the county regarding Sheriff John Evans.


The Board discussed making a referral to the grand jury to see if Sheriff John Evans had broken the law when he may have sexually harassed an employee.  The county’s lawyer and insurance company wanted to settle. To be clear, a settlement is not supposed to be an admission of guilt, but it is.  As a result, the attorney recommends the Board refer the matter to the grand jury to see if a trial is necessary.  Supervisor
Adams asked if there were no other way to cover the county and ensure the safety of workers, but nope, there isn’t.  Jim Curtis, was clear, the county has a responsibility to ensure the safety of all workers, and only the grand jury can determine if an elected official needs to go to trail.  Editorial comment: On the one hand, it’s great to see a cop in this bullshit position, since cops so often do the same thing to other people.  You were basically innocent, you did a little something but sure didn’t think you were breaking the law, but you were, even though it was a little bit, and now you’re screwed because the system got you.  On the other hand, it’s too bad to see it happening to John, whose main crime is being a chucklehead.  Evans had the opportunity to remain silent at the board meeting, but like many a good man on his way to jail, he decided to explain himself, to apologize, to shift the blame a little.  He’s basically innocent, even though he was forced to cop a plea.  All pretty standard stuff, and probably true.  The grand jury will review the facts, may conduct an investigation and review what the investigation has revealed so far, and then may refer the matter to the DA or determine no law was broken.  Either way, the Board of Supervisors and the County are covered, and that’s something.  It’s likely to cause more misery and cost more money, and in the end people will still be people.  Still, it’s a strange day we live in.


Other stuff happened, but mostly not of interest to Joe Citizen, and mostly not to me.


Good luck!


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