Board Notes 080211
The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in continued regular session the first Tuesday of the month in Downieville. Supervisors Huebner, Goicoechea and Schlefstein were present as was Chair Adams, but Supervisor Nunes was not present.
The Auditor Treasurer Tax Collector (hereafter ATTC ) reports that, since he took office, the County has been in the black.
Locals come by to bitterly complain about the U.S. F.S.; this time about the Lower Brush Creek Non-Range and where the F.S. would rather see them shoot. Everyone was nice enough not to suggest the Yuba River District headquarters, which is not in Sierra County. It isn’t as conveniently located as Lower Brush Creek.
Tim Beals: there will be a dog and pony show from NV Energy at the next board meeting; Rick Ross will also appear to talk about solid waste. Supervisor Schlefstein will meet with the CA DFG to see if they’ll change their minds about a tank for Sierra Brooks Water. No title company wants to serve the county.
Genice Froelich, unfortunate District Ranger for the aforementioned Yuba River District was present. See last edition’s piece HERE. During the bitter discussion of Forest Service failures and abandonment Chair Lee Adams made a most important observation: you can see more Forest Service vehicles on Watt Avenue than in Sierra County.
The ATTC who earlier noted the county is flush then made a case for having the county visit Payday Loans. He asks this year, as is traditional, to open a line of credit, not a loan which County Council Jim Curtis noted needs a vote of the people, but a line of credit which is somehow different, as everything is different for government these days.
The Board heard a request from Carol Roberts of Health and Human Services to approve a grant to a Plumas County non-profit to provide crisis intervention. The Sierra County Board of Supervisors has been one of the few in the state to question money spent on mental health, social services or drug intervention. Some supervisors question the need for these expensive services in a county of only 3200 people. No one is sure how many crisis calls the county generates, since the data isn’t kept, but is it enough to justify $35,000 a year? What kind of calls are they, do people know there is a national suicide hotline? What about the cops, can’t someone call the dispatcher in a crisis? Isn’t that what 911 is for?
Sheriff John Evans spoke for his dispatchers: yes, they have training in crisis intervention. But, isn’t it against the law to attempt suicide? Wouldn’t the cops charge in, guns drawn, willing to shoot the caller down to prevent them from committing suicide? Yes, they might. Wouldn’t a person then have to be nuts to call the cops? Yes, but this is mental health money, so it’s OK. What if this money stops in June, when the state reaches a budget? It won’t. There was hemming and hawing, and in the end the Board hemhawed.
Next, Dr. Roberts requested a social worker supervisor position be filled. County Council Jim Curtis, who already stars in a lawsuit thanks to HHS, came forward to opine that it is important to have supervision, and the best person to supervise is a supervisor, and without one, problems of lack of supervision occur.
Lee Adams pointed out that there was a supervisor in place when the current troubles, the ones County Council Jim Curtis is already involved in, came up.
Lee Adams brought up what is, to some, a key issue: what standards are we using for Child Welfare Services and Social Services? The state might want something, but will they continue to pay for it? More importantly, what if the standards at HHS are not the standards of the community.
Supervisor Goicoechea, though not seeking re-election, began to chant, “I don’t want one person to lose their job”.
The standards of the community arose again: why shouldn’t HHS staff be required to live in the county?
Dave Goicoechea said what many think: the state is going to start weaning HHS from its bank account. Hiring someone now might mean they’re laid off later. He wouldn’t want to see that.
Peter Huebner and Scott Schlefstein agree that times are tough but point out this isn’t a new position, it’s filling a key position that’s vacant.
Lee Adams presses the issue: some people, maybe a lot of people, feel there is too much social services in the county. He doesn’t want to support status quo. How does SC compare, in terms of “helpers” to other counties?
In the end it seemed the Board might be perfectly split, two and two. Chair Adams gave Dr. Roberts a choice: want to wait until Bill ( Nunes) gets back to split the tie? She took the opportunity.
Can the county make a Social Worker Supervisor live in county? CC Jim Curtis says “no, though you can require a reasonable response time.”
Once again, do we want someone in a position of authority over the average resident who doesn’t even live in county, isn’t a neighbor, doesn’t invest their kids in our schools? Nah.
Other stuff might have happened, but our notes end here.