Board Notes 120710

Board Notes 120810

The Sierra County Board of Supervisors met in continued regular session Tuesday, December 7th, a day that shall live in infamy, though not because of yesterday’s meeting.  

The Board took time to note that today, the 8th is Peter Huebner’s Birthday.  The Big 30!  Happy Birthday, Peter.

Peter, happy before birthday.

The Board heard a supervisor’s report from Supervisor Bill Nunes about efforts to find funding for local biomass projects.  The Board couldn’t discuss the report since it wasn’t on the agenda, but there was broad general support for finding ways of turning excess vegetation from a threat of a fiery death to a source of income for local families.

William Pangman, Chief Justice of the Sierra County Superior Court, visited the Board to inform them that he would be retiring in three weeks, and that as he was leaving Judge Kennelly would be Chief Justice of Sierra County Superior Court.  Justice Pangman has a long and happy history with Sierra County, and is widely respected.  Indeed, after Pangman’s announcement County Council James Curtis stated that in all his 30 years of experience he’d never seen anyone more judgely than Judge Pangman.  It wasn't easy to be certain, since Curtis spoke as attorneys do, but the crowd generally took it as a compliment to J. Pangman.  

Director of Snowy Problems Tim Beals said it had been necessary to scold Sierra Pacific Lumber for plowing the public roads without a permit.  It is not clear how that should upset us; SPI can plow the Prospect driveway with no scolding.  

Director of Watery Problems Tim Beals said he would report to the Board the second meeting in January on the issue of county roads at Independence Lake.  He wouldn’t give any hints as to what he might be prepared to reveal on the matter.  

Director of Muddy Problems Tim Beals told the Board that he would meet with other key players to close Dog Valley and Antelope and other county roads which suffer when people get stuck.  Boooooo hissss!  Road Closer!  Let people get stuck, it’s an important metaphor for life.  

Dr. Carol Roberts reported that she will not be bailing out key Western players, and that local kids aren’t as jiggered up by lead as you might think, considering all the old houses and whatnot.  She suggested that it might be possible to purchase a site ready modular building and put it up at the Loyalton Middle school for a teen center.  Who knows?

The board considered the Timber Production Zone ordinance.  This is where the benefit of High Sierra Rural Alliance is made known.  Get ready, this is a thumbnail and it goes fast:
Dave G.: Let’s drop the hammer on this ordinance.
Tim Beals: Well, we’ve made two changes, removing two sections, one at the request of a representative of HSRA, the other at the request of Sierra Pacific Lumber.  Both changes are within the law, and the removed sections passed by the Planning Commission.  The Board can modify PC recommendations.
Jim Curtis: Yes, but a similar law states than ANY change not discussed by the planning commission has to go back before the PC.
Beals.  Probably the PC did discuss this.
Dave G.: “We can let perfect be the enemy of good.”  Let’s drop the hammer on this dog.
Pat W.: “This gives me heartburn.  I can’t recommend going ahead” (without sending it back to PC)
Tim: The PC has discussed it, because they put it in, but perhaps they didn’t discuss not putting it in.
Lee Adams: HSRA isn’t the only group in California that can sue (for not taking all the necessary steps).
Lee: What do we have to lose by waiting.
Groans from the audience, Bill Copren leans forward and holds his head in his hands; a few people half rise, fearing he’s had a stroke, but old timers know he’s just frustrated enough to rip his hair.
Lee: We have a potential lawsuit if we don’t send it back to the PC.  I’d like to know what the groaner in the audience thinks we’ll lose by sending it back to the PC.
Dave G.: Oh, hell no.  “Public comment is closed.”  We aren’t going to go through that again.  
General huzza huzza: the PC meets in a week; the Board could vote in Loyalton.
Pat: Send it back to the PC.
Lee: Second.
Vote: Lee Adams; Aye. Peter Huebner; No.  Bill Nunes;  Aye.  Pat Whitley; Aye.  Chairman Goicoechea (audibly rolling his eyes); Aye.  
And so, a document which has been morphed a thousand times by a thousand special interests and been blessed by all the Dons of the county, and been discussed until some people have to eat a Dramamine when the subject comes up, went back to the Planning Commission again to be seen and returned to the Board.  It’s a wonder Copren didn’t have a stroke.
It should be said that several members of the Plumas Sierra chapter of the Citizens’ Alliance for Property Rights (CAPR)  were present, but did not comment.

Director of Building Bridges Tim Beals told the recovering Board that a committee of volunteers are working on a way to move the old Little Truckee Bridge to a questionable water crossing further down the road.

Tim Beals, Director of SFDH* spoke to the Board about new state building regulations.  Prospect readers, of course, already know about the Residential Sprinkler ordinance, the Green Building ordinance and the landscaping ordinances (if not, see SITEMAP), but the Board and staff discussed the changes with anger and frustration.

It is very clear that the new ordinances are going to increase the cost of building a house.  Local contractors aren’t very likely to benefit from the changes; indeed, local site built houses are quickly becoming a thing of the past.  

Lee Adams allowed that he had been working to reduce the impact of these ordinances through the statewide county organizations he represents the county on.  He acknowledged the harmfulness of the new regulations, and called it “another form of terrorism” meaning it halted the normal process of life and business in the county.  
Tim Beals: “There’s not a lot I can tell you that’s rosy.”
Everyone agreed with Dave Goicoechea: There’s no option, we’re going to comply.
Director Beals noted that there are a large number of building permit applications on file in this county and in other counties as people try to get their permit in before the new bullshit ordinances take place on 1 January, 2011.

That’s all!

* Shit Flows Down Hill
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