Plumas County Board of Supervisors held a meeting on April 4, 2023. Beginning with opening comments was Dispatch Operator Becky Grand from the Sheriff’s Department. She commented regarding staffing issues in the Sheriff's office. “With what appears to be no outside support, should I even worry about this? What are we even doing here? What are our priorities? I’m sorry but it appears public safety and 911 aren't high on that list.” She said they are down to three full-time dispatchers for 24 hour shifts. She expressed concern regarding the staffing shortages and asked the Board to help address wages, retain staffing, and hiring new employees. She expressed losing potential employees because of it taking several months to be hired, and how the process needs to be streamlined with the Sheriff and HR.
Phil Derby, a resident and IHSS worker, commented regarding his duties as an IHSS worker, and the wages they receive. He expressed concern about wages for IHSS workers.
Sheriff Todd Johns reported on his staffing and losing another employee in his department, saying that she was offered $6 more an hour at an entry level job with no previous experience.
Todd Johns commented about the staffing issues of the Sheriff's Department. He said a correctional officer with 12 years of experience is resigning, and receiving a better job offer at $6 more an hour at an entry level job with no previous experience. “We are literally killing ourselves at the jail.” Johns elaborated about other staff preparing to leave, and said, ‘If this continues, by this summer, I won't have a patrol deputy covering the streets of the county. I have to continue to tell you, the stress of the Sheriff's Office is overwhelming, by being understaffed, having to shift deputies into the jail, having people working where they shouldn't be working, or they should be covering the streets instead of working the jail. I have employees that are doing four of five different jobs right now. The stressors are through the roof.”
There was a comment regarding the Cal OES Projects on business claiming disaster declarations. Discussion was held regarding reports and projects on collapsed buildings in the County. They need at least 25 full-time residents with unmet needs who need assistance in order to qualify.
The Auditor/Controller reported about the audit being completed by June 30th. Discussion was made about federal funding, and the deadlines for reporting. She said the department lost an employee who moved to another county, and that they are short staffed. She also sought to allow extra help with employees to work more than 29 hours per week. When asked what it means that federal funding is affected as of April 1st, she replied that “they could shut down any of our federal funding that is coming into the county, because we do not have our audit to the state controller's office by March 31st.” When asked if any active open grants are affected, she said yes. Discussion was made on how grants and federal funding are handled, and the time it takes for the submission process. The timeframe is expected to be completed in July.
Tracy Ferguson, County Planning Director, announced the second round of community meetings for the Wildlifes Long Term Recovery Plan. This month starting April 15th will be at the
Greenville Elementary School Cafeteria-225 Grand St, Greenville, at 10am, before the Dixie Fire Collaborative meeting. Also on the 15th, at 5pm, the meeting will be at the Historic Taylorsville Hall, 4322 Main St, Taylorsville. On the 18th, Chester Memorial Hall, 225 Gay St, Chester, at 6pm. On the 19th at 6pm, at the Sierra Valley Grange, Hwy 70, in Vinton, and on the 20th at 6pm, at the Quincy Veterans Hall, 274 Lawrence St, in Quincy.
Clint Koble, with the Dixie Fire Collaborative, reported regarding AARPA grants and appearances in communities. He raised concern for Indian Valley about the lack of businesses, and the future of the area. He also mentioned concern on how and when they can fix the supposed lead from the soil.
The Feather River Tourism Association reported on its operations and the history of establishing their district and the challenges they have gone through and the effects they've had from the tax collector's office. She mentioned that AirBnb has not paid their fees the last two years. Non-registered vacation rentals are not paying transient occupancy tax. Discussion was made about the funds that have (or have not) been distributed to the tourism district.
Willo Vieira, Agricultural Weights and Measures, reported to adopt a resolution approving the execution of an Agreement between Plumas County Agricultural Department and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) to reimburse the County to perform Exotic Pest Detection Trapping; in the Amount of $7,857. Motion was approved.
Neal Caiazzo, with Social Services, sought to approve a grant to give IHSS workers and low income seniors Ipads, and instruction on how to use them. Discussion was held about the execution of the Grant Agreement between Plumas County Department of Social Services and the California Department of Aging to participate in the Access to Technology Grant Program, to provide technology to older adults and adults with disabilities who are engaged with departmental staff through the department’s IHSS program; and authorize a supplemental budget transfer of $157,462 of unanticipated grant funds. Motion was approved.
Nancy Selvage, with human resources, sought to approve the updated Employee Background Investigation Policy to once every five years as opposed to the ten year period, per the IRS requirements. Motion Approved.
Tracy Ferguson, Planning Director, gave an update on the release of the Guidelines and Application for the Plumas County/City of Portola Economic Development. There was discussion on AARPA funding and the CARES program with loans. The program aims to help small businesses-up to $50,000, 100% forgivable loans for eligible micro-businesses. Applications will be available soon, and the period will be open until May 31st. All applications will be on a first come, first serve basis. They will be posted to the county website. Michael Baker and Associates will partner for the process.
The County Administrative Office sought to approve an agreement between the County
Administrative Office and Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (SBTS) for OHV trail maintenance not to exceed $215,722. Motion approved.
Review proposal from the California State Association of Counties to use 1% of the Local Assistance and Tribal Consistency Fund (LATCF) allocated to Plumas County to fund the start up of the National Center for Public Lands as it relates to Counties. Discussion was brought up regarding the pay of firefighters and the Forest Service.
There was also discussion of what the funds are used for, and the technicalities of what the plan would be specifically. The initial amount proposed for approval was $20,000. of the LATCF funds allocated to Plumas County to fund the startup of the National Center for Public Lands Counties. Discussion regarding the amount to be allocated, and the motion was made for $7,500. Motion was passed with 4/5th roll call vote.
Topics were brought up about the Museum Board Association versus the Museum Board Commission, and the importance of keeping the committee viable. The agreement was made to maintain the board. Discussion was made on how to develop applications, and get residents involved.