A RESOLUTION DECLARING
SIERRA COUNTY to be a Second Amendment Sanctuary County was discussed during the regular Board of Supervisors’ meeting held Tuesday, May 21st in Loyalton. Supervisor Jim Beard read the resolution and the actual wording of the 2nd amendment, including the 5th and 14th amendments. Beard opened the topic up to public comment. From the audience, Andy White said he was a proponent for the resolution. He stated they have too many laws being passed today and gun laws have gotten way too restrictive. White urged the board to create legislation at the County level to protect what little 2nd amendment rights they have left. Sierra County resident, Ted Owens, appreciated Beard bringing this before the County. He supported the resolution, but felt it fell short. Owens said Sierra County doesn’t have to reserve the right, “we have the right.” He suggested an amendment to the resolution to declare Sierra County a 2nd amendment sanctuary county. He didn’t think any other county in California had taken this action and called it a leadership step. Owens stated six or seven counties in Nevada had taken this step as well as over 30 in New Mexico, nearing 40 in Illinois and nearing 30 in the state of Colorado.
Other audience members, Don Yegge and Annie Fassbender supported the resolution
Sierra County Sheriff, Mike Fisher, commended Beard for bringing it before the Board. He remembered as a kid, buying bullets and going up in the woods to shoot all afternoon. Fisher said unfortunately his kids wouldn’t be able to do that. He su stated laws in California when it came to firearms, were out of control. He felt that California had some severe issues with mental health and far too many issues with mass shootings and illegal use of firearms, but added what we also have are citizens of California and our country that are lawfully defending themselves with legally owned firearms. He supported the resolution and hoped other counties in California would follow
Beard made the motion to amend the resolution to include Owen’s wording and Supervisor Peter Huebner made the second. Supervisor Lee Adams said even though he is supportive of the 2nd amendment, he felt the issue was much more complicated and wouldn’t support the resolution. He didn’t think as a board they could prohibit County employees from doing anything. Adams stated he didn’t feel California gun laws made sense, but didn’t feel the resolution would change anything. County Counsel stated the added amendment would substantially change the resolution as agendized and agreed with Adams that it was problematic to direct employees to not enforce the law. Board Chair Paul Roen wanted Beard to work with County Counsel to work out the legal issues she had with the resolution. Supervisor Sharon Dryden asked where Beard got the resolution. He said it was a document that had been passed from state to state and county to county. Dryden declared herself a huge supporter of 2nd amendment rights, but stated society has changed. She said there were reasons these laws changed and these issues needed to be directed to the state legislators. Dryden encouraged Beard to work with County Counsel to make a better resolution they could all agree with. Huebner withdrew his second, and the motion died. The board agreed to put it back on the next agenda with a cleaned up version of the resolution.
DURING DEPARTMENT MANAGERS
REPORTS at the Sierra County Board of Supervisors’ meeting held in Loyalton on Tuesday, May 21st Lea Salas, Behavioral Health Administrative Director, stated this past week they received two notices both having to do with the Mental Health Services Act and the reversion dollars. She said the first reversion letter was for 2005-2015. Salas stated of the $1million they received, $700,000 went to the plan and the other $300,000 will go back to the state before the end of June. The second reversion letter was for $73,000 for year 15-16. She felt there was no way to utilize those funds and create sustainability, so they will be sending it back to the state. Supervisor Lee Adams was happy to see this being done and stated there’s a time to spend money and a time to not when it doesn’t fit.
Sierra County Planning Director Tim Beals told the board they have lost all recycling markets and the loss is being experienced state-wide. He said the cost for shipping recycling to a market in Sacramento was costing the County a lot of money, as there’s no market for it. Beals stated he was going to have a waste committee meeting to see how they deal with recycling cessation. He was aware of the public perception issue, but added there was also a public responsibility issue they have to deal with. He felt the County was in a “vice” as the State is requiring it, but the State is also partly responsible for the lack of markets.
Beals stated there would be a public meeting on June 29th in Sierraville regarding the Sierra Hot Springs project.
Beals stated at the last Supervisor meeting that they rejected the paving work on Stampede Dam. The Bureau of Reclamation has accepted their position. He felt the paving was done during a rainstorm. The company has accepted the work and will fix a good portion of the road.
Beals said the County would be receiving $400,000 in State Park Bond Act grant money for recreation projects. Beals hopes to have an assessment of needs before the Board by the second meeting in June.
Beals stated the County will receive Title 3 funding as part of Secure Rural Schools (SRS) and encouraged the board to place this on the agenda for establishing priorities for the use of this funding. Sierra County Auditor Van Maddox said they have two years worth of funding to use.
Beals said they were in the middle of a swing in their workload, with a lot of enforcement actions going on right now. He thought there were currently 35-40 active cases. Beals stated property owners have been trying to find creative ways of getting projects done without permits and so he has been trying to prioritize enforcement actions. He said they’ve been getting a lot of nuisance abatement complaints, adding it’s a cumbersome process, but one of the avenues people have to get enforcement done. Beals stated enforcement is becoming a significant workload and wanted the board to be aware that it may need some attention.
Maddox talked about the budget and stated they were bringing in the revenue as expected and spending less because of vacant positions, so the rollover is significant. He warned the board that one day when they spend all that is budgeted there will be a problem the following year because there will be no rollover.