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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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January 14, 2015     Feather River Bulletin
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January 14, 2015
 

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'Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Jan. 14, 2015 3A Supervisors side with mental health director in MOU standoff Debra Moore Staff Writer dmoore@plumasnews.com Tired of behind-the-scenes meetings and he-said, she-said e-mails, Supervisor Lori Simpson brought a subject to the entire Board of Supervisors on Jan. 6. At issue was who would and who would not sign the Plumas County Substance Abuse Treatment Team memorandum of understanding, a document that outlines how various departments will work together to provide services for court-mandated clients. The district attorney, sheriff, probation, public defenders, health department, and social services agreed to sign the agreement, but the mental health department wanted revisions. The standoff between Mental Health Director Peter Livingston and District Attorney David Honister led Simpson to put the issue on the agenda. "Every department was willing to sign it except mental health," Simpson told her fellow board members. "Peter Livingston had some issues with it being outdated." Livingston asked for changes in the mental health portion of the document. HoUister objected to those changes and encouraged Livingston to sign the document as it was, with a plan to make adjustments later. Mental health wasn't the only area where some changes would be made. "Everyone thought sign it -- revise later-- except Peter," Simpson told the board. "Do we want him to sign it?" While Livingston was there to address his concerns, Hollister was not. "The DA is not going to be here," Simpson told the board without explaining why. In a phone interview following the meeting, Hollister said, "I have three pending murders and 10 sexual assaults; I've resolved to focus on the important work we have to do in this off.lee." He said that the supervisors appoint the mental health director to his position and he would leave the decisions regarding him to them. As for Livingston, he described the issue as a "pretty basic, simple situation." He said when he reviewed the document there were a few items that he couldn't agree to. "There was a lot of pressure to sign it and fix it later," he said. However, Livingston said that "it's ethical to mean what you say, and say what you do" so "I made some changes and sent them out." Then he received "backlash" from the district attorney. "There were emails flying around alleging that mental health won't sign," Livingston said and added that there were also "a lot of accusations that we aren't providing service and we certainly do." Livingston then introduced several members of his staff who provide mental health services for those in the criminal justice system. "There's a lot of heat that we don't provide services and that's not true," he reiterated. Though the district attorney wasn't present, Sheriff Greg Hagwood and Supervising Probation Officer Clint Armitage were in attendance. "Is there a problem (with the service)?" Supervisor Terry Swofford asked. Both men said they value the service they receive from mental health; they just want more of it. "I would like to see a lot of resources thrown on this population," Hagwood said. Hagwood praised the therapist that has been dedicated to the jail inmates, but said, "You got one person getting really hammered. Is that sustainable?" "I'm pretty much in agreement with the sheriff," Armitage said, reiterating that he appreciated the quality of the service offered, but "the problem is the amount of service. We have to go outside to look for services. It's holding us back." Livingston has been authorized to hire more staff and he is the process of doing SO. Supervisor Sherrie Thrall brought the conversation back to the memorandum of understanding. Earlier in the meeting Livingston had stated, "I made some simple but important changes. I want to be able to honestly say what we're going to do." "I agree with Peter on this," Thrall said. "I would tell them to take a hike. We've charged him with running the department." She instructed those involved to continue to work out the details. Simpson said she would monitor the situation as it progressed. Quincy Community Services District considers multifamily rate changes James Wilson Staff Writer jwilson@plumasnews.com Multifamily units located in the Quincy Community Services District were the hot topic of discussion at the district's Jan. 8 board meeting. The community services district board discussed rolling out a tiered water rate to its customers in an attempt to conserve water. The concept was initially brought up during the board's Oct. 9, 2014, meeting. During the October meeting, it was pointed out that multifamily units would be charged more than single units and the rate system needed adjustments before implementation. The original rate-change proposal rewarded customers that use less than 4,000 gallons per month and raised prices for customers that exceed that usage. For single units, there was no change from the October meeting. Customers will be charged $0.158 per 100 gallons for the first 4,000 gallons. The second tier, 4,100 - 8,000 gallons, will cost $0.199 per 100 gallons. Two higher tiers will be in place as well for higher users. Multifamily units generally use more water, but not more water per customer. The board decided at the October meeting it needed to give multifamily units a break, and the topic was discussed in its November and December 2014 meetings as well. Board secretary Katie Gay presented the board last week with an adjusted rate projection that showed what multifamily units' bills would look like through three proposals. All the proposals increased the amount of usage in the first tier based on the number of units per customer. The first proposal allowed 3,000 gallons per unit for first-tier prices. After that amount is used, the tiers will increase per 4,000 gallons regardless of the number of units. The second proposal was similar to the first, but allotted 4,000 gallons per unit for the first tier. The third proposal calculated the number of units for each tier, not just the first. The first tier included 4,000 gallons per unit. Director Richard Castaldini voiced his support for the third proposal. Every unit, whether multifamily or single-family, should be charged the same, he said. The rest of the board disagreed. The allotted 4,000 gallons per unit should be more than enough per unit, directors expressed, one by one. Any usage after that would more than likely be used for irrigation, said director Denny Churchill. "What we're going after is copious amounts of watering," said Churchill. "The whole point is conservation;" added Gay. "Something like this would encourage them to ILx their leaks as well." The board eventually voted to make the changes to the proposed tiered rates, falling in line with the third proposal for multifamily units. All the board members except Castaldini voted in favor of the changes. The finalized rate-change proposal will be presented to the board at next month's meeting. If it passes, QCSD will send letters to all its customers announcing the changes and allowing an opportunity for comment in accordance with Proposition 218. OIL Is Our 00ad7 for a COLD Winter? CHANGE SPECIAL $39.95* OIL & FILTER Change plus: 50 pt. 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