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Quincy, California
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February 17, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Progressive, Recor d, Reporter Wednesday, Feb. 17, 2010 11B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE PDH left us no other choice but to go to court WHERE I STAND SKIP ALEXANDER BOB ZERNICH BOB HERR DENNIS CLEMENS MARTY BRUTLAG PROPONENTS OF THE TAX LIMITATION INITIATIVE In late October 2009, it be- came quite apparent to all those property owners who own property within the Plumas Hospital District that our portion of tax dedicated to the Measure A hospital bond had increased to an unexpect- edly high level. Measure A estimated a tax rate that would begin at $22.36 per $100,000 of assessment to a high in fiscal year 2037-2038 of $87.30. The very next year our tax rate appeared on our tax bill at $121.81 per $100,000 of assessment. At the hospital board meet- ing Nov. 3, 2009, the board of directors of our hospital be- came fully aware of the anger of the community as a result of the shock of the unexpected tax rate. The board was given an opportunity at that time to consider a maximum cap to the tax. The board refused to consider any cap. At that time the board was told that the voters of the dis- trict had no other choice but to circulate a petition to limit the tax. Subsequently, the propo- nents drafted a tax limitation initiative, made the proper le- gal noticing and advisements to the hospital, and began to circulate the petition. Within 41 days of beginning to circu- late, the petitioners obtained over 1,000 signatures of voters within the hospital district who support the limitation of the Measure A hospital bond tax to $50 per $100,000 of prop- erty assessment. Upon gathering far more than the required signatures to qualify the initiative for a ballot vote, the proponents re- quested that the hospital board designate an election official. An election official is re- quired by the California elec- tion code by a special district. Plumas District Hospital is a special district within Plumas County. The proponents are re- quired to deliver the signed pe- titions to the election official designated by the hospital. The hospital hoard, after formal request to designate an election official, declined to designate an election official. The hospital board said that under advice from its legal counsel that our initiative is illegal. The proponents believe that the initiative is legal; howev- er, we believe that only a court of law may make a de- termination as to the legality of our petition. The hospital cannot and should not be acting as a court of law. The hospital board is attempting to deny the rights of California citizens to the initiative process. The hospi- tal board is attempting to deny you, a United States citizen, your right to vote on a proper- ly circulated petition to limit your taxes. The proponents have no in- tention or goal to create any situation that would imperil the future of the hospital. The proponents believe that the hospital should pursue addi- tional sources of funding and not tax the property owners with no limit as to how high the property tax levy may go. Our initiative never promised full funding of the hospital's goal of a new facility. We are proposing a fair share, and an obviously unlimited tax rate is unacceptable. The proponents have been given no choice but to ask the court to decide this issue. The is- sue is whetheror not we will be granted our constitutional right to present the tax limitation ini- tiative to you, e voters. PDH is here to serve you WHERE I STAND MARILYN JOHANNSON FORMER CHIEF NURSING OFFICER PLUMAS DISTRICT IOSP1TAL Our hospital is not defined by a "building" but by peo- ple-- common ordinary folk who working together have created an extraordinary en- vironment. We walk the walk of improving quality of care, promoting ongoing educa- tion, and ensuring the dignity and safety of our patients is paramount. We are blessed to have the caliber of physicians and staff that we do at Plumas District Hospital. I am always amazed at the dedication of our staff. They impress me in countless ways--some have even made home visits, others volunteer for hospice, still others give up family life to be on call 24 hours a day, and some have even taken care of pets of pa- tients involved in an accident. our neighbors, friends and family I have always thought that you, our patients, are behind that fervent desire to con- stantly improve. After all, you are our neighbors, friends and family. Your welfare means everything to us--who wants to let family down? When a new nurse would start or express an interest in PDH, I would caution them not to judge us by our cover. We may be small, but we are mighty. We have done great things with less through our creativity and innovation. It is through thinking out of this box that we have met standards. Our hospital build- ing has been a workhorse, but it is tired. It has been an in- credible challenge to keep meeting those standards. Seismic standards, as all of you are aware, was the impe- tus for the building project but, truthfully, the hospital has been inadequate for some time, as the technology and acuity of our patients have increased. As examples, I think our hospital is one of the very few that does not have suction in every room. We have re- ceived many complaints from patients having to share a bathroom with possibly three other patients. Our flat roof has been repaired countless times. The leaks are apparent as you walk through our hos- pital. Another infection con- trol/safety issue is having the surgery and recovery rooms separated by a main public hallway. We struggle with be- ing able to plug in equipment with the limited outlets in pa- tient rooms. I think you get the idea. I admire our board for try- ing to find solutions to prob- lems that have no easy an- swers. We are here to serve you, not make your lives more difficult. You are the reason we exist. I invite you to help us seek answers to the difficult problems we face. LETTERS to the EDITOR On Posch As I am still in shock at how completely upsfde-down my world has turned in the past week, I write this letter. Most everyone that knows my husband, Todd, knows what an incredibly wonderful husband, father and man he is. And like me, everyone must be absolutely confused by the events of the past week. I do no,know the answer, and I do net think he even re- ally knows the answer, or maybe ever will... But what I do know, is that for the past 15 years, Todd, along with hundreds of other men and women, have spent eight hours of almost every day of the week, in one of the most miserable, negative, hos- tile and stressful work envi- ronments possible. I can't even begin to imagine spend- ing all day, everyday with murderers, rapists and child molesters, and then coming home to the normal stresses of everyday life--how depress- ing that has got to be! Todd was incredibly good at leaving his work behind and not letting the events and wor- ries of each day at work affect his home life. That is not very common in the Department of Corrections or law enforce- ment in general--believe me, I have done a lot of research the past few weeks! Divorce, drugs and alcohol, domestic violence and suicide are ex- tremely common in this line of work--Todd was not any of those people! But inside, he was strug- gling with the stress and pres- sure, and trying to cope with- out letting me, his kids, his family, his friends or anyone know. Seeking or even admit- ting the need for emotional help in this line of work is con- sidered "weak" and way too of- ten discouraged. So most cor- rectional officers suffer need- lessly in silence. That i.s just too much burden for someone to handle on their own... For the past 11 years, Todd has spent most of his free time coaching Little League, Youth Football, high school football, basketball and baseball, vol- unteering at school--wherev- er and whenever needed, chaperoning/attending his kids' field trips, band events, extra-curricular activities and games. I can't even begin to add up all of the volunteer time he has given to our schools and community, or think of another father who has devoted more of his time to his kids and others.., he is a . good person! So, to those of you who have been so completely supportive and understanding, my family and I thank you from the bet- tom of our heprts! We could have not made it through this without the greatest friend in the world, Kassandra! Genesee Posch Greenville Judge not We have known Todd Posch for several years; he is a very close friend of our family. Over the years that we have known him he 'has proven to be a man of great integrity who is extremely dedicated to his family, friends and our community. We have known Todd to be dependable, re- sponsible, honest and courte- ous. Todd puts his family above all else; he is an amazingly de- voted father and husband. He is involved with every aspect of his family's lives, rarely missing a sporting event, school function or family gathering. To him, family is everything. He is also an enthusiastic leader who always maintains his professionalism. Todd has coached multiple school sports at Greenville High School and has become a role model to numerous children in our community. With pa- tience and ability to explain and demonstrate strategy clearly, he draws out the very best in our youth. I am both saddened and in- credibly disappointed in the local coverage of the incident. People deserve to know the in- credible person that Todd is not the monster that they have made him out to be. Any- one that knows him personal- ly would agree. "Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; for- give, and you will be forgiven," Alicia Hammerich Taylorsville Done with PUSD There are several items I would like to correct after reading last week's articles on Greenville High School. I did not meet with board represen- tative Jondthan Kusel and Su- perintendent Glenn Harris at the same time as was implied: I have met with both as well as spoken with board member Brad Baker about the issues at different times. In addition, Superintendent Harris never said to me that anyone should take it down the road if they did not like it. I believe that what I said or at a minimum should have said more clearly was that it is the attitude of the district, in my opinion, that if we in Indian Valley don't like what they give us we can go elsewhere. That being said, I really do not intend to comment on PUSD any further. They can do whatever they wish. I am done. I will do everything I can to support the establish- ment of a comprehensive pub- lic ,charter school that is not part of PUSD and that meets the needs of the students and families of our valley and that honors the work of our teach- ers. PUSD controls its budget, but we control our lives. We are real people with 'reil .... hopes and dreams that PUSD's so-called "data analysis" does not comprehend or appreci- ate. The public may follow our goals and progress at our Facebook page Indian Valley Academy. Those of you who have called me from other communities expressing your similar frustration and desire to change are invited to meet with us and attend our meet- ings. Everything we do is done in open at all times. Our management team meetings and planning sessions are not a secret. Feel free to call me at 284.1626 or e-mail me at mikechelotti@frontiernet.net. should you have any further interest or questions. Michael Chelotti Greenville Given up? My name is Troy Neer and I am a freshman at Greenville High School. I have been on the Dean's List and the honor roll since the seventh grade. I wanted you to know that there are kids out here and we are being affected. I have grown up in Greenville/Taylorsville all my life. I played T-ball, base- ball, basketball, raised a steer four years in a row through 4- H. I also played football for Quincy in Greenville/Quincy youth football league. I played even though most of the coaches didn't think us Greenville kids could con- tribute much. I played all four years. I broke my arm, got a con- cussion, went through a knee injury to play and get good so I could play for MY team, Greenville High School Indi- ans. My dad played for them, my uncle played for them, my grandpa played for them as well as three other great-un- cles. They had JV and varsity; now we can barely get enough kids for varsity and that's eight-man. A lot of kids have changed schools or moved to charter. This year we had sev- en kids on our JV basketball team and seven kids on our varsity. Math. I love math. Last year, I needed to be in Algebra as an eighth-grader. But the only PE class (45 people) was the same period as Algebra so I had to take pre-algebra. Now as a freshman I am in Algebra but I should bein geometry, because the college I want to get into wants high high math skills. It feels like everyone has given up on us. It feels like no one cares if we succeed. Troy Neer Freshman Greenville High School er shouted, " You're wrong." Really? Harris was unaware of problems at GHS until dis- turbing messages appeared on Facebook. There were discus- sions about school closings. No, they were conversations. No, there were no discussions, maybe just conversations. The Greenville community has time and time again re- quested :that the PUSD board not "bailed out" the financial giants that one by one were teetering on the brink of bank- ruptcy. Capitalism has proven itself over the centuries to be the most efficient and creative economic system yet designed by man. But it has its limita- tions; left entirely to itself, like an errant child it oftimes goes awry and must be brought to heel by an all-pew- Flimflam and Stealth "Greenville is conspiracy central." That was PUSD board member (Brad) Baker's cheap shot during his irra- tional outburst at the board meeting Feb. 9. Baker accused Greenville citizens of spread- ing rumorg about the fate of Greenville High School. Just as PUSD superintendent (Glenn) Harris did in Greenville the previous day, Baker parroted the new party line. "There have been no dis- cussions among board mem- bers or PUSD employees about closing Greenville High School." The citizens of Greenville are not rumormongers as Bak- er implied. They are consider- ate and thoughtful people who have great concern for the fu- ture of their children and their community. They ex- press concerns not rumors. It's unfortunate that Baker ap- pears to be unable to tell the difference. It was the Harris disclosure -- front-page article, local newspaper, Nov. 25 -- that in- stigated those Greenville com- munity concerns about the fu- ture of their high school. Ac- cording to Harris, "The dis- trict can see a population vi- able for two to three years out. But if school enrollment con- tinues to decline, we will have to be closing and consolidat- ing schools. We'd be remiss if we weren't having the conver. sation." Baker and Harris claim that no discussions have taken place. Is there a difference be- tween a discussion and a con- versation? In the Greenville meeting Feb. 8, the attending commu. nity members were dumb- founded by Harris' claim that he wasn't aware of any prob- lems at Greenville High School. Then Baker disclosed at the board meeting the fol- lowing day that he was un- aware of conversations about the fate of Greenville High School. In my presentation to the board on the 9, I posited that the PUSD board and the su- perintendent have serious communication credibility de- ficiencies and a total lack of transparency. Several times during my presentation, Bak- .................................... i -pfdi)ide !he same educational '-effutparent. opportunities at GHS that al- ready exist at other Plumas high schools, but they've been ignored. However, the Greenville community will prevail, and the board's dere- liction Of duty cannot be hid- den from the Greenville com- munity with egregious flim- flam and stealth. Well, that's my perception of reality. But if wrong, I'm certain some public servant will set me straight. H. William Gimple Indian Valley Heaven help us Given the incredible turn of events in the business world over the past two years, with the financial sector in'ruins and the federal government coming to the rescue it must strike America,s hardcore conservatives that maybe big government, supported by corporate and personal in- come taxes, is not so bad an institution after all. I hate to think where we would be today if the Fed had 1 Laissez faire--the French i term for unrestricted capital- i ism--doesn't work. Commu-! nism, because of its total re- i striction of the enterprising capacity found in most men, I doesn't work. Socialism -- a sort of halfway house between I capitalism and communism -- i hasn't yet fully proven itself, i In time, it may become the l dominant economic system on ! earth. 'i In the meanwhile what we '. have here in America, with its i periodic ups and downs, its i forays into the seductive world ! of unbridled greed and the in- i evitable downfall, then rebirth along lines of man's youthful : exuberance and native ambi- : tion, must do. It suffices. But heaven help us if the conservatives get their way and "big government," with its unlimited financial re- sources made possible by the power to tax, is driven from the land. Tony Van Hemert Quincy Contact your elected officials... PLUblAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofphmas.com Individual supervisors can also be e-mailed from links on the county website, countyofplumas.com PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C 20500, (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202-456-2461, E-mail: whitehouse.gov /contact / U.S. SENATOR -Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841; FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. Dirict Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450,  Frandsco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail go to website "feinstein.senate.gov." U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). Distrlct OffiCe: 501 I St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 22843454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. mcclintock.house.gov. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Ba) CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1at DIST. - Dave Cox (R), Diatrict office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783-5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680; assemblymember.cox@assemby.ca.gov; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quinc)5 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. -'Dan Logue, State Capital Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 895-4217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. gov.ca.gov / interact# contact