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March 17, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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FEATHER RIVER Surrounding Areas Since 1866 Wednesday, March 17, 2010 Vol. 143, No. 32 50 CENTS PDH takes first step toward election District appoint; elections official to verify petition Linda Satchwell Staff Writer Isatchwell@plumasnews.com At its March 11 board meeting, Piumas District Hospital's directors voted unanimously to "appoint the P1umas County Clerk as its Election Official to process the petition regarding the Tax Limitation Initiative, including, but not limited to, inspecting the voter sig- natures and, ff proper, certifi- cation of such initiative petition." When attorney Robert Zernich took the petition signatures to County Clerk, Kathy Williams, he learned she was authorized to count and certify petition signa- tures. Richard Hathaway, PDH's chief executive officer, and Dr. Mark Satterfield, board president, said a second resolution would have to be adopted at a later board meet- ing to authorize the election itself once the initiative petition is certified. Previously, when the PDH board, on advice of its counsel, refused to appoint an elections official, the petitioners brought a legal suit against thehospital. Now, according to Satter- field, negotiations are going in a positive direction, and he is confident attorneys for both sides will soon reach a workable agreement. Part of the agreement involves assurances by the petitioners' counsel that the" current $3.2 million in bonds won't be put at risk if the tax limitation initiative passes. Though Satterfield and Hathaway said they didn't know exactly how the peti- tioners could guarantee the safety of the original bonds if the tax cap of $50 per $100,000 of assessed house value passed, Satterfield said the attorneys "are ironing that out; they're wrestling with how to do that legally ... how it can appear on the ballot but also protect the bond holders ... and they do think that can be done." PDH's board and adminis- tration feel it is important to resolve issues with the petitioners without a costly and time-consuming court case that they "cannot win." They also feel it is important at this juncture to understand whether or not the community wants to go ahead with the new hospital project, though given their choice, the hospital would have chosen a less expensive means of assessment, such as a community survey. Satterfield and Hathaway made clear, as they have since they first began advo-, cating for a new hospital, that they believe the hospital will close eventually if the tax limitation initiative passes. "The voters of this district need to know that this proposed initiative will tie our hands financially and will not provide us the funding we need to make much-needed improvements to our hospital. Even though mandated seismic upgrades have been delayed by the state, we still need to replace our falling infrastructure. "Our hospital needs to be brought up to 21st-century standards to attract and retain physicians and to en- sure quality health care is available to all residents into the future," Satterfield said. Tax cap proponents have said there will be time to either fix the existing struc- ture or to raise the money to See PDH, page 14A Board says no to FRC layoffs Tiffiney Lozano Staff Writer I satchwell@plurnasnews.corn Feather River College trustees voted unanimously against sending layoff notices to six full-time faculty mem- bers in a special meeting Tuesday, March 9, a decision that earned-them a roomful of applause. At stake was the football program as well as the men's and women's basketball programs; two vocational programs -- of[ice career and technology and outdoor recreation leadership; and a library science position. College president Dr. Ron Taylor, in attendance via conference call, said after the vote he was "very en- couraged" by what he had heard. "It's going to be a challenge, let's not kid our- selves. Every bit of savings will be a sacrifice, but I am encouraged by the spirit of cooperation," he said. The trustees cast their votes after nearly an hour of See FRC, page 12A TOP IN CO: aFERENCE Quincy senior Jared Kuipers won first place in the Central II Division by accumulating the most points throughout the regular season. For the complete story about last week's state ski championships, see page 11B. Photo by Karen Barker Election filing period now over Delaine Fragnoli Josh Sebold Managing Editor dfragnoli@plumasnews.corn The filing period for the June 2010 election has come to a close; candidates intend- ing to run have submitted financial statements indicat- ing their intentions to form election ct)mmittees. Sheriff Greg Hagwood and retired deputy Bob Shipp have publicly announced their candidacy for sheriff and begun campaigning. In January, county supervisors appointed Hagwood to finish the term of Terry Bergstrand, who retired. Assistant District Attorney Dave Hollister has likewise filed financials and started campaigning for district attorney. Incumbent Jeff Cunan has said he will not run for a third term. Plumas Unified School Dis- trict Superintendent Glenn Harris, District 3 Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, Clerk- Recorder Kathy Williams and Auditor Shawn Montgomery remain unopposed in their re-election bids. Assessor Charles Leon- hardt faces challenger Mike Gardner in one of the rare races with both an incumbent and a newcomer. J.P. Kennedy and Richard Lundy have filed paperwork to run for District 5 county supervisor, a seat long held by Ole Olsen, who is retiring. Julie White has signaled her intent to run for treasurer- tax collccton Treasurer Susie Bryant- Grant, appointed by the board to fill that position last February after the incumbent retired, has signaled she won't be running. Supervisors refuse to jump EMS ship for:Hearts Up Ranch. See page 1B Spring ball FRC softball takes first league game. See Regional page 13B Joshua Sebold Staff Writer jsebold@plumasnews.corn The Plumas County Board of Supervisors decided to avoid hysteria and remained patient while considering how to react to a new trend in other counties' choices of local emergency medical service authority providers at a meeting Tuesday, March 9. Chairwoman Sherrie Thrall began the discussion on the item by telling the audience in the boardroom, "There's been a ton of correspondence and e-mails and lobbying of all kinds" regarding the trend. County Public Health De- partment Director Mimi Hall told supervisors two counties have recently left NorCal EMS, the local service for Plumas, after being with the group since1997. Hall said several other counties claimed it was time for everyone invoived with NorCal to jump ship. In a short telephone inter- view, Hall said all counties have to have a LEMSA, an in- dependent agency to ensure all medical personnel and organizations stay in com- pliance with rules about licensing, certification and training. She also said NorCal pro- vided services to Plumas that other groups wouldn't, such as upkeep of the county emergency communication systems. At the board meeting, Plumas County Administra- tive Officer Jack Ingstad told the supervisors Shasta County's CAO invited him to meetings to see what the re- maining counties should do in reaction to two counties leaving NorCal, but Ingstad could not attend the meetings. He said several CAOs pulled him aside at a meeting in Sacramento recently and told him several CAOs were planning to tell their county boards they should move to a rival of NorCal, Sierra- Sacramento Valley EMS Agency, the same organiza- tion that the previous two counties moved to. Ingstad told the board he didn't know much about the issue at the time so he forwarded information to Thrall and Hall. He explained the county's contract with NorCal was about to expire and the other CAOs were going before their boards soon, possibly even that same day. Ingstad said he had a feeling NorCal would probably have to make some changes if all five of the counties, whose CAOs approached him, de- cided to leave the group, leaving only four. Thrall summed up his concern, "If they start losing See EMS, page 12A III[1111111111HIIIIIII!I!HII 8805 93270 6 To subscribe to the Bulletin, call o30-283-0800 t