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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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May 21, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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May 21, 2014
 

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8A Wednesday, May 21, 2014 Feather River Bulletin Where in the World Ron and Marilyn Christensen sail through the Panama Canal during a 16-day trip from New Orleans to San Francisco that included stops in Cartagena, Huatulco, Puerto Vallarta, Cabo San Lucas and San Diego. Greenville students Samantha P. Hawthorne Staff Writer shawthorne@plumasnews.com Instead of purchasing garden plants that are shipped into Plumas County, community members will have the chance to purchase them locally from Greenville High School's greenhouse May 22 and 23. The students will be selling a variety of vegetables, herbs and flowers, all of which they have cultivated themselves. Varieties in the sale include over five types of tomatoes, two varieties of cabbage, three types of squash, green and lemon sell locally grown plants cucumbers, pumpkins, eggplants, green and jalapefio peppers, and much more. Proceeds from the garden sale benefit the school's natural resources program, which was launched in 2007 by Sierra Institute for Community and Environment. The two-day fundraiser will last from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. on both days. Other dates and times will be scheduled at a later date. Appointments are also available by contacting GHS. The resources program combines classroom work with vigorous fieldwork focused on environmental education. According to Sierra Institute's website, the program goals are to "strengthen students' connection to their rural environment and to broaden their educational experience by offering opportunities for open-ended inquiries and practical problem-solving." By utilizing the school's greenhouse and the expertise of teacher Dan Brown, students have learned the science of creation and growth, conducted science fair experiments and have assisted in growing native riparian plants and conifers to aid in restoration work throughout Plumas National Forest. Vote to keep Jon Kennedy as District 5 Supervisor The following excerpt is from the May 7 Editorial Paid for by Dan Jackson, District 2 Supervisor Jon Kennedy's recent announcement that he won't seek a second term could mean a change in the way Plumas County operates. In particular, it could mean the return of a county administrative officer, Kennedy is an intelligent and tireless guy who prefers a hands,on approach to running the county. His strong will and outspoken management style -- some considered it micromanagement-- earned the supervisor praise from this paper. But sometimes it provided fuel for his critics. One of Kennedy's stated beliefs is that the county can be run without one person in charge of day-to-day operations. In other words, no county administrative officer. And -- partially thanks to Kennedy -- the county has indeed functioned OK without a chief administrator since former CAO Jack Ingstad was fired more than two years ago. But managing the county is a complicated, multllayered job. The duties should be handled by a battle-tested administrator with a solid grasp of law, finance and personnel management. Currently, the county is forced to spend tens of thousands of dollars on consultants who handle CAO duties that the supervisors and county counsel don't have enough time or expertise to deal with. Instead of relying on a CAO's research and recommendations to make informed big-picture decisions, the supervisors are spending a lot of time dealing directly with department heads. The supervisors sometimes use boardroom time to hear grievances and make minor decisions that a CAO would handle. It's not the ideal use of a supervisor's time. Opportunities are sometimes lost and time and money wasted by not having a CAO to lean on. Very few counties operate this way because it simply isn't efficient. The two men running for Kennedy's seat on the board, Jeff Engel and Jim Judd, have publicly endorsed hiring a CAO. They are both businessmen who understand that running a county is a lot like running a business. Judd even stated during a recent forum that county department heads shouldn't be attending Tuesday Board of Supervisors meetings. He said they should spend those hours running their departments. The new District 5 supervisor could represent the deciding vote that would bring a CAO back to the county. We have said it before and will emphasize it again; the Board of Supervisors has done an admirable job managing the county without a CAO. When they decided to take on the extra duties themselves, they did it to save money. The county's financial picture was bleak in 2011. The money the supervisors saved by not hiring a CAO probably saved a few county workers' jobs. The county's financial landscape is much greener today. Thanks to painful budget cuts ,the current board has made the past several years, the county is in better fiscal shape. The sitting supervisors deserve a lot of credit for that. The board's longest-sitting supervisor shares perspective Debra Moore Staff Writer dmoore@plumasnews.com Sherrie Thrall is running unopposed for her third term as District 3 supervisor, representing the Lake Almanor basin." During the Special District Association meeting held May 7, she addressed the same issues that were asked of the candidates for the District 5 supervisor race, sharing a perspective that more than seven years of serving on the Board of Supervisors brings. One of those challenges for the county and all of California is the drought. She said the county must be vigilant to protect its water rights, but the drought is also presenting an opportunity for the county to market itself because the lakes are fuller in Plumas than they are elsewhere. The topic of the transient occupancy tax (TOT) and whether it should be devoted to tourism was discussed. "It all goes into the general fund," Thrall said. "There is no regulation that says it has to go into tourism." While historically the supervisors allocated money to local chambers, Thrall said the downturn in the economy forced the supervisors to make "tough decisions." Looking forward, Thrall doesn't foresee an increase in the county's revenue stream, and hoped that the Reno Sherrie Thrall board could maintain the status quo this year. Thrall sees the biggest responsibility when considering how to allocate funds is public safety. AS far as collecting TOT, Thrall is concerned that the county is missing out on the income from private home rentals. An audience member asked how many hours the candidates would be willing to devote to the job of supervisor. "I love this job," Thrall said. "It's challenging; it's different." It's also a job that's "24/7," according to Thrall, and she added that she hasn't been out to dinner without talking to a constituent. "I love it, but they need to be prepared that this will be their life," she warned the other candidates. Both of the candidates on the ballot for District 5 support hiring a county administrative officer (CAO) but are divided about whether this is the right time, given the tight budget. "Having had both (a CAO and no CAO), I have mixed feelings," Thrall said. The job is more time consuming without a CAO, but Thrall said the experience has been a huge education for the machinations of the budget and the inner workings of each department. "When I make a cut, I know really well who I will be hurting," she said. Thrall equates hiring a CAO, at a cost of approximately $150,000, to being able to hire two deputies. Because the Plumas County Special Districts Association hosted the forum, the candidates were asked about their support of special districts. "I've served on a number of special districts and was elected to those boards," Thrall said. "It's the most effective level of government because it's closest to the people they serve." She's frustrated that few boards are elected, and that most who serve are appointed. As to whether special districts should join the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo), Thrall said, "I flip-flopped on this." As the former director of a special district she enjoyed the benefits of LAFCo without having to pay for them. But now as a supervisor, she thinks it's important that the special districts "need to be represented at the table. Special districts have no voice." She suggested that the cost of joining should be on a sliding scale based on the district's revenue. In response to a question about how environmental activism impacts the county, Thrall said lawsuits, like that filed against the general plan, cost the county money. "So now we're taking funds to defend a lawsuit or work out a settlement." In delivering her closing remarks, Thrall said, "I consider it the highest honor I have ever been given." '-'" 3mon,.,,or $18 per mo. (reg. 24 per mo.) deflvered to Your doorl The Reno Gazette and Wall Street Journal are also available at one of these convenient newsstand locations: CLIO Clio's Rivers Edge RV Park Reno Gazette-Journal BLAIRSDEN The Village Baker Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal Little Bear RV Park Reno Gazette-Journal GRAEAGLE Graeagle Store Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal Graeagle Restaurant Reno Gazette-Journal PORTOLA Leonard's Market Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal Sierra Energy (Formally Dollard's) Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal EAST QUINCY One Stop Fuel Mini.Mart Reno Gazette-Journal Sav Mor Foods (Racks) Reno Gazette-Journal Wall Street Journal Valero Fuel Mini-Mart Reno Gazette-Journal QUINCY 76 Fuel & Mini-Mart Reno Gazette-Journal . 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