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Quincy, California
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June 23, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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Page 1 Plumas County Grand Jury Report It's Us It's that one "Is" that we find worthy in fighting for And it's the reason for planning on It's us A tree falling in the forest doesn't make a sound And a mountain top doesn't have any sight It is us We have the sight, we have the need It is us who must work together To bring together any fruition of what we have here Field and stream, man and woman Supervisor or store clerk, it's us It's us who are responsible A Poem by Julien Howe, Grand Jury Member 2009.10 2009-2010 Plumas County Grand Jury Table of Contents Subject Page Julien's Poem .............................................. 1 Table of Contents .......................................... 1 Goals Statement ............................................ 1 Grand Jury Use of Internet .................................. 1 Members of the 2009-2010 Grand Jury ......................... 2 Investigations .............................................. 2 Airports ................................................... 2 Economic Development ...................................... 3 Food Safety ................................................ 5 Water Quality and Abundance ................................ 7 Fire! ....................................................... 8 Fire Services .............................................. 9 Development ............................................. 11 Board of Supervisors ...................................... 12 Procedure ...... ........................................... 12 Conclusion ................................................ 13 Inspections/Other Special Committees Audit Committee Report .................................... 13 Summary of Citizen Complaints ............................. 13 Elections Department Review of Procedures .................. 14 Jail Inspection Report ...................................... 14 Federal Stimulus Funds Report ............................. 15 Appendices Appendix A: Function of the Plumas County Grand Jury ....... 15 Appendix B: Plumas Grand Jury History of Investigations ...... 16 Appendix C: Penal Code Section 888 et seq .................... 16 Appendix D: Citizen Complaint form ......................... 16 Appendix E: Requirement for Respondents to Respond .......... 17 Appendix F: Grand Jury Report Distribution List .............. 17 Appendix G: Plumas County Emergency Services Advisory Committee Recommendation for Fire Protection Improvement Standards .............................. 17 The Goals for Investigations by The 2009-2010 Grand Jury Rationale for Investigations: The 2009/2010 Plumas County Grand Jury began its term by gathering information from Plumas County government officers regarding our functions, the cur- rent status of governmental operations and future problems created by the current economic climate. The purpose was to identify programs and services likely to have a significant impact on Plumas County's future economic and social well-being. Plumas County has been undergoing an extended period of transition which has been greatly exacerbated by both the recent national economic collapse and the budgetary defi- ciencies of the California state government. Since the time of the Gold Rush, new inhabitants have been attracted by our abundant natural resources. Their livelihoods depended to a very large extent on indus- tries which either extracted these resources (timber, lumber milling and mining) or facilitated the process (railroads). Due to a combination of resource deple- tion, changes in government regulations, changes in societal attitudes and shifting market forces, the roles which these industries have previously played as the economic foundations for Plumas County citizens are now either nonexistent or rapidly disappearing. Our assumption was that if Plumas County is to grow and remain a place where young people will come, stay or return, work and raise families, there must be new jobs in local businesses and new industries along with desirable housing and a safe living environment. As a consequence, the 2009-2010 Grand Jury organized our investigations with the following questions in mind: Who are we? Where are we going? We focused on programs and services which we assessed were critical to helping the county move toward the goal of promoting: Sustainable growth and quality of life. As did its past, Plumas County's future also depends on its natural resources. However, these county resources will need to provide benefits in a broader spectrum of ways. The resources which we could identify as critical to shaping our future include: the forests and moun- tains, the natural lakes and reservoirs, the free-flowing streams and rivers, and the clean mountain air. The tremendous scenic and recreational value of these resources has attracted large numbers of visitors and encouraged an expanding recreational, sporting and hospitality industry. The same resources have also brought many of these visitors back to become perma- nent, or semi permanent, residents in their retirement. These resources also serve as major assets for attract- ing new industries with low environmental impact. They will offer their employees a safe and healthful liv- ing environment. The best option would be to identify businesses for addition or expansion which will syner- gize with or compliment our current assets. We defined these assets as: Healthy, lush forests Abundant clean, clear water Clean, clear air A high level of public safety As a consequence, the Grand Jury investigations were organized around three general questions regarding how Plumas County manages these assets: Which programs or agencies have the current responsi- bilities for protecting and regulating use of these assets? Do the current organizational structure and opera- tional policies of these programs or agencies allow them to effectively exercise their responsibilities? Will the current organizational structure and opera- tional policies of these programs or agencies be suffi- cient to ensure that they can function effectively as the county moves into the future? The programs, services or agencies which we identi- fied as being most critical to Plumas County's future and chose to investigate were: Airports, Economic Development, Fire Management, Food Safety, Water Quality and Abundance. Grand Jury Use of Internet One of the goals of the 2009-2010 Grand Jury was to bring the Plumas County Grand Jury' now and in the future, into the world of technology - to fully utilize the capabilities of the Internet to speed and to facilitate communication and document/file sharing between panel members. The initial approach was via email using password-protected files. Incompatibilities in software, hardware and internet service by different providers rendered this approach impractical for achieving our stated goal. After a great deal of research, the Grand Jury estab- lished a new position, Webmaster, and purchased a low cost web hosting service. The service provides a high-end business-class online storage sharing web- site. The service also provides software that easily interfaces with Microsoft and Apple operating sys- tems, which greatly improved the Jury's ability to quickly and securely store and share documents and files both large and small with minimal incompatible issues. The website was easy to set-up, has good sup- port service, is reliable and requires minimal training for use by Grand Jury members. In addition, access to the site is password protected and all privileges for reading, sharing, uploading, downloading and man- agement of documents/files/folders are controlled by the Webmaster and designated users such as commit- tee chairs. The Grand Jury elected to use their own email service and identities to communicate changes in website content, and the Webmaster used a portable storage device to manually backup documents/files. The web- site service proved to be a valuable tool and exceeded or met all expectations of our stated goal. Finally, the combined use of Grand Jurors personal computers (desk top and lap top), printers, email and the web site saved significant time and cost. The use of these modern technologies is especially important in Plumas County due to the long travel distances between the Grand Jurors and the communities they represent. .A P KAUFtN Sadie of tbh Sup.r Crt PLUMAS SUPERIOR COURT CourthouSe 520 Main SIrcct Room 304 Quincy, CA 9597 I Tel: 530-283-6297 Fax: 530283[44 May 24, 2010 Pamela Gill, Forapcrson Ptumas County Grand Jury P.O. Box 1707 Portola, CA 96122 Re: 2009-2010 Grand Jury Year End Final Report Dear Ms. Gill, [ have raad and reviewed the draft grand jury year end final rport prasented to me and find that it is in compliance with Penal Code 933. Therefore the report is approved for finalization. Sincerely, IRA KAUFMAN Presiding Judge IK/tp