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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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July 11, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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July 11, 2001
 

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Reporter Wednesday, Julu 11,2001 9B Illll I I I I Illll Illllll Illllll I I lllll I m I IIIIIIIIII I III I'11111 IIIIIII I I IIIIIII I[1111111 IIIIIIIIIII Ill ' IIII I DISTRICT 3 .. supervisorlal dis o my %'-dart - ,p J, es, that have wet, __ t tablished by the , rne unty- lioard of Su. rasn ~, are based on many mOW discussion and con- dn by the board and nts The following is " " tory of how the board : their final deci- on ome necessary to make :e. B _from the 1990 bound- IOW ~use the population cl nt occurred ..,lu ughout the coun has been a 12.13 " population increase sh take Almanor Basin blowC ern_ Plumas County rne indian Rrea popu- by 8 per he Quincy area has unchanged. district boundary been pre- Plumas County Department, based and sug- members. The map designations of across the middle and theyany difficulties for Plumas in determining the f'mal po- it did little to assist in miti- Weyr, Telgar, Flying Pig, expressed the desire to re- County. litical boundaries, gating the District 2 deficit of Hereward and others were main a part of the third dis- However, the 1973 case of Choices for the Board -18 percent and leR the poten- not representative of trict. Gafferey v. Cummings notesOf all the proposals pre- tial difference of -25percent land/population criteria, but Electon Code Require- the flexibility of population sented by the Plumas County between the high and low, were used in place of a num- ments" equity in the code "...as near- Planning Department, the population. The resolution bering system. These names Section 21500 of the Califor- ly as maybe..." To accommo, board finally concentratedwas reversed by a 5-0 vote in also added levity to an other- nia Elections Code is simple date legitimate local inter- onWeyr, Hereward and Tel- favor of further considera- wise serious process, and, in combination with ests, federal courts have in- gar. tion of Telgar. Most important was the court cases, leaves room for terpreted the equal popula- Weyr and Hereward were The only proposal that met fact that the public had the decision flexibility. In sum- tion standard for local leg- not acceptable because both the needs of the commu- opportunity to provide their mary, the code indicates that islative bodies to mean that a Hamilton Branch was split nities that had entered into views before and during two using the decennial federal redistricting plan is presum- between two districts in qne the Public Hearing process public hearings. County su- census as a basis, "...theably valid if the total devia- and included in District 2 in and the election code was pervisors have noted on sev- board shall adjust the bound- tion from equal populationthe other, contrary to their Telgar. The total deviation eral occasions that the will of aries of any or all of the su- from the largest to the small- petitions and request. Thefrom equal population from the people, and the elections pervisorlal districts of the est district is less than 10%. total deviation from equalthe largest district (District 3; code should be met. That was county so that the districts The case states that an even population between the + 6.22 percent) to the smallest the basis for the decision to shall be as nearly equal in larger deviation can be ac- largest and smallest district district (District 2; -6.22 per- choose "Telgar" as the f'mal population as may be..." ceptable if necessary to pro- under Hereward would have cent) is 12.44 percent; only 2.5 district boundaries. But, the code also specifies, mote legitimate and consis- been 9.9 percent (District 3, - percent different from the Will of the People "In establishing the bound- tently applied policies, such 6.19 percent, and District 1, + Hereward proposal. The ac- There were early concerns aries of the districts theas maintaining community 3.75 percent). However, this ceptance of the Telgar bound- expressed in the Lake A1- board may give con_sidera-identity and integrity, proposal did little to help Dis- aries was passed by a 4 to 1 manor Basin regarding the tion to the following factors: The Wilson v. Ev case trict 2 population, because it vote. loss of community identity a) topography, b) geography, makes the important point still remained at 4.39 percent. In summary, the board of and continuity in maps that c) cohesiveness, contiguity, that "compactness does notThe board initially passedsupervisors entered the re- changed communities of integrity, and compactness of refer to geometric shapes, but (by a 3-2 vote) a resolution to" districting process with the Lake Almanor West and territory, and d) community to the ability of citizens to re- accept the 1991 boundariesintent of listening to public Hamilton Branch from Dis- of interests of the districts, late to each other and their with minor changes. The dis- comment, developing an un- trict 3 to District 2. At two Court Cases Provide Guid- representatives and to thecussion that led to the motion derstanding of our obliga- public meetings and the July ance ability of representatives to was based on the fact that it tions and opportunities with- 3 public hearing, citizens There have been 14 court relate effectively to their con- maintained the boundaries of in the election code while from these areas noted that cases on this issue between stituents." Further, it speaks those who had expressed con- meeting the needs of con- the meaning of"community" 1966 and 1999. Most of them to relationships that are facil- cern for community continu- stituents, and making a ratio- has become very important have involved racial bias in itated by shared interestsity and that it appeared that nal decision that will be in ef- in recent years, as they have the establishment of state leg- and by membership in a PO-there was not a concern for fect for the next 10 years. I be- met to address common so- islative boundaries and thus litical community, change by others within the lieve those goals have been cial and economic issues, the code references the need In summary, the public's county, since verT few hadfulfilled and look forward to Hamilton Branch residents for compliance with Section concern and expression re-presented proposals. That ap- the implementation of the objected vehemently to hay- 1973 of Title 42 of the U.S. garding community identityproach was later deemed un- new supervisorial district ing the community divided Code. This has not provided should be considered heavily reasonable, however because boundaries.. I I GENERAL SOme YOUng people j lucttyy liyes and oth- go nJj[n to , r, ie and vio- )end _ __ as research has fo- .TFn wtlat Went Wro in ' S~ef Youths who l~m" researchers are .more closely at what m the lives of kids who turn away from criminal and potentially lethal acts. ing cognitive, emotional, so- positive development, vocate and ally. behavior. What are the building cial and physical experiences Adults play a major role in 6. Be positive role models. Be "Youth violence is not an blocks that help steer young in childhood could transform guiding youths in the right trustworthy, honest, fair and intractable problem," accord- people away from crime and our culture." direction, dependable. ing to the recent report by in a positive direction? The Search Institute of "Teenwork 2000," a major 7. Provide jobs! the U.S. Surgeon General. Most critical is a lovingM!nneapolis, Minnesota has effort by teenagers in our8. Make time for usl "Rather, it is a behavior that home. grouped 40 "developmental state to reduce substance 9. Work with us in partner- we can understand, treat and Tragically, today, the most assets," or building blocks, abuse, recently issued "The ship. Have fun with us and prevent." dangerous place for a child is that help young people growTop Ten Things Youth Need teach us what you know. In California, our Depart- at home. up healthy, caring and re From Adults": 10. Provide a range of oppor- ment of Justice data show The number of children inIn addition to family sup- 1. Get to know us! Don't tunities that are safe, playful that between 1994 and 1999, foster care in California has port and positive family corn- make judgments based on and help us make a differ- the rate of juvenile felony ar- tripled over the past 15 years, munication, these "assets" first impressions, ence. rests decreased 32 percent, Last year, there were 643,000 include: supportive relation- 2. Recognize our ivisdom and Let us all do our part t~:~ and homicides, fell 69 percent reports of child abuse and ne- ships with other adults, a car- treat us with respect. Trust give kids the daily building - a major achievement, glect in our state, ing neighborhood and an en-us to try it on our own. blocks of healthy develop- Yet, the epidemic of youth We need to help adults pro- couraging school environ- 3. Believe in us and never, ment. For additional infor- violence remains a concern, vide a nurturing, enriching ment, participating in a reli- ever, give up on us. mation, please write my Nationally, juvenile confi- home. gious community, a commit- 4. Provide help, support and Crime and Violence Preven- dential reports reveal that a Dr. Bruce Perry, a national ment to learning, integrityguidance with patience, care tion Center, 1300 I St., Sacra- disturbingly high proportion expert on the impact of expo- and compassion in dealing and love. mento, CA 95814. of young people have corn- sure to violence on children, ' with others and a sense of 5. Listen. Value youth opin- mitted physically injurious says that "providing enrich- purpose - all contribute toions and feelings. Be our ad- r su I The year-end grand jury re- port, which contends that the lo- cal government has gotten bet- ter but still needs to improve, is mostly accurate, but missed a few points, Plumas County resi- dents say. The poll was conducted to get an idea of how residents feel about the issue, which was asked in light of a new grand ju- = i ry report. I The poll, which ran from June 29 to July 9, asked site visitors, m "What doyou think of the new grand jury report?" The poll was not scientifically conducted. Rather, site visitors were asked to state their opinion on a topic. There is no way to verify whether the poll actually re- flects communityopinion. It is for entertainment purposes only. About 36 percent said the re- port is mostly accurate but missed a few points. About 29 percent said the re- county's situation." About 14 percent said, "It's somewhat accurate, but it miss- es some important points." The same number of poll par- ticipants said, "It really misses the mark. What were they think- ing?." How important is the A little more than 7 percent of those who voted called the grand scandal involving the jury "a pointless exercise." missing former intern? I plumasnews.com or third- must be li of 300 words. of 300 words e(mor. The Oead- p.m. Lettem may of Feather Punish- sent via fax to 283- e-mailed at County em- want to thank you in reference jump up 23.5 percent per pay period. A 2 percent Increase contain an address would not even cover what I number. We publish lost last year per pay period:_ I week, per personam not even looking at the m on, per eneral cost of U increas same es, food on the mote, gas in your tank, and a tank of propane to keep warm. Coun- ty employees are hungry, not greedy. I thank you, Mr. Keller, again for your words. It was disheartening to see what the county is presently offering. But it felt good to have some one draw it to the public's eye. Barbara Brown Quincy many negotiations. I county employ- afford medical Imfo. I am a Plumas County em- ployee. I want to say thank you to Dave Keller for the ar- ticle in the 7/4/01 edition about the negotiations. Of course, this is more inform& tion than we have been able to get from our negotiators. When I asked one of the ne > tiators today about the validi- ty of Dave's article, he would neither confirm nor deny. Most people don't know that our health insurance has gone up 400 percent in the past five years. The past year alone has cost me 3 percent of my wages, so a 2 percent in- crease is still a cut in pay! Thank you, Dave. Diana Hackbarth and I know of a more that watch go up and grow smaller cost of merl- In either case, a county employ- suffering. to see what is paying negotiator. All to avoid paying employees a living based on my r wages, I watched my premium QutncT rmp fem .mtt I have never been compelled to write a "Letter to the Edi- tor" before, but this situation is too vital to our county and its constituents to be ignored. There is a definite need for ac- tion. First though, I would like to extend my most sin- cere thanks to Mr. Dave Keller for his honest and forthright stance in his col. umn regarding the current contract tlons between the county and its employees. This was a brave act on his part, and unpopular in some circles no doubt- However, as far as I am aware, he did not state anything that was inac- curate or untrue, jusl an ac- count of where things stand. This is a critical time in our county, more than at any oth- er point in recent years. As not only an employee, but also a native of Quincy, I feel I have an obligation to add my response to his. As someone who grew up here, I have seen this county under- go many changes over the past few decades. I have al- ways felt a great deal of pride in my community, my county and my country Although there are times I have not era. braced some of the choices that have been made here po- litically. I have lived else- where Sacramento, Chico, even Idaho and Nevada for a time. But I could not stay away. One of the major challenges that has become a growing concern to counties statewide (and for other states as well) is the ability to recruit, hire and retain qualified and quality employees. Those terms are not automatically synony- mous, as one can t'md employ- ees that, although qualified, lack the quality we all look for. In my capacity as training manager for our department, many of the seminars and classes I have attended, espe- cially over the past year or two, have increasingly fo- cused on offering a competi- tive combination salary/bene- fit package that emphasizes their commitment to attract- ing and keeping the best em- ployees available. They even offer a class specifically with that very title, "Recruitment, Hiring, and Retention." Our department is just one that has fallen victim to signifi- cant turnover, at a painful rate over the past few years. The average stay has been one year, just long enough to obtain the state mandated training, several months of experience and then they are hired away by agencies who offer sometimes double our salary, as well as providing safety retirement for their of- ficers, which is fast becoming the "industry standard." This trend of constantly hir- ing and training new people is so much more costly to the county in the long run than people often realize. Not only in our department, but the sheriffs office, social services and many others, the cost of recruiting and training a "new hire" has just about tripled over the last few years, not to mention the less obvi- spect and understanding. An adversarial or antagonistic stance is very counterproduc- tive for all concerned. We are all neighbors and will contin- ue to be, as long as we make a commitznent to show the com- munity, and the employees, that they matter, now and for the future. Everyone deserves to earn a living wage. In a small community, we not only work together, but also we live here, among our families, friends and neighbors, and ous, but very significant cost will hotly continue to do of constantly having inoxperi- so, long after business deal- enced staff, which results, ings, contract or otherwise, through no fault of their own, have come and gone. in the possibility of substan- I also realize there are those dard services to the communi- ty, the vital and necessary ser- vices they have every right to expect, Efficiency Is some- thing an department heads count on, because it is good business practice, saves mon- who are not comfortable with the idea of unions. However, there are times when they are critically necessary and this in one of those times. At no other time has a colIective ef- fort seemed more important ey in the long run and helps and vital to the future vitality maintain a positive interac- and morale of this county, ff tion with the community as a not for the support and assis- whole. Those counties thattance of our union, there is choose to be progressive, for- ward thinking, and commit. ted to improving and setting a new standard are the ones who will be able to attract the most qualified applicants, and keep them. I have always felt the rela- tionship between an employer and employee should, and can, be based on mutual re- genuine reason for concern that we will find ourselves los- ing many of the gains that, over the past ten or fifteen years, others worked so hard to gain. That would be devas- tating not just to our employ- ees, but the county as welL I have committed myself to imp