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July 23, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, July 23, 2014 7B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE IVCSD needs to improve security, listen to ratepayers As concerns the political drama presently taking place in my hometown area of Greenville, what I see personally is a direct need for the indian Valley Community Services District board of directors to refer to the California State Constitution as to the procedures for elected officials to follow in conducting the public's business, i.e mainly budget control, and also Robert's Rules of Order for conducting the public's business in an orderly and ethical manner. The district has just lost in the area of some $500,000 due to the board's lack of attention to the business at hand, which is its responsibility alone when the chips are down. The entire issue could have been diverted had they simply put into place a way to monitor their own income and expense via viable reporting procedures. I don't know what happens at their meetings on a regular basis, but timancial control should be their ongoing, priority concern. Not to follow prescribed rules for timancial reporting has now created a loss to the district of even more than the monetary amount, but also the loss of credibility on the part Of the board as concerns future issues, mainly a proposed tax increase and the sale of the water from Round Valley Lake in an effort to recoup enough WHH I STAND track of a small water sewer, etc but what I was the desks and commencedto company's income and outgo; mostly concerned with wasget into a computer. NANSl BOIttO: it's a matter of conecting the water issue. I sat there for a few FORMER PLUMAS COUNTYwater fees, keeping adequate I called the IVCSD officeminutes, and then I asked SUPERVISOR records daffy and reconciling and requested a copy of their him if he was working for the money to cover the huge the accounts often in order to latest budget. What I received district. He seemed surprised deficit, keep track of accounts was a mimeographed, to see me sitting there, and What bothers me receivables and payables,blurred few piedes of paper he bolted out the front door personally, now, is that they Folks, this is what that resembled what and down the street. have yet to acknowledge the bookkeeping is all about and probably was used to makeFolks, how can anyone say fact that the district can monitoring the reports isnotes that might, or might fllat there were any controls expect an automatic windfall what the board is all about; not, have pertained to the at all in that office, timancial of some $500,000 or more in otherwise there's no control creation of a budget, or otherwise, that could the future due to the fact that whatsoever. I've worked with a lot ofprevent anyone from the tax dollars are at last I was maintaining the budgets, both as a member of accessing the community being secured for district entire bookkeeping system, the school board and the services district business? I expenditures and not daily, with an adding Board of Supervisors; it reported the incident and accessible for someone or machine, ledger and a pen; wasn't that difficult to realize suggested that they at least someone's personal now with computer that they didn't have one as should be locking the door if enjoyment, bookkeeping, it shouldn'trequired, and I did then tell the office were to be left Presently, a young woman take more than 10 minutesthe general manager that not unattended; no one was is facing a prison term for each day to print out a recap one dime of taxpayer dollars concerned about the f'mances her part in this boondoggle, of who has paid and who can legally be spent except to any extent that I could but she is not in this alone. I hasn't, how much is owed to it's within a line item amount determine, so I went back to Would not condone her date, and how much is in the on a yearly balanced budget my college class work and behavior by any means, but bank at any given time for all that has been duly published forgot about the whole issue. I'm also not condoning why of the district's business, each year. Any changes toThe board is not well and how it happened. A weekly payables recap that budget must be voted on known to be receptive to I have a long memory when tells who the company owes and recorded as such. input from their constituents it comes to the Bidwell Water and is backed up with a Not long afterward, I went for any reason so far as I can Co.; I grew up when the phone call once in a while to into the office reception area determine. Sometime later, I Bidweils owned the system, compare balances, or, at the to talk with the general heard the office had relocated and I knew the family well. I very least, a copy of each manager again about the to the Main Street office. later worked for Bidwell month's bills, which is even budget issues; I truly thought Computers are not fail safe Water Co. for a short time more credible. One call to the I could be of help. No one was from outside hackers. when Tom Jernigan owned bank gives any one of thepresent in the front office, the Unlocked doors with easy it. I ran the office by myself, board members who sign ondoor was unlocked and theaccess to office information is and not just the water the account the bank balance phone rang twice and was a wide open invitation for company, but also the at any given time, minus the being answered via a most anything to happen. Is Jernigan Backhoe Business, outstanding checks, recorder, it still possible for just and their personal financial It was sometime inthe There were two desks, each anyone to enter the IVCSD account, and I did so part early 2000s that I becamewith a computer. I sat down office space, open a computer time. Prior to that time, Vicki very concerned with the in a chair by the front door to and not be questioned? For Jernigan was running the ongoing complaints of wait for someone to appear, me, that memory still lingers office by herself until she was Greenville residents about which did happen, but not as on. diagnosed with multiple the ever-rising tax rate and I expected. It was a young At the July 9 meeting, one sclerosis, huge water bills. I know the man, maybe late teens, who of the board members read a It's not a huge job to keep district includes lighting, came in, sat down at one of letter to the audience saying that now they do intend to create a more secure financial reporting system. I say they should just stop where they're at until it's proven that such a system is in place before they again ask the taxpayer for more money, or before they sell the water from the lake to raise a fast $500,000, as is being proposed. Aside from the timancial reporting issue, the issue of the sale of the water from Round Valley Lake deserves to be put to a vote of the people within the IVCSD, In this way, it would clarify that the board members do understand their responsibility toward representing their constituents; at least they could then make a decision, one way or the other, based on the fact of true representation and not totally on what I feel was one or two board members' personal ideology, with the other two members simply agreeing. Issues such as this along with input from their constituents don't happen very often; a board of directors should have high regard for the times the public does pay attention. The board made a decision within minutes totally devoid of any concerns having just been presented by members of the audience; this is not a good procedure for creating credibility in any event. That being said; I rest my opinion. LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week per person arid only .one: letter per perSon rt nth' regarding the same" subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The editor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words. The deadline is Friday at 3p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952 or e-mailed to dmcdonald@plumasnews.com. Code needs to be changed The code PRC 4291 (Defensible Space) was introduced in the 1960s and called for 30 feet of defensible space around habitable structures. in 2005, it was updated to extend 100 feet. CalFire is inspecting properties this summer in the SRA areas for compliance to this code. Their website detimes defensible space in simple pictographs. Following these are threats of probation, times and eventual forced mitigation (charged to property owner). It also says "Defensible Space -- IT'S THE LAW." When the local CalFire representative was asked by Plumas News he stated that they were here this year to spread the "spirit" of the law, not enforce the "letter" of the law. The main point of this writing is to make clear that if the "letter" of the law is some day enforced, even people on "firesafed" properties will have clearing work. To create 10/30 foot spacing between tree crowns and remove most ladder trees adjacent to larger ones (per DF guidelines) would be a huge collective cost to those of the 825200 Californians affected by this ridiculous code. Local fire officials respect those who want to "live under the trees," and that the treed property (knowingly at risk of wildfire) is what many came here for and purchased. They also realize that 100 feet of DF is useless unless the rest of the property and neighbors' vacant land is cleared as well. And that is a monumental job which would timancially cripple many property owners if it were required. This code PRC 4291 needs to be rewritten or abolished. It is a giant :anvil over the heads of 'rural homeowners on wooded property. Our local leaders and FPDs understand this, and their efforts to monitor and hopefully end this liability are appreciated. Robert Milne Clio Support our sheriff We have an excellent sheriff in Greg Hagwood who is weathering difficult challenges since the passage of AB 109. We are seeing the increase in the presence of our law enforcement officers and the recruitment of new deputies. He is working to bring services required to Plumas County. The Board of Supervisors approved the hiring of four new correctional officers at the July 15 meeting. Three were lost last month. Two were advancing to take training to become deputies. One left for other reasons. The department is still understaffed. The BOS also notified the sheriff and the public that they have a $3 million shortfall in the revenue for the general fund and that the sheriff can expect a cut of $1 million in his budget. The Portola City Council has already cut the sheriffs contract to fund their Community Services Officer. Volunteers are already performing community services. We can perform many of the officer's duties and assist the sheriffs deputies in reporting offenses of concern. We do not have to issue parking tickets just tell the driver that their car is in the red zone. We can be watchdogs to protect private property and gather information to assist the sheriff If Portola needs a CSO, let the funding come from the general fund, not COP funds. Now is the time to support our sheriff and his department. We can become watchdogs for the sheriff not against him. Our elected officials have an ethical responsibility to safeguard public funds. They need to take every effort to prevent litigation. Our County Council informed the BOS that we have a legal eagle watching over the sheriffs department. It is time to support our sheriff, not lawyers. Let your voices be heard to our elected officials. Larry F. ~uglas Portola Biased reporting Indian Valley readers of our weekly newspaper look to it for up-to-date reports on the unfolding tale of the IVCSD, its woes and the constructive steps it is taking to bring much-needed funds into the valley. However, last week's edition was less than helpful in that regard. Under the headline "Efforts to recall CSD directors continues" there is the following sentence: "According to Admire, one of the questions being asked of new applicants is whether or not they support the efforts to recall the officers currently in position." It is clear to me that Admire and her cohorts will be asking this question but the sentence reads, erroneously, as though the board members will be asking it. Reminds me of the kid who reports to his neighbor, "The window got broken by the boseball." Ah, the wonders of the English language! Back to Journalism 1-A and the judicious use of words like "they." And a reminder that news reporting must be even-handed, which is hardly the case when, under the headline "CSD progresses with water transfer plans," the opening sentence reads: "Contrary to the requests of many community members, the board of directors voted to take the next step " True but no quote from the many other community members who are pleased that the board is taking positive steps to bring much-needed funds into the community. Unbiased reporting is lesson No. 1 in Journalism 1-A. Nancy Lund Greenville Reduce speed limit Most drivers turning right from Highway 89 at Blairsden do not stop at the stop sign, giving little more than a glance to their left (if not at all) and their left view of fast traffic approaching from the west is often blocked by a vehicle on their left that is waiting to turn left onto Highway 70 west. Besides careless drivers, the primary problem at that intersection is the hill on Highway 70 just to the west where vehicles crest the hill at 55 mph and often exceeding that speed limit. Someone told me a signal should be put in (that would be much worse by stopping vehicles so close to a 'blind' crest in the highway, also very expensive). A flashing yellow caution light would have little effect, especially since the stop sign is usually not respected. I believe too many vehicle's going too fast and , approaching from different directions is best dealt with by slowing Highway 70 from 55 mph to 35 mph in both directions from the crest to the west and same distance to the east. That would give drivers more time for the mental processes to evaluate and respond to the movement of vehicles, including those crossing Highway 70 to the Park & Ride or making a left turn from Highway 70 onto Highway 89 south. Robert Whalen .Blairsden Second Amendment The Second Amendment is the one that pays for all the others. Roy H. Wallis Westwood Most important forecast ever Operation Overlord was the allies' plan to free Europe from four years of Nazi Germany rule. It would be the largest amphibious operation ever undertaken in history. The operation would include a cross-channel invasion of 150200 men with 5,000 ships and landing craft, 11,000 aircraft of all types, 52,000 trucks. With the high risks involved, an accurate weather report to start the operation was crucial. The weather forecast for June 5, 1944, looked favorable for the invasion to start. The chief meteorologist, Capt. James Martin Swagg, advised Eisenhower to delay things for one day. He cited unsettled weather conditions. Swagg's associates were dismayed at the delay. A June 5th invasion start would have been a disaster. There were strong heavy winds, high seas and thick writer in La Crescenta. To cloud cover, pretend that our invasion of June 6th conditions wereIraq was done in order to rid favorable enough to start the world of a violent dictator things moving, is ludicrous. Two America~' divisions,' ' Is the writer so blinded by two British and one Canadian -his-hatred of all of us who do got a toehold on the not adhere to his extremely Normandy beach and distorted views of history that consolidated their positions he has forgotten that Cheney. for offensive operations, and Rumsfeld were The Germans experienced instrumental in putting shock, awe and surprise at the Saddam in power? Is he invasion. Field Marshal unaware that Cheney and his Rommel was in Paris buying cohorts used the tragedy of shoes for his wife. 9/11 and then knowingly The allied forces starting declared the false assertion moving on the offensive,that WMDs were being Paris was liberated Aug. 24, amassed in Iraq for the 1944. purpose of attacking the As the Russians blasted West? Has he lost sight of the Berlin, Hitler -- in a bunker fact that all those Neocons below the death and carnage said that it would all be over above -- committed suicide, in a few weeks and that the His 1000-year Reich lasted Iraqis would pay us back with just 12. He was 56 years old. cheap oil? Does the writer Germany signed a forget that it was the presence document of surrender onof Saddam, evil as he was, that May 7, 1945. kept Iran in check? Does he James I. Overstreet ignore the fact that Saddam Quincy and Osama bin Laden were enemies? There is more, but What is war good for? I am compelled to comment on last week's letter from a See Letters, page 8B Contact your elected officials PLUMAS COUNTY SUPERVISORS - 520 Main Street, Room 309, Quincy, CA 95971; (530) 283-6170; FAX: (530) 283-6288; E-Mail: pcbs@countyofplumas.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; TTY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 Website: feinstein.senate.gov. U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District 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) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 1ST DIST. - Doug LaMalfa. 506 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515. (202) 225-3076. lamalfa.house.gov. [ DISTRICT OFFICES: 1453 Downer St Suite #A, Oroville, CA 95965; 2885 | Churn Creek R Suite #C, Redding, CA 96002. STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Ted Gaines. State Capitol, Room 3070, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651-4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680. El Dorado Hills Constituent Service Center. 4359 Town Center Boulevard, Suite 112, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762. (916) 933-7213, FAX (916) 933-7234; Redding Constituent Service Center. 1670 Market St Suite 244, Redding, CA 96001, (530) 225-3142, FAX (530) 225-3143. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 1ST DIST. - Brian Dahle, State Capitol, Room 2174, Sacramento, CA 94249, (916) 319-2001; FAX (916) 319-2103. District Office, 2080 Hemsted Dr Ste. #110, Redding, CA 96002; (530) 223-6300, FAX (530) 223-6737. GOVERNOR Jerry Brown, office of the Governor, Capitol, Suite 1173, Sacramento, CA 95814. Website: gov.ca.gov/ (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160. State