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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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August 8, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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August 8, 2012
 

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4A Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2012 Feather River Bulletin Ju li ul From page 1A and marketing budget, which used to be more than $250,000. and stress" in the system.The supervisors recently The Grand Jury said the voted to add a pair of revenue- county must make additional generating tax measures to cuts in expenses and services the November ballot. to balance its budget. Howev- Board Chairman Robert er, the jury's only cost-saving Meacher said he wanted to recommendations were to fur- comment about the Grand Ju- ther reduce employee benefits ry's accusations, but said he and adopt a stricter sick leave couldn't legally do so until the policy, board, as a body, addresses "This (sick leave) benefitthe jury's recommendations should be used for being sick, in open session. not as an additional perk to an "I am sworn to secrecy employee's retirement plan," about my testimony to the the jurors said. Grand Jury. I can't comment The Grand Jury said the about what they talked to us county is facing a $1.5 million about," Meacher said. "The deficit this year. Board of Supervisors is hung "The county needs to face out to dry, with no legal way the facts and take action to agree or disagree with any- now!" the jurors stated inthing they say other than their report. "We cannot kick an official response put to- the can down the road any fur- gether by county counsel. ther." "This is the 20th Grand Ju- According to figures in the ry report I've seen as a super- Grand Jury's report, the coun- visor," Meacher said. "And I'll ty has cut expenses by nearly say I'm stunned by this one. I $2.8 million since 2008. think I can safely say that." The supervisors have cut more than 100 county jobs -- County jail more than a quarter of theThe Grand Jury found a county's workforce -- since number of inadequacies at the the recession began five years jail. ago. The board has also cut or In addition to calling the eliminated funding for many jail "an old and literally crum- non-essential services, includ- bling county facility," the jury ing eliminating the tourism confirmed the jail was out of Feather River Chapter of Fishing" Speaker: Jay Clark a lifelong Northern Sierra resident, will share his knowledge of the area. Thursday, August 9 6:00pm Mohawk Community Resource Center Corner of Hwy 70 & 89, Blairsden Free to the public! More Info: Cindy at (530) 249-0444 FEATHE ER Postal Service: USPS (No. 188-550.) Periodicals postage paid at Quincy, CA. Published: Every Wednesday morning by Feather Publishing Co Inc. Office Location and hours: 287 Lawrence St Quincy, CA 95971. Mailing address: P.O. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971 Office is open Mon. through Fri 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. How to contact us: All departments: (530! 283-0800. FAX: (530) 283-3952. E-Mail mail@plumasnews.com Web Page http'J/www.plumasnews.com Ownership and Hedtege: The Bulletin was established Aug. 11, 1866, as the Plumas National (later changed to Plumas National Bulletin, May 16, 1892) subse- quently changed to its present name May 7, 1931, which merged with the Plumes Independent (1892-1945) on June 7, 1945. Published weekly. It is part of the Feather Publishing family of newspapers serving Plumes and Lessen counties. Deadlines: Display Advertising: Thursday 4 p.m. Display Classified: Thursday, 3 p.m. Classified: Monday 9 a.m. News: Fridays, 3 p.m. Legals: Thursday 4 p.m. Breaking news: Anytime! To Subscribe: Call (530) 283-0800 or come to the Bulletin office, or use the handy coupon below, or send e-mail to subscriptions@plumasnews.com Adjudication: The Feather River Bulletin is adjudicated a legal newspaper by Superior Court Decree No. 4644 (1953) and qualified for publication of matters required by law to be published in a newspaper. Postmaster:, Send change of address orders to the Feather River Bulletin, p.o. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971. Michael C. Taborsld Co-Owner/Publisher Keri Taborski Sherri McConnell Co-OwnedLegal AdvertisingDisplay Advertising Manager Kevin Mallory Cobey Brown Vice Pres./Admin. Vice Pres./Operations Delaine Fragnoli Tom Fomey Managing Editor Production Manager Jenny Lee Elise Monroe Photo Editor Bookkeeper Mary Newhouse Eva Small Classified. Circ. ManagerComposing Manager Sandy Condon Human Resources Dir Office Manager I" I I I I I I I I I I I I Subscription Order Form Feather River Bulletin P.O. Box B, Quincy, CA 95971 Please enter my subscription for years. Enciaud nnd my che S In Caunty $26 per year [~ Out of Slate $44 per yur [~J In California $37 Per year. I Name I City, State, Dp Subscdptlom can be ~ransbned, but not refunded. IL 1 l l -- -- l m mm 1 l 1 l JI compliance with a federal con- closer attention to the jail's should be based on monthlyPUSD (and the Plumas County sent decree because it was un- needs, usage of 2,000, 6,000 and 10,000 Office of Education) will con- derstaffed. "The Grand Jury strongly gallons, tinue to make decisions based While the Grand Jury said recommends that the Board of The jury also recommended on inaccurate and incomplete it is fully aware of the coun- Supervisors make mandatory the city "cooperate fully" with information." ty's financial trouble, it a requirement that all mem-the 398-acre Woodbridge The Grand Jury recom- "strongly recommends nd ex- bers of the Board of Supervi- planned community proposedmended that the district for- pects" the Board of Supervi- sors, the county administra- for the south side of town. mulate a policy meeting all sors to find the money to fix tor, the cotmty counsel and all "Despite the economic down- the legal requirements for hir- the jail problems, department heads affiliatedturn which has delayed the pro- ing a superintendent "within "Failure to do so puts with the jail operations ject, Woodbridge Corp. remains 90 days of the issuance of this Plumas County at extreme fi- tour/inspect the county jail at committed to project," thereport, and before the hiring nancial risk," the jury said. least annually," the reportjury said. "In a time whenof a new superintendent." The Grand Jury acknowl- stated, growth is so badly needed in edged that county counsel is Portola, Woodbridge is a god- Free firewood "attempting to terminate" the Portola send to the local community." The Grand Jury called for consent decree. The Grand Jury said that an end to a 30-plus-year-old The jury also praised the "considering the poor eco- Schooldistrict practice of public works em- sheriff and county facilities nomic times" the city was in The Grand Jury said it wasployees getting free firewood. director for addressing prob- relatively good financial "appalled" bythe Plumas Uni- The jurors said the perk lems with the jail after they shape, fied School District (PUSD) amounted to embezzlement of were reported. But the jury cautioned thatboard's ignorance of student county property, and referred The Grand Jury said those "Portola's future depends safety, the matter to the district attor- problems included "grossly purely on its management. It also criticized PUSD for ney. inadequate perimeter securi- Foresight and vision will lead its "lack of cooperation" dur- Hazard trees are often cut ty, wiring hazards, damaged to prosperity. Greed and petti- ing the jury's investigation in- down by public works and walls and flooring, unsafe fur- ness will lead to bankruptcy to the hiring process of super- brought to one of the depart- niture and missing emergency and doom. It is as simple as intendents, ment's five yards around the medical equipment." that." The jury said subpoenas county. The Grand Jury reported The jury "strongly recom- were required to get some According to the Grand that the hazardous wiring and mended" the city maintain the school board and staff mem- Jury report, employees of the damaged walls and flooring "weak-mayor" form of govern- bers to appear before the public works department had been repaired, ment. That means the mayor Grand Jury. were allowed to cut the wood But the jury said inade-remain a figurehead, with no The jury's concern for stu- -- on the their own time and quate phone systems at the formal authority outside the dent safety was centered on with their own equipment-- jail "raises great concern for City Council. the consolidation of Pioneer for personal use. officer, inmate and public The Grand Jury praised the and Quincy elementary However, the free wood was safety." city's staff, saying it was "per- schools. The grand jurors said only for public works employ- The Grand Jury said there "forming its duties in a coher- that no study was done re-ees, according to the jurors. was no documentation that ent and professional manner" garding the safety hazards of When another county employ- deficiencies noted in the 2008 despite a shortage of employ- either campus, ee wanted to take advantage of fire marshal's inspection of ees. The jury said the city's According to the jury, thethe free wood "he was told that the jail have been corrected, eight workers are forced "to school district felt that an ar- it was only available to public They added there was no wear many different hats." chitectural study satisfied the works maintenance employees proof that the jail has had a The jury also weighed in onrequirement for a safety and not for anyone else." fire inspection since 2008, the city's water situation. Ju- study. But the Grand Jury After the employee corn- even though the state safety rors recommended that Porto- said the architectural study plained and the Grand Jury code requires an inspection at la "fulfill its contractual oblig- didn't address the proximity found out about it, jurors said least every two years, ation in obtaining, operating of potentially hazardous mate- the free-wood perk was expos- And the jury said the jail's and maintaining the water rials at the Sierra Pacific In- ing the county to repeated lia- policy and operations manual treatment plant and insure dustries lumberyard. The SPI bility. was "grossly inadequate and Lake Davis as a primary mill is within a quarter-mile "Described by some in the outdated." source of potable water." of the Pioneer school, department as simply a 'perk,' The jury reported that the When it came to paying for On the subject of hiring aallowing public works employ- sheriff was planning to the water, the jury recom- superintendent, the jury said ees to take county property is rewrite and update the manu- mended that the city modifytherewere no existing hiring embezzlement, as described al over a two-year period, its water rates schedule to of- policies in place. The Grand under California Penal Code The jurors emphasized they fer customers three basic Jury said there was no evi- 504," the report stated. wanted county leaders to pay plans. They said the plans dence that a pre-employm.ent In a letter to the Grand background investigation was Jury, which is included in its Second Saturday Art in Graeagle! August 11 1-4pm completed for the previous su- report, the district attorney perintendent, said he "didn't believe crimi- "We found no existing poll- nal charges were warranted cies for hiring a superinten- against any individuals." dent," the jury said. "Without However, the practice has a formal hiring policy, the reportedly stopped. at GeorgeFluke Sculptures Come meet George and view his newest works, featured for the month of August. George is a found object sculptor who has a humorous take on the art world. On the Park in historic Graeagle For more information, please call 836-0104 visit: redhouseart.net UF N Moncta9 - Sunc[a9 Honor .S stern GolFPavilion Open Pricla - 5uncla 10 AM -- 6 PM Szo Adults - $1o Juniors (ld ancl unclar) ror more in[ormation, please call the Nakoma Golf shop: 8 z-5o67 6.5889 Hi hwa9 70 51airsclen, CaliJ:ornia 9610