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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
August 15, 2001     Feather River Bulletin
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August 15, 2001

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Record, Reporter Wednesday. Aug. 15, 2001 ,11,2,1l m BRANCH by a vote of 4 to of supervisors grafted it onto the second dis- surgery express op- tes- significant num- b of the electorate. there had local hear- cham- r. The matter aired and the within the 3rd It should be understood that the issue was a common- alty of interest of the Branch with the Basin and never was, as has been suggested, related to the personalities and capabilities of the respec- tive supervisors. What the Branch wanted was to main- tain the integrity of the Basin. The Lake Almanor Basin is a ring of satellite communi- ties surrounding the lake which, taken together, comprise the larger community. Hamilton Branch, the Lake Almanor Country Club, the town of Chester, Westshore, Prattville and Eastshore, are elements. (Eastshore has for some time been exiled to the second district.) The Basin is the center of gravity for the societal, com- mercial and community in- terest of these communities. That is where people trade, have their friends, and partic- ipate in community affairs and events. It is where they go to church and to the hospi- tal. It is where their political interest resides and where they vote. Was it necessary to sever Hamilton Branch from the District 3? The 2000 census dictated a reconsideration of district boundaries vis-a-vis a changed population distribu- tion. That is not to say the election code mandated new district boundaries based strictly on population parity among the districts. Actually there is wide latitude for in- terpretation of the code by the supervisors. This is California Elections Code 21500: "Following each decennial federal census, and using that census as a basis, the board shall adjust the boundaries of any or all the superviserial districts of the county so that the districts be as nearly equal in population as may be and shall comply with the applicable provi- sions of Section 1973 of Title 42 of the United States Code, as amended In establishing the boundaries of the districts the board may give considera- tion to the following factors: (a) topography, (b) geography, (c) cohesiveness, contiguity,. integrity, and compactness of territory, and (d) community of interests of the districts." Note that the code delin. eates guidelines, not require- ments. It states, "as nearly equal in population as may be," not simply "equal." The second half of the code is a disclaimer citing factors oth- er than population parity as of equal importance, e.g. "community of interests." The supervisors clearly had dis- cretionary authority. How did the board come to excise an entire subdivision from its contiguous and nat- ural place in the Basin within District 3? Certainly there was deliberation and due process. Beginning July 3, and for the next two board meetings, July 10 and 24, the supervisors debated the mat- ter of revised boundaries. By my count, seven resolutions were voted on five different boundary schemes. On July 3, there were five supervisory actions. One of these, called "Telgar" (a map), with Hamilton Branch re- tained in District 3, carried 4 to 1. The population inequity, District 3 to District 2, was 12.44 percent. On July 10, the "Telgar" sys- tem was rescinded because of a perceived technicality. (This later proved incorrect). On July 24, the Boundary sys- tem "Carodoc" (map) carried f4 to 1, with Hamilton Branch moved to District 2. The max- imum population disparity is 11 percent, District 3 to Dis- trict 1. Throughout these delibera- tions, the board was guided by the objective of holding to a maximum 10 percent dis- parity in populations, district-to-district, advanced by federal courts. But that benchmark was mitigated and permitted to expand by language allowing considera- tions of "legitimate and con- sistently applied county poli- cy" and "community identi- ty." This is consistent with the election code quoted above. Reflecting on the local meetings, the hearings, the board's actions and the time and energy expended by so many people, public and pri- vate, it seems we could not have reached so wrong a solu- tion ff we had worked at it. I believe it was a lose/lose solu- tion and not necessary. Some of the consequences of this action are: Hamilton Branch has lost the voice and service of a local representa- tive whose focus is peculiar to the Basin; the District 3 su- pervisor and the Basin agen- da have lost the clout of a sig- nificant constituency; The District 2 supervisor has ac- quired a satellite constituen- cy largely indifferent to the unrelated concerns and inter- ests of the residents in exist- ing District 2. It has been ar- gued that the Basin has gained a second supervisory voice. Uh huh, and thafs ben- eficial as long as they agree on a best course, or the same people remain in office, other- wise... Concluding, there is here no personal criticism of the board, or the process. Rather, of its judgment and decision. g ;=:= Readers who attended this year's Plumas-Sierra County Fair say they enjoy the food and the exhibits, but the results were split. An Internet poll was conduct- ed last week to determine what residents like best about the fair. The poll, which ran from Aug. 8 to Aug. 13, asked site visitors, "What's your favorite part of the fair?" The poll was not scientifically conduct.ed. it ,v i tors were asked to state their opinion on a topic. There is no way to verify whether the poll actually reflects community opinion: It is for entertainment purposes only. Nearly 26 percent said they enjoy the exhibits the best, while about 22 percent said they enjoy the food the best. But bull-riding enthusiasts were not far behind, with nearly 19 percent of the vote. Nearly 15 percent of those who voted said they Like the sense of community they feel at the fair. An equal number of voters--7 percent--said they like the ju- nior livestock auction and the art barn. Nearly 4 percent said they like the carnival rides the best. In the poll, no one said they enjoyed the live music acts, food preparation contests and observ- ing the changes at the fair- grounds the best. When local districts raise rates, do they make every effort to involve the community? " i plumasnOwx,com } for Letters must contain an ad- Phone number. We One letter per week, !and only one letter Per month regarding Ibject. We do not or open let- must be limited to a Of 300 words. Any let- words will be The deadline is I).m Letters may be Feather Publish- Sent via fax to 283- e-mailed at on are in the process our building at into a theatre. movie house, We will be able souls. So, the us- result of this was to deal with and have the a place of we dealt cheerful, encouraging. Yes, thing that hap- that everything and in a The scuttle. nce you submit bureaucracy, ct ends up in a and confu- say we! We are forward to everyone to Earl Thompson Edie O'Connor Quincy Physicians have another conces- Seneca board. the CEO, the will no 'the ER on week. aedical care on the district has from other ar- eas. Being strangers to the began an exercise regimen, citizen participation. Anyone district, these outside doctors along with a nutritious diet who has a complaint can sire- lack familiarity with the pa- She has already dropped tons ply write it out and submit it tients they will be treating, of debris, old cars, junk and to the board of supervisors. If This is a surprising devel- trash, which made her look there are not that many com- opment. Given the census fig- positively sloppy, plaints, then so be it. ures for the hospital and clin- She isn't quite finished with Secondly, the county of ic, it doesn't appear that the her goal to be glamorous Plumas is required to comply clinic physicians are over- She's on track and is excited with state law; they cannot re- worked. The demand to hire about her alluring charm, her linquish that responsiblity to outside doctors illustrates the facelift and her slimmer fig- a district. Not everyone who Seneca board's inclination to ure. She is becoming a ro- would be effected lives within cater to the whims of the clin- mantic attraction with her the district boundaries. There ic physicians, even if unrea- new parks, the trees and flow- would always be doubt as to sortable. Bringing in outside ers lining her streets. Her who to call, and in time you physicians will bring an end skin is improving with the would hear complaints con- to the continuity of care overpass bridge retrofit and cerning the local department which was always available surfacing, as well. It amounts to duplica- in thepast. Soon her streets will betion of services for the sole The sweetheart contracts, paved, which will be a great benefit of a few dissatisfied which provide an average relief due to her corns and builders. compensation of $200,000 per bunions. Lady Portola is due Thirdly, I doubt that any- year, free rent, free utilities to ride in the parade, and her one expects any government and office staff, were based float will bear the title,"I've office to be there just for them upon the clinic physicians' Been Working on the Rail- 24 hours a day. Unless it's a obligation to cover the ER on road Town." Her job isn't health and safety service such a full-time basis. Is this a quite t-mished. She must lose as a hospital, which I think breach of their agreements many more tons of .~tuff. She the community services dis- with the district? Will the is appealing to all residents to trict should give some new arrangement have a neg- keep on painting, scrubbing thought to helping, and forget ative financial impact on the and decorating. One sad fact about trying to appease a few district? Will we get accurate is bothering her. Her landfill angry builders. If the county figures after the new regime is putting on weight--getting needs to hire one more in- is established? Will the pro- bloated and fat and may have spector just for this area, I posed special tax, if enacted, to be retired to a garbage rest think that might suffice to be used to further subsidize home. Meanwhile, she asks solve whatever problems now the clinic physicians? you to keep on planting those exist, finny. Despite the bleak circum- posies and to join the spirit Mark needs to reflect on his, stances at the Seneca District, and fun honoring her great responsibilities as a commu- one should always look at the railroad legacy, nity services director and for- bright side. Now, at least on Margaret Sheahan get about what is, after all, a weekends, we can expect Portola personalproblem. prompt emergency care. Nansi Bohne Bruce Thayer i pwmmdng Greenville Lake Almanor I would like to thank Ron of station KNLF 95.9 FM in Quincy for the airing of Although not lacking intel- "Bible Answers Live" on Sun- ligence, I admit sometimes be- day evening from 7-8 p.m. ing a Utile slow on the uptake. Bible truth is precious in rll soon be a 10-year resident these days. I am lifted up to of Portola, and only now am I hear such programming on beginning to understand our airwaves. Keep up the some of the reasons why our good work. May God bless little town is so often the KNLFgreatly!laughingstock of Plumas David Brown County. How does one ratio- Portolx nalize the dichotomy of the Lady P b)la.., cm traak Here we are, once again, ready to celebrate the 19th an- niversary of Railroad Days. Lady Portola will be pre- sent on August 18 to partici- pate in the famous "Golden Spike" parade. If you remem- ber, one year ago, the Lady (city) was in pretty sad shape. She was dumpy and lumpy. She needed a new coiffeur. Her skin was rough and wrin. kled, and, she was grossly overweight. The once proud gleam in her big eyes had fad- ed. The girl was suffering from depression and needed doctoring. Luckily, fixers came for- ward. Her hair was spaded, weeded, watered and cut. She I understand that Mark Delizio has problems,.I can't say that I agree with his thinking on how to solve them. In the first place, to blame one government office for not giving good service as justifi- cation for forming another government office is not good installation of the garish and obscene neon monolith at the east end of Portola versus a decision by our city manager that a local resident cannot erect a tepee on his property for tourism and educational purposes a few weeks each summer?. I don't need to be aware of the process that led to the erection of the painfully ~Z't/,sy/~' ~//" >;