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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 8, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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October 8, 2014

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Oct. 8, 2014 5A MENTAL, from page 1A ranges shouldn't be compared to all 58 counties in the state, but rather to other small, rural entities. "People come to rural areas for reasons other than money," she said. McKenzie suggested that adding a therapist level III position would allow for upward mobility within the department and enable experienced individuals to be hired at a higher salary level. The supervisors liked that suggestion and directed Livingston to develop such a position. McKenzie questioned the department's preference for using interns and the grand jury's recommendation that they be used more. "I disagree," she said, stating that interns can be "fairly disruptive" as they require a lot of oversight, and there is no guarantee that they will stay with the department when their training is complete. She suggested that the department consider ways to keep interns such as implementing a hiring bonus, with additional bonuses to be awarded at length-of-stay intervals. McKenzie stressed another option to alleviate the department's waiting list -- contracting with outside therapists to provide service. "Counties contract a fair amount of work,', McKenzie said. "It will help build capacity beyond the department." Livingston said he would consider that as a secondary option, but he was focused on building his "football team first." Livingston used that sports analogy at the beginning of his remarks when he told the board, "We've been 'Playing with half a football team." The reserve fund McKenzie addressed the reserve fund, which contains $7 million. She described the fund balance as a "source of irrittj, on" for n'zzy;, :,  ...... MKenziesaidthe,: : : . department is keeping a large balance because 6f the threat of having to pay for acute psychiatric care, which can cost $300,000 annually for one patient. "I disagree with that point of view," she said and added that in Shasta County, they budgeted for just one such stay annually. "If someone had to go to the state hospital for more than one year, then you could make adjustments to the budget." McKenzie advocates using whatever funds are available in a department to provide services. During a subsequent interview, McKenzie said Plumas was unique compared to other rural counties she works with, where a lack of funds is the problem. Another financial concern is the fact that mental health must return $345,000 to the state, and will likely have to return much more if its leaders don't act quickly. Financial consultant Geiss explained that the Mental Health Services Act, a tax on millionaires to expand 'county mental health services, includes a lot of criteria. "The money has to be spent in certain categories," he said. "If you don't spend the money.., it reverts to the state and then is redistributed." Geiss spent two days in Plumas County reviewing the funds and determined that money not spent through fiscal year 2011-12 would need to be returned, and an additional $620,000 from 2012-13 was at risk. Overall, Geiss said the department has significant revenues to accomplish a lot of work and he recommended developing a five-year financial plan. "The main issue is the reversion and the need to act quickly," he said. The plan The county's mental health department is currently without an MHSA work plan. "I was very distressed to learn that you didn't have one," McKenzie said, and she was further distressed that the department had been spending without one. She suggested that the department hire an MHSA coordinator to help develop the plan. "One of the hallmarks of MHSA installation is a well-defined and robust stakeholder process that must be followed before a local plan is submitted to the State," read a passage from the consultant's report. "The requirement is intended to ensure that plans are responsive to local needs and service gaps, and inclusive of input from a broad range of constituents." The consultants concluded that the annual update had not been completed for 2013-14 and the next three-year plan, 2014 to 2017, had yet to begin. State law is very clear: "All expenditures for County mental health programs shall be consistent with an approved three year program and expenditure plan or annual update pursuant to W&I Section 5847." Last week mental health began circulating a questionnaire to begin the process. "! look forward to the MHSA process," said Livingston and discussed focus groups that would be set up for law enforcement and consumers, and by geographic areas. Law enforcement has been a vocal critic, and representatives from the criminal justice system were interviewed extensively by the consultants. "Criminal justice doesn't feel like they have a good partner," McKenzie said, citing a lack of collaboration. Livingston agreed that his department has been criticized, but said it's unjustified. "We've been providing services in the jail for free." He compared his department to public health, which charges for its services. As for collaboration with law enforcement, Livingston said, "It goes two ways." Livingston, who wrote his thesis on collaboration, said that he believes in it and it will be well represented in the MHSA process. Next steps Livingston left the boardroom with instructions to hire an MHSA coordinator and develop a therapist level III position.He did not receive a 23.5 percent pay increase for his employees nor direction to hire more staff. The board will continue to monitor the progress being made at mental health and may make its status a regular agenda item. Supervisor Kevin Goss will work with Livingston as the MHSA process gets underway. Richard K. Stockton, CLU ChFC, Agent Insurance Uc. #0B68653 Providing Insurance & Rnancial Services 65 W. Main St., Quincy, CA 95971 (530) 283-0565 Fax (530) 283-5143 WE LIVE WHERE YOU LIVE ... especially when it saves you money. I can help you save an average of $600". Talk to me about combining your renters and auto insurance today. Get to a better State: Get State Farm. CALL ME TODAY. AStateFarm 1 I::: [20I::: ::: :: :::: J: : ::::;': ::':': ;'::::( : :;-i:::: :::::: ::; ?::; ::: : : :' :::: :: ::;:: ;I Summit to address issues of Plumas County food sources James Wilson Sports Editor Plumas County loves food. To specify, interest in locally produced food and nutrition education has risen in recent years. People in the county have started to question where their food comes from and what foods best suit their needs. In response to the rise in interest, the Plumas County Public Health Agency and Plumas-Sierra Food Council have planned a food summit to be facilitated by the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. The organizations are calling it FEAST, a food summit that focuses on the local food system. FEAST stands for food, education, agriculture, solutions, together. Through the event, organizers plan to address issues regarding food production, distribution and consumption in the county. "The Plumas-Sierra FEAST Food Summit will be a celebration of local food, an exploration of the local food . environment, and a community conversation about how we can build the food system and ensure access to its bounty by residents of all income levels," said Kristi Jamason, of the Food Bank of Northern Nevada. The summit plans to feature five local food experts who will address a variety of food-related issues. The five speakers will also have a panel discussion and answer questions from the audience. Rick Roberti from Sierra Valley will represent large farms and ranches. Roberti will speak to issues that confront that sector of food producers. Plumas and Sierra counties both have a long history of ranches in the community. Lucinda Berdon, general manager of Quincy Natural Foods, will represent the retail and restaurant sector of the local food system. Berdon will inform the audience on the challenges and benefits of purchasing locally. Tammy Muldoon, of High Sierra Family Services in Loyalton, will talk about anti-hunger problems. These problems include ffmding access to emergency food supplies. Karl O'Reilly, the Greenville representative of Mountain Passages' Digging In program, will sPeak on the necessity of nutritional education in schools. Lastly; Elizabeth Powell, co-owner of Five Foot Farm in Quincy, will talk about the joys and challenges of starting a small farm in Plumas County. The goals of the summit are to build a food community and strengthen existing projects. Through collaboration, the summit hopes to launch new projects with community support and involvement. Plumas County public health's Zachary Revene, one of the summit's organizers, said he hopes the panel discussion will be a key point of the summit, shedding light on the needs of the county. "We want feedback. We want opinions," said Revene. "This will help us develop a county nutrition plan. We need the public to let us know what priorities we need to have." Sean Conry, executive chef at Longboards Bar and Grill, along with students from Feather River College's culinary program, will prepare a lunch for everyone sourced from local ingredients. The community FEAST summit is open for all free Of charge. Registration is required for participation. 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Being raised and having chosen to live in Plumas County most of my life has given me'a multitude of friendships and the lifelong knowledge to address the many concerns and issues facing our county. I Work Here .... 33 years ago I chose to become a Plumas County Small Business Owner, Engel Construction, as an Excavating/General Engineering Contractor. I Employee Local Workers and Purchase Materials from Local Businesses. As a previous employee now employer, I will speak up for the concerns, issues and regulations facing Plumas County Businesses. i've Raised My Family Here .... Having had a Great Childhood here, My Wife and I chose Plumas County as our home. We wanted our children to be as fortunate as we were to grow up in the safety and beauty of the mountains, to have a good sense of community and lifelong friendships. I will represent the very young, the senior citizen, the self-employed, the retired, those still working, the unemployed, the singles, the families, those in school and the Plumas County visitor. I Love It Here .... Plumas County (District 5) has been home to me most of my life. Plumas County has been the home of all our 3 children, their spouses and our grandchildren, Plumas County (District 5) is the home of my business, Engel Construction. As I've had the opportunity to speak to many of you we've shared several of the same concerns for our families, our business's, our jobs and the economy in Plumas County. If elected, I Will Listen and to the best of my ability, Thoughtfully Represent Each of You, District 5 and Plumas County. I wlll...Have regular "Town-Hall" meetings In various District locations, j. I have not asked for financial donations during my campaign. I want you to how lhat ff olected capervis, I owe no ravers. I will work lot cach of you. I Love Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness for A Better Quality of Life For All It Shines in the Hearts of All Freedom-Loving People I Sure Would Appreciate & Thank You for Your Vote! (530) 836-0257 Paid for the committee to elect Jeff En