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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
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December 19, 2012     Feather River Bulletin
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December 19, 2012
 

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Bulletin, Record, Progressive, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 5B Public service officials get a lesson in ethics Sam antha P. Hawthorne Staff Writer shawthorne@plumasnews.com In small communities such as those in Plumas County, it is rare to find a member who has not con- tributed his or her time in one way or another. These people often act as liaisons between the community and the services offered within it -- they are relied on for their ethical and accurate stance in the community. Community members rely on decisions made by those in a position of power, such as the county board of super- visors and special district board members, to be in the town's and its residents' best interest. A special district is a divi- sion of government estab- lished by residents to pro- vide services at the local lev- el that cannot be provided by the county or city. In Cal- ifornia alone, there are more than 3,400 special districts, 66 percent of which are self- governed and independently operated, running under a board of community elected officials. Independent districts are generally those who control the day-to-day necessities in the community such as utili- ties, fire protection, and hos- pitals. The remaining bodies of special districts are de- pendant in their governing structure and operate under the control of a publicly elected county board of su- pervisors or city council. Special districts, no mat- ter how they are governed, have the legal authority to make decisions in relation to their district's purpose. In order to regulate these districts, and ensure the public is fully informed of the management of services lirectly impacting them, the Political Reform Act, Brown Act and Public Records Act were implemented. Aside from special dis- tricts, any official elected to perform duties on behalf of the public, except when specifically excluded, is re- quired to follow these gov- ernment-mandated acts. The Oct. 7, 2005, Assembly Bill No. 1234 requires that "if a local agency provides any type of compensation, salary, or stipend to, or re- imburses the expenses of, a member of the legislative body" its local agency offi- cials must "receive training in ethics." Best Best & Kreiger attorney Andy Morris employs a slideshow presentation to explain principles of ethics to public service officials in the Quincy library Dec. 7. The training, which was hosted by the Plumas County Special Districts Association, is a requirement for members of local agencies' legislative bodies. Photo by M. Kate West To comply with this re- quirement, the Plumas County Special Districts As- sociation hosted its first free ethics training in the Quin- cy library Dec. 7. Best Best & Kreiger attor- neys Andy Morris and Josh Nelson presented the infor- mation as outlined by the Fair Political Practices Com- mission. In attendance were not on- ly board members from spe- cial community districts, but also public officials on the county level who partici- pate in government deci- sions. The three-hour training covered topics in public ser- vice including general ethics laws and principles, person- al financial interests, per- sonal advantages and perks, conducting public business openly and fair practices. Morris emphasized the need for public officials to Furthermore, the Brown Act protects the public's right to know what is going on in their community. The act states that anytime there is a quorum of board mem- bers discussing official busi- ness, it should be treated as an "open and public" meet- ing. This means, depending on the type of meeting, ad- vance notice must be given to the public and the meet- ing must be agendized. Ac- tions involving the district must be open and the public must be allowed to com- ment. According to the Public Records Act, "every person has a right to inspect any public record ... unless im- practicable." This includes "any writing containing in- formation rela.ting to the conduct of the public's busi- ness." People who do not comply with the laws set out in hold themselves to .... the ...... these acts could face hefty highest possiblestandard. ....... fines and criminaland civil .... penalties. He also told them they should not rely on the laws and regulations alone, but to also lean on their conscience when making decisions. "If you do not feel comfortable, don't do it," he said. He reviewed the Political Reform Act and the require- ment for those under public service to disclose any eco- nomic interests including assets, income and gifts. Ac- cording to the slide show presentation, "public offi- cials should make decisions based solely on the public's interest and not for their own personal financial bene- fit." J ) We don't have all the answers but we can help you find your own. Call the Plumas/Sierra Crisis Line at 1-877-332-2754 or 283-4333 for information. Crisis Line  Resource 283-4333 :m. Center 1-877-332-2754 or 283-5515 A program of Plumas Crisis Intervention & Resource Center Wind, Fire or Water Damage have you frustrated? Need Help? We have worked with homeowners and insurance companies for almost 30 years. We will work with your insurance company to make sure your home is repaired the right way the first time. Call: CONSTRUCTION SINCE 1984 General Building Contractor Calif. Lic. #453927 (530) 283-2035 Wood Stove and Fireplace Burning Tips! Only bum clean, seasoned wood, paper! Do Not Burn: e Rubber fireplace logs and non-glossy white Oo o" co Plastics Waste Particleboard Plywood Glossy Paper Oil Colored Paper Solvent Paint Coal or Charcoal Painted/Treated Wood Northern Sierra Air Quality Management District District Headquarters - 274-9360 Northern Field Office - 283-4654 Eastern Field Office - 550-7872 www.myairdistrict.com  Burning these materials can produce noxious, corrosive smoke and fumes that may be toxic. They can foul your catalytic combustor, your flue, and the lungs of your family and neighbors.   , :ii  :: Start your fire with softwood kindling. ; ,  Burn Longer and Cleaner with Hardwood. Burn only "Seasoned" Firewood. Refuel while the coals are still hot. A view of Crystal Bay in Lake Tahoe unfolds from Graham Shea's paraglider while flying over a site that pilots call "Day Dreams." Photo by Graham Shea WINGS, from page 1B' harness to work with my paraglider wing, which com- bined weigh only 10.6 pounds, including the reserve para- chute. That saves me several pounds. How does it feel to share this experience with your broth- er? John Kennon and I started paragliding precisely because we wanted to spend more time together, but this blows away any expectations we had. To my knowledge, we're the only brothers doing it, which is neat for us, and I think reflects well on our dad, who was an ex- emplarY pilot and humanitari- an, and who always encour- aged us to be a team. I wish he could be around for this. John Kennon and I have helped each other and learned a lot from each other over the years. (John Kennon lives in San Diego and is chairman of the family's health care compa- ny established by his father, Ken Shea.) How did you originally be- come involved with Plant with Purpose? John Kennon introduced me to Plant with Purpose, which is based in San Diego. I traveled to Tanzania with them in 2010 and spent two weeks visiting homes, farms and schools where they have organized community savings-and-loan programs, built cisterns and taught advanced agriculture techniques to farmers. I also attended their bi-annu- al international meeting and met representatives from Haiti, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Rwanda, Burundi and Thai- land, where they work. What intrigued you about this organization? There ar thousands of orga- nizations that fight poverty, but many of the problems being addressed are actually symp- toms, like malnutrition and lack of water, rather than caus- es. By tracing the chain of problems "upstream" as far as possible, Plant with Purpose has started solving issues it didn't even intend to address, like water-borne illness. They've been around for 28 years, and even provide con- sulting for less-experienced or- ganizations. I also appreciate that they see spiritual renewal as integral to renewing people's relationships with each other and with their land. This will be your second trip to Tanzania. Will you be able to see some of the peo- ple that you met on the first trip? Yes. Doug Satre, director of outreach for Plant with Pur- pose, will be climbing with us, though he's not a paraglider pi- lot -- yet. Before Kilimanjaro, John Kennon and I are traveling to Burundi with him to see the work being done there. He and I shared some great adventures the first trip, and he's a good Swahili teacher. You have committed to rais- ing $5,000 for charity to be included in this trip. How can people help you? I will be paying my own way for the trip, but I invite those who are interested and who have a heart for this type of charity to donate before the Jan. 15 fundraising deadline at wingsof kilimanjaro.com/grahamshea. I would also appreciate prayer for safety and for God's blessing on the people who are being helped through these charities. "A heartfelt thank you to these extraordinary businesses md commmdty members who jumped ha to help protect one of our county's most valuable assets, the 17- plumascounty.org website! Because of your generosity and understanding of what it takes to maintain viable, healthy conununities, this exceptional website continues to help bring thousands of visitors and maybe even future residents to our beautiful cotmt3,." "Wishing you all a prosperous new year!" Plumas County Tourism, Recreation & Hospitality Council Greenhoru Creek Guest Ranch Twenty Mile House The Feather Bed Bucks Lake Marina Deborah Whittaker Peter Hentschel Carson Chalets at Lake Almanor Main St. Sports Bar & Lounge Pine Hill Motel Camp Layman Back Door Catering Co. D. Brandes Ranchito Motel Quincy Courtyard Suites Pioneer RV Park Karen Kleven Mahlah Amber Designs Lee Anne Schrainel Taylor Movin' West RV Park Cecilia Reynolds Feather River Industrial Park Plumas Bank Moon's Restaurant Feather River Land Trust Rose Dembosz Neighbors Bar-B-Que Quincy Drug Store Charles Arrowsmith Lake Ahnanor Kayak Rentals Quincy Hot Spot John DeSelle La Casa Bella Fine Furnishings halet View Lodge Quincy Pizza Factory Feather Publishing Gold Pan Lodge Bucks Lakeshore Resort Steven King St. Bernard Lodge High Sierra Foundation Alley Cat Cafe BJ North Ada's Place Melanie Perron Madden Plumbing McCombs Archeology Janeen Vickrey Carey Candy Co. Emily's Garden Lori A. Simpson Quincy Chamber of Commerce Rose Quartz Inn Flanigan- Leavitt Insurance Plumas Arts Debbie Hopkins Forest Stationers Transition Quincy State Farm Insurance Portola Village Pharmacy Village Antiques & Associates Bucks Lake Lodge Explore! Sierra Touring Co. Plumas-Sien'a Rural Electric Co-op Jim McClain Town and Country Properties The Stover House ( (