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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
December 24, 2014     Feather River Bulletin
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December 24, 2014

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Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014 5A PLAN, from page 3A quickly and we got it done quickly," Board Chairman Jon Kennedy told the rest of the supervisors. Supervisor Sherrie Thrall acknowledged the massive undertaking and cooperation the plan represented. "I think it's excellent work," she said, and added that the plan could be amended as needed. Kennedy agreed and noted that the annual update would be due in July so work on that "starts today." Supervisor Lori Simpson, who attended the public hearing, said, "It was an honest dialogue, sometimes heated. I hope there's outcomes." She noted that there was a lot of talk about cooperation, but "talk is cheap." "I'm not going to put up with turf wars,, she said. The purpose of the plan is to ensure that the county's mental health needs are served. There are many in the community who maintain that mental health is not living up to that responsibility, with the most vocal criticism coming from the criminal justice system. "Taxpayer money is being given to mental health for taxpayer services and the services are not provided," District Attorney David Hollister told the board. "We have been underserved for years and years and years in criminal justice," he added. Hollister said the situation is frustrating because while the system is making strides with the probation and alcohol and drug departments, and the alternative sentencing program, it can't succeed without mental health. He told the board members that it is their problem to address, not the department's, and made several recommendations: --Mental health will accept all referrals from criminal justice partners and if the client does not appear on his own the department will reach out to the client. --Mental health will eliminate all artificial barriers to providing services such as medical necessity and primary diagnosis criteria. --Mental health will asses the staffing needs for the criminal .justice population. --Mental health will direct staff to cooperate in being a service provider to the criminal justice population. --Mental health will create and implement a protocol to assess and address those with co-occurring disorders (such as drug and/or alcohol dependency). --Mental health will eliminate all waiting lists by contracting with outside providers. (Mental Health Director Peter Livingston has repeatedly discussed the difficulty of hiring outside staff, but Hollister argued that he hired two outside consultants to develop the plan.) Hollister said that he has spoken with board members previously about these concerns. "We are moving backwards," he said. He encouraged the board to give the department anything it needs -- cars for every employee, office equipment, computers with two screens each -- to get services for the criminal justice population. "I will drive my 14-year-old 4Runner to homicide scenes," he said. Sheriff Greg Hagwood didn't speak at the meeting, but during an interview later he said he shares Hollister's concerns about the department. He recommended that the supervisors give mental health a deadline to produce results. LETTERS, from page 3A expected to draw 350 bicyclists and will be promoted as part of the "Gourmet Century Series." The latter places an emphasis on cuisine in conjunction with cycling. "For many cycling events, food is an afterthought. The 'Gourmet Centuries' put an emphasis on creating a beautiful food-and-beverage experience," reads a blog entry about the events. Bachelor of Science degree The supervisors also authorized that a letter be sent to the chancellor of the state's community college system, supporting Feather River College's effort to offer a Bachelor of Science degree in equine and ranch management. "There is demand for :education beyond the associate degree that is not currently being met by California's four-year public institutions," the letter reads in part. "Community Colleges like FRC can help ~l the gaps by granting baccalaureate degrees in specialized areas in order to meet a growing demand for a skilled workforce." The supervisors concluded by describing the new degree as a "perfect fit for rural Northern California." Broadband service The board authorized a letter to be sent to the California Public Utilities Commission supporting Plumas-Sierra Telecommunications' application for funding to provide last-mile broadband service in the area. "Access to high-speed Internet is no longer a luxury, but is essential to our economy," the letter reads. "The deployment of broadband technology to our community is critical to attracting new businesses and will encourage economic growth and development that will create good paying jobs for our region." Over-snow vehicles The board also sent a letter to U.S. Forest Service Regional Forester Randy Moore to submit comments on a travel management plan you're not using High Sierra Gas, then you don't know "Jack" 65 East Sierra Ave, Portola No delivery fees, statement fees, or hidden costs. No games or gimmicks. JUST GAS, AT A REASONABLE PRICE! Locally Owned & Operated Exclusive Offer By Stephanie Jay Exclusive Offer By Cathy & Amy 1 (530) 283.1361 (Salon) (530) 867.7360 70 East Main Street Quincy, CA 95971 (Inside the Plumas Pines Shopping Center) (Cell) for over-snow vehicle use. Five open houses were held to discuss the plan in Lassen and Plumas counties. As a result of the Forest Service presentation regarding the comments made during those events, the supervisors outlined some concerns and made recommendations. Of overarching concern is the "utter lack of 'coordination'" in matters associated with over-snow vehicles." The board also expressed dismay that a townhall meeting conducted by Supervisor Sherrie Thrall, which included panelists from both the Plumas and Lassen national forests, was not mentioned in the Forest Service open house .............. presentations:- The board asked the Forest Service to coordinate its activities and re-evaluate how efforts are led in Plumas County. From left, Dwight Pierson, Leslie Edlund and Traci Holt take the oath administered by Chris Russell as board members for the Plumas County Office of Education during the regular meeting Dec. 17, Pierson and Holt are new to the board, while Edlund returns for another term. Photo by James Wilson PUSD, from page 3A alternative assessment either, because that wouldn't help us move forward." To prepare for the mandated assessments, PCOE has already incurred costs by hiring staff, contracting with Butte County Office of Education for technology support consultation and oversight. In total, PCOE has already spent $440,620 on implementation of the mandated assessments. Additionally, the costs are anticipated to increase. Once the testing is up and running, there will be ongoing costs to maintain and upgrade the devices and networks used. Plumas County's portion of the claim, which will include already spent costs and anticipated costs, will be for an estimated $2 million. The legal costs of the joint claim will be covered by the California School Board Association. The association already hired two lawyers to work on the claim. "I hope to make a strong statement and protect our schools as well as ensure . equity for our children on .... par with or better than the rest of the state," said Miglis. The claim will be filed by the end of the month. Review of the claim will more than likely take months. Wednesday, Dec. 31st @" Served 5-8pro " Reservation Recommended G New board members, new administration and is president currently the executive At the start of both the director of Alliance for PCOE and PUSD meetings, Workforce Development Inc. new board members Dwight As director, she said she Pierson and Traci Holt were. gained experience managing sworn in, along with a multimillion-dollar budget continuing board member that includes both federal Leslie Edlund. and state funding. Pierson came onto the Toward the end of the board with more than 40 PCOE meeting, Pierson years of experience in nominated Edlund as the education. Prior to moving to new president of the board to Quincy in 2011, Pierson replace Chris Russell. served as superintendent of "I want to make it clear," schools for 22 years in five said Pierson, "I don't think different districts in Iowa. the board is doing a bad job More recently, Pierson or anything. Sometimes a served as chairperson of the change of leadership is just a Quincy 7-11 Committee and good thing." on the Budget Austerity "I would welcome the Committee. opportunity to have you Holt chaired the 7-11 serve as president,'" Russell Committee for Chester-Lake told Edlund. Almanor, and also served on Unanimously, the board the Budget Austerity elected Edlund as the new Committee. Holt has a president, who will chair the master's degree in business board beginning in January. 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