Board Minutes - July 20, 2004

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County of Inyo

Board of Supervisors

 The Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, met in regular session at the hour of 8:15 a.m., on Tuesday, July 20, 2004, in the Board of Supervisors Room, County Administrative Center, Independence, with the following Supervisors present:  Chairperson Carroll “Butch” Hambleton presiding, Linda Arcularius, Julie Bear, Ted Williams, and Michael Dorame.  Supervisor Dorame provided the Invocation, and Supervisor Bear led the Pledge of Allegiance.  
 
Public Comment The Chairperson announced the public comment period and there was no one from the public wishing to address the Board.
 

County Dept. Reports

The Chairperson announced the County Department Report period.  Supervisor Arcularius read into the record a letter from Esmerelda County Commissioner Bill Kirby regarding Furnace Creek Road Closure and Esmerelda County’s offer to adopt it for future maintenance.
 

Resol. #2004-30/ Electronic Waste Recovery System

On a motion by Supervisor Bear and a second by Supervisor Arcularius Resolution No. 2004-30, was adopted allowing the County to participate in the Covered Electronic Waste Recovery Payment System: motion unanimously passed and adopted.
 

Integ. Waste/ Morris Contract

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Agreement between the County of Inyo and Andy Morris for maintenance services at the Keeler Transfer Station for the period of July 20, 2004, through June 30, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $1,700, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 Budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

HHS-Calworks/ IMACA Client Services Contract

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and Inyo Mono Associates for Community Actions, Inc., (IMACA) for client services for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $24,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 Budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

HHS-Behavioral Hlth./A.V. Hospital Contract

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and Antelope Valley Hospital for the provision of inpatient mental health services, including professional services, for the period of July 1, 2004 through June 30, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $10,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 Budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

Sheriff/Seimens Maintenance Services Contract

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and Siemens for the provisions of maintenance and service of fire and safety equipment, for a three-year period beginning July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2007, in an amount not to exceed $21,565 annually, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 budget and future budgets; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

Sheriff/Hercules Tech. Contract

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and Hercules Technologies for consultant services, for the period of July 1, 2004, through September 30, 2004, in an amount not to exceed $32,500; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.

VSO/Compliance Certificate

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Subvention and Medi-Cal Certificate of Compliance for FY 2004/05 and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.

P.W.-Bldg. & Maint./LPG Contracts

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to A) award and approve the contract for liquefied propane gas (LPG) for County offices located in Bishop, Big Pine, Independence and Lone Pine, for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2007, with Amerigas of Bishop, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 Budget and future budgets; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

Rd./State Controller Contract for Annual Audit

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and the Controller of the State of California for the preparation of the Annual Road Report for fiscal year ending June 30, 2004, in an amount not to exceed $4,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

Rd./Repair Parts & Tires P.O.

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve blanket purchase orders to vendors and in amounts as recommended by Staff for vehicle and equipment repair parts and tires.  Motion carried unanimously.

Resol. #2004-31/ Appropriations Limit

The Auditor provided the Board with a copy of the resolution setting forth the calculations of the appropriations limitations.  On a motion by Supervisor Dorame and a second by Supervisor Williams, Resolution No. 2004-31, was adopted accepting the calculations of the appropriations limitation for the County of Inyo for FY 2004/05: motion unanimously passed and adopted.

Planning/Regional Housing Needs Assessment Contract

Ms. Leslie Klusmire, Planning Director, provided additional information and further justification for the contract for the Regional Housing Needs Assessment.  Ms. Klusmire responded to questions from the Board.  Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and McCormick and Associates, Inc., for the Regional Housing Needs Assessment being conducted by the Eastern Sierra Council of Governments, for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $83,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2004/05 budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously.
 

Integ. Waste./ Solid Waste Fee Increases

Mr. Chuck Hamilton, Deputy County Administrator, reviewed the alternatives regarding the increase of solid waste fees.  The Board indicated they wanted to proceed with Alternative No. 2, which would only go into effect should the voters not approve the increase in the TUT rate.  The Board indicated they wanted to establish the rate schedule so that the public would know what the rates would be should the TUT increase not be approved by the voters. The Board directed Staff to take the appropriate steps to initiate the process to raise solid waste disposal fees per Staff Recommendation No. 2. 
 

TUT Rate Increase Ordinance and Ballot Measure

The County Administrator reviewed the proposed ordinance, which would place before the voters in November, 2004, a rate increase in the Transactions and Use Tax (TUT).  He explained that the increased revenue would help cover the increasing costs of the County’s solid waste disposal program.  Mr. Mendez provided a brief history of the current TUT rate, including discussions on, but not limited to, when and why the TUT was first instituted, how it is distributed, the amount of revenue that is generated currently with the rate of 1/2% (0.5%), and the amount that will be generated by either a 1/4% increase or a 1/2% increase.  The County Administrator and County Counsel explained that for the Board to adopt the ordinance it will take a 3/5’s vote, and to place the ordinance on the ballot will require a 4/5’s vote. The individual Board Members indicated their preferences regarding the increase and discussed placing both the TUT and TOT increases on the same ballot.  The Board and Staff discussed placing a sunset clause on the ordinance, with County Counsel providing an explanation and examples of parameters for sunset clauses. Supervisor Williams reiterated that he was supporting the 1/4% increase and only placing the TUT increase on the ballot.  Supervisors Arcularius, Bear, Hambleton and Dorame expressed their support of placing both increases before the voters, saying that they had complete confidence in the voters ability to assess the needs for County services and other County mandates and requirements and make the determination on whether they want to fund those commitments or reduce and/or eliminate discretionary services.  It was moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to direct staff to begin the process to place on the November 2, 2004 ballot, a “general purpose” rate increase of the TUT of 1/2%, with a five-year sunset clause.  Supervisor Arcularius withdrew her second upon clarification that she was actually supporting a 1/4% TUT increase and had misunderstood the motion.  The motion was then seconded by Supervisor Dorame and carried on a three-to-two vote, with Supervisors Bear, Hambleton and Dorame voting yes, and with Supervisors Arcularius and Williams voting no. 

At the conclusion of the motion the County Administrator reminded the Board that while an ordinance could be adopted with a 3/5’s vote, it would require a 4/5’s vote to place the ordinance on the ballot.  The Board and Staff continued to discuss the proposed increase in great detail and at length. Ms. Leslie Chapman, Auditor-Controller, addressed the Board to identify her concerns with diminishing revenues and the danger of not having sufficient funds to meet County commitments, requirements and mandates.  Several Board Members expressed a desire to discuss the proposed increase to the TOT, prior to continuing the discussion on the TUT.  The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 10:45 a.m., reconvening at 11:05 a.m., with all Board Members present.  The Chairperson explained that prior to further discussion on the TUT increase, the Board would consider the next Agenda Item regarding a proposed increase in the TOT.
 

TOT Rate Increase Ordinance and Ballot Measure The Board and Staff discussed the recommendation to raise the Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) from 9% to 12% and to apply the rate to campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks.  The County Administrator reviewed the Staff Report and recommendations regarding the proposed increase.  The Board Members reiterated their positions and arguments for and against placing both the TUT and the TOT rate increases on the ballot.  Supervisor Williams expressed his concern with getting two measures passed and advocated for postponing the TOT rate increase until the next General Election.  The County Administrator and County Counsel reiterated the voting requirements needed to adopt the ordinance and place it on the ballot, which were the same as identified in the TUT discussion.  Mr. Rich White, representing the Coalition of Chambers of Commerce, addressed the Board to convey the Chambers’ support of the increase and explaining that it was the desire of the Chambers to have the rate increase placed before the voters as a “special” tax which would require the super-majority vote for passage and in conjunction with that increase would like to be guaranteed a portion of the total revenues.  He qualified this request by explaining that in light of learning about the possibility of CEQA being applicable and other obstacles which would preclude the question from going to the voters for two years, the Chambers would support the recommendation being considered.  The Board acknowledged with appreciation the continued support of the Chambers and expressed their anticipation of continued support from the Chambers and other Grants-in-Support agencies, in light of the County’s ongoing fiscal constraints.  The Board and Staff continued to discuss the proposal to raise the TOT rates, with the Board highlighting that it is the tourists and other visitors who are staying in the County’s hotels, motels, etc., that will be charged this rate, and it will be the citizens of the County who will see their services maintained and not reduced or eliminated as a result of the additional revenue generated.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Bear to direct Staff to initiate the process to increase the Transient Occupancy Tax Rate from 9% to 12% and expand the existing ordinance to make the tax rate applicable to campgrounds and recreational vehicle parks, and place this ordinance before the voters at the November 2, 2004, General Election.  Motion carried on a four-to-one vote, with Supervisors Arcularius, Bear, Hambleton and Dorame voting yes, and with Supervisor Williams voting no.  
 
TUT Rate Increase Ordinance and Ballot Measure

The Board continued their discussions regarding the proposed increase to the Transactions and Use Tax (TUT).  County Counsel provided further clarification on the sunset clause and the role of the State Board of Equalization, which will be the entity that will collect and distribute the TUT.  The Board and Staff continued to debate the merits of increasing the tax rate by 1/4% and 1/2% and of placing both increases before the voters at the same election.  At the conclusion of the discussion, and in light of the timeline layed-out by County Counsel for the applicability of the sunset clause, the prior motion regarding the TUT rate increase which passed on a three-to-two vote, but did not have the 4/5’s support required for placement on the ballot was reconsidered.  Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to direct Staff to initiate the process to increase through a “general” tax revenue, the Transactions and Use Tax (TUT) rate by 1/2% taking it to a total of 1%, place a six (6) year sunset clause on the increase and place the ordinance before the voters for approval at the November 2, 2004, General Election.  Motion carried unanimously.

At the conclusion of this action, the Board Members acknowledged that while the previous discussions were lengthy and at times may have appeared contentious there was an inherent need to have the type of critical debate that had occurred.  The Board reiterated that once the Board decision had been made that it was a commitment of the entire Board to stand behind their actions and take every opportunity to fully inform and educate the public as to why there is a need for the increases and the impact to services if the measures fail.
 

BofS/Meeting with LA Mayor Hahn Citing a conflict, Supervisor Bear recused herself from the meeting.  The County Administrator updated the Board on the impending visit of LA City Mayor James Hahn, who will be meeting with a variety of entities in the Eastern Sierra to talk about conservation easements on City lands owned in Inyo and Mono Counties.  Mr. Mendez informed the Board that Inyo County had received an official invitation to meet with Mayor Hahn on Friday morning, July 23, 2004, and recommended that the Chairperson and Supervisor Arcularius be the Board representatives at the meeting with the Mayor and that he and Mr. James, Water Director, also attend.  The County Administrator stressed that this was a fact-gathering mission for the County because to date there is only rumor surrounding the easement proposal and the County has not seen a formal proposal.  He suggested that the discussions should center on keeping the process open to the public and must include the County of Inyo being included from the beginning as the primary stakeholder.  The Board and Staff discussed other topics, which should be discussed including establishing a protocol and process for identifying concerns and the inclusion of the leaseholder rights.  Mr. Tony Taylor of the Eastern Sierra Conservancy, addressed the Board to intimate that there is a formal easement proposal being discussed, indicating that it was his understanding that while he had not seen a written agreement, that the concerns to be addressed were development rights and control of mining.  Mr. Taylor responded to questions from the Board.  At the conclusion of the discussion the Board concurred with the County Administrator’s recommendations and designated Supervisor Hambleton, Chairperson and Supervisor Arcularius, to meet with Los Angeles Mayor James Hahn regarding a potential conservation easement or other similar vehicle being explored and discussed by the City of Los Angeles on City of Los Angeles owned lands in the Owens Valley and ask that the results of the meeting be reported at next Tuesday’s meeting. 
 
BofS/Minute Approval

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the minutes of the July 6, 2004, Board of Supervisors meeting.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.  
 

Recess/ Reconvene Prior to recess, the Chairperson announced that when the Board returned from their lunch break at 1:30 p.m., they would reconvene their budget hearings to consider the Advertising County Resources and Grants-in-Support Budgets, and at the conclusions of the budget hearings would reconvene their regular meeting.  The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 12:30 p.m., reconvening in closed session at 3:30 p.m., with all Board Members present.
Closed Session

The Board met in closed session to discuss Agenda Items No. 20.  CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6) - Instructions to Negotiators re: wages, salaries and benefits - Title - Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA) - Negotiator - County Administrative Officer & Personnel Analysis; and No. 21.  CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6) - Instructions to Negotiators re: wages, salaries and benefits - Title - Law Enforcement Administrators’ Association (LEAA) - Negotiator - County Administrative Officer & Personnel Analyst.
 

Report on Closed Session

The Chairperson recessed closed session at 4:05 p.m., to reconvene in open session to receive a report on closed session.  County Counsel reported there were no items discussed in closed session, which were required by law to be reported on in open session.  
 

Adjournment

The Chairperson adjourned the regular meeting at 4:05 p.m. to 9:00 a.m., July 27, 2004, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center, in Independence.
 

 

_____________________________________
     Chairperson, Inyo County Board of Supervisors

Attest:   RENÉ L. MENDEZ
               Clerk of the Board

 

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Last Updated: May 18, 2006