Board Minutes - September 28, 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 9:10 a.m., on Tuesday, September 28, 2004, in the Board of Supervisors Room, County Administrative Center, Independence, with the following Supervisors present:  Chairperson Carroll “Butch” Hambleton presiding, Linda Arcularius, Ted Williams, and Michael Dorame.  Supervisor Bear was absent.  Supervisor Dorame provided the Invocation, and Supervisor Williams led the Pledge of Allegiance.

Public Comment

The Chairperson announced the public comment period.  Mr. Josh Pelzer of the No on 68 campaign addressed the Board to request that the Board take action to approve a resolution opposing Prop 68.  After an explanation by the Chairperson that the Board could not take action during public comment, the Board directed that the resolution be placed on a future agenda for Board  consideration.

 

County Dept. Reports

The Chairperson announced the County Department Report period.  Ms. Leslie Klusmire, Planning Director, presented the Board with copies of the first Project Status Report.  At the conclusion of Ms. Klusmire’s remarks she indicated that she would add a location column to identify in which Supervisorial District the project is located.  Public Works Director, Mr. Jeff Jewett, addressed the Board to first inform the Board that the County has received its permits to operate the Town Water Systems.  Mr. Jewett went on to update the Board on the status of the Owens Valley Railroad project, confirming that he would keep the Board apprised of how the RFP process proceeds. 

 

Org./Wild Iris Domestic Violence Awareness

Ms. Sally Schlieker of Wild Iris, addressed the Board to provide information on the activities planned in conjunction with Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and presented the Board with purple ribbons to be worn to show support.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to proclaim the month of October 2004, as Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the County of Inyo.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Planning-Yucca Mountain DOE Update

Dr. Russell Dyer of the U. S. Department of Energy Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management, provided a lengthy presentation on the Yucca Mountain Project, updating the Board on recent and ongoing developments regarding the project.

 

P.W.-Museum/ Carson & Colorado Railroad Transportation History Center

Mr. Dave Mull, President of the Carson & Colorado Railway, Inc., provided a brief history of the organization and introduced Mr. Bob Enis of Lone Pine, who provided a detailed presentation  regarding the Carson & Colorado Railway, Inc.,’s proposal to establish, with the County’s assistance and TEA funding, an off-site Railroad Transportation History Center for the Eastern California Museum. Mr. Enis and Staff responded to questions from the Board with the Board  directing staff to place on the October 5, 2004, Agenda for Board consideration the following:  (a) request County to submit the TEA-21 project proposal to the LTC; (b) direction to Staff to develop an agreement between the County and the Railway for the operation of the project facility to be returned for Board approval; (c) direct Staff to begin negotiations with the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power for a long-term lease for the site; and (d) direction to Staff to review the Public Works project priority list in conjunction with this request.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 10:50 a.m., reconvening at 11:10 a.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Bear.

 

Water Dept./ Organization The Board and Staff discussed the information, which was formulated and compiled as a result of the workshops that reviewed the roles, responsibilities and organizational framework of the Water Department, with the County Administrator providing a corrected sheet regarding the Salt Cedar Program.  Mr. Mendez recommended that the Board provide direction on what type of information they would like to have as they continue their deliberation of the organization of the Water Department.  The County Administrator explained that Staff would provide detailed analysis of cost and program options based on the Board’s direction.   After a lengthy discussion, the Board directed Staff to bring back detailed information on the following:

1.  Maintaining the Water Department as an autonomous department, with a Department Head.

2.  Transferring the legal aspect of the Water Department functions to the County Counsel’s Office.

3.  Develop a Water Director job description emphasizing the negotiation and mediation skills.

4. Transferring the Salt Cedar Program to the Agricultural Commissioner’s Office, Weed Management Program.

 

District/Indy Cemetery District Appointment

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to appoint Mr. John Slaughter to serve on the Independence Cemetery District Board of Trustees, to complete an unexpired four-year term ending January 31, 2006.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

CAO-Purchasing/ Modular Router P. O.

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to award quote #5-2004 for and approve the purchase of one Cisco Modular Router to GovConnection in an amount not to exceed $2,843.53, plus tax.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Integ. Waste/ Solid Waste Disposal Site Leases

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the lease between the County of Inyo and the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power for property currently utilized as solid waste disposal sites, for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2009, at the rate of $500 per year for each of the four sites; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Parks/Indy Park Lease

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the leases between the County of Inyo and the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power for property utilized for the Independence Park, for the period of May 1, 2004, through April 30, 2009, at the annual rate of $500; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

HHS-Social Serv/ Salvation Army Contract

The request by the Health and Human Services Department for approval of the Contract between the County of Inyo and the Salvation Army for recruitment, training and support for foster parents and mentors services, for the period of October 1, 2004, through June 30, 2007, at the annual rate of $32,000, for a total not to exceed $96,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of future budgets; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, was pulled from the Agenda at the request of the Department.

 

HHS-Misc./ Community Serv. Solutions Contract

The request by the Health and Human Services Department for approval of the Contract between the County of Inyo and Community Service Solutions for Prevention Leadership Services on behalf of the Health and Human Services Department, for the period of October 1, 2004, through June 30, 2007, at the annual rate of $50,000, for a total not to exceed $150,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of future budgets; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, was pulled from the Agenda at the request of the Department.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 12:00 p.m., reconvening at 1:05 p.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Bear.

 

Ord. 1087 Flu Vaccination Fee Increase

On a motion by Supervisor Dorame and a second by supervisor Williams, Ordinance 1087, entitled “An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, Increasing the Fee for Administering Influenza Vaccinations,” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

Parks/Public Hearing Ordinance Re Fees and Rules for Concession-aire Operation Tecopa Hot Springs

The Chairperson opened the public hearing at 1:10 p.m. on a proposed ordinance entitled “An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, Adding a Section to Chapter 12.16 of the County Code, which Chapter is Entitled ‘Roads and Parks,’ to Provide that, During the Term of Any Agreement Between the County and a Concessionaire for the Operation of the Tecopa Hot Springs Park, the Fees and Rules Governing the Use of the Park Shall be Those Established by the Concessionaire.”   Deputy County Administrator, Mr. Chuck Hamilton reviewed the Staff report and recommendations.  There being no one from the public wishing to address this issue, the Chairperson closed the public hearing at 1:11 p.m. 

Moved by Supervisor Williams and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to waive the first reading of the ordinance entitled “An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, Adding a Section to Chapter 12.16 of the County Code, which Chapter is Entitled ‘Roads and Parks,’ to Provide that, During the Term of Any Agreement Between the County and a Concessionaire for the Operation of the Tecopa Hot Springs Park, the Fees and Rules Governing the Use of the Park Shall be Those Established by the Concessionaire; and schedule the enactment for 10:05 a.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2004, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center, in Independence.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

CAO/Public Hearing on Fees for Commercial Filming & Photography on County Property

The Chairperson opened the public hearing at 1:12 p.m., on a proposed ordinance entitled “An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, Establishing Fees for Commercial Filming and Photography on County Roads, Facilities, and Property.”  The Deputy County Administrator, Mr. Chuck Hamilton, reviewed the Staff Report and recommendations.  There being no one from the public wishing to address this issue, the Chairperson closed the public hearing at 1:14 p.m.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to waive the first reading of an ordinance entitled “An Ordinance of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, Establishing Fees for Commercial Filming and Photography on County Roads, Facilities, and Property and schedule the enactment for 10:05 a.m., Tuesday, October 5, 2004, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center, in Independence.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Assessor/Petrol and Geothermal Property Sales Study Bertholf Contract

The Assessor, Mr. Tom Lanshaw, noted for the record that Butte County had opted out of the Contract and the contract was now with only 18 counties and amended the amount to $88,200.  Moved by Supervisor Dorame and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Contract between the California Assessors’ Association, Harold W. Bertholf, Inc., and the Assessors of eighteen California counties for the provision of a Petroleum and Geothermal Property Sales Study, in an amount not to exceed $88,200, with Inyo County contributing $2,100 for the period of November 1, 2004, through October 31, 2005; and authorize the Assessor to sign contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

HHS-Soc. Serv./ Child Welfare Syst. Improve-ment Plan

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Child Welfare System Improvement Plan and verify local coordination and integration in the planning process for submittal to the State by September 30, 2004, as required by AB 636.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

CAO-Purchasing/ Treasurer Printer P. O.

The County Administrator reported that as a result of this item and the next item, the County’s Contingencies balance will be a little over $127,000.  Moved by Supervisor Williams and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to A) award Bid #2004-01 for and approve the purchase of one printer from CDW-G, for the Treasurer-Tax Collector’s Office in an amount not to exceed $5,552.13 plus tax; and B) amend the FY 2004-05 County Budget by increasing appropriations in Treasurer-Tax Collector Budget Unit 010500, Office Equipment over $5,000 (Object Code #5669) by $6,000 and decrease appropriations in Contingencies Budget Unit 087100, Contingences (Object Code #5901) by $6,000.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

CAO-Purchasing/ Auditor Printer

P. O.

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to A) approve the purchase of one printer from CDW-G for the Auditor-Controller’s Office through Bid #2004-01, in an amount not to exceed $4,683.66 plus shipping and handling; and B) amend the FY 2004-05 County Budget by increasing appropriations in Auditor-Controller Budget Unit 010400, Office and Other Equipment under $5,000 (Object Code #5232) by $4,684 and decreasing appropriations in Contingencies Budget Unit 087100, Contingencies (Object Code #5901) by $4,684. Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

CAO-Authorized Strength

The County Administrator provided additional information and further justification for the request to change the authorized strength in his office and amend the SIP to reflect an Assistant to the CAO position.  Mr. Mendez explained that he felt this was the best way to maintain flexibility to cover the workload in his office.  Moved by Supervisor by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to A) amend the authorized strength in the County Administrator’s Office by deleting one Administrative Analyst I, II, and III Series, Range 66 to 70, and by adding one Assistant to the County Administrator position at Range 70 ($3,218 - $3,911) and B) modify the Separation Incentive Plan (SIP) for the County Administrator’s Office by changing the authorization to fill an Administrative Analyst III position to authorization to fill an Assistant to the County Administrator position at Range 70.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

Emergency Serv./ CERT Guide

The County Administrator provided additional information on the CERT Instructor Guide.  He informed the Board that the Big Pine Tribe is forming an emergency responders team and the Guide will be used in their training as well as to help develop other teams throughout the County.  Moved by Supervisor Dorame and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Inyo County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Instructor Guide.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Assessor/PAMS Pro Licenses

Moved by Supervisor Williams and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to declare Cirone Computer Consulting, Inc., as a sole-source provider of software licenses and approve the purchase of two software licenses for the Visual PAMSPro property management system from Cirone Computer in an amount not to exceed $10,000.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Resol. #2004-47/ Property Tax Rates

On a motion by Supervisor Arcularius and a second by Supervisor Dorame, Resolution No. 2004-47, was adopted setting the Property Tax Rates for 2004-2005, per California Government Code Section 29100: motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

HHS-Health Serv/ Hiring Authorization

The Health and Human Services Director, Ms. Jean Dickinson provided additional information and further justification for the request to authorize the filling of a vacant Account Tech I position.  She explained that this was a position, which had been budgeted for and was just recently vacated. She also confirmed that this position was critical to the medical billing process.  Moved by Supervisor Dorame and seconded by Supervisor Williams to authorize the recruitment and filling a vacant Account Technician I position, at Range 55 ($2,263 - $2,751).  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Planning-Yucca Mt./Lang Drilling Contract

Moved by Supervisor Dorame and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and Lang Exploratory Drilling for well drilling and construction services for the period of September 1, 2004, through December 31, 2004, in an amount not to exceed $480,000, contingent upon continued U.S. Department of Energy funding of the Death Valley Regional Ground Water Monitoring Program; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Probation/Office of Ed Extended Day Program

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to ratify the Contract between the County of Inyo and the Inyo County Office of Education for an Extended Day Program, for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $21,472; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Probation/Healthy Communities Delinquency Prev.

Moved by Supervisor Dorame and seconded by Supervisor Williams to ratify the Contract between the County of Inyo and the Healthy Communities for a Delinquency Prevention Program, for the period of July 1, 2004, through June 30, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $30,000; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent. 

 

Closed Session

County Counsel announced that Agenda Item No. 28A.  CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL EXISTING LITIGATION (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(a) – Coso Energy Developers v. County of Inyo, Fourth District Court of Appeals Case No. E034051; Inyo County Superior Court Case No. CVCV-01-28756, was being pulled from the Agenda and the Board would not be meeting in closed session.

 

Board Members and Staff Reports

The Chairperson called for Board Members and Staff Reports.  Supervisor Arcularius reported on the RCRC Annual Conference.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 2:30 p.m., reconvening at 7:00 p.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Bear.

 

BofS/Joint Meeting with Lone Pine CSD

The Chairperson announced that the Board would be meeting in joint session with members of the Lone Pine Community Service District Board of Trustees and invited Ms. Donna Bonnefin, the Chairperson of the CSD to open their meeting.  The public comment period was announced and there was no one from the public wishing to speak.   Mr. Jeff Jewett, Public Works Director, briefly reviewed the reason for the joint meeting, explaining that it was to facilitate the exchange of information regarding the Town Water Systems operation and maintenance.  Mr. Jewett began by announcing that the County has received the permit to operate the systems from the State Department of Health Services, clarifying that there were no conditions on the permit and noting that the County had the D3 and D1 certifications which are required by the permit.

Mr. Jewett went on to share information he felt might be helpful to the district in analyzing the operations.  Individual CSD Board Members asked questions, with Mr. Wilkinson submitting his written questions, and with the Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors going on to request that the CSD Board develop the questions to be asked as a Board, and not as individuals.  Mr. Joe Ruiz, who is a member of the Lone Pine CSD addressed the Board much of the evening as an individual citizen.  He queried the County on the reasoning behind the County’s decision to be responsible for the “backup” generators.  Mr. Jewett, the County Administrator, Mr. Mendez, and various Members of the Board of Supervisors provided the explanation that DWP while willing to maintain responsibility for the generators was unwilling to make that responsibility a priority.  Therefore the County in an effort to ensure that their constituents needs regarding water supply was consistent and safe at all times decided to negotiate for the control.  While Mr. Ruiz, in response to a question from the Chairperson indicated that he felt the “backup” generator responsibility was a deal breaker, he came back to qualify that remark as being made by him as an individual and not a Member of the CSD Board of Trustees.  The County Administrator provided additional clarification on negotiation philosophies, and how the back-up generator may be an issue, which the CSD will choose to negotiate when and if they make a decision regarding taking over the Town Water System.  The Board, Staff and the CSD Board continued to discuss certain aspects of the systems including expenditures, revenues, billing processes, chlorination requirements, as well as the status of the system. Mr. Ruiz questioned the District’s ability to minimize liability should they be required to raise the rates, saying that he felt the District might get sued because he thinks the Long Term Water Agreement does not allow raising the rates. 

At the request of County Counsel the Chairperson called for a short recess at 7:50 p.m., reconvening at 8:00 p.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Bear.  The County Administrator suggested that the County, in order to assist the CSD in gaining the knowledge they desire before deciding on whether to assume the Town Water System or not and possibly to mitigate some of the fear regarding liability exposure, could lease the water system to the CSD for a year.  He explained this would also provide the CSD the time they might need to obtain the State operating permit, which is required.    Mr. Ruiz, again addressed the Board as a private citizen, to provide a lengthy critique of the County’s ability to operate the town water systems in Independence and Lone Pine.  His comments were as detailed as providing a 24/7 365 day work schedule for the County’s Operating Engineer, Mr. Keith Pearce, and involved time-lines for time to read meters, billing,  writing grants, and for budgeting and building a reserve which would be turned over to the CSD in three or four years when they would then take over the systems.  Mr. Keith Pearce and Arden Wallum of the Public Works Department responded to Mr. Ruiz’s comments by explaining that it was unrealistic to expect one person to accomplish everything Mr. Ruiz had said could be done.  Both Mr. Pearce and Mr. Wallum cited their extensive history in operating much larger water systems to explain that it could take as long as one year of consistent work to have a grant prepared and submitted, as well as requiring in the neighborhood of $500,000 to efficiently run the type of operation Mr. Ruiz had outlined.  

Ms. Arlene Grider of the Independence CSD also addressed the Board as an individual to inform the Board of a situation, which she has found troubling and which she thought would be of interest to the County and the Lone Pine CSD.  She said she had just recently learned that the Independence CSD’s TMF is on hold as a result of “political maneuvering” between the California Rural Water Association (CRWA) which was the entity the Independence CSD had requested assistance from for the preparation of TMF, and the State Department of Health Services which is the entity that will issue the permit.   Ms. Grider informed the Board the CRWA is paid for their services through grants from the State.  At the conclusion of Ms. Grider’s remarks, the Board questioned Ms. Grider on where she thought the “political maneuvering” was occurring, with Ms. Grider confirming that she felt it was internal  between the CRWA and the State.

Ms. Donna Bonnefin, Chairperson of the CSD Board, thanked the Board for the lease alternative suggestion, indicating that written questions would be developed and provided to the County.  The Chairperson of the Board of Supervisors asked Staff to follow-up on scheduling a subsequent joint meeting with the CSD once the questions and information identified by the CSD are responded to and compiled.

The Chairperson adjourned the joint meeting of the Board of Supervisors and the Lone Pine Community Services District at 8:30 p.m.

 

 

The Chairperson reconvened in open session at 8:30 p.m. to immediately adjourn the regular meeting to 9:00 a.m,. October 5, 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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