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This board meeting included a presentation from RCRC (Rural County Representatives of California) and recognition of Letty Garza and Liz Hamilton for their strong leadership as Interim CAOs.  There were over 100 participants on Zoom and there was a lot of public comment related to the recent PRA request and several important decisions.

Here are the notes I took during the meeting. Please understand that this is not meant to be a comprehensive documentation of discussions and decisions.


  • Chair Cox and I reported on items addressed during the previous closed session.
  • Here are the notes from my report regarding the review of county counsel services:
    • By majority vote, the board agreed to the following report out
      • Chair Cox recused herself from deliberations regarding this matter.
      • Board developed feedback that will be shared with County Counsel
      • In person discussion of results and board feedback will take place during closed session on May 2nd.
    • County Counsel agreement calls for a performance review
    • The board met on and March 7th, March 17th, and March 21st to determine how to move forward with the performance review as no template/process was in place
    • The board met on April 4 to finalize a survey template and list of those who would participate (board, department heads, and members of staff who work closely with County Counsel – 48 in total, 34 responded)
    • The board met on April 24th to review the results of the survey and to formalize board feedback to County Counsel
    • The board will meet during a closed session on May 2nd to review board feedback, and survey results with County Counsel
    • This evaluation is anticipated to be an annual process


Board of Supervisors

1.1   Receive a presentation from Supervisor Leutwyler presenting a token of appreciation to Interim CAO Letty Garza and Interim CAO Liz Hamilton.

  • Letty Garza and Liz Hamilton were presented with “Trinity Count Strong” awards for their strong leadership and Herculean efforts as interim CAOs.  The awards were signed by members of the board and staff.

1.2   Receive a presentation from the executive leadership team of Rural County Representatives of California (RCRC) on the organization’s strategic plan and the work of their affiliated entities.

  • Pat Blacklock | RCRC
  • 40 counties represented by RCRC
  • Nonprofit/Mutual Benefit Organization working on behalf of rural counties
  • Ad Hoc Committees
    • Drought & Water Resiliency
    • Wildfire & Forest Stewardship
    • Cannabis Regulation
  • Golden State Connect Authority – focused on Broadband
    • Efforts are well underway with strategic plans, technical assistance, and deployment
    • $20 M budget today… could be $500 M when implementation funds are awarded
    • Trinity still needs to develop a strategic plan for broadband
  • Rural Alliance, Inc.
    • Academic research and educational opportunities that advance understanding of rural California amongst policymakers and the public
  • Golden State Natural Resources
    • Forest Resiliency and rural economic development
    • Exploring the option of creating pellet stock from biomass generated by forest management
  • Environmental Services Join Powers Authority (ESJPA)
    • 26 rural member counties – including Trinity
    • Regulatory Requirements and waste diversion goals
    • Advocacy, technical assistance


Health and Human Services

1.3   Adopt a proclamation of appreciation that recognizes the Month of May 2023 as CalFresh Awareness Month.

  • The board approved this matter.


1.4   Adopt a proclamation recognizing the week of May 7-13, 2023 as National Correctional Officers Week.

  • The board approved this matter

Treasurer/Tax Collector

1.5   Receive an overview Treasurer-Tax Collector, Terri Mc Brayer regarding the departmental functions and services.

  • This matter was postponed


  • More than 30 people shared input during this public comment session.
  • Many comments focused on the recent PRA of Chair Cox’s communications with specific individuals regarding county business.  Comments included support of Chair Cox, calls for her to step down, calls for a third-party investigation, concerns about the handling of the PRA, and more.
  • A call for supervisors to stand for the people of Trinity County
  • A call for supervisors and the public to address concerns regarding negative impacts on cannabis businesses and economic development as a whole.
  • A request was made for Chair Cox to schedule a Town Hall Meeting to address concerns.
  • Concern raised regarding methods for appealing planning/building department matters – suggested a building department review board.
  • Concern that there has been a shift from “public servant” to “public controller” in government as a whole.  Called for the county leadership team to work together as a team.
  • Recognition offered for Golden Age Center and work with the CalFresh program.  Also recognized Supervisor Cox for help in obtaining PSA2 funding.
  • Appreciation shared for Dick Morris’ long years of service.
  • Called for the board to fully research and respond to the County Counsel-related Grand Jury Report.
  • Dismay was shared that we collectively continue to get caught up in controversy.  Called for board to focus on things that will help us all move forward.  Called for the support of Supervisors.
  • Concerns were raised regarding ongoing efforts to change the rules related to the cannabis program.
  • Call for us all to work together toward a prosperous future for our county.


Report from Department Heads – none

Report from County Administrative Officer

  • Appreciation to county staff for onboarding.
  • Look forward to working on county matters.

Reports from Members of the Board of Supervisors

Ric Leutwyler

  • Out-of-County Travel
    • NORTEC Board Meeting | Anderson, CA
      • The AT HOME initiative to address homeliness was the major focus of the agenda(s) Our board needs to decide if we will formally endorse this initiative.
      • National Center for Public Lands Counties – Our board needs to decide how we will address this request.
      • Acting State Fire Marshall | Chief Daniel Berlant – I reached out again… following up on my earlier request for help in re-opening the Fire Hazard Map public input window for Trinity County.
      • I attended my first Board Meeting on 4.27.23 and learned that we have not had anyone in attendance for some time.
      • I was asked to join an Ad Hoc Committee to work on forward-looking strategies for the organization.
      • I met with members of the leadership team to learn more about the organization and its priorities for the coming year.
      • The next meeting is a pre-board meeting in which we are offered the opportunity to provide input to voting members.  Note – our seat has a non-voting role this year.
    • North Coast Resource Partnership (NCIRWMP)
      • I received a strong onboarding from members of the leadership team. They mentioned that developing a new strategic plan is on the near horizon and I anticipate getting involved in this process.
  • Other Items
    • Trinity Lake & River Releases – I led a Town Hall Meeting in Lewiston last Thursday.  We had a strong turnout (80+ people) and worked together for 2+ hours.  You can read more about the meeting (key takeaways and action items) by clicking on this link.
    • I launched an online survey regarding this subject on April 23rd.  As of the board meeting, there were 193 responses.  As of this writing there are 212 responses.
    • U.S. Congressman Jared Huffman and members of the TMC (Trinity Management Council) hosted a virtual gathering the day before the board meeting.

Jill Cox

  • Oversight of broadband efforts handed off to CAO Trent Tuthill
  • Quarterly meeting with USFS Supervisor Birkey
    • Good Neighbor Authority is moving forward quickly
  • Minersville boat ramp is under contract for engineering

Liam Gogan

  • Lake & River Town Hall Meeting
  • Trinity Lake takes 2.4 years to fill and we will be lucky if it gets to 50% this year
  • The option of banking more water in Trinity Lake is being considered
  • Virtual Gathering with Congressman Huffman and members of the TMC on Monday evening.
  • LAFCO question regarding Hayfork water district representation was addressed

Heidi Carpenter-Harris

  • Trinity County Collaborative meetings
  • Insurance Commissioner Letter

Dan Frasier

  • Behavioral Health Advisory Committee Meeting
  • Discussed unmet transit needs

Reports from Ad Hocs:

A. Good Neighbor Authority

  • Ad Hoc committee ended

B. Strategic Plan

  • I met with Trent Tuthill (CAO) and several department heads last week to continue working on the strategic plan and to officially hand this initiative off to the CAO.
  • I was impressed with the work done by members of the team and feel that we are definitely headed in the right direction.
  • Ad hoc committee ended

C. Trinity County Water

  • Continue to gather information and input regarding water-related matters

D. Cannabis Ordinance

  • Work continues with two-hour weekly meetings.  Next meeting will be 4 to 5 hours
  • Two public workshops are planned to present information regarding the proposed updates.  These will take place before this matter is brought before the board for consideration.
  • An email address ( is available for submitting public input. These emails are automatically routed to each member of the ad hoc committee.
  • The Planning Commission voted against a proposed change to the variance-related language in the cultivation ordinance.

E. Economic Development

  • Chair Cox and I met with representatives of the TOT-funded Partners.  These are the organizations that are focused on increasing tourism and improving the experience of those visiting (and living within) Trinity County. We discussed the results of a survey they completed about how they might move forward in a more unified approach and I then facilitated discussion with the group.
  • I have been asked to facilitate another session with this group of leaders as they continue their efforts to identify ways to achieve more on behalf of Trinity County.

F. California Home Insurance

  • Supervisor Carpenter-Harris shared an update regarding efforts to draft a letter to the Insurance Commissioner (and others as appropriate) to raise awareness regarding the significant challenges being faced by homeowners in Trinity County.
  • I also reached out (again) to CSAC representatives for assistance.
  • This ad hoc committee ends today



Public Comment

  • Concern regarding sufficient funds to support housing of people in properties managed under the Grants & Housing Department.  Concern that personnel being hired in the department have sufficient experience.  Concern of potential conflict.
  • Item 3.10 – It was noted that resolutions have not been required for similar items.  This could be handled by a minute order vs. a resolution.
  • The board approved all consent calendar items



4.1   Adopt a resolution authorizing the Elections Office to not list supporters and opponents of measures on county ballots for all future elections.

  • Public comment was offered in support of this matter
  • The board approved this matter

Human Resources

4.2 & 4.3 Were both items related to the authorization for increases in salary for engineer positions with DOT.

  • The board approved both items.


  • This closed session covered both litigation and personnel matters.

Public Comment

  • Concern with potential conflict of interest related to County Counsel review.
  • Question raised regarding Supervisor Cox’s recusal on County Counsel review last week but not today.
  • Suggestion offered to remove County Counsel review off today’s agenda
  • Called for everyone to stick to the rules as we move forward
  • Concern shared that an appearance of conflict remains related to Supervisor Cox’s participation in County Counsel review.
  • Support offered for the review process along with concern that this is not good timing.  Suggestion to reschedule the item.
  • Concern raised that Chair Cox needs to recuse and that the item be rescheduled.
  • Call for Chair Cox to make a public statement regarding this matter
  • Suggestion for postponing County Counsel review.
  • Call for Chair Cox to step down.
  • Chair Cox offered a statement and decided to recuse herself based on public input

5.1   Government Code Section 54954.5(c) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Initiation of Litigation No. of Cases: Two

  • REPORT OUT – for both items – Direction to Staff

5.2   Government Code Section 54954.5(e) – Public Employee Evaluation: County Counsel.

  • REPORT OUT – Completed the annual evaluation of services delivered by County Counsel


BOARD STATEMENT – this statement was made on behalf of the board.

  • CAO has initiated steps to identify a third-party investigator
  • Supervisors have requested the full set of documents that have been released to date via the PRA

I hope these notes are helpful in your efforts to stay informed about county matters.  For a more comprehensive understanding of what took place…


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