Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement

This Meeting of the Board included several presentations and a number of important decisions.  We experienced technical difficulties at the beginning of the meeting that required a lengthly delay before resuming the meeting.

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


County Administrative Office

1.1   Receive a presentation from PARS regarding the benefits of establishing a Pension Trust.

  • Trinity County was one of the first to set up a trust for OPEB (other post employment benefits) – 2006
  • 115 Trust – a reserve account set aside in a trust for retirement obligations
  • Need to get our trust up to date (private letter ruling)
  • Recommend moving OPEB-only Trust to Combo Trust (OPEB & Pension)
    • No cost to make the change
    • Money put into trust can only be used for the designated purpose (OPEB or Pension)
  • Currently at 32% funding level for OPEB.  The goal is to become fully funded so that the trust pays the bills
  • Discount Rate = target rate of return.  Has been lowered multiple times… currently 6.8% and anticipated to be reduced to 6.2%
    • Lowering Discount Rate increases unfunded liability (means we have to put in more money)
  • Shortened amortization period from 30 years to 20 years.
  • Last report showed Trinity County at 67.6% funding level for pension… last year funds experienced a net decrease so this will likely be lower the next time it is updated.
  • Options
    • Keep in General Fund… low interest earnings
    • Send to CalPers… locks the funds up more than trust
    • Send to Combo Trust… higher earnings, full control
      • Can control risk level through directed investment
      • Can invest in equities… treasury cannot
      • Cell phone access to dedicated portfolio manager
      • Fee schedules shared
    • 37 counties have made this move
    • Supervisor Leutwyler suggested that CAO Tuthill research further and bring a recommendation to the board.


1.2   Receive a department overview from Chief Probation Officer Ruby Fierro.

  • Provided an overview of the department, it’s functions, etc.
  • “Accountability, Opportunity, Fewer Victims” – Focus of the department
  • 22 youth active in the Juvenile Probation program today
  • 5 youth in custody today
  • Court Services also provided by the department
    • We are able to provide some support informally
  • Shared the department’s Mission Statement
  • Staff Update
    • Eight line staff (six for last year)
    • Five probation correctional counselors
    • Two managers
    • Two support staff for finance, legal, reception, etc.
    • One chief
  • Staff Trainers for firearms, filed training officer, baton, defensive tactics, arrest and control
  • Specialized Training as well – six areas listed
  • One officer on call 24/7
  • Participate as First Responders in emergencies
  • Supervisor’s Carpenter-Harris & Gogan offered praise for the school-based representative
  • The program for parents is now in it’s 10th week… positive feedback shared by participants online.  Another session will start in the Fall


1.3   Receive a presentation from Caltrans Project Manager Robert Burnett regarding the Clean California Monuments for Trinity County.

  • Derrick Willis & Kristin Robinson | CalTrans
  • Shared proposed monument to be installed on the West side of Trinity County (just this side of Trinity/Humboldt County Line)
  • Worked with the Arts Council, Chambers, Tribes, Board, and DOT
  • Plan to move to next stage by end of the month.  Construction likely to take place next Spring.
  • CalTrans is taking on maintenance responsibility.  Noted that they reserve the right to remove the monument if significant maintenance challenges arise.
  • Individuals can share input to CalTrans regarding this project


  • Chair Cox provided a report out on most recent closed session items


  • Shared concern that scheduling public comment after presentations may be limiting public comment.
  • Suggested that a task force be established to look into how cannabis division funds for code enforcement are used.  Also indicated this might be something the cannabis ordinance ad hoc committee could address.  Called for the cannabis division to have control over how these funds are put to use.
  • Called for the county to reference cannabis “permits” vs. “licenses” when referring to the county’s role as we move forward.
  • Compliments shared for the work done by our Probation Department.
  • Shared concerns about our appeals process.  Referenced sections of code that speak to the process.  Suggested that we establish timelines for appeals.


Report from Department Heads

  • Liz Hamilton | Health & Human Services and Human Resources
    • HR
      • Acknowledged success in filling roles within the HR department. Still need to fill the HR Director Role
      • 27 open recruitments, 4 pending offers, 6-8 offers made in May
      • Strong response to recent job fair
      • Received funds and began work on Bandstand
    • H&HS
      • New safety bollards will be placed around courthouse this Friday
      • Social Services has 33% vacancy rate.  Will be presenting strategies to address staffing challenges.
  • Ed Prestley | Interim Planning Director
    • Associate Planner position has been filled
  • Drew Plebani | Cannabis Division Director
    • 422 Appendix C documents received | 390 have completed technical review process
    • 161 active small cultivation permits
    • 229 applications noticed

Report from County Administrative Officer

  • Shared that process for review of services provided by County Counsel has been documented and will be implemented on an annual basis.
  • Announced that new playground is now open
  • Shared that Suzi Kochems has accepted a position outside the county – effective end of June
  • Shared that he is researching “Go Gov” – an application for enhanced communication between local government and public.  Here is a link – 
  • Working on proposed use of $4.8 million in special funding – plans to share with board in late June or early July

Reports from Members of the Board of Supervisors

District 1 – Ric Leutwyler

  • Out of County Travel
    • Redding for SCED Board Meeting on 5.18.23
    • Anderson for NoRTEC Committee Meeting on 6.5.23
  • Airport Advisory Committee Meeting
    • Still working to set date of first meeting for 2023
  • NoRTEC
    • Assigned as chair and facilitator for new committee
  • Sierra Nevada Conservancey
    • Participated in pre-board meeting
    • Collaborating with RCD and Watershed leaders for input
  • Frontier Communications
    • Coordinating with county staff and Frontier CEO regarding ongoing concerns
  • Community Action
    • Lewiston subdivision work well underway – board approved partial fee waiver at recent meeting

District 2 – Jill Cox

  • Noting to report

District 3 – Liam Gogan

  • Participated in Memorial Day “reading of names” event in Hayfork
  • Meeting regarding TRRP budget ($11 million this year)
  • Refinements meeting with Headwaters Group
  • TMC meetings in Blue Lake later this week

District 4 – Heidi Carpenter-Harris

  • CAO Tour in district – including meetings with volunteer fire chiefs
  • Reported ongoing/increasing challenges with Frontier Communications.  Suggested that we consider closed session to discuss strategies for moving forward.  Noted health & safety risks associated with ongoing failure of Frontier Communications to deliver.
  • Participated in Memorial Day “reading of names” event – Hayfork & Hyampom
  • Referred to work on Five Counties Project
  • Referred to work with Trinity County Collaborative

District 5 – Dan Frasier

  • Traveled to Williams for county business Colusa Glenn Community Action Partnership
    • Two Trinity County vacancies if people are interested
    • Next CAP Board Meeting in Weaverville – 7.19.23

Reports from Ad Hocs:

A. Trinity County Water

  • Nothing to report

B. Cannabis Ordinance

  • Weekly meetings continue
  • Discussion regarding stacking, opt-outs/overlays, setbacks and buffer zones, medical marijuana retail, caregiver status, etc.
  • Committee will discuss suggestion made today via public comments regarding code enforcement.

C. Economic Development

  • TOT-funded Partners making progress toward more impactful approach
  • Outside interest in the work we are doing to organize and coordinate our efforts
  • Will be sitting in for our representative on the steering committee for CERF Funding.
    • This refers to funds available to work on economic development plans.


Several items were pulled for separate discussions/decisions

  • 3.3 Letter of Support: Fish and Game Advisory Commission
    • Supervisor Leutwyler wanted to discuss the impact of the proposed letter/request on this particular endangered species and our Trinity River.
    • Supervisor Leutwyler shared concerns that were passed along to him regarding the impact on this California-designated endangered species.
    • Supervisor Gogan, Supervisor Carpenter-Harris, and CAO Tuthill shared information and indicated support for this request.
    • The board discussed the estimated financial impact and two motions were made
      • One with language of  “potentially up to $5,000,000.”
      • Another with language of “potentially causing catastrophic economic loss…”
      • Corrected some typos and punctuations
    • The board approved the motion referring to “catastrophic economic loss…”
  • 3.8   Approve the regular meeting minutes
    • Chair Cox offered corrections to minutes for some meetings.
    • Revised minutes will be posted.
    • The board approved the minutes as amended.
  • 3.16 Amendment: Enterprise Fleet Management
    • Supervisor Leutwyler asked questions which were answered by Sheriff Saxon
    • The board approved this matter
  • 3.19 Budget Adjustment – Airports
    • Supervisor Leutwyler noted that without the benefit of any Airport Advisory Committee Meetings to discuss project/budget priorities, he would like to have a conversation about these recommendations.
    • Panos Kokkas | DOT Director answered questions and provided clarification.
    • Supervisor Cox acknowledged recollection of committee meetings last year that included discussion regarding some of these initiatives.  She also noted that the committee is advisory in nature.
    • The board approved this matter.
  • 3.20 Resolution FY 23/24 RMRA funding
    • Supervisor Leutwyler asked for clarification regarding the impact of this decision on the Regional Transportation Plan
    • The funds we are addressing are not associated with the Regional Transportation Plan.  They are funds that would otherwise be used for road maintenance (potholes, etc.).
    • This means that requests for normal road maintenance will compete with efforts to re-open roads severely damaged by recent storms.
    • The board approved this matter
  • The board approved all remaining items on the consent calendar


Trinity County Transportation Commission

4.1   Conduct a public hearing to receive comments on Unmet Transit Needs as required by the Transportation Development Act (TDA).

  • Sarah Saad | Transportation Planner
  • No public input submitted to-date regarding unmet transit needs
  • Past years have seen 1-2 items of input


5.1   Approve a budget adjustment for FY 22/23 for Sheriff – Dept.

  • CAO Tuthill explained the reason for this request – involving a small project to provide safer ingress/egress for emergency vehicles when the new bakery opens (next to Sheriff’s office) in the near future.
  • The board approved this matter.

5.2   Approve a budget adjustment for FY 22/23 for Indigent Care

  • H&HS Director Hamilton provided information regarding this request
  • Approximately 20 people in this program now.  Below poverty level, below deep poverty level… these are truly impoverished individuals.
  • The case load has grown well beyond what was anticipated in the budgeting process – almost double.
  • Supervisor Carpenter-Harris voiced her support for these important, life-saving programs.
  • The board approved this matter.

5.3   Authorize hiring Behavioral Health Services Candidate at Step E

  • H&HS Director Hamilton provided information regarding this request.
  • The board approved this matter


6.1   Government Code Section 54954.5(c) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Anticipation of Litigation


BOARD AGENDA & MINUTESclick here to access current and past agendas and minutes.  Note – work is underway to get current with the formal approval and publishing of minutes from board meetings.

BOARD VIDEO RECORDINGSclick here to access video recordings of board meetings.

I hope you find these updates of value.  Please feel free to reach out if you have questions, concerns, or suggestions.


Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement