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The second BOS meeting of October included updates, public input, a presentation on the Trinity County Placemaking Initiative, and decisions regarding several important matters – including allocation of special funding and approval of the fee structure for Cannabis Retail Storefront Licensing.

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 that took place.

Forest Service Update – Tara Jones

  • Three fires since the last update.  All were stopped while they were small during initial attack.  Tara acknowledged great cooperation between parties.
  • Recreation – updates to trails, new restrooms, added staff, plans for further trail renovations in place
  • 57 miles of brush clearing completed by the South Fork Management Unit
  • Prescribed burning will begin soon (as conditions allow).  This includes burn piles and open areas.
  • Fuels reduction work will pick up substantially next year due to an increase in funding.  They implemented Winter hiring for the first time to prepare for this increased level of work.
  • USFS Public Meetings are scheduled as follows:
    • 11.5         Lewiston
    • 11.7         Coffee Creek
    • 11.14       Weaverville
    • 11.16       Burnt Ranch
    • 11.19       Hyampom

Trinity County Placemaking – Libby Crimmings, Atlas Community Studios

  • Placemaking – “the process of creating quality places that people want to live, work, play, and learn in”
  • This initiative was funded by a grant
  • Year-long process that involved public workshops, online surveys, community assessment, steering committee
  • High-level overview presented. Full document available via this link
  • Proposed Vision – “Beautiful Wilderness, Open Spaces and an Inclusive Community to Live, Play, and Grow.”
  • Recommended Positioning – “Putting the Life in Work/Life Balance”
  • Three areas of focus – Housing, Workforce Development, Economic Development
  • Specific Action Plans were provided for each focus area
  • Keith Groves raised a concern related to the Brown Act.
    • The Brown Act indicates (among other things) that a majority of the board should not be working together on (or discussing) official county business unless it is a publicly noticed meeting.  You can learn more about the Brown Act with this link.
    • There was discussion as to whether this initiative qualified as something the Brown Act would apply to.
    • If the Brown Act did apply,  then we should not have had two supervisors (Jill Cox and Liam Gogan) and me (as a supervisor-elect) on the committee.
    • I was invited to join the steering committee before being elected.  I reached out to the CAO and County Counsel for further discussion as necessary.
  • Letty Garza, Interim CAO, recommended that action item recommendations from this initiative be incorporated into the County’s Strategic Plan.

Recognition for Amy Alward | Deputy Probation Officer III – Amy was recognized for her long and valued service to our county as she retires from our Probation Department.

Department Head Updates

  • Elections: Shanna White
    • November Election – everything in place for the election… ballots mailed, 5 ballot drop-off boxes in place.
    • A reminder was given that if you received a ballot via the mail and want to vote in person – you should bring the mailed ballot with you to avoid additional time and effort to validate your vote.
  • Planning: Ed Prestley
    • General Plan
      • Community meetings start in the first week of November.  These are very important opportunities for residents to share their views on what is appropriate for their communities
      • Flyers are available, an ad will be in the newspaper this week.
      • Here is a link to the General Plan website
      • Here is a link to the flyer which has details regarding community meeting dates/locations.
      • All existing/available community plans have been reviewed
  • Treasurer/Tax Collector: Terry McBrayer
    • Responded to a concern raised earlier, explaining that a process is underway to ensure that only those with both state and county cannabis licenses will be required to pay county taxes
    • Explained that she is receiving information from the state about state-licensed cultivators who are selling product… and that some of these do not have a county license.
  • Sheriff: Tim Saxon
    • California Cannabis & Law Enforcement – the Sheriff participated in training/workshops earlier this month regarding this matter.
    • Testing Device – described a device that can test products to determine if they include cannabis byproducts. Suggested this could be good for our schools
    • Elections Change – new legislation changed the election cycle for Sheriff and District Attorney to coincide with Presidential elections. This means that these two elected officials will serve 6-year terms instead of 4-year terms this time around.
  • Behavioral Health Services: Connie Smith
    • Our new Mobile Crisis Unit has been selected.  It will be retrofitted for our specific use in the near future.
    • 180 active consumers for Behavioral Health Services in Trinity County
    • BHS Lobby is being updated for ADA compliance.  Praise was given to General Services personnel who made this renovation happen.
  • CAO: Letty Garza
    • Reported a new vacancy on county staff (account technician) that will impact the workload of Suzi Hawkins.

Supervisor Updates

  • Keith Groves
    • TMC – noted problems within TMC and the potential for the organization to collapse
  • Jill Cox
    • Highlighted a new funding source that could bring in over $4.8 million
    • Described efforts to prepare for taking on the role of Board Chair next year
    • Invested 4-5 hours with Health & Human Services Department
    • Digital 299 (broadband service initiative) – environmental permits are anticipated by end of the year, contractor bids are underway, and an update is coming in November.  Public funding will be required for “off ramps” that will allow us to take advantage of this initiative.
    • New Signs honoring veterans will be installed on both entrances to Weaverville on Highway 299
    • Mentioned a senior-care initiative that could provide additional services to members of our community.
    • Shared that we have Architectural Review Committee vacancies
    • Main Street Trees – committee being installed to coordinate/represent community input.  Kelly Sheen (RCD) is taking the lead on this.
  • Dan Frasier
    • Nothing to report
  • Liam Gogan
    • TMC – built upon report provided by Keith Groves.  Emphasized the importance of having representation regarding river-related decisions
  • Jeremy Brown
    • Nothing to report

Cannabis Ad Hoc Update

  • No meeting since the last board meeting
  • Recently averaging approximately 5 new license approvals/notices per week
  • Ed Prestley offered a goal of completing 15-20 reviews per week

Consent Calendar

  • The board voted to approve all items on the consent calendar

Cannabis Retail Storefront Licensing Fees

  • Bella Hedtke presented information regarding the process and results.  She received strong encouragement and praise for her work
  • Proposing a cost recovery approach to our license fee structure
  • The first license is for one year, followed by a three-year license upon renewal
  • Directors Use Permit (DUP) $1,000
  • Conditional Use Permit (CUP) $4,500
  • Retail Store License $700
  • Jill Cox raised the possibility of taking a different approach that involves an initial deposit and the opportunity to adjust the fee based on the actual work required. This would help the county ensure that all related costs are covered.  Bella Hedtke supported the value of this approach and indicated that an additional process would have to be established which would further delay implementation.
  • Public comment focused on encouragement to move forward with the proposed fee structure so that businesses can get underway and tax revenues can begin flowing to the county
  • The board voted to approve the proposed fee structure.

Limited Density Rural Dwelling Ordinance

  • The final reading for this new ordinance
  • No public comment on this matter
  • Dan Frasier identified a concern related to its impact on existing buildings and mentioned that he would follow up with a potential amendment rather than delay this further.
  • The board voted to approve the ordinance

Budget Adjustment

  • The board voted to approve this matter which could have been on the consent calendar.

Superior California Economic Development District (SCED) – Veterans Hall Renovation

  • This involved confirming board support for moving forward with pursuing a prospective avenue for fully funding proposed renovations to the County’s Veterans’ Hall without a feasibility study.
  • Jill Cox shared that:
    • a benefactor (who has requested to remain anonymous at this time) has stepped forward with an offer to fully fund this initiative
    • 29 letters of support were received
    • 2 offers were made to support financially or in-kind services for approximately $50,000
  • The board voted to approve this measure

Grand Jury Response

  • The board selected Keith Groves to draft a response to the recently received Grand Jury report.

Request for Exemption for Code Enforcement Appeal Fee

  • This involved two requests (owner and tenant for the same property) for waiver of the appeals fee for the same violation
  • The board voted to deny both of these requests
  • There was a discussion about the importance of people submitting substantiating data and/or being present when the matter is considered by the board.
  • The board gave direction for staff to review/revise this process to address concerns raised during discussions

American Rescue Plan

  • $2.3 million was originally received via this federal government initiative to support the response to and recovery from the COVID-19 public health emergency
  • $300,000 was already allocated for Jail Construction Shortfall.
  • $485,000 already allocated for (DSA) Deputy Sheriff’s Association retention bonuses
  • The discussion focused on the proposed uses of the remaining funds (approximately $1.6 million)
  • Proposals included the allocation of funds to infrastructure priorities and to staff retention bonuses
  • The board voted to approve funding of proposed infrastructure investments and retention bonuses for all employees excluding DSA and BOS

Planning & Zoning

  • This item was moved to the next board meeting (11.1) at the request of the appellant.

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

Sharing Information | Encouraging Engagement