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This final board meeting of 2023 included a presentation regarding the Weaver Creek Project, and updates from the CAO, Supervisors, and Ad Hoc Committee.  The board made decisions regarding the 2024 Board of Supervisors Meeting Schedule, personnel matters, requests for fee waivers, and more.

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



1.1 Adopt a proclamation of appreciation which recognizes Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures, Joseph A Moreo upon his retirement from the Trinity County Agriculture and Weights and Measures department. Chair Cox read the proclamation and presented it to Joe Moreo.

Board of Supervisors (9:10 AM)

1.2 Receive a presentation from Yurok Tribe Environmental Specialists regarding the Weaver Creek Project.

    • Correction – this was incorrectly posted as the “East Weaver Creek Project”
    • Slide presentation delivered by a team of representatives
    • Noted that historic mining created an unnaturally straight, narrow, and simplified channel that is not conducive to healthy fish habitat
    • Initial funding from Trinity River Restoration Program and US Fish & Wildlife
    • Project goals presented – including significantly increasing the amount of in stream habitats for coho salmon, which are listed as threatened.
    • Design approach presented – illustrating the changes in flows conditions to ensure that water covers a wider area as flow levels increase.  This will involve creating more floodplain area.
    • Incorporating riffles will raise water levels throughout the project area.
    • Some of the material removed to create floodplain areas will be used to shore up the banks of the creek where it is closest to the road.
    • Will work around concrete water line discovered during the process.
    • Identified potential trail locations that could connect to existing trails – extending the backbone of trails in this area.
    • The timeline reflects ongoing work throughout 2025. Nearing 90% completion of design phase.  Estimate 4-5 months of actual project implementation.
    • Outreach – several meetings have already taken place, more are planned.


  • There was no public comment.


  • Report from Department Heads
    • Ruby Fierro | Chief Probation Officer – provided updates on the recent toy drive, end of year reporting requirements, and trends associated with the holidays. Mentioned plans to bring a matter to an upcoming board meeting – there are concerns regarding the matter that will be presented – AB702
    • Tim Saxon | Sheriff – provided updates including the swearing in of six new officers. We have now filled all funded positions. Significant changes to CCW laws coming soon. There is still some uncertainty regarding the specific impacts of upcoming changes.
  • Report from County Administrative Officer (9:45 AM)
      • Trent Tuthill – highlighted the work done in selecting a provider for collections of over $4 million in outstanding fine revenue. … funding in the works. Superintended Green has been a strong partner in…
      • $68 billion deficit in State Budget.  The Governor is expected to deliver a budget proposal to address the deficit.
  • Reports from Members of the Board of Supervisors
    • District 1 | Ric Leutwyler
      • U.S. Forest Service Field Trip – joined representatives from USFS, RCD, Watershed, Collaborative, Fish & Wildlife, and David Colbeck – representing our newly formed Natural Services Division.  This was an opportunity for interested parties to provide input on projects during the very early stages.  I applaud Tara Jones and her team for taking such a proactive and inclusive approach.
      • Sports Complex – met with CAO Tuthill, Superintendent Jaime Greene, Veronica Kelly Albiez, Travis Finch and members of county staff to discuss ways in which we can best respond to a potential funding opportunity.  Letters of support are being sought from community organizations including the BOS and the Fire Chiefs Association.
      • Fire Chiefs Association – the group elected new officers and discussed important matters including potential funding to upgrade our county-wide communications platform.
      • Airport Advisory Committee – many thanks to Panos Kokkas for a focused and productive meeting. We discussed important steps that will be taken to improve the safety and security of our airports. We also discussed plans to ensure that we can receive grant funding for airport upgrades.  This includes requiring that all hangars are occupied by flight-capable planes.  At this point, we have a number of hangars that are simply being used as cheap storage.
      • SCEDD – Trinity County has an opening on the advisory board. Please contact me or Alex Cousins if you are interested in learning more.
    • District 2 | Jill Cox
      • RCRC Board Meeting – CalOES presentation made during the meeting. Water issues were also addressed. RCRC-sponsored bills (and those for which RCRC has concerns) were discussed at the meeting. A homeowners insurance ad hoc committee update was provided.
      • Zero Emissions Requirements – Shared that Trinity, Siskyou, and Modoc do not have the zero emissions vehicles (and related infrastructure) required as we move forward.  RCRC is willing to take the lead in helping us with planning to address this. Gained board consensus to put this matter on the January 3rd agenda.
    • District 3 | Liam Gogan
      • Supervisor Gogan was not present
    • District 4 | Heidi Carpenter-Harris
      • TMC Meeting – reports healthy discussion regarding desired changes in flows. Agreement was reached to further study our proposal.  Mid-January is the timing for the proposal to be presented to the full TMC Board.
      • Fire Safe Council – attended the recent meeting.
      • Salyer – in ongoing conversations regarding the potential
      • Vaccine Requirements – asked that the board add a presentation as an agenda item to address concerns related to vaccine requirements for public school attendance. She offered to take the lead on this – working with CAO Tuthill.
      • Water Matters – worked with Director Colbeck on a letter to address water related items.
    • District 5 | Dan Frasier
      • No out of county travel.
      • Met with District Ranger | Kristin Lark regarding hazard trees within his district.
      • Limited Density Rural Housing – Shared that he would like proposed changes to limited density rural housing ordinance on an upcoming agenda.  Obtained board consensus to put this on an upcoming board agenda.
  • Reports from Ad Hocs:
    • Cannabis Ordinance
      • Supervisor Frasier and I met to document a starting point for updates to the enforcement aspect of our cannabis ordinances. Our goal is to ensure that enforcement policies provide appropriate and effective measures to address program violations – which includes more severe measures for more impactful violations and for repeat offenses.
    • Water Matters
      • Supervisor Carpenter-Harris worked with Director Colbeck on a letter to address water related items.



  • Pulled item 3.17 for discussion (10:13 AM)
  • The board approved all remaining items on the Consent Calendar.


  • 3.17 Appoint Greg Tavalero (CalFIRE) as Primary and Todd Corbett (Weaverville Fire Department) as Alternate to act as Trinity County Fire Chiefs Association representatives to the Trinity County Subdivision Review Committee. No fiscal impact.
    • Ed Prestley | Deputy Director of Community Services Division – presented background information on this matter.
    • Supervisor Frasier raised questions about the potential need to modify the ordinance. County Counsel indicated that this step might be required.
    • Motion made to approve with direction to staff to bring back related amendment for board consideration.
    • The board approved the modified motion as presented.



4.1 Adopt a resolution which allows for streamlined approval ofCannabis Licenses that require a Commercial Cannabis Variance for calendar year 2024.

  • Drew Plebani | Cannabis Division Director – provided background regarding the proposal. The goal is to streamline the process for approval of certain types of applications. This includes applications impacted by a change in how ordinance details were interpreted by staff. On May 16th, the board approved this streamlined approach for calendar year 2023.  The request is for the board to extend this streamlined approach through calendar year 2024.
  • Public Comment
    • Comments offered in support of staff recommendation and in opposition to putting this before the Planning Commission
    • Additional comments offered in support of staff recommendation and in opposition to putting this before the Planning Commission.  Also encouraged the board to consider reversing prior staff’s re-interpretation of the ordinance.
    • Additional comments that echoed those previously offered. Noted that some of these applicants could lose access to the credit that ends with calendar year 2023. Clarified that fees pay for things beyond direct program implementation and that tax revenues are also impacted.
    • Comments offered that the Planning Commission did consider this and that their recommendation did not make it to the board. Encouraged the board to put this before the Planning Commission for consideration.
    • Comments offered in support of staff recommendation and in opposition to putting this before the Planning Commission. Shared perspective that prior staff’s re-interpretation inappropriately “moved the goal post” for applicants.
  • Motion made to postpone decision on this matter so that the Planning Commission can consider and make a recommendation with documented reasons supporting the recommendation put forward.
  • Motion made to extend the resolution through February 2024 to provide an opportunity for the Planning Commission to consider this process and make a recommendation with specific supporting comments prior to the board considering extension of this resolution through calendar year 2024. The recommendation should include suggestions on ways to improve the resolution if they feel it should not be approved as presented.
  • The second motion was approved as presented.

Clerk of the Board

4.2 Set the Board of Supervisors meeting schedule for calendar year 2024.

  • Trent Tuthill | CAO – shared strong staff encouragement to continue with regular BOS meetings to be scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of the month.
  • Chair Cox put forward a motion to continue with regular meetings on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays.
  • The board approved the new motion as presented.

4.3 Pursuant to County Fee Waiver Policy consider waiving $3,913.96 in building permit fees for the Trinity County Food Outreach’s four disaster containers to be put in rural areas of Trinity County. (11:30 AM)

  • Trent Tuthill | CAO – shared reasons for his recommendation for approving a portion of the fees (vs all of the fees) due to the anticipated costs associated with this matter.
  • Connor Nixon | Trinity County Outreach – shared information about the work done on behalf of the county.. Encouraging the board to waive 100% of fees associated with this initiative.  The plan is to purchase, place, and fill shipping containers with emergency supplies in key areas throughout the county. Noted the significant investments made to expand Food Bank facilities and to implement this program. Acknowledged the financial challenges of the County. Noted their request for a general letter of support from the BOS – to help with efforts to fund the more than $250,000 cost of this initiative.
  • Jeff England | CEO Trinity County Food Bank – echoed calls for full waiver of fees as requested.  Noted the extensive amount of work done by this organization throughout the county. Noted that other counties have taken similar actions. These containers will have climate control to prevent spoiling of goods. Noted that funding entities will often not donate for fees like those referenced in this request. Ongoing costs of power to support climate control will be covered by Trinity County Outreach
  • Public Comment
    • Trinity County OES representative spoke in support of the request for 100% waiver of fees. Noted that significant health and safety benefit to Trinity County and the strong support this organization provides during emergency situations… and beyond.
    • Support offered for 100% waiver of fees. Noted that building permits are not required for containers in some jurisdictions. Acknowledged the need to limit waiving of fees… but still supports 100% waiver in this situation.
    • Support provided for previous comments.
  • Alternative motion offered to waive 100% of fees
  • Board Discussion – comments offered about the huge impact of this organization in areas of the county most impacted by emergencies.
  • The board voted to approve the alternative motion presented.

4.4 Pursuant to County Fee Waiver Policy consider waiving Planning fees in an unknown amount (minimum $2,850 deposit), $2,764 in Clerk Recorder fees, and $50 in admin filling fees for the Burnt Ranch Estates Mutual Water Company’s project to update the water system. (11:50 AM) Potential loss of revenue in an unknown amount to Planning (minimum $2,850), $2,764 to Clerk Recorder and$50 Filling fee.The county does not have authority for the CDFW fee referenced on the application.

  • Trent Tuthill | CAO – clarified that we don’t have authority to waive some of the fees as requested. Indicated that he doesn’t feel this meets the requirements of benefiting the County on a broad scale.  Recommended denial of the request.
  • Water Company Representative – spoke in support of the fee waiver request. Noted that costs have gone up since grant funding was obtained and that they do not have contingency funding to cover increases. Clarified that this is a nonprofit organization.
    • 35 parcels supplied by this water company
    • Originally applied for $3 million in grant funding.  They did not receive funding for all the plans they had in place for the project (fire protection, etc.). Total amount of funding received to date was not available for this meeting.  Estimate  that it was approximately 50%.
    • Estimate $20,000 in the company’s reserve fund… they should have three years worth of operating expenses ($28,000 per year).
    • Some fire hydrants are supported by this water company… but there is insufficient storage for the area covered.
    • Limited reserve funding could be used for this project.  Otherwise, additional grant funding would be needed to move this forward.
    • Use of a special bond to fund this project would be challenging due to the limited size of the population… and the administrative costs associated with putting a bond decision on the ballot.
  • Public Comment
    • Encouragement provided for approval of this fee waiver request.
  • Board Discussion
    • Staff supports the recommendation to deny the fee waiver request.
    • Staff would serve as CEQA lead agency for this project. Clarified that the $2,850 referenced in this request is only a deposit.  Additional costs would be likely for full cost recovery of the work required by staff on this project.
    • Request made for the board to provide a letter of support
    • Request for staff to investigate ways in which these small water companies can be better supported. Supervisor Carpenter-Harris volunteered to provide leadership and support.
    • CAO Tuthill offered an alternative approach – waive fees associated with initial step with plans to use the time/resources to gain a clearer picture of the full costs associated with this project.
  • 1st motion to deny as proposed by staff.
  • 2nd motion to approve waiver of the $2,850 deposit only.
  • The board approved the second motion. This allows the project to move forward with the next step that will provide more detailed and comprehensive data regarding project scope and anticipated costs.

Human Resources

4.5 Take the following actions effective December 05, 2023:

  1. Approve the job description, set the salary range and add to the alphabetical listing of classifications a Principal Civil Engineer at range M259; and
  2. Add One (1) Principal Civil Engineer, to the Department of Transportation’s department allocation listing. Approximate cost in salary and benefits per month for a Principal Civil Engineer at A step is $13,664.
  • Laila Cassis | Human Resources Director – noted that the date should be changed to December 19th. Clarified that this is a short term position – meant to help bring program components up to date.
  • The board approved this motion as presented.

4.6 Pursuant to Trinity County Code 2.60.500 (D.3) authorize employee ID # 01709 to carry over vacation hours in excess of the accrual limits, up to 560 hours. No fiscal impact.

  • The board voted to deny this request.

Sheriff (12:55 PM)

4.7 Ratify the Sheriff’s signature on the memorandum of understanding with North State Major Investigation Team (NSMIT) Central Valley California High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area (CVC HIDTA) to significantly diminish the availability and use of illegal drugs; reduce and prevent violent crimes in the NSMIT’s area of responsibility, and apprehend the responsible offenders, thereby increasing public safety. Unknown fiscal impact.

  • Tim Saxon | Trinity County Sheriff – clarified that this is not tied to code enforcement funds collected through the cannabis program. Trinity County is a part-time member of this collaborative program due to staffing limitations. Shared experience of visiting the boarder with other law enforcement leaders – and the impact on crime that can be addressed through this MOU.
  • Public Comment
    • Concerns offered regarding how these funds are being used in Trinity County. Asked the County to keep tabs on this project.
  • Board Discussion
    • Clarified that this program can help Trinity County by providing greater to access information from other jurisdictions about criminal activities that can impact our county. Provides the opportunity for joint operations without having to expend additional funds.
  • The board voted to approve this matter as presented.

Prior Closed Session Report (1:09 PM)

  • Chair Cox provided a report out on the December 5th closed session items.



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

    • Direction given to staff.

5.2 Government Code Section 54954.5(f) – Conference with Labor Negotiators County’s Designated Representatives: Margaret Long, Laila Cassis and Suzie Hawkins. Employee Organizations: Deputy Sheriff’s Association and HHS Unit

    • Direction given to staff.


Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


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