Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


This board meeting included three presentations, a full consent calendar, and several key decisions by the board. The two appeal hearings were continued to a future meeting. The board extended the resolution that authorized streamlined approval of certain applications for renewal of cannabis cultivation licenses.

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



1.1 Receive a presentation from Accela regarding Cannabis Program software. No impact to general fund.

  • We are considering this platform as a tool to streamline and enhance the implementation and management of our cannabis program.
  • Local Jurisdiction Assistance Grant funding may be used to cover the costs of this platform.
  • Anticipated benefits of implementing this platform include – enhanced compliance, equity, tax revenue collection, etc.
  • Used by over 50 cannabis programs across the country
  • Byrne Technologies – partners with Accela to ensure successful implementations
  • The platform is accessible via a mobile app and online portal
  • Supports submission and processing of applications
  • Provides robust standardized reporting
  • Provides a direct link to the State (DCC) so that we can be in sync with State information, reporting, etc.
  • GIS capabilities – would provide the ability to easily identify the location of cannabis program licenses/operations


Clerk of the Board (9:20 AM)

1.2 Receive an update from U.S. Forest Service representatives regarding matters of interest in Trinity County. No fiscal impact.

  • Rachel Birkey | Forest Supervisor
  • Tara Jones was selected as District Ranger of the Year.
  • Ascend Wilderness was recently recognized by the U.S. Forest Service.
  • Achieved record number of prescribed burn acres last year – 12,580 acres
  • 2024 – “Year of Implementation” – building on all the planning and preparation done in previous years.
  • Good Neighbor Authority – the scope of ours is 3 times larger than any other in the region
  • Stakeholder & Partner Meetings -” Land Tender” – to support continued planning and preparations for effective treatments.
  • Increasing the pace and scale of treatments – on trails, bridge use & repair, prescribed burns, etc.
  • Working on an increase of cameras for detecting/observing smoke and fire in the forest.
  • Minersville Public Meeting – 2.21.2024 from 4 PM to 6 PM at the Trinity Center IOOF Hall. This will be an “open house” event.
  • Risk Reduction Programs – several initiatives in the works
  • Timber Offerings – expect more this Spring and Summer
  • Prescribed Fire – 1,350 acres this year… 1,004 acres in total for last year
  • Recreation – focusing on campground safety, etc.
  • Increase in Foresters and focus on filling our 10-person crew
  • Funding – anticipating continued strong funding based on recognition of our model efforts


Health and Human Services (9:32n AM)

1.3 Receive a presentation from Health and Human Services Program Manager Jesse Ferguson and Staff Services Analyst Eugenio Tapia-Jensen regarding the California CalWORKs Outcomes and Accountability Review (Cal-OAR) and the goals and strategies identified during the CalWORKs System Improvement Plan (Cal-SIP). No fiscal impact.

  • Members of staff provided program updates and shared data used to evaluate our status/success
  • Key Focus Areas/Goals
    • Increase Engagement Rate to 35% from 20%
    • Increase the Employment Rate of Current CalWORKS individuals to 35% from 20%
    • The overall goal is to help people achieve self-sufficiency
  • County staff works closely with the SMART Workforce Center (workforce development service provider for our region)
  • Comments regarding Shannah White’s role. Request for Shanna White to be removed from her role of overseeing the election due to previous actions taken in opposition to Supervisor Cox (who is up for election).
  • Comments regarding our parks and pool. Noted enhancements made and planned. Share that these are due to strong partnerships. Recognition was given to county staff and local district team members. Shared that over 180 youth are registered in current programs. Highlighted recreations ability to support economic development in Trinity County.



2.1 I. Report from Department Heads

  • Shanna White | County Clerk/Recorder/Assessor – shared that residency cards are going out. If you have not received them by next week then reach out to the office. Regarding elections – shared system accuracy testing is done regularly and results will be shared soon. Offered a reminder that all election processes are open for public observation


II. Report from County Administrative Officer

  • Strategic Plan – shared that a link to our strategic plan is currently on the home page of our website.
  • Housing Element – this was not included in the contract we established for the General Plan Update. Our current Housing Element expires at the end of this year. $148,000 proposal from our GP consultants (in line with what other counties have reported). Our GP consultant has done this with several counties in CA. $231,000 of LATCF funding is still available. $398,000 of the General Plan Fund could also be used to fund this initiative. Recommends that we move forward with our GP consultants to produce the Housing Element… using one of these two funding sources.
    • Discussion about the potential involvement of the Planning Commission in the process.
    • Potential efficiencies were noted if we use our GP consultant.
    • This will not slow down the GP Update – different resources (team members) would work on this.
    • The timing of the Housing Element vs. Zoning is still to be determined.
    • Board input was to use GP Funding for this initiative and to bring this back to the board for formal approval.
  • Leash Law Map – this 1987 Resolution is now supported by an updated map – with no changes to the boundaries. There are changes (roads, etc.) within the previously established boundaries.
  • Road Crew Recognition – share information from a compliment received for “exceptional work” done by the road crew working in Hyampom. (10:04 AM)
    • We have 641 miles of county roads to maintain.


III. Reports from Members of the Board of Supervisors


  • District 1 | Ric Leutwyler
    • Out of County Travel – Sacramento for Senator McGuire’s Swearing-In Ceremony
    • NoRTEC – I participated in two sessions with the Executive Director in preparation for upcoming Ad Hoc Committee and Board Meetings.
    • SCEDD – met with the Executive Director in Weaverville to discuss projects and potential funding opportunities. We hope to consider one or more of these during the February SCEDD board meeting.
    • NACO – I will not be attending the annual conference in Washington, D.C. – Supervisor Carpenter-Harris is our primary representative.
    • California Jobs First – there will be two subcommittee meetings this month.
    • The McConnell Foundation – we had a great meeting with the COO. We anticipate follow-up conversations with this important partner here in the North State.
    • Economic Development – Trent Tuthill | CAO and I met with representatives from the Humboldt Area Foundation, Wild Rivers Community Foundation, and the Arcata Economic Development Corporation last week to discuss ways in which we could collaborate on projects and funding opportunities. We are steadily building our network of individuals and organizations who can assist Trinity County in meeting our economic development goals.


  • District 2 | Jill Cox
    • RCRC Update
      • Appreciation for CAO & Department Heads for support – including a 5-page list of unfunded mandates. Shared a message received from RCRC General Counsel.
      • SB1383 CalRecycle – focused on reducing organic waste in landfills. Shared that efforts are underway to address unique challenges faced by rural counties – including extending our exemption.
      • Mental Health Services – Prop 1 – RCRC staff feels that this is likely to pass so they are working on modifications vs opposition. For this reason, her vote was in favor of this measure. This is on the March 5th ballot. It completely rewrites the rules/funding for Mental Health Services. Some of the administrative burdens added are not reimbursable. There is the potential for exemptions… such as not having to divert 30% of funding to housing ($756,000 in this fiscal year). This will dramatically reduce our ability to provide mental health services.
        • Connie Smith | Trinity County Behavioral Health – provided supporting information regarding this matter.
    • Wildfire Cameras are being placed to more quickly identify smoke/fire. They can also be used for Search & Rescue. Moving from 2 to 18 cameras – funded by PG&E.
    • Sediment Assistance – NCRS can help private land owners who are experiencing challenges with sediment.
    • Burn Permits – burn barrel permits are no longer included in some zones. Suggested that residents review their permits.


  • District 3 | Liam Gogan
    • Out of County Travel – visited Sacramento for Senator McGuire’s Swearing in as Senate pro Tempore


  • District 4 | Heidi Carpenter-Harris
    • Hyampom Roads – visited the area to observe additional road damage due to flooding.
    • Salyer Volunteer Fire Department – providing a place for the Emergency Support Container being provided by the Food Bank
    • Community Discussions – focused on roads and the cannabis ordinance update process.
    • NACO – will be in Washington, D.C. for the annual conference. One priority is PILT (payment in lieu of taxes) funding. Also focusing on NEPA requirements that prevent us from doing immediate work necessary to repair roads (flood damage, post-fire damage, etc.). Always pushing for federal recognition of our tribes.


  • District 5 | Dan Frasier
    • CPT CAP – elected officers. Sherri White is Chair for our area. Dan is now Vice Chair for the region. Trinity County is still lacking a representative from private enterprise.
    • Eureka – Six Rivers Forest Supervisor – meeting to discuss hazard trees. Follow up discussions indicate there is some momentum. Praise offered for David Colbeck’s work in support of these efforts.
    • RCRC – requested that a ballot measure be introduced to change the structure of the California Legislature (more senators and representatives). This matter will be brought back to the board for consideration.


IV. Reports from Ad Hocs:

A. Cannabis Ordinance – work continues on the priorities identified during a previous board meeting. Some items have already been addressed.

B. Tribal Relations – a new ad hoc committee was established. Dan Frasier & Heidi Carpenter-Harris will work with staff to address concerns shared during today’s meeting and to focus on the formal recognition of tribes in our county.


  • Public Comment
    • Request for Item 3.3 to be discussed for visibility. Very supportive of this item and would like to see the matter discussed.
    • Request for Item 3.6 to be discussed for clarification. Some level of concern about tying up limited hotel rooms if the county purchases hotels for transitional housing use.


  • The board pulled items 3.3 and 3.6 from the consent calendar and then voted to approve the remainder of the consent calendar as presented.


3.3 Authorize the Chairman to sign a letter in opposition of AT&T’s application for relief of carrier of last resort obligations. No fiscal impact.

  • The board voted to approve this matter as presented.

3.6 Adopt a resolution authorizing the County to direct a portion of the County of Trinity 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022, and 2023 Permanent Local Housing Allocations (PLHA) to a dedicated, interest-bearing reserve account for acquisition and renovation of real property for transitional housing. No impact to the general fund; potential loss of 2019 allocation portion in the amount of $121,622 if not moved into an interest-bearing reserve.

  • Trent Tuthill | CAO – was joined by staff in sharing more information, noting that we are considering potential projects that are not yet ready for public presentation.
  • The board voted to approve this matter as presented.



Clerk of the Board

4.1 Adopt a resolution confirming the continuance of a local health emergency due to hazardous material concerns resulting from the 2021 fires in Trinity County. No fiscal impact.

  • Monument & River Complex Fires – Clean-up activities are completed
  • This no longer needs to be approved.
  • The board voted to deny this matter as presented.


4.2 Adopt a resolution confirming the continuance of the local emergency due to drought conditions in the County of Trinity. No fiscal impact.

  • This is tied to the State’s proclamation of a drought. This was put in place to ensure that we continue to receive funds for things like the development of drought resiliency plans, and technical assistance.
  • Supervisor Frasier raised concerns about a resolution focused on drought while we are receiving so much precipitation that we are experiencing flooding.
  • Trinity County is still identified as in dry/draught status when looking at a 5-year rolling view.
  • The board voted to approve this matter as presented.


Human Resources

4.3 Approve a master memorandum of understanding with the Deputy Sheriffs’ Association establishing salaries and benefits. Approximately $78,800 for the 2 year term of the agreement from the General Fund. 

  • Laila Cassis | Human Resources Director – this reflects the resolution of negotiations between county representatives and employment group representatives.
  • The board approved this matter as presented.


4.4 Waive the reading of and enact an ordinance amending Trinity County Code Section 12.08 pertaining to Setbacks along Highways, introduced January 31, 2024. No Fiscal Impact

  • The board approved this matter as presented.


Cannabis (12:20 PM)

4.5 Adopt a resolution which extends, through April 30, 2024, the provisions of Resolution 2023-071 which authorized streamlined approval of Cannabis Licenses that require a Commercial Cannabis Variance. Unknown fiscal impact.

  • Drew Plebani | Cannabis Division Director – presented this matter… noting that this is an extension of something previously approved by the board.
  • Public Comment
    • Cultural Resource Officer for the Nor Rel Muk Wintu Tribe – Conveyed opposition to this matter because the Tribe has not been noticed of these projects. Shared that there is ongoing work with the county on documentation to formalize the notification process.
    • Additional concern raised regarding approval of this matter from a tribal representative.
    • Concern that this approach is allowing for the approval of new licenses that would normally require a CCV.
    • Support offered for extending this streamlined process while work continues on a permanent ordinance change that would impact this matter.
    • Concern offered regarding streamlining due to notification problems (delays in mail delivery).
    • Shared “layperson’s version” of the process. Stated that concerns raised by impacted residents are not fully considered and then appeals are the only way forward. Noted that mitigation measures are not automatic.
    • Concern was raised in reference to staff being referred to as “a fox in their own hen house” by a previous speaker.  Stated that she feels our highly qualified staff is thorough in their efforts to consider applications. Stated that applicants are going through all the required steps and following all the rules.
    • Support was offered for this matter. Noted that this frees up time to work on cannabis ordinance updates, etc.
    • Additional support was offered for this matter.
  • Board Discussion
    • Clarification was requested regarding Tribal Notifications.
    • Clarified that this does not impact new licenses – this is only for licenses that previously received Planning Commission approval.
    • Discussed the need for tribal concerns to be addressed. This led to the establishment of a new Tribal Relations Ad Hoc Committee as noted above.
  • The board approved this matter as presented.


4.6 Conduct an appeal hearing to uphold, modify, or overturn the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the appeal of the Director’s decision to approve a Commercial Cannabis License (CCL-771) for 10381 Ruth-Zenia Road, Hettenshaw, CA. (CCL Applicant: Severin Stoyanov, Smoking Green Valley, LLC; Appellant: Phillip Gilman) (Planning File P-23-19). Financial Impact Unknown.

  • Drew Plebani | Cannabis Division Director – presented this matter.
  • Public Comment
    • Concern raised that information that should not have been made public was distributed to supervisors for review. Requested that this information be protected.
    • Statement made that the confidential information was only shared with the board.
    • Statement made that public comment should come after technical questions and the presentation by staff – so that the public can comment about what is presented to the board.
    • Support was offered for a continuance of this matter. There was discussion about tying the rescheduling of this appeal to the scheduling of public discussion regarding opt-outs.
    • Request for staff to educate the board and public regarding outside agency efforts related to the completion of the application review process.
  • Board Discussion
    • There was discussion regarding whether this appeal decision today is focused upon the CEQA document or the ministerial decision to approve a license. The CEQA document review process is discretionary in nature.
    • Clarification provided that the distribution of documents to all members of the board leads to the documents now being “public record.”
    • A 10-minute break was taken to allow staff time to confer regarding the best way to move forward.
  • This matter was continued to allow more time for process-related questions to be addresed.


4.7 Conduct an appeal hearing to uphold, modify, or overturn the Planning Commission’s decision to deny the appeal of the Director’s decision to deny a Commercial Cannabis License renewal application (CCL-208) for 480 Oak Ranch Road, Lewiston, CA. (CCL Applicant: Stefan Monev, Appellant: Stefan Monev) (Planning File P-23-09) Unknown Fiscal Impact

  • Tom Balanco – (representing the appellant today due to a scheduling conflict with his attorney) requested that this matter be continued due to the scheduling conflict.
  • A motion was made to continue this matter.
  • Public Comment (on motion to continue)
    • Request for the board to request information on the number of times the appellant has requested continuances. Concern that previous requests for continuance made by the speaker have been denied while several continuances have been granted for this individual.
    • Clarification provided by staff that the hearing body is the one who decides whether continuances are granted.
  • The board voted to approve the continuance.


Closed Session Report Out

This is a report regarding the outcome of items discussed during the closed session portion of previous meetings.

5.1 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



Public Comment

  • Comments shared for the board to be careful about discussion items (such as opt-outs) in closed sessions that should be heard in public sessions.


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(c) – Conference with Legal Counsel – Existing Litigation. Number of cases: one – Carlson, et al. v. County of Trinity, et al. (Trinity County Superior Court Case No. 20CV136).

  • No Action Taken


Sharing Information  |  Encouraging Engagement


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