Board Minutes - August 19, 2003

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County of Inyo

Board of Supervisors

The Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, State of California, met in regular session at the hour of 9:10 a.m., on Tuesday, August 19, 2003, in the Board of Supervisors Room, County Administrative Center, Independence, with the following Supervisors present:  Vice Chairperson Carroll M. Hambleton, Jr., presiding, Linda Arcularius, Julie Bear, and Ted Williams.  Supervisor Dorame was absent.  Supervisor Hambleton provided the Invocation, and Supervisor Williams led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

 

Public Comment

The Chairperson announced that today’s meeting was being adjourned in the memory of Big Pine Resident Scott Wilson who recently passed away.  The Chairperson went on to open the public comment period.   Mr. Dick Noles notified the Board of the completion of the installation of the Water Guzzlers in Inyo and Mono Counties.  He thanked the Board for their continuing support of this project, explaining that upkeep and maintenance will be the priorities now.  He also stressed the importance of access to these sites, which remains a concern.  The Board congratulated Mr. Noles on the success of this project and thanked him for his dedication and tireless efforts on behalf of this project. 

 

County Dept. Reports

The Chairperson announced the County Department Report period.  Mr. Bob Hurd notified the Board of an incident, which had occurred at the County Health Offices located at the Career Development Center in Bishop, in which a dubious looking package was received and which upon closer examination appeared to contain a suspicious substance.  Mr. Hurd explained that proper procedures were followed when the package was discovered, with the County’s Risk Management and Law Enforcement being notified.  Mr. Hurd explained that as a result of not being able to determine the exact makeup of the “white powdery substance” contained in the package and the fact that there was a threatening note accompanying the package, the determination was made to close the facility and test the package contents for “anthrax.”  Mr. Hurd informed the Board that the general consensus was that the substance was a “cleansing abrasive” which came from the scouring pads found in the package.  He pointed out that while that was the consensus, until official confirmation was received on the makeup of the substance, the OES Director opted to error on the side of safety for those individuals working in the facility and close the offices.  The County Administrator, the County’s Director of Emergency Services, confirmed the sequence of events, urged patience from those who might be seeking assistance from those offices located in the Career Development Center while the facility is closed, and indicated that he would keep the Board informed as the incident progressed.  The Board thanked Mr. Mendez and the County’s OES Team Members for their quick response, for exercising great caution, and for taking the necessary precautionary steps to ensure the safety of those people working in and accessing the facility.

 

Post Agenda Employee Negotiations

The County Administrator presented the request for the Board to consider a post agenda closed session item concerning threatened litigation by ICEA/AFSCME if the County takes action on the recommendations associated with the request to declare impasse after lengthy negotiation and the County’s “last, best and final” offer being unilaterally turned down by the ICEA/AFSME negotiating team without it being presented to the membership.  The County Administrator explained that the letter notifying the County of the intended action was received yesterday and he feels that even though “negotiation” items are on the Agenda under closed session, this particular item exceeds coverage under those items and in order for the Board to protect the best interests of the employees and the County it is essential that the Board have the opportunity to discuss this potential for litigation prior to taking action today.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Bear to find that the need to address potential litigation in closed session regarding a threat by ICEA/AFSCME to seek an injunction against actions to be taken by this Board regarding employee/employer negotiations, arose after the Agenda for the August 19, 2003, Board of Supervisors Meeting was posted, and there is a need for the Board to address this item prior to the next regularly scheduled meeting, therefore, this item is added as Agenda Item No. 19A.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

 

Closed Session

The Chairperson recessed open session at 9:20 a.m., to convene in closed session with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Dorame, to discuss Agenda Items No. 16.  CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6) - Instructions to Negotiators re: wages, salaries and benefits - Employee Organization - ICEA - Negotiators - County Administrator and Personnel Analyst; No. 17. CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6) - Instructions to Negotiators re: wages, salaries and benefits - Employee Organization - Elective Officials Assistant Association (EOAA) - Negotiators - County Administrator and Personnel Analyst; No. 18.  CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957.6) - Instructions to Negotiators re: wages, salaries and benefits - Employee Organization - Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA) - Negotiators - County Administrator and Personnel Analyst; No. 19.  CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR (Pursuant to Government Code Section  54957.6) - Instructions to Negotiators re: wages, salaries and benefits - Employee Organization - Law Enforcement Administrators’ Association (LEAA) - Negotiators - County Administrator and Personnel Analyst; and No. 19A.  CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - ANTICIPATED LITIGATION (Significant Exposure to Litigation pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(b) - One Case - AFSCME threatened a complaint to the California Public Employees Relations Board seeking an injunction against the County.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed closed session at 11:30 a.m., to reconvene in open session at 11:40 a.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Dorame.

 

Forest/W/S on Sierra Nevada Framework

The Chairperson announced the workshop scheduled with representatives of the Inyo National Forest on the Sierra Nevada Framework SEIS Amendment had been postponed and would be rescheduled for the near future. 

 

CAO-Purchasing/ Printing Bid

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to award Bid No. 2003-01, Printing for FY 2003-04 to Hart Printers and authorize purchase orders to be approved for various County Departments to order printing from this bid for FY 2003-04.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

H&H-Hlth Serv./ Laptop P.O.

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the purchase of two laptop computers for Public Health Preparedness necessary for communications and alerts through the State purchasing contract in an amount not to exceed $3,652.83, and direct that these funds be encumbered prior to August 30, 2003.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

P.W./Plans & Specs. Poleta Rd. Project

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Plans, Special Provisions and bid documents for the Poleta Road Improvement Project and authorize the Public Works Director to advertise for bids for the project.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

P.W./Plans & Specs. N. & S Round Valley Rd.

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Plans, Special Provision and Bid Package for the North and South Round Valley Roads Resurfacing Project and authorize the Public Works Director to advertise for bids for the project.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

P.W./Plans & Specs. Guardrail Project

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Plans, Special Provisions and bid documents for the South County Guardrail Project and authorize the Public Works Director to advertise for bids for the project.   Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

P.W./Kleinfelder Contract Amend- ment No. 2.

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve Amendment No. 2 to the Agreement between the County of Inyo and Kleinfelder, Inc., for provisions of material testing services, increasing the contract by  $150,000 to a total not to exceed $200,000, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2003/04 Budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Sheriff/Big Pine Substation Lease

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the Lease between the County of Inyo and Jack Stout Enterprises for rental of the Sheriff’s Big Pine Substation, from July 1, 2003, through June 30, 2004, at the rate of $400 per month, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of a FY 2003/04 Budget; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Water Dept./Steel Container P.O.

Moved by Supervisor Bear and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve the purchase of one reconditioned 8’ x 40’ steel container from Martin Container, Inc., in an amount not to exceed $2,203.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

E. Health/Monit-

oring Well Permits

Mr. Bob Hurd, provided additional information and clarification on the request to permit four monitoring wells east of the Bishop-Sunland Landfill.  He explained that the permit did not identify the driller because there are very few drillers certified to drill the type of well being permitted.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Bear to approve 4 groundwater monitoring wells located on City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power lands located just east of the Bishop-Sunland Landfill, contingent upon verification and approval by the Environmental Health Department that the driller chosen is properly certified.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Rd. Dept/Granite Contract - Pa Ha & Tu Su Lanes Resurfacing

Moved by Supervisor Williams and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to award and approve the Contract to Granite Construction Company for the Pa Ha and Tu Su Lanes Resurfacing Project in an amount not to exceed $168,223; authorize the Chairperson to sign, contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained; and authorize the Public Works Director to execute all other contract documents, including contract change orders, to the extent permitted by Public Contract Code Section 20142 and additional applicable law.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

CAO-Personnel/ Negotiations and Impasse

The Chairperson recognized members of the audience wishing to address the Board regarding the proposed actions being considered to declare impasse in the negotiations between the County and ICEA/AFSCME.  Mr. Keith Uriarte representing ICEA/AFSCME addressed the Board to provide additional information and details on the negotiation, and further clarification and commentary on the recommended actions to declare impasse and unilaterally implement certain portions of the County’s “last, best and final” offer, which had been turned down by the negotiators.  Mr. Uriarte reviewed the section of Resolution No. 70-53, the Resolution governing the employer/employee relationship in Inyo County, highlighting the fact that mediation/arbitration is required when negotiations are unsuccessful.   Mr. Mark Johnson, Inyo County Assistant District Attorney, spoke to the issue, imploring the Board to not implement the change to the retiree medical benefits provided to those employees with less than 5 years service.

The County Administrator provided a detailed staff report which included a review of the items that had been recommended to be implemented and were included as part of the County’s “last, best & final” offer.  These included:

 

 

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·       salary increases,

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·       increases in longevity pay,

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·       a change in administrator for the medical health plan from PERS to CSAC  
Excess Insurance Authority’s new Health Plan, and

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·        a change in medical retiree health insurance benefits for those employees 
with less than 5 years service, and/or other employees choosing to opt out 
of the retiree medical benefit plan, which would entail the County paying the 
minimum $97 per month toward the retiree medical insurance and         
matching up to 3% of the employees pre-tax salary in a tax deferred     
savings plan, and vesting the County’s match on a 100% five year vesting 
schedule.

 

 

He went on to explain that, while the Board was in closed session and prior to the Board taking any actions, the County had received word that the law firm representing ICEA/AFSCME had actually proceeded with obtaining an injunction to stop the Board from implementing any changes to the benefits and/or working conditions of the employees represented by ICEA.   Mr. Mendez explained further that as a result of the legal actions and the impending injunction, he was changing his recommended actions regarding those positions represented by ICEA/AFSCME. 

He pointed out that while the positions eligible for ICEA representation were effected by the actions of the union and the pending injunction, there were a number of positions, which were either non-represented, management, appointed and elected which were not subject to the results of the negotiation process.  He continued that he did not feel there was a need to delay implementation of the County’s “last, best and final” offer for these positions.  He asked the Board to consider his recommendation to change the salaries, terms and conditions of employment for those positions to coincide with the County’s “last, best and final” offer with the exception of changes in the medical benefits because the County had to institute that change on a Countywide basis.  He presented the Board with amended documentation regarding impending actions to be considered by the Board as follows: 

 

1.      1.  Request Board adopt a resolution declaring impasse with the Inyo County Empoyees’ 
     Association.  Mr. Mendez explained that with the declaration of impasse the County was now 
     agreeing to move forward with the mediation process.  He informed the Board that he would 
     expect to sign the appropriate documentation with the union in the next couple of days to 
     establish the process for mediation and for retaining a mediator.  He told the Board that he 
     would keep them informed as the process unfolds.

 

2.     2.  Request Board adopt a resolution setting salary, terms and conditions of employment for 
     employees represented by the Inyo County Employees Association.  Mr. Mendez explained 
     that this item leaves “in tact” all current salaries and benefits for those positions represented by 
     ICEA and agrees to leave in place those items identified in the MOU, which is terminated once 
     impasse is declared, until mediation is concluded.  He further explained that this resolution 
     recognizes the “status quo” and stressed that it ensures there is no change in the 
     employer/employee relationship for those positions represented by ICEA as a result of impasse 
     being declared.  He confirmed that there would be no change in the PERS administration of the 
     County’s Blue Cross Medical Insurance Plan nor will there be a change in the retiree medical 
     benefits.

 

3.     3.   Request Board adopt a resolution setting salary, terms and conditions of employment for 
      non-represented employees employed in the several offices or institutions of the County of 
      Inyo.  Mr. Mendez explained that this resolution changes the terms and conditions for those 
      positions, which are not represented by ICEA.  He detailed that this resolution provides the 
      non-represented employees with the benefits identified in the County’s “last, best and final” 
      offer, with the exception of there being no change in the health or retiree medical benefits.  Mr. 
      Mendez reviewed the major changes as follows:  (a) 2% salary increase January 1, 2004; 2% 
      salary increase January 1, 2005; (b) beginning July 1, 2004, Longevity Pay of 2% after 10 
      years; another 2% after 15 years; and another 2% after 20 years; (c) PERS on PERS which 
      reports the employees PERS retirement contribution, which is paid by the County, as salary for 
      the employee’s retirement pay calculation; and (d) allow 200 days instead of 120 days of 
      accrued sick leave to be converted to service credit.

 

4.        4.  Request Board adopt a resolution setting salary, terms and conditions of employment for 
       non-represented management employees employed in the several offices or institutions of the 
       County of Inyo.  Mr. Mendez explained that this resolution provides the non-represented 
       management employees with the same benefits as provided the non-represented employees 
       and explained in No. 3 above.

 

5.                               Request Board adopt a resolution rescinding Resolution 2003-41 and setting salary and/or terms and conditions of employment for appointed officials employed in the several offices or institutions of the County of Inyo.  Mr. Mendez explained that this resolution provides the appointed officials with the same benefits as provided to the non-represented and non-represented management employees and explained in No. 3 above.

 

6.                               Request Board adopt a resolution paying and reporting the value of employer paid member contributions.  Mr. Mendez explained that this provides implementation of the PERS on PERS reporting as described in No. 3 (c) above.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7.                               Request Board to direct Staff to begin the ordinance process to change the salary, and/or terms and conditions of employment for the elected officials of the County including the Board of Supervisors to reflect the same benefits as provided to the non-represented employees, the non-represented management employees, and the appointed officials and explained in No. 3 above.  Mr. Mendez explained that once the ordinances are adopted the changes for elected officials other than the Board of Supervisors would be effective 30 days after adoption and in the case of the Board of Supervisors 60 days after adoption. 

 

8.                               Request Board remove from consideration the request to approve Amendment #2 to the Memorandum of Understanding between the County of Inyo and the Inyo County Deputy Sheriff’s Association and any subsequent action with the Law Enforcement Administrators Association (LEAA) because the Board is no longer instituting a change in the medical health benefits.

 

9.                               Request Board remove from consideration the request to approve the Memorandum of Understanding with the California State Association of Counties (CSAC) Excess Insurance Authority EIA Health Program because the Board is no longer instituting a change in medical health benefits.

 

10.                           Request Board remove from consideration any action which would change the medical health benefits for the Elected Officials Assistant Association (EOAA) because the Board is no longer instituting a change in medical health benefits.  Mr. Mendez clarified further that this is also a separate bargaining unit similar to ICEA and negotiations must be instigated in order for changes in salaries and/or terms and conditions of employment to be considered.

 

11.                           Request Board remove from consideration the request to adopt a resolution electing to cease to be subject to the Public Employees’ Medical and Hospital Care Act.  Mr. Mendez explained that this action is no longer necessary because the Board is not instituting a change in medical health benefits, is not opting out of PERS administration of the County’s Blue Cross Medical Insurance, nor is the County instituting a change in the PERS retiree medical benefit.

 

 

At the conclusion of the County Administrator’s remarks Mr. Uriarte, representing ICEA/AFSCME offered additional comments on the actions being recommended by the County Administrator. 

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 1:45 p.m., reconvening at 2:45 p.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Dorame. 

 

Resol. #2003-46/ Impasse Declared

On a motion by Supervisor Bear and a second by Supervisor Arcularius, Resolution No. 2003-46 entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo, State of California, Declaring Impasse with the Inyo County Employees’ Association” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Resol. #2003-47/ ICEA Represented Positions Salaries

On a motion by Supervisor Arcularius and a second by Supervisor Williams, Resolution No. 2003-47 entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo State of California, Setting Salary, Terms and Conditions of Employment for Employees Represented by the Inyo County Employees Association” was adopted:  motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Resol. #2003-48/ Non-Represented Positions Salaries

On a motion by Supervisor Williams and a second by Supervisor Arcularius, Resolution No. 2003-48 entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo, State of California, Setting Salary, Terms and Conditions of Employment for Non-Represented Employees Employed in the Several Offices or Institutions of the County of Inyo” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Resol. #2003-49/ Non-Represented Management Salaries

On a motion by Supervisor Arcularius and a second by Supervisor Bear, Resolution No. 2003-49 entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo, State of California, Setting Salary, Terms and Conditions of Employment for Non-Represented Management Employees Employed in the Several Offices or Institutions of the County of Inyo” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

 

Resol. #2003-50/ Appointed Officials Salaries

Supervisor Arcularius commented that the Board’s actions regarding the implementation of provisions of the County’s “last, best and final” offer were being made after over 18 months of negotiations and based on the belief that this is an excellent offer especially in light of the situation with the State Budget and its impacts on the County.  She also explained that the Board Members did not approach the change in the health benefit plan from PERS to CSAC lightly.  She discussed the fact that the Board and their families are also affected by a change like this and they would not do anything to harm their families, nor the employees or their families.  Supervisors Bear, Williams and Hambleton concurred with Supervisor Arcularius’ remarks and echoed her sentiments. In responding to questions from the Board, the County Administrator explained that the reason he was requesting the change in insurance be accomplished prior to August 22, 2003, was because PERS had recently changed an internal rule which penalized PERS agencies opting out of PERS Medical Benefits by requiring the agency wait two years before being able to return to the program. He informed the Board that PERS has changed the two-year penalty period to a five-year penalty period.  He explained that he was secure in his ability to have the County evaluate the CSAC Health Program and ensure no change in the County’s ability to maintain the same medical benefits as currently provided for the 2-year period.  He went on to say that while he still supports the switch to CSAC, he feels the five-year waiting period would require an updated analysis of the impacts and risks.  At the conclusion of the discussion, the Board directed Staff to begin the ordinance adoption process for changes in salaries for the elected officials, including the Board of Supervisors. 

 

On a motion by Supervisor Arcularius and a second by Supervisor Bear, Resolution No. 2003-50 entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo, State of California, Rescinding Resolution No. 2003-41 and Setting Salary and/or Terms and Conditions of Employment for Appointed Officials Employed in the Several Offices or Institutions of the County of Inyo” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Resol. #2003-51/ PERS on PERS Reporting

On a motion by Supervisor Bear and a second by Supervisor Williams, Resolution No. 2003-51, entitled “Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo, State of California, Paying and Reporting the Value of Employer Paid Member Contributions” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted, with Supervisor Dorame absent.

 

Museum Tour

The Chairperson announced that the 1:30 tour of the Eastern California Museum located in Independence would be rescheduled.

 

Report on Closed Session

County Counsel reported there were no items discussed in closed session, which were required by law to be reported on in open session. 

 

Adjournment

At 3:10 p.m., the Chairperson adjourned the regular meeting, in memory of Big Pine Resident Scott Wilson.  He adjourned the meeting to 9:00 a.m., August 26, 2003, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center in Independence.

 

___________________________________
   Chairperson, Inyo County Board of Supervisors

Attest:   RENÉ L. MENDEZ
         Clerk of the Board

    by:        ___________________________________
                   
Patricia Gunsolley, Assistant       

 

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