Board Minutes - February 17, 2004

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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, February 17, 2004, in the Board of Supervisors Room, County Administrative Center, Independence, with the following Supervisors present:  Chairperson Carroll “Butch” Hambleton presiding, Linda Arcularius, Ted Williams, and Michael Dorame.  Supervisor Bear was absent.  Supervisor Dorame provided the Invocation, and Supervisor Arcularius led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

 

Public Comment

The Chairperson announced the public comment period.   Captain Wade Tallman of the Naval Weapons Center in Ridgecrest notified the Board that the NWC would be conducting low flight tests over the communities of Lone Pine and Independence to test new guidance systems technology.  He informed the Board that once the exact dates of the tests are known he would notify the County.  The Board thanked Captain Tallman for keeping the County informed as to when these types of tests over the Owens Valley are scheduled.

County Dept. Reports

The Chairperson announced the County Department Report period.  Ms. Jean Dickinson, Director of Health and Human Services, updated the Board on information she had received during a Welfare Directors Meeting regarding state budget impacts.  Supervisor Arcularius informed the Board about pending federal legislation regarding T-21 funding for rural roads.  She also informed the Board of an impending rule change by the Insurance Commissioner, which could significantly increase the rates paid by Inyo County residents for their car insurance.  She asked that these two items be agendized for discussion during next week’s meeting.  In response to a query from Supervisor Williams, the County Administrator explained that it has been the past practice of the Board of Supervisors to take a Board position on legislation and/or other actions, which would affect their constituency, as opposed to individual Board Members taking a position.  He explained that this process ensures that Inyo County is not conveying opposing positions on legislation and sending mixed messages to our legislators. 

BofS/IMAH Bus Grant Support Letter

Supervisor Arcularius provided additional information regarding the request from IMAH for support of their grant to acquire a bus to transport participants of the CARE Center Program from Lone Pine, Independence and Big Pine.  She explained that this will facilitate and enhance the County’s Transit Program.  Representatives of both IMAH and the CARE Center addressed the Board to thank the Board for supporting this request.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to approve a letter of support for the Inyo-Mono Association for the Handicapped’s Federal Transportation Act Grant application for a bus; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

P.W.-No. Inyo A/P Advisory Committee Appt.

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to appoint Mr. Rex Allen to the Northern Inyo Airport Advisory Committee to complete an unexpired four-year term ending June 30, 2005.   Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

COA-Purchasing/ Film P.O.

Supervisor Williams asked if there was a purchasing policy governing giving the advantage to local vendors.  Mr. Mendez explained that currently the only policy is that for the Motor Pool vehicle purchases the cars must be delivered to Bishop, which evens the playing field for the local car dealerships.  He went on to cite examples of how a local advantage for vendor policy might pose problems.  Moved by Supervisor Williams and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to award Bid No. 2003-12 for and approve the purchase of Camera Film for the Sheriff’s Department and Jail as recommended by Staff.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

P.W.-ESRA/ Power Outage Emergency

The Board and Staff discussed the emergency at the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport, which had resulted in a power outage.  The Board reiterated their thanks to Staff for the quick response to the emergency.  The Board and Staff went on to discuss the possibility of developing a resolution delegating the authority to order emergency action to the County Administrator or another County Official.  The County Administrator explained that the current process is working, that it requires emergency actions be ratified by the Board, thus giving the Board the opportunity to assess the emergency in its entirety. 

Mr. Mendez also explained that by placing the item on the Agenda for Board ratification, it gives the County the opportunity to inform the public about the emergency and let them know what action was taken to respond to the emergency. 

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to A) make a finding that the electrical emergency at the Eastern Sierra Regional Airport would not permit a delay resulting from a competitive solicitation for bids, and that immediate action was necessary to respond to the emergency; B) authorize/ratify the Public Works Director to take action to repair or replace the failed portion of the electrical system by the procurement of necessary equipment, services, and supplies, without giving notice for bids to let contracts; and C) defer the discussion of delegating the authority to order appropriate emergency action to the County Administrator and other County Officials, to a future date at the County Administrator’s discretion.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

P.W.-Bldg. & Maint./Fire Alarm at Bishop Library

Mr. Mike Conklin, Deputy Public Works Director, provided additional information and further explanation of Staff’s recommendations regarding the Friends of the Bishop Library’s proposal to have a fire alarm installed at the Bishop Library.  Mr. Conklin explained that the County currently provides fire alarm coverage for the Museum, Jail and the Juvenile Facility.  He said that the alarm systems located in the other County facilities are burglar alarms and that he did not believe they included fire alarm capabilities.  Mr. Conklin also requested that the amount for the purchase of the system be increased from $3,400 to $5,758.69, which is the amount the Friends of the Library had raised and how much the fire alarm would cost.  The Board discussed the proposal and supported the Friends of the Bishop Library’s volunteer efforts on behalf of the library, with Supervisor Arcularius conveying Supervisor Bear’s support of the proposal.  Mr. Bill Michael, Library/Museum Director, provided further explanation on the history of the Friends of the Bishop Library’s proposal and responded to questions from the Board regarding available funding to provide for the monitoring.  The County Administrator also responded to the budget questions, explaining that the Library budget has been reduced over the past several years and that further reductions would result in non-viable Library operations.  The Board expressed their desire to have the funding for the monitoring of the fire alarm system to be augmented in the budget and not to come from the existing budget.   Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to, after consideration of the proposal by the Friends of the Bishop Library to install a commercial fire alarm system at the Bishop Library to A) acknowledge that the fire alarm system is to be paid for with funds provided by the Friends of the Bishop Library in the amount of $5,758.69; B) declare Sierra Security Systems as a sole-source provider for security systems and authorize the purchase and installation of the system in the Bishop Library; and C) direct that the additional funding to monitor the system in an amount not to exceed $1,812 annually be added to the Library budget from contingencies and/or other savings and not from the existing budget.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 10:20 a.m., reconvening at 10:30 a.m., with all Board Members present, except Supervisor Bear.

P.W.-Town Water Systems/Transfer of Town Waters Systems to County

Mr. Mike Conklin, Deputy Public Works Director, reviewed the Staff report and recommendations in detail and at length.  The Board and Staff discussed the transfer agreements, with Mr. Conklin responding to questions from the Board and requesting that the Staff recommendation be changed to reflect the County Administrator is authorized to sign the Agreements.  Mr. Mendez provided additional clarification on the change in authorized signature.  He explained that it is appropriate to have like levels of administration signing, i.e. if a City Councilperson or a Water Commissioner signs then a Board of Supervisors signature would be appropriate, should other levels of Staff be authorized to sign for DWP then the County’s counterpart would be authorized to sign for the County.  

Moved by Supervisor Dorame and seconded by Supervisor Williams to A) find that the transfer of ownership of the Laws, Independence and Lone Pine Water Systems from the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) to Inyo County (pursuant to the terms of Section XI of the Long-Term Water Agreement) is exempt from the provisions of the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA); B) authorize the filing of an appropriate Notice of Exemption with the Inyo County Recorders Office; and C) approve the three Transfer Agreements between LADWP and Inyo County transferring the Laws, Independence, and Lone Pine Water Distribution Systems to Inyo County and authorize the County Administrator to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

HHS-Children Serv. Council/Girl Scouts Contract

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Williams to ratify the Contract between the County of Inyo and the Girl Scouts Joshua Tree Council for child abuse prevention services, for the period of December 29, 2003 through April 30, 2004, in an amount not to exceed $2,469.10; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

CAO-Econ. Dev./ CA Engineering Co. Contract

Mr. Ron Juliff, Deputy County Administrator, provided additional information and further justification for contracting for administrative support services for the CDBG Grant.  The County Administrator explained that the County in administering other and future CDBG grants will use the information gained through this contract.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to ratify the Contract between the County of Inyo and California Engineering Company for the provision of consulting and administrative support for the CDBG Grant #03-STBG-1825, in an amount not to exceed $34,500, for the period of November 15, 2003, through October 31, 2006, contingent upon the Board’s adoption of future budgets; and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

CAO-Budget/ FY 2004/05 Budget Preparation

The County Administrator and the Board continued their discussions on the philosophies to be used in the preparation of the FY 2004/05 County Budget, concentrating on the 2nd tier budget adjustment recommendations.  The Board and Staff discussed: (a) furloughs with Supervisor Arcularius conveying Supervisor Bear’s request that if furloughs are to be considered that a survey of the County employees be conducted; (b) the hiring freeze and the potential for salary savings; (c) a concessionaire for Tecopa, with the County Administrator explaining that the figure shown is the amount which could be realized in several years; (d) impact of not having seasonal staff working for Parks; (e) a proposed TOT increase to be placed on the November, 2004 ballot and the impacts of that increase; and (f) the reductions to the Chambers and other Grants-in-Support recipients, with the County Administrator explaining that the recommendations will be different because of the Board’s funding of this year’s CalExpo Exhibit.  Mr. Mendez explained that he would notify the Chambers and G-I-S recipients that he would be recommending some type of reduction, maybe 5% or 10% and invite them, like in past years, to address the Board regarding the budget recommendations.   Supervisor Arcularius requested that the G-I-S application be amended to have the recipients identify what programs would be affected by any proposed reductions.  At the conclusion of the discussions the consensus of the Board that the budget principles recommended by the County Administrator be followed for the preparation of the FY 2004-05 County Budgets; and incorporate 1st and 2nd tier budget adjustments for consideration during the Budget Hearings. 

 

BofS/Minute Approval

The minutes of the February 3, 2004, Board of Supervisors Meeting were pulled from consideration at the request of the Clerk of the Board.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Dorame to approve the minutes of the January 27, 2004, Board of Supervisors Meeting.  Motion carried unanimously, with Supervisor Bear absent.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 12:25 p.m., reconvening at 1:40 p.m., with all Board Members present except Supervisor Bear.

 

Fish & Game/ Update on the Hatchery System

Mr. Mike Haynie of the California Department of Fish and Game, thanked Supervisor Hambleton for the invitation to address the Board regarding the status of the Hatchery Program and the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery.  Mr. Haynie informed the Board that the current budget does not provide the department with the ability to meet its mission in the Owens Valley.  He noted statistics regarding budget reductions, loss of hatchery positions, and the redirection of license money as some of the reasons why the Hatchery Program in California is suffering.  He also provided statistics on upcoming Hatchery closures and confirmed that the Mt. Whitney Fish Hatchery and the Hot Creek Hatchery will not be funded in the future.  Mr. Haynie responded to questions from the Board regarding the ability of the Hatchery Program to mobilize should a one or two year hiatus of the program be mandated.  He explained that if the brood stock is lost, it would take decades to bring the program back up to where it is today and if the brood stock is protected it could take several years to have fish available to plant.  Mr. Haynie informed the Board that Supervisors Hambleton and Williams will be taking a hatchery tour in the very near future.  The County Administrator informed the Board that because of the County’s dependency on tourism and the negative impact the closure of the fish hatcheries will have on our local economy, that he is working with the Ron Juliff, Deputy County Administrator, to get the County geared-up to address these issues and develop solutions.  The Board indicated they were looking forward to staff recommendations during the Budget Hearings.  The Chairperson recessed open session at 2:20 p.m., to convene in a workshop.

 

HHS-Mental Hlth. On-Call Services

The Chairperson, at 2:20 p.m., convened a workshop with Health and Human Services Staff on Mental Health on-call services.  The Chairperson recessed the workshop at 3:00 p.m.

 

Closed Session

The Chairperson convened in closed session at 3:01 p.m., with all Board Members present to discuss Agenda Item No. 15.  CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL - Anticipated Litigation - Significant Exposure to Litigation (Pursuant to Government Code Section 54956.9(b) - One Case.

 

Report on Closed Session

The Chairperson recessed closed session at 4:10 p.m., reconvening in open session to receive a report on closed session.  County Counsel reported that as a result of the Board of Supervisors’ consideration of Agenda Item No. 15 in closed session, it has come to the Board’s attention that the County’s General Plan designates numerous private parcels as Natural Resource.  This change in designation was contrary to the Board of Supervisors’ direction, and not brought to the Board of Supervisor’s attention during the General Plan’s final review and consideration.  The designation of these private parcels as Natural Resource was a mistake and should have been corrected before the final General Plan was presented for Board consideration.  The Board of Supervisors has directed the Planning Department to identify all of the parcels affected and initiate the legally required process to correct this mistake.  Any property owner who thinks they have been affected are encouraged to contact the County Planning Department.  The Board of Supervisors has directed that workshops on this issue be conducted as soon as possible. 

 

Adjournment

The Chairperson adjourned the regular meeting at 4:15 p.m., to 9:00 a.m., February 24, 2004, 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

 

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Last Updated: May 18, 2006