Board Minutes - January 25, 2005

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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 9:00 a.m., on Tuesday, January 25, 2005, in the Board of Supervisors Room, County Administrative Center, Independence, with the following Supervisors present:  Chairperson Ted Williams presiding, Linda Arcularius, Susan Cash, Jim Bilyeu, and Richard Cervantes.  Supervisor Cervantes provided the Invocation, and Supervisor Bilyeu led the Pledge of Allegiance.

 

Public Comment

The Chairperson announced the public comment period.  Mr. Jerry Gewe, recently retired Chief Operating Officer of Water Systems for the City of Los Angeles, Department of Water and Power, addressed the Board to comment on the relationship between DWP and the County and the Long Term Water Agreement.  Mr. Rodger Thompson, Assistant Chief in charge of CDF Operations in the Owens Valley, introduced himself to the Board.  Mr. Michael Dorame, Lone Pine Resident, responded to Mr. Gewe’s remarks and thanked Mr. Gewe for his willingness to work through the myriad of issues relative to the Long Term Water Agreement.  Supervisor Arcularius took the opportunity to recognize Inyo County Administrator, Rene Mendez.  On behalf of the County, Supervisor Arcularius presented Mr. Mendez with a “Friends of Inyo County” award and wished him well in his new position as City Manager for Gonzales.  Supervisors Emeritus Robert Michener, Michael Dorame and Butch Hambleton addressed the Board to also offer their well wishes to Rene and his family in their move to Gonzales and to thank Rene for his support of the County over the last eight years.

 

Post Agenda/P.W.

Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership Highway 395 Priority Corridor Designation

Mr. Ron Chegwidden, Public Works Department, requested the Board consider a post agenda item in order for the Board to consider a letter supporting the Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership’s request to have the portion of Highway 395 from Reno, NV to Interstate 15 in Hesperia, CA, designated as a High Priority Corridor.  Mr. Chegwidden explained that a response is required before the Board’s next regularly scheduled meeting and the County had not been aware of the deadline until after the Agenda for this meeting was posted.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Cash to find that the need to support the designation of the portion of Highway 395 from Reno, NV to Interstate 15 in Hesperia, CA as a High Priority Corridor on the National Highway System, arose after the Agenda for the January 25, 2005, Board of Supervisors Meeting was posted and there is a need for the Board to take action on this item prior to the next regularly scheduled Board Meeting, and therefore, this item is added as Agenda Item No. 20A.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

County Dept. Reports

The Chairperson announced the County Department Report period.  Mr. Andrew Remus, Yucca Mountain Coordinator, updated the Board on Yucca Mountain Repository issues. 

 

Introduction

Ms. Leslie Klusmire, Planning Director, introduced Ms. Annali Kiers, Planning Technician to the Board. 

 

Board of Equal./ Training Workshop

The Chairperson recessed open session at 9:35 a.m. to convene in a workshop with the Assessor and County Counsel to receive training on the functions and duties for the County Board of Equalization.  The Chairperson recessed the workshop at 10:40 a.m. to reconvene in open session, with all Board Members present.

 

Rd. Dept/Mobile Radio P.O.

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Cash to authorize a purchase order in amount not to exceed $2,812.75 for the purchase of five (5) mobile radios to Nielsen’s Equipment Maintenance and Communication of Mammoth Lakes.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 10:41 a.m., reconvening at 10:47 a.m., with all Board Members present.

 

BofS/Conn Appeal Fee Refund

Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Bilyeu to authorize a $300 refund to Mr. and Mrs. Richard Conn, for the 12-18-01 Appeal of the Planning Commission Approval of Tentative Parcel Map #250/Laverty and direct that the fee for future appeals regarding the Laverty parcel map be reinstated.  Motion carried unanimously.

CAO-Purchasing/ Night Vision Goggles P.O.

Moved by Supervisor Bilyeu and seconded by Supervisor Cervantes to award of Bid #2004-04 and authorize the purchase of twenty-two (22) night vision goggles with protective cases from American Technologies Network, Corp., in an amount of $8,404.00 plus tax.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

CAO-Personnel/ Juliff Contract

Moved by Supervisor Bilyeu and seconded by Supervisor Cash to approve the contract between the County of Inyo and Ronald J. Juliff for personal services as the County Administrative Officer, at a monthly salary of $8,000.00, including the waiver of the County medical benefit, for the period of January 29, 2005 through January 28, 2006, contingent upon appropriate signatures being obtained and authorize the Chairperson to sign.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Resol. #2005-02/ Appt. Officials Salary

On a motion by Supervisor Bilyeu and a second by Supervisor Cash, Resolution No. 2005-02, entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors, County of Inyo, State of California, Rescinding Resolution 2004-62 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.

 

P.W./Parcel Map 354 Approval

The Board and Staff discussed the availability of Map 354 for review prior to approval.  The Board concurred with current policy to have the maps available for review in the Clerk of the Board’s Office.  Moved by Supervisor Cervantes and seconded by Supervisor Bilyeu to approve Parcel Map No. 354; rejecting the Offer of Dedication for road purposes the 22 feet wide right of way for East Pangborn Street as shown on the map and accepting the Offer of Dedication for road purposes the east half of Lasky Lane as shown on the map, was adopted.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Resol. #2005-03/ Public Auction Time Period

On a motion by Supervisor Cash and a second by Supervisor Bilyeu, Resolution No. 2005 -03 entitled “A Resolution of the Inyo County Board of Supervisors applying the five-year time period for the offer of sale at public auction of tax-defaulted properties to tax-defaulted nonresidential commercial property pursuant to the provisions of Section 3691(a)(1)(B) of the California Revenue and Taxation Code, ” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted.

 

Resol. #2005-04/ Investment Authority

On a motion by Supervisor Arcularius and a second by Supervisor Bilyeu, Resolution No. 2005-04, entitled “A Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Inyo, Delegating to the Inyo County Treasurer its Investment Authority pursuant to Section 53607 of the Government Code,” was adopted: motion unanimously passed and adopted.

 

Treasurer/

Investment Policy

The Treasurer Tax Collector reviewed the County’s Treasury Investment Policy.  Moved by Supervisor Bilyeu and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the Inyo County Treasury Investment Policy.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

P.W./Highway 395 High Priority Corridor Designation Mr. Ron Chegwidden, addressed the Board to request that the consideration of the Post Agenda Item, for the Board to send a letter to Congress McKeon supporting the Eastern California Transportation Planning Partnership’s request to identify the portion of Highway 395 between Reno, NV and Interstate 15 in Hesperia, CA, as a High Priority Corridor be pulled.  Mr. Chegwidden explained that after discussions with the Congressman’s Office the need for expediency on this item had been eliminated. 

 

CAO-Budget/Mid-Year Review

The County Administrator reviewed the Mid-Year Budget Report in detail.  The CAO requested an additional consideration for a change in the recommendation for the Auditor-Controller, increasing the appropriation for travel to $3,000.  The Board and Staff discussed the report and the recommendations contained in the report in detail and in-depth.    Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Cash to A) accept the 2004-05 Midyear Budget Report as presented; B) approve the specific budget action items and recommendations detailed in the report and amended to include a $3,000 appropriation in the Auditor-Controller’s travel budget; C) stress saving to maximize the year-end Fund Balance; D) continue to take a critical and careful look before filling vacant positions; E) take a very critical and cautious approach before re-instating any of the positions eliminated or reduced as a result of the Separation Incentive Plan, and F) direct Purchasing to work with departments as necessary to evaluate any large acquisitions deferring them or eliminating them when possible.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 12:45 p.m., reconvening at 1:45 p.m., in a workshop, with all Board Members present.  Prior to convening in the workshop, the Chairperson announced that the Board would meet in closed session immediately after the conclusion of the workshop.

Water/ Workshop

 

The Board met in a workshop with Staff for the purpose of receiving information on the history and current status of the Inyo/Los Angeles Long Term Water Agreement, the Lower Owens River Project and the Memorandum of Understanding.  The Chairperson recessed the workshop at 2:50 p.m., to convene in closed session, with all Board Members present.

Closed Session

The Board met in closed session to consider Agenda Items No. No. 21.  PERSONNEL   [Pursuant to Government Code § 54957].  Public Employee Appointment  - Title: Director of Public Works; No. 22.  CONFERENCE WITH LABOR NEGOTIATOR [Pursuant to Government Code § 54957.6].  Instructions to Negotiators re:  Wages, salaries and benefits -  Title: Director of Public Works - Negotiator: Members of the Board of Supervisors as designated; No. 23.  PERSONNEL   [Pursuant to Government Code § 54957].  Public Employee Appointment - Title:  Director of Environmental Health; No. 24.  CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – EXISTING LITIGATION [Pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(a)].  Sierra Club v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, Inyo County Superior Court Case No. SICVCV01-29768; No. 25.  CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL – EXISTING LITIGATION [Pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(a)].   Sierra Club v. City of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power,  Inyo County Superior Court Case No. SICVPT04-37217 (Writ of Mandate); and No. 26.  CONFERENCE WITH LEGAL COUNSEL –EXISTING/ ANTICIPATED LITIGATION [Pursuant to Government Code § 54956.9(a)(c)]. One Case  - Dispute Resolution initiated on December 10, 2004 by the Sierra Club, OVC, State Lands Commission, Department of Fish and Game under the 1997 Memorandum of Understanding between the City of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, the County of Inyo, the California Department of Fish and Game, the State Lands Commission, the Sierra Club, the Owens Valley Committee, and Carla Scheidlinger.  The Chairperson recessed closed session at 4:30 p.m., to reconvene in open session with all Board Members present.

 

Announcement

The Chairperson announced that the Board would be continuing the January 25, 2005, Board Meeting to 9:00 a.m., Friday, January 28, 2005, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center in Independence to discuss Agenda Item No.  12.  COUNTY ADMINISTRATOR - Provide direction to staff on the implementation of Measure A before considering whether to remove personnel responsibility from the County Administrative Officer and create a new Personnel Director position responsible for the Personnel Department and Agenda Item No. 14. PUBLIC WORKS - Request Board review the proposed adjusted water rates for the town water systems and direct the Public Works Department to proceed with revision of County Ordinance No. 1008 to implement the adjusted rates, contingent upon legal review by County Counsel.

 

Org./Cal Expo Exhibit

Mr. Rich White, representing the Chambers of Commerce reviewed the request for approval of this year’s Cal Expo Exhibit, as well as to ask for $1,500 more to cover the travel expenses because the Fair has been extended to a third week.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Cash to take the following actions regarding the 2005 Cal Expo Exhibit: A) designate the Bishop Chamber of Commerce as the lead agency for the 2005 Cal Expo Exhibit and designate Wayne Carpenter as the representative to receive, on behalf of the County, any award money; B) direct Staff to prepare the appropriate budget language for next year, increasing the amount by $1,500 for additional travel, as needed, to provide any award money to the Bishop Chamber of Commerce; and C) approve the 2005 California State Fair Cal Expo Exhibit Form; and authorize the County Administrator to sign on behalf of the County.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

P.W./Rd. Mainten-

ance Position

Moved by Supervisor Bilyeu and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to waive the hiring freeze and authorize the filling of a Road Maintenance Supervisor position at Range 66 ($2,922-$3,557).  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Treasurer/Salary Increase

The Treasurer-Tax Collector provided additional justification for his request for a salary increase,  The Board, Staff and Mr. Treacy discussed the Treasurer’s request, with the Board expressing a desire to consider establishing a non-subjective approach to setting salaries for elected officials including a establishing a methodology for salary comparisons.  The Treasurer agreed to have his request for  salary increase postponed, to be considered in conjunction with consideration of the District Attorney’s request for a salary increase, which was postponed last week. The Board directed to delay consideration of the request by the Treasurer-Tax Collector for a salary increase; and directed Staff to bring back for the Board’s consideration on or before the first meeting in April, 2005, recommendations for a non-subjective methodology and process to evaluate the salaries of County officials.

 

BofS/Minute Approval The request for approval of the minutes of the Board of Supervisors meeting of January 4, 2005, was pulled at the request of the Clerk.

 

Closed Session The Chairperson recessed open session at 5:40 p.m., to convene in closed session, with all Board Members present, to continue discussions on previously identified closed session items.

 

Report on Closed Session The Chairperson recessed closed session at 6:30 p.m., to reconvene in open session to receive a report on closed session.  County Counsel reported that the Board of Supervisors, in a unanimous vote, with Supervisors Arcularius, Cash, Williams, Bilyeu and Cervantes voting yes, appointed Mr. Ron Chegwidden as the Acting Public Works Director, at a salary of $6,500 per month, subject to the approval of a Contract during open session at the next regularly scheduled Board of Supervisors Meeting. 

 

Recess/

Reconvene

The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. to reconvene at 9:00 a.m., Friday, January 28, 2005, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center, in Independence, with all Board Members present. 

 

BofS/Implementation of Measure A The County Administrator, Mr. Rene Mendez, reviewed the Staff Report on the request to provide direction to staff on the implementation of Measure A before considering whether to remove personnel responsibility from the County Administrative Officer and create a new Personnel Director position responsible for the Personnel Department.  Mr. Mendez reviewed the options and alternatives in detail and recommended that should the Board desire to codify this Measure that it be worded to make it as legally defensible as possible.  Supervisor Cash explained that the request for consideration of implementation of Measure A and for consideration of establishing a new Personnel Director were before the Board at her request and asked that the consideration of establishing a new Personnel Director be pulled from consideration until after the discussion regarding Measure A had been resolved.  The Board and Staff discussed the options and alternatives available to the Board regarding Measure A.  Mr. Butch Hambleton, Big Pine Resident, addressed the Board to oppose the implementation of Measure A and to question Ms. Harry’s reference to retaliation.  He went on to request that if the Board chooses to create a separate Personnel Director, that the Board consolidate the Clerk/Recorder’s Office with another County Department as defined by the State Constitution in order to provide cost savings to the County to be used to place the question of a separate Personnel Department before the voters and to ensure that the voters have all of the information needed to make a decision on the reorganization.  Mr. Michael Dorame, Lone Pine Resident, addressed the Board to oppose implementation of Measure A.   Ms. Beverly Harry, Clerk/Recorder and Lone Pine Resident, addressed the Board to support implementation of Measure A.  Sheriff Dan Lucas addressed the Board to support previous actions of the Board of Supervisors to effectively reorganize certain departments and programs to provide better services in a more cost effective way.  Mr. Gale Holbrook, Rocking K Resident, addressed the Board to oppose the implementation of Measure A.  The Board and Staff continued to discuss the implementation of Measure A, with Supervisors Bilyeu and Cervantes expressing their support for the legality of the Measure, with Supervisor Cash supporting the legality of the Measure, as well as having the issue of the constitutionality of Measure A decided by a Judge, and with Supervisors Arcularius and Williams expressing their desire to see Measure A resolved.  County Counsel, Paul Bruce, cautioned the Board with codifying the Measure with dual pronged authority language if the desire of the Board is to proceed with Court action.  He explained that if Court action is the direction of the Board, it would be better for the Board to codify Measure A exactly as the voters passed it, nothing more and nothing less.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Cash to direct the County Counsel and County Administrator to bring back two draft  ordinances, one to codify Measure A as to its exact language, and one to codify Measure A in its most defensible way, and have the Board decide or make modifications to either or, or both, and bring back the way of getting this before the Court, and also provide a cost analysis on placing reorganizations before the voters.  Motion carried unanimously.

 

Recess/

Reconvene

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

 

P.W.-Town Water System Rates The Board and Staff reviewed the proposed adjusted water rates for the town water systems and direct the Public Works Department to proceed with revision of County Ordinance No. 1008 to implement the adjusted rates, contingent upon legal review by County Counsel.  Mr. Joe Andrews, Independence Resident, addressed the Board to support the CSD taking over the Independence System.  Mr. Joe Ruiz, Lone Pine Resident, addressed the Board to question the justification of the Staff’s budget numbers. 

Ms. Nancy Masters, Independence Resident, addressed the Board to oppose any increase and to question the current rates.  Mr. Dustin Hardwick, CRWA Representative, addressed the Board to support Staff’s recommendations, explaining that a reasonable rate as well as an adequate capitol improvement fund is required in order to successfully complete the State’s permitting process.  Mr. Lefty Irwin, Bishop Resident, addressed the Board to support the implementation of appropriate water rates and to oppose any type of County subsidization of the rates unless it is applied equally throughout the County.  Ms. Arlene Grider, Independence Resident, reaffirmed the Independence CSD’s desire to assume the operations and maintenance of the Independence System.  Mr. Gale Holbrook, Bishop Resident, opposed subsidization of the water systems.  Supervisor Cervantes reiterated his position of having the County subsidize the Water Systems and opposing rate increases.  Moved by Supervisor Bilyeu and seconded by Supervisor Cash to, with regard to increase rates for Town Water Systems, approve Option B of the Staff recommendation, utilizing the HHS criteria for establishing life-line eligibility, establishing the income threshold for life-line eligibility at $21,000 per year and have a 50% reduction in the standard residential rate for life-line eligible customers, and directe Staff to proceed with the ordinance adoption process to set Town Water System rates.  Motion carried on a four-to-one vote, with Supervisors Arcularius, Cash, Williams and Bilyeu voting yes, and with Supervisor Cervantes voting no.

 

Adjourned The Chairperson adjourned the regular meeting at 1:30 p.m., to 9:00 a.m., February 1, 2005, 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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