Board Minutes - February 15, 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, February 15, 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.  District Attorney, Mr. Art Maillet, introduced Ms. Virginia Smith, an Office Assistant in the DA’s Office to the Board. 


County Dept. Reports

The Chairperson announced the County Department Report period.  Mr. Andrew Remus, Yucca Mountain Coordinator, updated the Board of efforts on the part of the other Affected Units of Government to reduce Inyo County’s DOE funding in order to provide Nye and Clarke Counties with a greater portion of the funding. 


Closed Session

The Chairperson recessed open session at 9:20 a.m., to convene in closed session, with all Board Members present, to consider Agenda Item No. 15.  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.  The Chairperson recessed closed session at 9:45 a.m., to reconvene in open session, with all Board Members present. 


BofS/Committee Assignment

Moved by Supervisor Cash and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to appoint Supervisor Jim Bilyeu as an alternate on the Standing Committee.    Motion carried unanimously.


P.W./Ring Rails 
P. O.

Moved by Supervisor Cash and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to declare Orange Empire Railway Museum of Perris, California, as a sole-source provider of ring rails and approve the purchase of ring rails from Orange Empire Railway Museum in an amount not to exceed $3,000.  Motion carried unanimously.


P. O.

Moved by Supervisor Cash and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to award the quote for and approve the purchase of Douglas Fir timbers from High Mountain Forest Products in an amount not to exceed $6,078.25.   Motion carried unanimously.


HHS-Hlth Serv./ On-Call Nursing Services Contract

In response to a question from the Board, Ms. Jean Dickinson, Director of Health and Human Services, provided additional clarification on the Contract for on-call nursing services with Southern Inyo Healthcare District.  Moved by Supervisor Bilyeu and seconded by Supervisor Cash to A) approve the Contract between the County of Inyo and the Southern Inyo Healthcare District for on-call nursing services to the Jail and Juvenile Detention Center for the period of January 1, 2005, through March 31, 2005, in an amount not to exceed $13,000; and authorize the Chairperson to sign; and B) authorize the Director of Health and Human Services to sign a HIPAA Business Associate Agreement with the District.  Motion carried unanimously.


Auditor/Surplus Sale and Auction

The Board and the Auditor-Controller discussed the proposed auction for surplused County equipment.  Ms. Chapman explained how other public entities and non-profit organizations could participate.  County Counsel, Mr. Paul Bruce, in response to a question from the Board clarified which types of organizations would qualify for the non-profit status in this instance and how other organizations could also participate in the auction process.  Moved by Supervisor Cervantes and seconded by Supervisor Cash to A) declare certain personal property, recommended by Staff as surplus; and B) authorize the transfer of certain personal property to other public entities and non-profit organizations, and that the public auction of County surplus equipment not claimed by those entities/organizations be held on March 4, 2005, at the Building and Maintenance Yard located at 136 S. Jackson St., in Independence.  Motion carried unanimously.


Probation-Child Support Serv./ Bishop Office Lease

The Board and Staff discussed the proposed rate increase to the lease for the Probation and Child Support Services offices in Bishop, including the cost to relocate the offices, with the Board requesting that future lease approval requests include an analysis of the cost to relocate the offices.  Mr. Ron Chegwidden, Acting Public Works Director, informed the Board that the new owners of the Bishop Plaza, have agreed to an 8 % and 10% increase for the current year, and have indicated that they will be taking full advantage of the maximum increase allowed by the Lease when considering next year’s lease extension, which is 15%.  Moved by Supervisor Cash and seconded by Supervisor Arcularius to approve the one-year extension commencing March 2, 2005, to the Lease with Maudsley Enterprises Inc., for offices located at 787 North Main Street, Building B, to accommodate the Child Support Services in an amount not to exceed $3,854 per month and to accommodate the Probation Department in an amount not to exceed $3,965.50 per month; and authorize the Chairperson to sign, contingent upon the appropriate signatures being obtained.  Motion carried unanimously.


Ord. 1092 Hanger Rents and Tie-Down Fees

On a motion by Supervisor Bilyeu and a second by Supervisor Arcularius, Ordinance 1092 was enacted repealing Inyo County Ordinance 989 and Inyo County Resolution No. 85-31, and increasing Hangar Rent & Tie-Down Fees at County Airports: motion unanimously passed and adopted.


BofS/Minute Approval

Moved by Supervisor Cash and seconded by Supervisor Bilyeu to approve the minutes of the Board of Supervisors meetings as follows:  A) January 18, 2005, B) January 25, 2005 and C) February 1, 2005.  Motion carried unanimously.




The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 10:20 a.m., to reconvene at 10:30 a.m., with all Board Members present. 


Planning/County Response on Furnace Creek Environmental Assessment

Mr. Chris Kennedy, Senior Planner, presented and reviewed the Staff Report and recommendations regarding the County’s response to the Environmental Assessment for the Furnace Creek Road.  Inyo Forest Supervisor, Mr. Jeff Bailey, addressed the Board to review the alternatives identified by the Forest Service, explaining that at this point in time the Forest Service is supporting Alternative No. 4, which is a compromise to allow limited motorized access on the Forest Service’s portion of Furnace Creek on a 50” graded dirt road which will skirt the sensitive riparian area.  Mr. Bailey qualified that no decision has been made at this point.  The County Administrator, Mr. Ron Juliff, provided the Board with a copy of a letter from Ms. Joan Benner of Big Pine to the Forest Service supporting the permanent vehicle closure of Furnace Creek.  Ms. Jo Heindell of Big Pine addressed the Board to identify her concern with protecting the bird and butterfly populations in the riparian area.  Mr. Tom Heindell addressed the Board to express his concern with what he felt was a lack of appropriate studies prior to making a decision on the access on Furnace Creek.  Mr. Dick Noles, representing APPL, addressed the Board to commend the Forest Service for their willingness to consider a compromise for the Furnace Creek Road, and to support the Forest Service’s Alternative No. 4, explaining that the historic use of Furnace Creek needed to be preserved.  Mr. Noles also provided information on the volunteer efforts, which have been garnered to assist with the proposed roadwork.  Mr. Paul McFarland, representing the Friends of the Inyo Organization, addressed the Board to support the continued closure of Furnace Creek to vehicles, and Ms. Sydney Quinn of Big Pine, addressed the Board to support Alternative No. 3.  Supervisor Williams indicated that he felt there was no compelling reason for Inyo County to take a position on the Furnace Creek Road issue because there were no direct financial or recreational impacts to Inyo County and because the road was not located in Inyo County. Supervisors Arcularius and Cash addressed their desire to secure the County’s involvement in these types of important issues, which affect the County.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Cash to approve a letter to the Forest Service regarding the Environmental Assessment for the Furnace Creek Road, reflecting Inyo County’s support of Alternative No. 4.  Motion carried on a four-to-zero vote, with Supervisor Arcularius, Cash, Bilyeu and Cervantes voting yes, and with Supervisor Williams abstaining. 




The Chairperson recessed the regular meeting at 11:55 a.m., to reconvene at 1:30 p.m., in a workshop, with all Board Members present. 


HHS Soc. Serv. Workshop

The Board met with County Health and Human Services Staff to review the County’s Social Services Program.   The Chairperson recessed the workshop at 2:15 p.m., to reconvene in open session at 2:30 p.m., with all Board Members present.


Sheriff/Equity Adjust. Correctional Officers Sheriff Dan Lucas updated the Board on the critical staffing problems he is encountering at the Jail.  He informed the Board that he would be forced to shut down a portion of the Jail operations and transport female detainees to Kern County as a direct result of being unable to maintain adequate female staffing levels at the Jail.  Sheriff Lucas explained that it has been his recent policy to utilize his funding resources to pay for Deputy and Correctional Officer training and certification in the hopes of garnering some measure of staff loyalty.  He went on to explain what has actually happened is that his operations has become the local law enforcement training ground, with other law enforcement agencies recruiting and enticing his trained staff away by offering higher salaries and better benefits.  Sgt. Randy Geiger provided an overview of the process, which will be required in order to transport female detainees in the event that the female staffing levels fall below the mandated levels.  The Chief Probation Officer, Mr. Jim Moffett, addressed the Board to highlight his concerns with the effect this type of equity adjustment will have on other County law enforcement offices.  He also explained that his Juvenile Counselors’ salaries had been tied to the Correctional Officer salaries in the recent past, saying that he would expect the Juvenile Counselor salaries to, in the future, increase accordingly. The Board, the Sheriff and Staff continued to discuss the staffing dilemma which has reached a critical level at the Jail, including the cost of the proposed adjustments vs. the cost to transport, with the Sheriff confirming that he would be using his AB443 funds to cover not only the proposed incentive payment of $1,500 but to also fund the proposed equity increase for as long as the funding existed.  It was the consensus of those participating in the discussion that either alternative is going to be extremely costly.  The Sheriff in response to a question from the Board explained that it is a responsibility of the County to fund and a legal requirement of the Sheriff to house inmates and his recommendation for adjusting the Correctional Officer salaries is made in the hopes that he can develop professional career path opportunities at the jail that will encourage employees to want to stay.  The Board and Staff discussed the effect of the proposed adjustments on the other employee groups, with the County Administrator confirming that because of the potential impact of the Board’s actions it will be necessary for the County to meet and confer with the groups.  Moved by Supervisor Arcularius and seconded by Supervisor Bilyeu to continue the request by the Sheriff for the Board to A) authorize the equity adjustment for the position of Correctional Officer in the Sheriff’s Department from ranges 52, 56, and 59 to Range 64 ($2,846 - $3,460); B) fund through AB443 grant funds a recruitment incentive of $1,500 for new Correction Officers who successfully complete existing probation requirements; and C) adopt a position of support of pending legislation to place Inyo County Correctional Officers under 830.1 of the California Penal Code changing Correctional Officers to Correctional Deputies, to next week’s Board Meeting, and, direct Staff in the interim to meet and confer with the different employees groups to inform them of the Board’s possible action.  Motion carried unanimously.
Closed Session

The Chairperson recessed open session at 3:50 p.m., to reconvene in closed session to discuss Agenda Item No. 14.  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 and County of Inyo, Inyo County Superior Court Case No. SICVCV01-29768 .  

The Chairperson recessed closed session at 5:07 p.m. to reconvene in open session to receive a report on closed session.


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. 



The Chairperson adjourned the regular meeting at 5:07 p.m., to 8:00 a.m., Tuesday, February 22, 2005, in the Board of Supervisors Room, at the County Administrative Center, in Independence.


Chairperson, Inyo County Board of Supervisors


Attest:   RON JULIFF
         Clerk of the Board



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