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Chester Progressive
Chester , California
December 30, 2009     Chester Progressive
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December 30, 2009

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Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009 9B COMMUNITY PERSPECTIVE Supervisors' chairwoman reports on the state of the county WHERE I STAND view of a few of the positive they have reduced the num- theU.S. Forest Service for a yet collected and distributed constant state oflimbo as to ............................................................................................................ things we were able to accom- ber of appeals to the Board new fire station at Nervino over $2,081,000 in child state funding availability. For SHARON THRALL plish in spite of the "season of of Equalization. This good Airport in Beckwourth. support. The department has example, social services have CHAIRWOMAN, PLUMAS COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS Darkness." news for taxpayers is not nec- The facility services depart- operated in such an excellent seen a 60+ percent increase in One of my goals has long essarily good news for county ment is also tasked with aid- manner that other counties people seeking help from such "'It was the best of times, it been to move the update ofrevenues, ing the county in its Ameri- are looking to it for assistance, programs as Foodstamps, was the worst of times, it was our General Plan forward. The Office of the County cans with Disabilities ActThe treasurer-tax collector MediCal and CalWORKS cash the age of wisdom, it was the This year I mn pleased to say Clerk-Recorder (which in-compliance issues. During the negotiated a new bank ac-assistance, age of foolishness, it was the we were able to include the cludes elections, record year, six public meetings count with one of our local The department staff kept epoch of belief, it was the cost of the update in our bud- management and inter- were held around the county banks, allowing us to earn a .core services intact to protect epoch of incredulity, it was the get. We selected and employed governmental services) has to receive hgput on the Self higher rate of return while abused children and vulnera- season of Light, it was the sea- Design Workshop as the con- seen a reorganization of the Evaluation Transition Plan; the bank waived bank fees--- ble elderly and disabled son of Darkness, it was the sultant to aid in the update, records management function as a result, the plan update is saving the county about $9,000 citizens despite shrinking spring of hope, it was the win- and at our last meeting in No- to reduce personnel costs, now 75 percent complete, this year. resources and personnel ter of despair, we had every- vember we appointed General In spite of budget cuts and In addition, as part of our Most recently, treasurer vacancies. thing before us, we had noth- Plan Work Group members personnel reductions, staff ADA effort, facility services Susie Grant sold the county's Their goal remains tomove ing before us, we were all go- from each of our districts to have managed to streamline installed long-needed power bankrupt Washington Mutual individuals on a path of self- ing direct to heaven, we were work with the Design Work-operations to maintain a door openers at the court-bond for $600 more than we sufficiency and independence all going direct the other shop folks to assure that our high standard of service to house, paid for it! At one point the from government assistance way. "" local wishes and needs arecustomers and other county Plumas County libraries bond might have been a total while compassionately assist- Charles Dickens included in the process, departments. They continue have experienced a huge in- loss. ing them in time of need. "'A Tale of Two Cities'" The assessor's office has to restore aging records while crease in usage as a result of While operating with 26 Plumas County has elimi- seen a huge increase in its providing access to the public the economic downturn, percent less staff, remaining nated positions and reorga- It is amazing that these workload as it tried to address for several types of current Patrons are utilizing the employees have worked niZed departments in an effort words written by Charles the reductions in propertyrecords, library for access to free high- hard to keep public service a to streamline government. Dickens 150 years ago seem to values occurring all over This year also found the speed Internet, DVD and priority. Supervisors brought the perfectly describe this past Plumas County. Chuck elections office busily con- videos, as they have had to The mechanics shops in our county counsel function back year. 2009 has been a year of Leonhardt, county assessor, ducting elections necessary to reduce their costs at home. public works department in-hotise, eliminated the risk change and challenge. We reports that upon delivery of fill positions on the boards of 1'he libraries continue tohave been able to keep aging manager position and have seen massive job loss the tax roll for this year his our special districts (fire, offer excellent programs for equipment up and running al- assigned some of those duties and unemployment at a level staff had proactively lowered cemetery, utility, etc.). Kathy children and all four libraries though they are at 50 percent to county counsel. not seen for many year . 5,006 assessments. Williams, clerk-recorder,are crowded during the after- of normal staffing. Their past We also moved county em- Our federal government has Since that time his officereports her office has slightly school hours with childrenexcellent maintenance pro- ployee contract negotiations borrowed from the future in has received approximatelyexceeded its estimated rev- doing homework in a safe grams are paying off today! from an outside negotiator to an effort to pull our economy 300 new requests from tax-enue at this point in thelearning environment until a Public works staff has de- county counsel. The changes out of a deepening recession payers to review their assess- budget year, giving her parent picks them up. voted a lot of attention to will result in substantial (many would say "depres- ments. In an effort to assist positive hope for the remain- Plumas Literacy began its scheduling projects to take ad- savings to the General Fund sion"). Our California state taxpayers with these re- ing months in this budgetSecond Chance program vantage of available state and and provide greater control government is facing impossi- quests, it has placed a Request year. working with the jail to pro- federal highway funds, pre- and efficiency. ble deficits, for Decline in Value Review Our facility services de-vide services to inmates, and serving county funds for win- The county also completed In Plumas County we have form on its website, partment has made great this year staff was able to add tertime snow removal. Thethe much-needed Reverse seen mill and business clo- Our tax roll declined by 1.13 progress this year. Amongoutreach to the families with solid waste division has used 911 system for emergency sures, layoffs, furlough days percent last year, which is other things, this department an incarcerated member, state waste tire cleanup fund- notification through the and anything else anyone can well below the average trend maintains and manages ourEnvironmental health has ing to sponsor three events county. think of to cut costs in re- in the state, and this wasbuildings, parks and airports, added water-testingservices this year to allow citizens to All in all, 2009 has been a' sponse to reduced income, moderated by the California Under the airport umbrella in its laboratory. It is now dispose of tires at no cost and busy, challenging year. Your Your county government Consumer Price Index in- we just coml leted installation state-certified for water test- keeping tires from littering county government has more has experienced huge drops creasing a full 2 percent for all of the weather observation ing for coliform and E. coli our forests, than met the challenge by in revenue, and we are antici- Proposition 13 base year system, AWOS, at Rogers bacteria, providing a local, At the last Board of Super- adding services and maintain- pating this trend to continue assessments. Field in Chester, enabling cost-effective alternative to visors meeting we approved ing high levels of perfor- for the foreseeable future. We We expect that next year pilots to obtain current testing in Reno, Nev., or the purchase of three badly mance at a time when all have made the cuts to spend- will provide new challenges weather information during Chico. The department com-needed six-wheel-drive departments are short-handed ing and personnel necessary as for the first time since all conditions, pleted testing for 38 customers graders and two snow plowand short of funds. to start the fiscal year with a Proposition 13 passed in 1978, Also at Chester airport, we in 2009. Customers includetrucks (watch for them when I am proud of the county balanced budget, the California CPI has run in have started an obstruction Lake Almanor Water Qualitythe snow flies), employees and all that they- However, this is not the the negative (-0.237 percent), removal project and nego-Committee, Realtors who list Last but.certainly not least, have accomplished in 2009! time to dwell on the "worst of That will result in a reduction tiated an agreement with the property for sale and others our human services depart- Your Board of Supervisors times" gloom and doom. I of Proposition 13 base year Chester Fire Protection Dis- who wish to check the quality ments--social services, public remains committed to proper, want to close out my year as values, trict to providea fire station of their drinking water, health and mental health-=-: frugal management of your chairwoman of the Plumas Through the efforts of de-.- located, at the airport.,- The child support serviceshave seen an unimaginable,.eeu t.y..resourees and looks. County Board of Supervisors partment staff to work with Another excitingdevelop- department suffered a loss of increase in demand for all forward to the opportunities with a look back at 2009, in taxpayers toward solutionsment is a partnership with 25 percent of staff in 2009, and services while living in a offered in 2010. To our valued patients, nei2hbors and fellow community members: thank you for the tremen- needed changes and addi- As many of you have unfor-We believe that without the of a collaborative effort to WHERE I STAND dous community support tions have been known to be tunately experienced first- planned building project build a practical and highly PLUMAS DISTRICT which many of you have only achievable with new hand, we have a critical Quincyis in real danger offunctional facility, without HOSPITAL PHYSICIAN S shown to our hospital and its construction. For this reason, shortage of healthcare a gradual loss of health ser- frills or excessive space. physicians over the years,building plans have been m providers in our community, vices and a spiraling decline With the passage of As the physicians at We have a great deal of pride the works for more than 13 In the last three years, we in medical staff that has Measure A and the commu- Plumas District Hospital we in the services provided by years. The fact that we have have lost three full-time occurred in other communi-nity support that it repre- desire to communicate our medical staff, nurses and been unable to upgrade the physicians and have been ties of similar size. A near sents we are very optimistic unanimous support for the other ancillary services at facilities during this time has unsuccessful at replacing total shift of medical services about the future of medical Plumas District Hospital Plumas District Hospital, and become a major liability to them despite a continuous from within the Quincy area care and services in our building project, and its vital we are committed to doing recruiting and retaining recruitment effort. This is to Reno, Truckee or Chico district. importance to the future of what is necessary to continue high-caliber physicians. This why many of you have expe-would be the eventual result. medical care in Quincy. Our to provide those services. The is because competent doctors rienced long waits in getting The planned building Ross Morgan, M.D. antiquated facility will rlot passage of Measure A indi-require facilities that are appointments, and some of project will allow us to Steen Jensen, M.D., F.A.C.S. continue to support the quali- cates that the community conducive to providing the you have been unable tO even support and-expand our ser- Jeffrey Kepple, M.D. ty of services we provide and supports this commitment, breadth and quality of establish care with a local vices, improve patient safety,Lawrence Price, M.D. has now become a hindrance Our 50-year-old facility has medical services that ourdoctor. The current hospital and attract and retain qualityRachel Hurlburt, D.O. to recruiting and retaining long been recognized as inpatients, families, friends structure has hampered ournurses and doctors, including Vincent Frantz, M.D., neede l doctors, dire need of many updates and neighbors need and ability to bring in the doctors specialists. The current F.A.C.S. First, we would like to and improvements. The deserve, we need. building plans are the result Mark Satterfield, M. D. LETTERS to the EDITOR Guidelines for Letters All letters must contain an address and a phone number. We publish only one letter per week, per person and only one letter per person, per month regarding the same subject. We do not publish third-party, anonymous, or open letters. Letters must be limited to a maximum of 300 words. The ed- itor will cut any letter in excess of 300 words.The deadline is Friday at 3 p.m. (Deadlines may change due to holidays.) Letters may be taken to any of Feather Publishing's offices, sent via fax to 283-3952, or e-mailed at Well worth it The Senate has passed the healthcare bill and I am pleased. To me it means that some little kid whose parents cannot afford a doctor for him now can. The boy can see a doctor if he is sick; maybe his life will be saved by this measure. I don't give a damn that some multi-millionaire will receive an annual in- come of $300,000 rather than, say, $340,000 because the boy, and thousands or millions like him, gets to visit a doc- tor. Call me hard-headed but that is the way I am or at least was. a Democrat--the party of the Since the hospital is "in the Republicans in Congress average American. black," why does the hospital oppose healthcare reform for And so I say, go ahead little not pursue a loan payable by one reason and one reason fellow, if you are sick, visit a the hospital's revenue to only: They represent the doctor and send the bill to the supplement our property tax wealthy segment of our popu- United States of America. It's levy? Why are we, as battered lation and those wealthy a function well worth every- taxpayers, being maligned people do not want their tax- one's time and effort, when we are simply trying to es to increase, not for the Tony VanHemert protect our own finances? health of a poor boy or for Quincy We have heard theterm any other reason. I am cer- "transparency in govern-. tain of what I say because I Why, why, why ment" at the national level was once a Republican, I Why is it concluded by and we have seen very little enjoyed a relatively large some that the supporters of of it. income and I associated with the hospital bond "Tax Limi- Please, hospital board, well-to-do Republicans. Mon- tation Initiative" are attempt- show us some transparency. ey was the biggest thing in ing to close the hospital?What are you doing to protect our lives; little else really Why loes the hospital our finances? Is a new mattered, board of directors fight the hospital the only goal? I think Well, I changedmy opinion limiting $50 per $100,000 that we, as hospital district over the years. I realized assessed value property tax, voters, actually own the that being a citizen of this instead of pursuing other hospital. Is the hospitalboard country carries a responsi- avenues to supplement the determined to build a new bility, a responsibility to $50 per $100,000 property tax hospital at any cost, because other Americans, a commit- assessment that we propose? they have so much of their ment to their welfare. IfIwas Why do some hospital valuable time invested? able to succeed it was be- employees think that they Please, this is our money you cause American society was are going to lose their jobs? are spending. stable and constituted a Who is telling them this? As I have said before, the forum in which an indi- Why does the hospital petition drive is doing very, vidual's ambition and drive board of directors think that very well. I would like to be- could transmit into concrete contributions by the commu- lieve that the hospital board results, nity to improve our hospital would accept a successful Wealthy people owe less are of so dubious and in- "Tax Limitation Initiative" fortunate Americans a great significant value that they at the ballot box, and then deal. Republicans never would choose to impose an understood this, so I became unlimited tax on all us? See Letters, page 10B How to contact your elected officials... PRESIDENT - Barack Obama, the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW Washington, D.C. 20500. (202) 456-1414. Fax: 202456-2461. E-mail: / U.S. SENATOR - Dianne Feinstein (D), 331 Hart Senate Office Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3841, FAX: 202-228-3954; TrY/TDD: (202) 224-2501. District Office: One Post Street, Suite 2450, San Francisco, CA 94104; Phone: (415) 393-0707; Fax: (415) 393-0710 E-mail: go to website "" U.S. SENATOR - Barbara Boxer (D). District Office: 501 t St., Suite 7-600, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 448-2787; FAX (916) 448-2563; OR 112 Hart Bldg., Washington, D.C. 20510. (202) 224-3553. FAX (202) 228-0454. U.S. REPRESENTATIVE, 4TH DIST. - Tom McClintock. 508 Cannon HOB, Washington, D.C. 20515 (202) 225-2511; FAX (202) 225-5444. District office 4230 Douglas Blvd., Suite #200, Granite Bay, CA 95746. (916) 786-5560, FAX: (916) 786-6364 STATE SENATOR, 1st DIST. - Dave Cox (R), District office: 2140 Professional Dr., #140, Roseville, CA, 95661. (916) 783-8232, FAX (916) 783- 5487; OR: State Capital, Room 2068, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 651- 4001, FAX: (916) 324-2680;; Quincy office: 2094 E. Main St., Quincy, 530-283-3437. FAX 283-3439. STATE ASSEMBLYMAN, 3RD DIST. - Dan Logue, State Capital, Sacramento, CA 95814, (916) 319-2003; FAX (916) 319-2103: District Office, 1550 Humboldt Rd., Ste. #4, Chico, CA 95928; (530) 8954217, FAX (530) 895-4219. GOVERNOR - Arnold Schwarzenegger, office of the Governor, State Capitol, Sacramento, CA 95814. (916) 445-2841. FAX: (916) 558-3160.