December 2011 - Sierra Scoop Column

I recently had a couple of discussions one was with a County Supervisor and the other with a Department Head. I was basically chastised by both of these for always pointing out “the negative stuff in the County”. In fact one of them actually said that I should give “Attaboys” to the County.

I have given these discussions much thought and decided to dedicate this year’s last column with this in mind.

For about a year, I have “encouraged” the County to paint strips on our County Roads in the North County as they were extremely dangerous to our elderly, children and public as a whole during inclement weather. Well I am pleased to announce that the roads in the Antelope Valley were finally stripped and the job is done. Of course, we are still missing the fog lines (the white lines on the right edge of each lane) on most of the lanes but at least they did get snow poles installed! ATTABOY!

During the time I spent attending the Supervisors meetings while campaigning in 2010, I consistently heard the Supervisors say that they wished more of the Public would attended these meetings. Each meeting is setup to allow the public to address the Board at 9am, the Board then goes into closed (secret) session. Once returning an hour or more later, the Board would continue and the public cannot address the Board until after lunch. I spoke to several people that wanted to address the Board and stay for the meeting, but to have to wait an hour or more between addressing the Board and the public meeting, was a waste of time and most would just leave.

I publically suggested several months ago that the agenda be modified to allow a time for the Public to address the Board once they returned back from closed session at 10:30 am. It appears based on emails I received back, that this was a reasonable request and at least 3 Supervisors were in favor of it. Thanks to Supervisor Hansen, he was able to get this idea on the October 4th agenda.

Supervisor Hansen’s motion was seconded by Super Johnson. The motion was passed with 4 Yes’s and 1 No.
Thank you to Supervisors Hanson, Johnson, Bauer and Hunt for supporting this common sense request. ATTABOY!

What does surprise me though is Supervisor Hazard’s reasoning for voting NO (taken from the BOS minutes) – (1) He disagrees due to time constraints and timed agenda items and (2) Doesn’t support it from a management point of view – as in chairing the meeting.

How does allowing the Public to skip addressing the Board at 9am and instead address the Board at 10:30am cause any “time constraints” Is there a difference from speaking earlier than later? Does the Public not have a right to address the Board? Who does the Board work for if not the Public then whom? As far as “chairing the meeting” (Hazard is currently the Chairman), he has the right to either delay a timed agenda (which happens more often than not) and to close Public comment. His reasons for voting NO disappoints me as he always seemed to be a champion for the Public – sorry NO Attaboy here!

As this is the last column for 2011, my family and I would like to wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Years! May God protect you and your loved ones and this great Country of ours, as we truly need all the help we can get! See you next year!

Let your feelings be known to ALL Supervisors - District 1, Larry Johnson, ljohnston@mono.ca.gov. District 2, Hap Hazard, hap04@msn.com. District 3, Vikki Bauer, vbauer@mono.ca.gov. District 4, Tim Hansen, thansen@mono.ca.gov. District 5, Bing Hunt, bhunt@mono.ca.gov