April 2016 - Sierra Scoop Column

The Board of Supervisors approved road closures for the Eastern Sierra Jamboree for June 14th – 18th and the Mammoth Gran Fondo Bike Race in September. These two events have great economic benefit to their respective communities.

The Board also choose to change the rules for all RPACs. There are now mandatory terms for volunteers and the Board must now approve all RPAC bylaws along with other items. Ironically if an RPAC does not want to be a “formal” RPAC, but still functions like one, none of the Rules apply. The vote was 4-1 (Fesko dissenting) to approve these changes despite the charge that these “non-formal” RPACS are essentially lifetime appointments (which the majority of the Board does not like!).

The Board held a special meeting to discuss the Transient Rental Overlay District (TROD) in the General Plan. A TROD allows, through a public planning process, the nightly rental of a residential home. Currently these are only in the June Lake area. Much discussion took place regarding the pros and cons. Questions arose about how to determine where they should be allowed. Also discussed how better to include the public in the process.

After a 4-1 (Fesko dissenting) vote to approve a Probation Reorganization, the dissenting vote warned the Board about the backlash by County employees seeing that the reorg essentially gave raises to just Probation. At their next meeting, the Board accepted a motion (5-0) to reconsider its previous vote. After back and forth discussion, the Board approved 4-1 (Corless dissenting) to rescind its prior approval and to step back and look at the entire County as a whole to determine what and where reorgs need to take place. I believe this is only fair to all County employees who have essentially taken pay cuts over the past few lean years.

The County is always looking for grants to help pay for various activities. The Board recently approved participation in the following grants: Homeland Security Grant (up to $150,000), OHV Grant (up to $120,000), Emergency Management Performance Grant (up to $150,000) and Boating and Waterways grant (up to $131,065).

After the departure of two employees from the County Counsel office, the County has now hired Stephen Kerins, Deputy County Counsel II. Stephen’s arrival will help alleviate some of the workload on the other two County Counsels. Welcome Stephen!