March 11, 2013

A Look at Attorney’s Charges Against LAFCO

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:53 pm

Fall River attorney Jim Reed (pictured right), who practices general law, in the Valley and the Bay Area, told the Shasta Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO) that they had two months to straighten up their act and start doing Municipal Service Reviews (MSR) and Sphere of Influence (SOI) studies they were mandated to do every five years by law. He said his decision to sue or not to sue would be based on whether or not significant progress was made in those areas.
According to LAFCO Executive Officer Amy Mickelson, of the 35 agencies they work on, 17 are exempt by the board’s current policy and the remaining 18 are in various stages of the review process. When asked in a Mountain Echo interview who retained him, initially Reed declined to say, then when told that Terry Briggs, husband of Fall River Valley Community Service District board member Barbara Briggs, told that board he had retained an attorney to sue LAFCO, Reed said it was no secret that Terry Briggs was one of the individuals who was retaining him. He emphasized that it was not the CSD, but by individuals.
He told LAFCO, the Redding Record Searchlight and Mountain Echo that he was representing 56 special district and the three cities in Shasta County. When told of at least two districts who hadn’t heard anything about the suit and hadn’t voted to be a part, he said that he would be contacting them within the two months he had allowed before filing the suit.
He also said this was the type of suit authorized by the California Government Code where the judge didn’t have to consider winner or loser, but could order that the government agency being sued, in this case LAFCO, to pay the attorney fees and court costs.

Mayers Requests More Pressure on Legislatures

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:52 pm

Mayers Memorial Hospital District is asking local residents to write their state legislators and ask them to support Assembly Bill AB 900 which would halt implementation of cuts to reimbursement for Medi- Cal services provided by distinct part skilled nursing facilities. Sample letters are available on the Mayers Memorial Hospital website or from Mountain Echo.
Passage of AB900 is imperative for Mayers Memorial. The pending cuts to MediCal would have adverse effects on the facility, employees and the economic stability of our rural community.

“Let it burn” letter clarified by USFS Chief

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:51 pm

“The federal wildland fire policy has not changed since 1995. Neither the direction issued last year nor my letter this year represented a shift in Forest Service policy for fighting fires,” USFS Chief Tom Tidwell said in a statement Monday.
“We always look at the conditions that exist around each fire, season, our available resources, and then provide guidance to the field. It takes resources to suppress fires, and to manage them for resource benefits. We do have a set amount of expertise in this country but when we get a wildfire season like we did last year, we have to take some steps to manage just how much fire we can have on the landscape.
“So last year we asked forests to elevate decisions on wildfires to the regional forester. Based on this year’s projections, we no longer see that as a necessary step at this time.

John Heil, spokesman for the Lassen National Forest says there will be no change of policy from previous years on the Lassen. On the Modoc where they do have a limited managed burn policy, the change is that any decision on fires in those areas will be made by the Forest Supervisor and not the regional supervisor.

Lawsuit Threatened Over Law Interpretation

Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:50 pm

Is Fall River Valley Community Services District (Fall River) to pay or not pay its $8,785.55 invoice, was the lengthiest item on the recent Local Agency Formation Commission’s (LAFCo) agenda last Thursday. There are those who contend the bill is too high, overbilling occurred, LAFCO billed for items it shouldn’t have and the district doesn’t have the financial means to pay its invoice.
LACFO’s chief executive officer Amy Mickelson explained that Fall River’s former general manager said the district would pay the expenses it incurred for the sphere of influence (SOI) endeavor, and signed an agreement to that effect. At the last LAFCO meeting, the commissioners directed Mickelson to ask the district four questions regarding the invoice: how much time the district needs, what issues does it have with the invoice, what is its’ capacity to pay off the invoices, and any alternative ideas on how to pay the bills. To date, Mickelson said, “none of the questions have been answered.” She added, “Other agencies shouldn’t have to bear.


Filed under: Uncategorized — waltblog @ 4:49 pm

Donna and I were able to go to the Burney Booster/Baseball Crab Feed and Raffle Saturday night. I left stuffed, impressed by the turn out and delighted by the attentive service of the baseball team.
I couldn’t help but reflect that a large number of the adults in the room had been kids the same age as the baseball players serving tables. had bought music or books from Donna at Caldwell’s Corner and who I had covered in sports, plays, Burney Basin Days or other events.
Now they were there to support their kids or already had kids who had graduated and who had kids.
I was also impressed with the school’s principal, Mr. Guerrero and his staff.
Burney has been working on their school spirit for years and it appears that under the leadership of Mr. Guerrero they have it nailed down.
On another issue – Regarding Mayers, Memorial Hospital is facing a real threat to its survival when it comes to possible Medi-Cal cuts.
The CEO, board, staff and citizenry have been waging a war to save the income and thus, likely, the hospital as we know it.
Yes, the facts remain the same. Mayers is not twisting facts, forgetting things they would rather not remember, or doing things behind closed doors that should be done in public.
They are waging their all-out war in a way that will, with continued community support, win the day.
Yes, you are being asked to write another letter with the same facts and the same message, possibly to the same people.
Those letters help. They show that we want our hospital. They show that we are concerned. They also let the hospital association, MediCal agency, along with Mayers staff and patients know just how important the survival of Mayers and thus their survival is to each of us.
Sample letters and the addresses of the legislators are available on the Mayers web site or by stopping by Mayers. I urge everyone to send another one. You aren’t wasting your stamp.

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