A quick look at the policy and politics that have made recent headlines in California’s rural counties.
BUTTE: For the past several weeks, Supervisor Bill Connelly has begged and pleaded state agencies to help crack down on the massive illegal pot grows that plague the county. After much hesitation, the State of California finally responded by creating a task force comprised of officials and representatives from Butte County, , the Central Valley Regional Water Quality Control Board, the California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the offices of Assemblyman Dan Logue and Governor Jerry Brown. They met on Wednesday to discuss potential tactics to combat pollution caused by illegal marijuana grows.
GLENN & TEHAMA: Supervisors from Butte, Glenn, and Tehama counties have authored a joint ordinance in an effort to crack down on walnut thieves. The counties have implemented a buying period and now require documentation to prove ownership of large quantities of walnuts. The Farm Bureaus of all three counties are in support.
Meanwhile, residents of Glenn County are going nuts over increased nut inspection fees.
IMPERIAL: The Imperial County Board of Supervisors has publicly supported AB 1080, a bill which would allow the creation of Community Revitalization Investment Authority agencies. Such agencies would be similar to Redevelopment Agencies, which were shuttered by the hundreds in early 2012. Regions that meet the median income requirement—less than 80% of the statewide annual median income— would be eligible to form a CRIA, administered by individual cities, counties, and special districts or a combination thereof. Under the law, Imperial would qualify based on their demographics and are looking to use the funds for affordable housing.
KINGS: Realignment has forced the Sheriff’s Office to reopen a once-shuttered branch jail in order to accommodate the influx of inmates from the state. The County is currently seeking approval for its plans to expand correctional facilities.
The Sheriff’s Office is also implementing a new computer system, contracting with a Utah-based firm that services over 1,000 public agencies in the U.S. Officials are hopeful that the new system will decrease response time and better serve the residents of King’s County.
LAKE: A partnership has been formed between the County and Marymount California University to offer scholarships to county employees who wish to further their education. Qualifying public employees can receive up to $750 for three-unit courses.
MERCED: After 10 years of arduous planning and permitting, Merced County is breaking ground on a transportation project that will lead to safer, wider roads and more direct access to the city of Merced. The project is being funded by the Merced County Association of Governments as well as a voter-approved bond.