The Shasta County Connection—June 27, 2018

By Mary Rickert,

I’m pleased to share some positive news this week in this column.  The Shasta County Board of Supervisors has been busy moving forward with some very significant decisions.  We have voted to have the County negotiate with a consulting firm for a contract to analyze the Shasta County Jail operation and see where it can become more efficient, cost-effective and functional.  We believe that a thorough evaluation of our current jail operation should offer suggestions to save money and operate more efficiently moving forward.

At our Special Board Meeting on Public Safety, we approved a proposal to add “up to” an additional 38 beds to the 64 beds we are in the process of adding now. That potentially could mean the jail would expand by a total of 102 beds.  The announcement was made at our Special Board meeting on Public Safety held on June 26th and was welcome news for those in attendance.  During the Public Comment Time, we heard from 17 people from the audience.  Many were asking for more jail space, some shared tragic stories of lost family members to addiction problems, and most expressed the need to improve the overall quality of life in Shasta County.  As I often share in this column, we need to look seriously at the root cause of much of the crime—substance abuse.  I will continue to lobby for treatment programs while those with addiction issues are incarcerated.  If we have more jail beds, we will be able to keep offenders incarcerated longer and potentially give them the tools to help them with their addictive behaviors.  I was most impressed with one woman who shared her story of operating a home for women with addiction problems.  She is truly a hero in my eyes and hopefully, she will inspire others to follow in her path.

Our HHSA Director, Donnell Ewert, shared a PowerPoint presentation at the meeting on a proposed facility that would serve as a jail diversion option.  Funding may primarily come from the recent funds allocated in California for the homeless population.  Director Ewert promoted the concept of a shelter that would take the homeless off the streets and offer them options to be safe and have access to resources.  This also was very welcome news to the many at the meeting.  Again, these projects are going to take time, but steps are being taken to really make some changes for Shasta County.

Handing out graduation certificates to the “Campers” at Camp Luv a Pet at the Haven Humane Society facility was one of the highlights of my week.  Youngsters spend two weeks assigned to a rescue dog, teach them good behaviors and prepare them for adoption.  It was very heartwarming the connection these youngsters had with their dogs.  I highly recommend the program for any young person with a love for animals.

From there I attended the Jr. Livestock Sale at the Anderson District Fair.  Quite a crowd and prices were strong.  As a former 4-H’er and FFA member, it brings back many memories of my years spent showing cattle.  It is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn how to work hard, care for animals and be responsible for their well-being.  Many lessons are learned and I appreciate the many community members who show up to support these great youngsters.


Best Wishes for a safe and Happy 4th of July!

If you have any questions, please contact Mary Rickert at

In 2016, Mary Rickert was elected to serve as Shasta County District 3 Supervisor. A 42-year resident of Shasta County, Mary has lived near McArthur since 1988.  Attending California Polytechnic State University as a Dairy Science major,  Mary also holds degrees in Business & Human Resources Management and Psychology from Simpson University.  Along with her husband Jim, the couple are owners of Western Agricultural Services— a farm management, appraisal and real estate brokerage firm.  They are also the majority owners of Prather Ranch— a nationally recognized, vertically integrated beef cattle operation. Mary and her husband Jim have three grown children and five grandchildren.