The Shasta County Connection

By Mary Rickert

I hope this message finds everyone well this week.  The weather is finally beginning to look a lot like winter and we are all enjoying the rain and snow in the mountains.

Three of my fellow board members and I attended the Day Reporting Center Transition Ceremony at the Holiday Inn.  The evening was very moving for all of us.   We heard many stories from those who completed the program.  Many had serious addiction problems and had been involved with the justice system. It was heartwarming to see them turning their lives around and make life-changing decisions to become productive members of society.  Several had received certificates from the program, Step-Up, at Shasta College.  This program allows people with a criminal record to return to college and develop a vocational skill.  It was obvious the pride that many of them felt to be able to complete the program and have a good job.  My thanks to Shasta College for participating in this program and giving people a second chance at life.  Vocational education is near and dear to my heart because of my family’s background.  We need welders, plumbers, heavy equipment operators, etc. and giving people the skill set to succeed in life is invaluable.  It was also obvious that many of the 17 graduates had the support of family and friends.  In addition, staff at the Day Reporting Center work tirelessly with each group of participants to give them every opportunity to succeed. There have been roughly 118 graduates of this program to date. We are all indebted to the staff’s devotion to these folks who have made mistakes but have turned their lives around. Shasta County is grateful for the vision of Chief Probation Officer Tracie Neal and her amazing staff.

I traveled to Marysville for the Northern California Water Association Meeting.  Water continues to be a high priority throughout the state and the conversation is always centered on the most recent legislation and political decisions impacting all farmers and ranchers.  We did discuss the onerous monitoring for SB88 for all farmers and ranchers throughout the state.  This is another example of why it is so important for those promulgating legislation to truly understand the impact such legislation has on those who have to implement the new laws.  We also continue to support the Sites Reservoir. As it stands today, our rainfall and snowfall totals are falling short of even average numbers for the year.  Water storage will continue to be an important issue for all Californians.

I would like to encourage everyone in District 3 to try and attend a Public Safety Workshop set for February 7 at 6:00 pm at the Board of Supervisors Chambers.  I understand an evening meeting in Redding is difficult to attend and I would hope some of you would join us.  The workshop will center on such topics as jail/bed space, and the impact of legislation as it relates to incarceration/rehabilitation, mental health, opioid use and some of the options the county might consider in the future to help improve our quality of life.  I continue to discuss public safety issues with many constituents and I know that it continues to be of deep concern for all of us.

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 43-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.