The Shasta County Connection—8-15-19

For the month of August, the meetings and events have been a flurry of activity.  I attended a very exciting event at the Gaia Hotel sponsored by Sierra Pacific Industries, announcing the grant funding of a new program at Shasta College for workforce development in the field of timber and logging.  This is a much-needed program as there is a true labor shortage for people entering the field of forestry-related occupations.  Congratulations to the Fall River RCD for being a part of the grant writing process and thanks to Cal Fire for funding this very valuable program.

August 10th was one of my favorite days as a supervisor.  I started the day with attending the “Camp Love a Pet” graduation ceremonies.  Eighteen young ladies adopted dogs from the Haven Humane Society for two weeks, trained them in basic behavioral skills and then the dogs were placed up for adoption. It was a truly heartwarming event and I encourage any of you searching for a forever-family pet, to please visit Haven Humane and see if there is a special dog or cat waiting for you to take them home.  We have many rescue groups scattered throughout Shasta County and I have benefited from one of these organizations.  I have a very special cat named Domino that has been part of our family for over 15 years.  He was a rescued feral cat and turned into a wonderful hunter and member of the family.

A quick trip to Whitmore after the dog graduation found me in Whitmore, partaking in one of my favorite activities.  It was their cleanup day in the community and it was good to see the volunteers helping neighbors unload solid waste into the Waste Management Trucks.  I highly encourage every local community to encourage this kind of event to make their community a better environment for all.

I have been meeting with a couple of gentlemen to re-establish the umbrella Shasta County Fire Safe Council.  We hope to have one established within the next year.  Having a county-wide council will allow for additional grant funding opportunities to help fireproof our homes and rural areas.  I will keep you posted as this process continues.

My thanks to Undersheriff Eric Magrini for co-presenting a program to the East Redding Rotary on Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) and Jail Bed Competency Treatment (JBCT), two programs to be implemented around the first of October in our Shasta County Jail.  These programs have been very successful in other communities and I am thrilled that by encouraging these programs, we will be seeing the improvements in the jail.

The Redding Chamber of Commerce held a Mental Health Crisis workshop at the Red Lion.  A very informative gathering.  Redding Police Department presented and their many programs are reaping benefits in reduced crime and fewer people on the streets. The Good News Rescue Mission is actively approaching people sleeping in doorways and offering them the opportunity to come to the Mission for services.  The City of Redding is proactively making progress in reducing the homeless population and serving many of their needs.  Shasta County has provided, in collaboration with Hill Country Community Clinic, a mobile crisis unit to respond to mental health emergency situations.  It was all really uplifting to see the community working together to improve our quality of life.

It’s always a great experience to attend meetings in the Whitmore area.  They held a Fire Safe Council Meeting and I was so impressed with the way the meeting was run, the organization and cooperation among neighbors, and the progress they are making to protect their community from a catastrophic fire.  It’s a very proactive group and very organized and thoughtful.

Our Board of Supervisor’s meeting was very long the week of October 13th.  We started off the meeting with our August Employee of the Month, Lynne Wilson, Employment Services Instructor III, from the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency.  Ms. Wilson has created innovative and efficient ways to streamline mailings.  She is known for cutting costs to the county and improving systems in her department.  Our sincere thanks to Ms. Wilson for her work at Shasta County.

We had two very educational presentations from Partnership HealthPlan of California from the Northern Region, an organization that has cut costs and performing many innovative practices that benefit those who receive Medi-Cal Health coverage benefits. In addition, I asked Dr. Mark Greenberg to present regarding addiction and its impact on Shasta County.  Dr. Greenberg works as an Emergency Room doctor at Shasta Regional Medical Center and has become well versed in the addiction problems we face in Shasta County. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed his presentation and it was an opportunity to educate the public about how complicated addiction is and how difficult it is for someone to overcome the addiction.  We very much appreciated both of these presentations.

There was a draft ordinance presented to the board for review for Defensible Space for Fire Protection. After several public comments made by citizens, it was decided that more stakeholders needed to be consulted in regards to the ordinance to ensure it would be an effective approach to improving defensible space requirements in the county.  This will return to the board sometime in the future.  Thanks to Supervisor Moty for promoting this ordinance.

The Board of Supervisors also received a presentation from GCL Companies, LLC on the “Shasta County Jail Operations Review” report.  I won’t have time to go into detail on many of their suggestions in this column but hope to focus on the report in length another day.  There are many changes that we could implement to improve operations and I look forward to seeing some of these changes move forward.  Of course, the number one suggestion was the expansion of more jail beds.  And the county is working on that with the construction of the new courthouse, which will free up space in older facilities to expand some jail bed space.

We also received an update on the proposed special tax proposal the County plans to place on the ballot to fund public safety purposes countywide.  I always remind the sheriff of the need for expanded hours for deputies in the Burney substation.  This is another topic I will expand on in another column.  Stay safe and remember that the schools are back in session.

If any of you have a question, please contact me at mrickert@co.shasta.ca.us.

Mary Rickert

District 3, Shasta County Supervisor