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Seats Sit Empty On Boards, Commissions

There are 23 vacant seats on committees and commissions that advise the Calaveras County Board of Supervisors.

Five of those vacancies are on the Area 12 Agency on Aging Advisory Council and were noted in the 2003-04 Grand Jury Report, saying Calaveras County´s citizen representation is “minimal.”

Area 12 manages the senior nutrition programs in Amador, Alpine, Calaveras, Mariposa and Tuolumne counties. The advisory council helps identify senior needs and sets direction for Area 12.

The grand jury recommended filling the vacancies as a way to improve the county´s present “adversarial” relationship with the agency.

Despite a recent recruitment effort by the county, the five Area 12 Advisory Council seats remain vacant, Board of Supervisors Clerk Madeline Krska said.

Krska publishes notices in the Calaveras Enterprise about every three months soliciting community involvement for the various positions.

“We need more community support,” she said.

This time, Krska was able to get a few applicants for some boards, and today she will ask supervisors to consider making appointments.

Marsha Strattan of Mountain Ranch applied to serve on the Air Pollution Control Hearing Board. Strattan is an environmental coordinator for California State Parks and previously wrote research for the California Air Resources Board.

If Strattan is appointed, there remains one vacancy on the Pollution Control Board. The board´s purpose is to hold hearings on projects applying for variances to county and state pollution regulations.

Doris Toth of Valley Springs would like to serve on the County Service Area 1 board, which advises supervisors on road issues within that area, in this case Rancho Calaveras.

Toth would serve as a replacement for her husband, George, who can no longer serve due to health reasons. She currently serves on the board of the Rancho Calaveras Property Owners Association.

Jeane Kennedy of Copperopolis applied to serve on the County Service Area 4 board, which covers Diamond XX. Kennedy said she wants to, “assist the community of neighbors in getting things done.”

Bob Toynbee, also of Copperopolis, has applied to serve on the Area 4 board and said, “I´m a new member of this community and wish to contribute.”

There are three vacancies on the Area 4 board.

County Service Area 8, which covers Spring Hills, has three vacancies and no applicants.

Karen Ferguson of San Andreas hopes to serve on the Mental Health Advisory Council. She is a supervisor for Child Welfare Services and would like to “act as a connection between child welfare and mental health to improve service to families.”

The council advises supervisors on mental health needs and problems and also reviews agreements the county may enter into.

Gina Ruhl of Rail Road Flat also would like to serve on the Mental Health Advisory Council. Ruhl hopes to enhance mental health services in the county and advocate for services for geriatric patients.

There are six vacancies on the Mental Health Advisory Council.

Other committees with vacancies that did not receive applicants include the Area 12 Advisory Council, the Agricultural Advisor Committee with one vacancy and Area 4 Developmental Disabilities Board with two vacancies.

“I wish more people would take an interest,” Krska said. She admits the travel expense and time commitment involved in serving might be a deterrent.

“There are rewards in doing these kinds of things,” she said.

For more information contact Krska at 754-6370.

Calaveras Enterprise story by Vanessa Turner. For more Calaveras news, click: calaverasenterprise.com