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Tuolumne County Supervisors Respond To Grand Jury

Sonora, CA — The Board of Supervisors in Tuolumne County held a special meeting this morning to finalize its response to the 2016-17 Grand Jury report.

We reported in July that the report looked into areas like the library, IT, dispatch, etc.

CAO Craig Pedro noted that the county had already begun acting on many of the concerns brought up in the report. For example, the Grand Jury noted that a lack of a full-time Library Director has created a “vague chain of command” and resulted in a lack of grant applications submitted for additional library revenue. Pedro noted that the 2016-17 budget, to be finalized next month, sets aside money for the hiring of a director.

Additional funding is also going to address several security risks and concerns related to the Information Technology department.

Concerns related to the degrading Tuolumne County Jail will be non-existent once a new facility is constructed, with work expected to begin around November, and construction lasting 18 months.

The Grand Jury requested a response about the legality, and whether there is a conflict of interest, in utilizing CAL Fire’s Tuolumne-Calaveras Unit Chief Josh White in the dual role of the Tuolumne County Fire Marshall. Pedro added, “County Counsel has opined that there is no legal conflict and county administrative staff cannot recall a time where a clear conflict has surfaced and potentially disadvantaged Tuolumne County Fire. To the contrary, the relationship has resulted in many advantages to the county.”

Pedro went on to say that many other cities and counties in California have similar agreements with CAL Fire.

An item that still needs to be resolved is pay increases for Tuolumne County Supervisors. The county had sought outside direction on whether salaries were comparable with other counties after the supervisors had declined several pay increases. The board had cited the negative political implications of giving oneself a raise. Recommendations included giving pay increases equal to those being negotiated with county bargaining groups, that the supervisors still continue to approve any increase, and the county consider hiring assistants to reduce the workload. The county will review options and potentially make a decision regarding the issue around December.

You can read more about the report and responses by clicking here.