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Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 30

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 30

 

Thank you to Placer County firefighters!


In a year where California has seen the previous record for the number of acres burned by wildfire double, we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to our firefighters.  These brave individuals work incredibly long hours in dangerous and strenuous conditions, often battling high temperatures and steep terrain, in order to keep us safe and protect our property. Although it would be difficult to adequately thank these brave men and women for all they do, community leaders came together last week to show appreciation.

 

 

Supervisor Gustafson enjoys lunch with some of the guests of honor.

The Placer County Board of Supervisors hosted a luncheon for firefighters at the CAL FIRE/Placer County Fire Department Headquarters in Auburn, and the United Auburn Indian Community posted messages of appreciation on billboards at various points along Interstate 80 and Highway 65 for firefighters returning home from fires throughout California and surrounding states.

The United Auburn Indian Community sponsored billboards thanking firefighters for their work.

These were small gestures compared to the life-saving work our firefighters do, but I’m glad we had the opportunity to let these heroes know how much we appreciate them!

COVID Update
As we continue to navigate through the impacts of COVID-19, our Health and Human Services Division, including our Public Health Office, continues to focus attention on areas that will have the most impact for Placer County communities. Staff continue to meet with Placer County’s superintendent of schools multiple times a week, and have developed a list of Frequently Asked Questions that is updated and posted online on a weekly basis. County staff also meet regularly with mayors, the business community, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and correctional facilities, among others, in order to ensure ongoing communication and coordination.

Several weeks ago Placer County’s improved case rate and testing positivity rate allowed us to progress into the “orange/moderate tier” in the State’s colored tier framework within the Blueprint for a Safer Economy; however it is likely that our increased case rate numbers will push us back into the red tier, which will mean reduced capacity for our restaurants and other restrictions on local businesses.

This graphic illustrates criteria requirements for each tier.

This will have a huge impact on our local businesses, particularly as we move into colder weather and outdoor seating is a less viable option for restaurants. We all want COVID-19 to be over, but we have to do the work to make that happen. The longer this virus is present, the greater the impact to our families, our businesses and our communities. Please do your part to help our community by following guidance issued by public health officials. Avoid large gatherings, wash your hands, physically distance yourself from others and wear a face covering. We all need to work together on this.

Placer Shares Update
Placer County continues to use funding from the federal CARES Act to support local businesses and nonprofit organizations through our Placer Shares program. The application cycle for our second round of Placer Shares grant funds for small businesses and non-profit organizations closed on October 23rd. I am happy to see so many local businesses taking advantage of this opportunity.  Nearly 300 applications were submitted requesting almost $1.6 million for small businesses throughout Placer County, 48 of which were submitted by businesses in Auburn and 21 from businesses in North Lake Tahoe. These applications are in addition to the 1,250 grants totaling $7.5 million that were awarded to priority small businesses and non-profits during the initial round of Placer Shares grant funding that closed September 7th.  At our October 27th meeting the Board of Supervisors also approved an additional $5 million in CARES Act funding for a future grant cycle that will provide funding for anchor businesses and social safety net programs impacted by COVID-19. See below for additional information and keep an eye out in future newsletters for more information on how to access these funds.

Don’t forget to vote!
Still haven’t voted? It’s not too late! Watch this video to learn more.

Take a moment to fill out our Broadband/Internet survey 
After hearing concerns from many residents regarding the state of internet connectivity in some areas of Placer County, staff in our communications and IT divisions have teamed up to conduct a survey to identify the specific connectivity needs within our communities. The more participation we receive, the better we will understand the scope, magnitude and location of the internet connectivity issues.  Please take a moment to complete the survey, and be sure to share it with your friends and neighbors.  The more the merrier! 

The Internet Service Survey will be available until November 15th.  Respondents are encouraged to fill out a separate survey for each address where they pay for internet service, which could include businesses and rental properties as well.  If you need assistance with the survey, call the  helpline at 530-886-2263 or email your questions to broadbandsurvey@placer.ca.gov. 

Wear face coverings!
I am continuing to ask all our residents to take the precautions recommended:  wear a face covering, wash your hands frequently, and physically distance from those outside your household. There has been so much research that validates the claims that wearing a face covering helps to reduce the spread of COVID-19. We are all responsible for our own actions, but please remember that your actions with regard to wearing a face covering affect the public health and economy of your entire community.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


 

Community invited to help shape update to Placer County housing policy

housing element

Placer County is updating its housing policy and is asking for more community feedback to help make sure it guides the kind of housing opportunities residents want to see. Learn more…


Supervisors approve $5 million in grant funding for community stabilization

The Placer County Board of Supervisors has approved an additional $5 million of the county’s Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act funding to aid anchor businesses and social safety net programs critically impacted by COVID-19.  Learn more…


New fee program aimed at boosting affordable housing in Placer County

housing

Facing escalating housing affordability challenges, the Placer County Board of Supervisors adopted a new affordable housing inclusionary requirement and fee program to help advance Placer’s affordable housing initiatives.

The county’s new affordable housing ordinance establishes a requirement on private housing development for 10% of the development’s units to be in the affordable range and an in-lieu fee option for fulfilling that requirement.  Learn more…

 



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | October 30

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | October 30

It’s Time to Vote, Placer County!

Our Placer County Board of Supervisors and Registrar of Voters have banded together to encourage people to vote. It’s your vote and your choice of how you decide to vote. Watch Now

It is your right – USE IT!

Like so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has changed how we go about voting. I encourage you to utilize PlacerElections.com for election details such as locating your nearest Placer County drop box and voter service center locations, checking your voter status and registering to vote. You can also view the Placer County voter information guide, sample ballot, ballot status lookup and more.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor


Tips for a Safer Halloween During COVID-19

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic doesn’t mean you can’t have a spooktacular Halloween – it just means a few extra precautions are in order. Here are some tips from Placer County Public Health to help you have a safe and fun Halloween. Learn More


Internet Service Survey

In today’s connected world, we know that some Placer County residents and businesses don’t have adequate internet service to meet their needs. We’ve heard your concerns. The State of California has made it a priority to ensure all residents have sufficient internet service and this survey will assist the county in advocating for our residents. If you have more than one address in Placer County, please fill out a survey for each address. Take Survey Today


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | October 23

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | October 23

Upcoming Board of Supervisors Meeting in Tahoe

The Placer County Board of Supervisors will be meeting at 9am on Tuesday, October 27 at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach. There are many topics of interest within Eastern Placer County.

Tahoe Related Agenda Items:

  • Commendation of Larry Sevison | The Board is recognizing Larry’s legacy of service to the North Lake Tahoe Community as the County’s representative on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Tahoe Conservancy.
  • Public Road Name Change | My office and the Engineering and Surveying Division of Community Development Resource Agency received several requests from community members over this past summer asking that Placer County change the name of Coon Street to “Raccoon Street”. This item will be heard by the Board of Supervisors for consideration. Read More
  • Resort Triangle Transportation Plan Update | Placer County is developing a comprehensive transportation plan for the “Resort Triangle” area. Connecting Interstate 80 and the North Lake Tahoe area of Placer County, the plan will identify strategies to improve mobility, reduce transportation impacts on the environment, address traffic congestion, and enhance transit services and non-motorized travel choices. The board will adopt a resolution to accept the Resort Triangle Transportation Plan and provide direction to staff on implementation strategies. Read More
  • Workforce Housing Preservation Program Update | The WHPP – formally referred to the Housing Indeed Program – is intended to secure County housing stock for the local workforce. The program assists local employers and homebuyers who are in the low, moderate, and achievable income brackets in securing housing near their employment. In exchange for granting the County a deed restriction on the home, the owner will receive a financial incentive that may be used towards a down payment, complete renovations on the home or to meet other needs. If the Board adopts the guidelines for the program, staff will work with local employers, developers and other funding partners to help implement the program. Learn More
  • Capital Projects Advisory Committee Update | The Board of Supervisors will receive a staff presentation outlining the Capital Projects Advisory Committee recommendation to allocate Transient Occupancy Tax (TOT) funds to additional capital projects from the Fiscal Year 2019-20 fall grant cycle and an alternative recommendation from county staff. Learn More
  • CARES Funding – Small Business Assistance Update | The Board will receive an update on the BOS-approved Placer Shares small business grant extension, as well as consider potential future funding. This extension is open to eligible small businesses that did not receive a grant in round one, and closes on Friday, October 23 at 10pm. As of October 21, only 10 Tahoe-based small businesses have applied, so please make sure to take advantage of this unique small business funding opportunity! Learn More & Apply Today
  • Summer Update – Response to Critical Issues in North Lake Tahoe | The Board will receive a presentation from county staff on Placer County’s response to critical issues in North Lake Tahoe during COVID-19 including community and agency coordination, public outreach and engagement, short-term rental permits and enforcement, trash and litter, traffic management and business support efforts.

For more information and the full agenda, please CLICK HERE.

The board chambers will be open to in-person attendance. To remain in compliance with the state’s public health guidance, the county will limit in-person attendance to just 25% of the room’s capacity and will require 6 feet of social distancing inside and outside chambers. There will be no standing room in chambers. If all seats are occupied, citizens will be asked to wait outside chambers. Due to the reduced capacity we ask that citizens only be in chambers during the item they wish to participate on and then leave to allow others to participate in chambers. The entire meeting will be available on livestream and will also be broadcast outside the building. For those not in attendance Public Comment for the Board Meeting will be offered virtually through Zoom. Public Comment will be opened for each agenda item, and citizens may comment virtually through a Zoom meeting webinar utilizing the “raise hand” function for Public Comment.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Don’t Forget to VOTE

Like so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has changed how we go about voting. I encourage you to utilize PlacerElections.com for election details such as locating your nearest Placer County drop box and voter service center locations, checking your voter status and registering to vote. You can also view the Placer County voter information guide, sample ballot, ballot status lookup and more. Learn More

 


General Election Virtual Town Hall Meeting Oct. 27

The Placer County Elections Office is hosting a virtual town hall meeting via Zoom at 6pm on Oct. 27 to provide information to the public and answer questions about the Nov. 3 general election. Hosted by Placer County Clerk-Recorder-Registrar of Voters Ryan Ronco and Elections Office staff, town hall topics will include voting by mail, ballot drop boxes, voter service centers and in-person voting. The town hall may be watched live on zoom, CLICK HERE.

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 13

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 13

Placer Advances to Orange Tier of Reopening – Stay Cautious


Today the State announced that Placer County has moved from the “Substantial” category (Red tier) of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy into the “Moderate” category (Orange tier), indicating a reduction in our COVID-19 cases.  This means increased capacity and flexibility for our businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores, as well for community activities, such as recreation facilities and places of worship. While this does not mean we will see a full-scale reopening, we will see capacities closer to what we enjoyed in early summer.  We’ve achieved this through your efforts!   Keep it up!  As we head into colder temperatures, this increased capacity for indoor venues becomes even more important to the stability of our businesses.  Staying in the orange tier, and working toward moving into the yellow tier, is critical to our local economy.  Please continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing. 

If your small business could use some assistance, I’m happy to report that last week the Board of Supervisors agreed to allocate a second round of funding for businesses that may have missed the last month’s deadline.  If you own or know of a small business that has not already applied, visit the Placer Shares website to learn how to submit an application now.  Sharing these Federal funds to help sustain our small community businesses is important to all of us who live and work in Placer County.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor


Potential PSPS October 14

pge

PG&E is closely monitoring a developing fire weather event and is projecting a Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) for tomorrow, Wednesday October 14th, beginning at 10:00pm. 
As currently scoped, this event is expected to impact less than 400 customers in Placer County, primarily in the upcountry portions of the County in the I-80 corridor. For more information please visit the PG&E website.


County seeks input on internet service levels to help improve access for all

internet

Placer County is conducting a survey to identify the quality of internet service within its numerous cities and small towns, from the City of Roseville to the north shore of Lake Tahoe. 

The Internet Service Survey, which was released today, is designed to reveal internet availability and service speeds with the goal of identifying underserved and unserved communities. Learn more


Have your voice heard – be sure to VOTE!

vote

November 3rd is fast approaching and we encourage everyone to get out and vote!  The drop box located at the Placer County Elections Office, 2956 Richardson Drive in Auburn is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  There is also a drop box located at the Auburn City Clerk’s Office, 1225 Lincoln Way in Auburn, which is available Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 4:00pm and a location in Colfax at the Colfax City Clerk’s Office, 33 S. Main Street, which is available Monday through Thursday, from 8:00am to 5:00pm.  Visit the Placer Elections website here for more.


Updated Meeting Location

The Fire Services Ad Hoc Committee Workshop on Tuesday, October 20th that was originally to be held at the Veterans Memorial Hall in Auburn will now be held at the Community Development Resource Agency in the Planning Commission Hearing Room located at 3091 County Center Drive, Auburn. The meeting will start at 9:00am with a closed session item, and the Workshop will begin at 10:00am.



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | October 13

Eastern District 5 Bulletin | October 13

Placer Advances to Orange Tier of Reopening – Stay Cautious

Today the State announced that Placer County has moved from the “Substantial” category (Red tier) of its Blueprint for a Safer Economy into the “Moderate” category (Orange tier), indicating a reduction in our COVID-19 cases.  This means increased capacity and flexibility for our businesses, such as restaurants and retail stores, as well for community activities, such as recreation facilities and places of worship. While this does not mean we will see a full-scale reopening, we will see capacities closer to what we enjoyed in early summer.  We’ve achieved this through your efforts!   Keep it up!  As we head into colder temperatures, this increased capacity for indoor venues becomes even more important to the stability of our businesses.  Staying in the orange tier, and working toward moving into the yellow tier, is critical to our local economy.  Please continue to wear face coverings and practice physical distancing. 

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


 

Have Your Voice Heard – Be Sure to VOTE

Like so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has changed how we go about voting. I encourage you to utilize PlacerElections.com for election details such as locating your nearest Placer County drop box and voter service center locations, checking your voter status and registering to vote. You can also view the Placer County voter information guide, sample ballot, ballot status lookup and more. Learn More


 

Placer Shares 2

 

 

 

 

Placer Shares – Second Round of Funding Opened Today

Last week the Board of Supervisors agreed to allocate a second round of Placer Shares funding for businesses that may have missed the deadline in September. If you or a business you know didn’t already applywe encourage you to submit your application today – the application portal opened today through midnight on October 23. Sharing these Federal funds will help sustain our small business community, which is so important to all of us who live, work and call Placer County home.

To date, Placer County has awarded 1,250 grants to 1,120 small businesses and 135 nonprofits with grant funding totaling approximately $7.5 million through the first round of the county’s Placer Shares program. Of those, Eastern Placer County was awarded 10.1% of the funding with 87 grants to small businesses and 80% of those went to businesses with 9 or less employees. Out of all eligible small businesses that applied for funding, 100% received between $5,000 and $10,000 awards. Learn More

 


 

Project Homekey funding for the 7 Pines Motel

On October 9 the Placer County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution regarding the implementation of California’s innovative Homekey Program. The awarded $1.4m will be used to acquire and rehabilitate the 7 Pines Motel, a 14-unit motel located in Kings Beach, to provide housing to individuals experiencing homelessness who have mental health issues. One of the project highlights is that the motel is within walking distance of several services and amenities, including the Sierra Community House that provides social services and food distribution.


 

Linking Tahoe: Regional Transportation Plan – Get Involved

There is broad consensus that the Tahoe Region needs a transportation system transformation. To achieve these regional goals, the TRPA has implemented Linking Tahoe, containing over 100 projects that support transit, trails, technology, and communities. The projects identified in Linking Tahoe will create a fully connected system for residents, commuters and visitors to the Region. Please provide your input – public comments are due before October 25 to mglickert@trpa.orgLearn More


Internet Survey

 

 

 

 

 

Internet Service Survey

Placer County is hoping to bring attention to the growing digital divide that is impacting our residents and business owners in the foothill communities and portions of eastern Placer. The lack of connectivity has become increasingly difficult to contend with now that many of us are working and going to school from home and need to rely on virtual meeting platforms such as Zoom and Teams. Placer County is conducting a survey to identify the quality of Internet service within its numerous cities and small towns. Complete Survey Today


 


Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 2

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | October 2

It’s up to all of us
We continue to monitor the county’s status on the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy, which places counties in different tiers that determine their ability to reopen based on their COVID-19 case numbers and positivity rate. Placer County was initially placed in the Purple Tier (Widespread) and then moved into the Red Tier (Substantial) as a result of improving case data. Based on our most recent numbers we anticipated moving into the Orange Tier (Moderate) this week, which would allow for the easing of some additional restrictions, but because our case numbers exceeded the allowable threshold for the Orange Tier we did not move. The good news is our testing positivity rate did meet the requirements for the Orange Tier, however because the state requires both metrics to fall within the range established for each tier we remain in the more restrictive tier. The other piece of good news here is that overall our numbers seem to be trending in the right direction – downward. 

One thing to keep in mind is that the state requires the lower numbers to be met for two weeks before a  county is moved into a less-restrictive tier. The state updates the status information for counties every Tuesday and I will continue to keep you updated on any changes to our status. You can also monitor the information on your own by visiting the Blueprint for a Safer Economy website.

The county is also taking steps to better understand the spread of COVID-19 in Placer County through a seroprevalence study that will be conducted by Stanford University this fall. The study will test a random representative cross-section of Placer County residents for COVID-19 antibodies to assess current COVID-19 prevalence in the County, the results of which will help inform the Board’s policy decisions moving forward.

Mailers will be sent to a random but representative sample of Placer County residents inviting them to take part in the study. Participants will be provided a finger-stick blood test to complete at home and return to Stanford for analysis.  The results of all positive tests and 10% of negative tests will be rerun to produce results with 99% accuracy and the researchers will develop an online dashboard detailing their findings on the demographic and geographic prevalence of the virus in Placer County. A report on the study’s results will also be presented at a future Board of Supervisors meeting by the Stanford researchers. I will keep you informed of the date the report will be presented to the Board of Supervisors. In the meantime, please take care of yourself, your loved ones and our County. Let’s not forget that Placer County has ranked in the top five healthiest counties in California for nearly a decade! We need to work together to keep Placer healthy. Please continue to wear your masks, wash your hands and observe physical distancing.

Considering the impact COVID-19 has had on our lives for the past seven months, it’s important that we continue to discuss what steps are being taken to combat the virus, and what we can do to help safely support our local economy. Sometimes however, it seems as though we do not hear about the other good work that is going on, so this week I also want to share information about positive developments here in Placer County. We could all use a little good news!

Libraries to reopen for in-person browsing in phases
I am happy to share that Placer County libraries will begin a phased opening plan for in-person browsing beginning October 6. Library Services Director, Mary George and her staff have developed a phased reopening plan that will allow them to welcome patrons back into the libraries as safely as possible by identifying successful reopening procedures and utilizing those procedures as they reopen additional facilities. Several libraries in District 5 will reopen in the initial phase: Auburn, Kings Beach and Tahoe City locations will be open Tuesday through Friday with varying hours. The Granite Bay Library will also reopen on October 6 and the Rocklin Library will expand its walk-up hours.

The Colfax Library is slated to reopen on November 3, also Tuesday through Friday, and the Foresthill and Rocklin Libraries will likely open December 3. Although it would be wonderful if all of our libraries could open right now, the additional time is needed for staff to ensure sites are configured to allow for physical distancing and to hire the staff needed for safe operations. Unfortunately, the smaller libraries where social distancing is challenging, such as Applegate and Penryn, will remain closed for the foreseeable future to ensure the safety of library patrons and staff. To learn more about visiting your favorite library, please go to the Placer County Library Services Division’s webpage

Chipper Shredder Program to resume
Many of you have shared your concerns about the absence of the Placer County Resource Conservation District’s Chipper Shredder Program since it was suspended back in April due to COVID-19 related staffing issues. I am happy to report that as of October 1 the program is up and running again. The Chipper Shredder Program has been a vital component of our community for years and considering the amount of destruction caused by wildfires already this year, the return of the program is especially good news. The cost-share fee is $80 per hour, however disabled people and low-income households may be granted a fee waiver. Please visit the Resource Conservation District’s website to learn more about the program and how to sign up.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Free flu shot clinics in October

Placer County will hold four flu shot clinics this year at locations throughout the county; three drive-through and one walk-in by appointment.

Residents are encouraged to get a flu shot through their regular health care provider, but these free clinics provide another accessible option should anyone experience barriers. Learn more


Placer looks to extend public review period for proposed trails expansion project

UPDATE: At its September 24 meeting the Planning Commission took action to postpone the hearing on the Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project to October 22. See sidebar for information on upcoming Hidden Falls Town Hall meeting. 

The Placer County Parks Division will request a continuance of a public hearing at this evening’s Planning Commission meeting on the county’s proposed Hidden Falls Regional Park Trails Expansion Project. Learn more

 

Still time to register to vote!

There is still time to register to vote! Please visit the Placer County Elections Office website or call (530) 886-5650 to learn more.



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 23

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 23

Have your voice heard – be sure to vote!
Most of us have heard by now that November’s election will be 100% vote by mail, and although it is correct that all active voters will be sent a vote by mail ballot, Placer County voters will also have the opportunity to vote in person if they prefer. If you are unsure about your registration status or you know you need to register to vote, please visit https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.  Vote by mail ballots will be mailed the week of October 5 and should arrive to you by October 15.  If you are registered to vote you will receive this ballot automatically – you do not need to fill out an application or request a ballot.

There are several options for getting your ballot to the Elections Division by the close of voting on November 3.  You can return your ballot by mail, drop it in a designated ballot drop box or you can vote in person at multiple locations throughout the county.

Beginning October 5 through Election Day voters can visit either the Placer County Elections Office in Auburn or the Placer County Elections Warehouse in Rocklin to vote in person, Monday through Friday from 8AM to 5PM and the last two Saturdays and Sundays before Election Day: October 24 and 25 and October 31 and November 1.

In addition to these two locations there will also be 28 voter service centers opened throughout Placer County for four days leading up to Election Day, from Saturday, October 31 through Election Day on November 3. Voter service centers in District 5 will be located in Auburn, Colfax, Foresthill, Alta, Tahoe City and Kings Beach. Please visit https://www.placerelections.com/vote-service-center-locator/ to find exact locations and hours. The information will also be included in your county voter information guide or with the ballot mailed to you. If you prefer to vote in person consider doing so prior to November 3 in order to avoid potentially long lines and wait times on Election Day.

Voters who are concerned about potential postal service delays are encouraged to drop their completed vote by mail ballot in one of the 27 drop boxes around the county beginning October 6. Ballots deposited in a drop box get to the elections office faster than using the mail, and because those ballots do not enter the mail stream, the county saves money on postage. The drop boxes are a secure and convenient voting option. Drop box locations can be found here: https://www.placerelections.com/drop-box-locations/.  Voters can also submit their completed vote by mail ballot at any of the 28 voter service centers beginning October 31.

I know there has been quite a bit of discussion regarding voting by mail, so I want to assure Placer County voters that voting by mail is safe, secure, and transparent. Before any vote by mail envelope can be opened and the ballots counted, state law requires the election’s office to perform a match of the signature on the outside of the vote by mail envelope against the signature that is on the voter’s registration card.  This is required for every envelope during every election. Any questionable signatures are compared by at least three staffers before they are verified by the Registrar of Voters. If the signatures do not match state law requires the election’s office to contact the voter by mail to find out why the signatures do not match. If the voter provides a telephone number or email address, the election’s office staff will call and email the voter as well. There are many safety nets in place to protect against vote fraud.  It is virtually impossible for someone to come across a random ballot and commit vote fraud. If you would like to see firsthand how the election’s office verifies voter signatures, stop by the Auburn office after October 5 to see how it is done. 

There has also been some discussion about the possibility of people voting twice by using their vote by mail ballot and voting in person, however there is a number assigned to the ballot for each registered voter, and once that voter’s ballot is counted the number is voided, so additional votes would not be counted.

Finally, voters can sign up with BallotTrax to receive confirmation when their ballot is counted at: https://california.ballottrax.net/voter/. Signing up takes about two minutes, and those who sign up are notified when their vote by mail ballot is sent out in the mail and again when their ballot is received by the election’s office.  When your ballot has been received BallotTrax will also let you know whether it was received as “good” and the envelope passed signature validation, or received as “challenged” and your ballot will not be counted without clarification. If you receive notification from BallotTrax that your ballot was received as challenged or you don’t receive any notification about your ballot please contact the Elections Office (530-886-5650) before polls close on Election Day to ensure your vote is counted.

Like so many other aspects of our lives, COVID-19 has changed how we go about voting. Placer County is taking steps necessary to ensure that in person voting is safe by adhering to state requirements regarding sanitization, physical distancing and face coverings, while also being respectful of the fact that certain voters may not be able to wear certain types of PPE.

If you have further questions, please contact the Election’s Office at election@placer.ca.gov or call us at 530-886-5650. 

District 5 Voter Service Centers

  • Alta Community Center, 33950 Alta Bonnynook Road, Alta
  • Placer County Elections Office, 2956 Richardson Drive, Auburn
  • Gold Country Fairgrounds, 1273 High Street, Auburn
  • Foresthill High School, 23319 Foresthill Road, Foresthill
  • Sierra Vista Community Center, 55 School Street, Colfax
  • North Tahoe Event Center, 8318 N. Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach
  • The Old Fire House, 300 N. Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City

 

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Oldham appointed as Placer County’s interim health officer

The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to appoint  Dr. Rob Oldham as Placer County’s interim health officer, effective Sept. 26. Oldham, who recently returned to the county as the new director of Health and Human Services and chief psychiatrist, previously served as health officer at Placer County for nearly six years.  Learn more


Bring ideas to improve air quality in Kings Beach

In collaboration with the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, a virtual public workshop is scheduled for Thursday, September 24, from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, and will feature a short presentation on the Community Air Protection (CAP) Incentives program, air quality, and efforts to reduce localized air pollution in the Tahoe Basin.  Workshop participants are encouraged to share air quality-related community health concerns and provide feedback to help the District prioritize CAP funding among the eligible project categories
Learn more


Rental assistance available for low-income households impacted by pandemic

The Placer County Housing Authority and the Community Development Resource Agency HOME program are offering rental assistance to eligible low-income residents who are facing hardships due to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Learn more


Placer County hiring election aides ahead of Nov. 3 general election

In preparation of the Nov. 3 general election, the Placer County Elections Office is recruiting election aide temporary positions for county voting centers in North Lake Tahoe. Learn more



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 11

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 11

Crisis Versus Emergency – Action to Declare End to Public Health Emergency

At our September 8 meeting the Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring the current end of Placer County’s local health emergency, and re-stating the ability for the County to quickly declare an emergency if conditions change and “emergency” status is again warranted. The County’s decision to remove the Emergency Health Order is based on the knowledge and preparedness we have gained over the last six months. We also considered Placer County’s current case rate, the availability of personal protective gear for health care and businesses, testing availability, and medical equipment and capacity at our hospitals.  The Resolution also emphasized that the State’s orders remain in place for businesses and individuals, and that the Board of Supervisor’s actions do not change those limitations on businesses and activities.  It also again reemphasized that personal responsibility is critical to dealing with this dangerous virus.   

The intent of the board’s action is to convey concerns that the state’s framework for measuring COVID-19 mischaracterizes the current state of the disease, specifically in Placer County, and harms the community’s economic, health, mental and social well-being. The State’s own statistics demonstrated that other counties had higher rates than Placer but were allowed to advance to the next stage of reopening ahead of us.  This inconsistency and the changing metrics being used, continues to create concerns for those trying to plan for their livelihoods and families.

Supervisor Gustafson speaks during the September 8 Board of Supervisors meeting.

Since the beginning of the pandemic I have shared my concerns that we all need to consider the additional effects of COVID-19.  It is critical that we find a balance between addressing COVID-19 and all the other significant public health impacts created when people can’t provide for themselves and their loved ones.  Mental health issues, homelessness, and crisis calls are all critically important overall and must be considered.  

If we assess the situation in Placer County based on facts, it is clear we do not currently have a health emergency. I do not agree with a lot of the politicization of this issue – during the meeting I successfully pushed for changes in the resolution to decrease unnecessary rhetoric and to add language giving the board the ability to reinstate an emergency order if our case rate escalates (see video above) – but I stand behind my decision to vote for this resolution. I will continue to work to protect the most vulnerable members of our communities, taking into consideration all the public health issues that this virus has inflicted on our residents.

Let me assure you, just because we aren’t in an emergency situation today doesn’t mean that Placer County residents can go back to the way things were pre-COVID-19.  This virus continues to create a crisis for us all – it is extremely dangerous, and we must be vigilant. As a Placer County Supervisor I remain dedicated to making sure we continue to follow guidelines, monitor cases, increase testing, protect our vulnerable residents, and be prepared to take further actions as required.

Additionally, as you may have heard, Dr. Aimee Sisson resigned from her position as Public Health Officer earlier this week. I want to share my deep appreciation for Dr. Sisson’s hard work during this pandemic. Much of the progress Placer County made through the state’s various requirements for safely re-opening is a result of the efforts of Dr. Sisson and her team. I wish her the very best in her future endeavors.  

Finally, we are also very happy to welcome back Dr. Robert Oldham, who will be taking the helm as our Director of Health and Human Services (see news release below for more information). Dr. Oldham served as Placer County’s Public Health Officer from 2014 to 2019 and we are grateful that he will temporarily serve as our Public Health Officer as we search for Dr. Sisson’s replacement. His previous experience in this position will help to ensure a smooth transition, which is so important during this time.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

– Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Oldham to return to Placer as new Health and Human Services director, chief psychiatrist & Interim Public Health Officer

While we are saddened by the resignation of our current Public Health Officer, Dr. Sisson,  Placer County will soon have a familiar face as its new director of Health and Human Services and chief psychiatrist: Dr. Rob Oldham.  Dr. Oldham previously served as Placer County’s Public Health Officer for 4 years and will also be serving as our interim Public Health Officer.  We are very excited to welcome Dr. Oldham back to Placer County.  Learn more


Placer County moves into the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy ‘red tier’

On Sept. 8, the State of California moved Placer County into the State’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy ‘red’ tier’ – further easing restrictions in the county.


Placer County ramps up fire awareness messaging through new Red Flag Awareness Program

The program will have participants display red flags on red flag warning days, in conjunction with an information campaign on what red flag warnings mean for fire agencies and residents.  Learn more



Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 4

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | September 4

New State COVID Metrics and Reopening Plan

On August 28, Governor Newsom released a new plan for reopening.  Based on two key indicators, test positivity and case rate per 100,000, counties are now assessed by color, ranging from the most restrictive purple tier to a less restrictive yellow tier. Placer County’s test positivity rate and cases per 100,000 have remained consistent for the past couple of weeks. We were discouraged to learn that Placer County is currently classified under the purple tier. However, if our numbers remain steady, we will be able to move into the red tier on Tuesday, September 8th, which will allow many of our small businesses to begin to operate indoors or at increased capacity. I have heard from many members of our community whose businesses are struggling due to the COVID restrictions. Please know that I and the whole Board of Supervisors hear you and are doing all we can to be your advocates to the State.

 

Groundbreaking for Auburn Interfaith Food Closet’s New Facility

On Thursday morning, I was honored to attend the Auburn Interfaith Food Closet’s (AFIC) groundbreaking ceremony for their new facility to be located on Auburn Ravine Road in Auburn. This new facility is a direct result of years of extraordinary volunteer work, fundraising, and significant donations from many in our community. AFIC began as a Food Closet run by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church and through the years have expanded to include 17 churches whose mission is to provide food to those in need, preserving their dignity and encouraging self-reliance. Currently, the AFIC serves 500-700 families a month in their facility on Earhart Avenue in Auburn. The move to the new facility next year will put them right next to Interstate 80 and increase accessibility for services and donations. This month is Hunger Action Month – please see the following link for ways to donate. Learn more

 

Placer County Conservation Plan

At its meeting last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors adopted the Placer County Conservation Program (PCCP), which will protect and conserve a large portion of open space and agricultural land in Western Placer County to enhance and restore natural resources. It is a comprehensive approach to protection and restoration that has been widely acknowledged by State and Federal experts as a model for other regions. This program is a culmination of over 19 years of vision, leadership, collaboration and planning. The PCCP will help to balance growth with ensuring the support and protection of sensitive species of plants and wildlife currently represented in Placer County. Supervisor Robert Weygandt, volunteer Joanne Neft, Loren Clark and Greg MacKensie were all recognized, along with many others for their outstanding efforts in moving the program forward.

 

Negotiations with the Deputy Sheriff’s Association (DSA)

Despite the social media reports and hundreds of emails we have received, I want to assure you that there is NO proposal by the Board of Supervisors to cut the Sheriff’s budget.  In fact, my commitment to you is that we will continue to fully fund the Sheriff’s department just as we did this year. Our Board and our community has strongly supported our law enforcement professionals by increasing the Sheriff’s budget on average 8.8% annually the past twenty years and 8.2% this fiscal year.  Part of that increase, as tied to the voter approved Measure F, provided deputies with a 5.15% increase in February, and sergeants received a 5.46% increase.

The Board’s goal is to ensure that we are protecting your tax dollars by anticipating and planning for the long-term financial implications of the growth in law enforcement costs. Our responsibility is to make sure that we as taxpayers can afford these future cost escalations. Because of voter approved Measure F, Deputy Sheriff annual salary increases (just under 4%) have outpaced both the Placer Public Employee Union’s annual increases and Consumer Price Index for the last 20 years. Please see the graph below.

* PPEO – Placer Public Employees Union

Currently the TOTAL compensation for our employees is 14-18% above their peers in surrounding counties.  This is due to some of the incentives and special pays that have been allocated to boost total compensation in years past.  As we look at ways to control the cost escalations I want you to know how committed we all are to finding a good resolution. As I stated at the Board meeting, our community should be proud — we have the best, we want the best, and we will continue to pay the best.

 

Upcoming Board of Supervisors Meeting on September 8th

At the September 8, 2020 Board of Supervisors meeting, we will hear presentations from Health & Human Services on an amended agreement for laboratory testing for COVID-19, from the Agriculture Commissioner on the 2019 Crop Report & 2018 Crop Report Plus. We will also hear a presentation from the CEO’s office on a resolution proclaiming termination of the Placer County Declaration of Local Health Emergency. Click here to access the full agenda for Tuesday’s meeting.


 

Placer Shares Grant Applications Due Monday, September 7th

Monday, September 7th is the final day to submit your application for Placer Shares.  Placer Shares is a grant program for eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Placer County to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order.

Placer Shares, could provide awards of up to $10,000 to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses. The grant portal is open for two weeks (Aug. 25 – Sept. 7) and consideration is not on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more

 


Hidden Falls Regional Park closed Sept. 5-8 due to extreme fire weather conditions

Hidden Falls Regional Park in North Auburn will be closed Sept. 5-8 due to extreme fire weather conditions. Learn more


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 28

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | August 28

September 1st Board of Supervisors meeting open for in-person public comment

For the first time since March the board chambers will be open to in person attendance at the Board of Supervisors September 1st meeting. To remain in compliance with the state’s public health guidance, the county will limit attendance to 25% of the room’s capacity and will require 6 feet of physical distancing inside and outside the board chambers. Per State Public Health Guidance the county will provide face coverings. The meeting’s audio will be broadcast outside, near the entrance of the building so people attending in person are able to hear the meeting while waiting for their turn to speak.

Due to the limited capacity in chambers, and the ongoing need for physical distancing, the public is still encouraged to participate virtually. A news release with information on how to participate virtually was posted online yesterday, and the information can also be found on the meeting agenda

 A different health risk to consider
As I shared in last week’s newsletter, the county continues to work toward finding a way to safely balance public health with an economy that sustains our residents through this pandemic. In addition to recent communication our Board of Supervisors has had with state officials, Supervisor Bonnie Gore and I joined local leaders from several jurisdictions in Placer County in sending a letter to Acting State Public Health Officer, Erica Pan requesting that our businesses be permitted to resume indoor operations as soon as possible given the poor air quality in our area.

As we have all experienced, the fires burning in communities around us have resulted in a significant amount of smoke in the air, which has left air quality at an unhealthy level. It is not recommended that anyone remain outdoors for an extended period when the Air Quality Index (AQI) is above 150, and our population centers have seen an average AQI of 171, with projections for air quality to remain at this level for at least another week. This comes as so many businesses are prohibited from offering services indoors, forcing people to spend additional time outdoors in this unhealthy air.

Placer County has done an excellent job of slowing the spread of COVID-19, as evidenced by our removal from the state watch list, yet our businesses continue to struggle to stay open, which is made increasingly difficult considering the poor air quality. Throughout the county I have seen residents who are dedicated to supporting our businesses in a safe manner – they are wearing masks, physically distancing and washing their hands regularly. We are asking the State to allow businesses to open for indoor services in order to protect residents from the additional risks associated with poor air quality

The state released it’s updated Blueprint for a Safer Economy today, however it is still unclear exactly what effect the updated guidelines will have on Placer County. The Board of Supervisors and county staff continue to advocate for the safe reopening of our businesses. I will continue to keep you updated on any  new developments. In the meantime, please continue to support your local businesses safely by wearing your mask, physically distancing yourself from people outside your household and washing your hands frequently.

Please don’t hesitate to contact my office if you have questions or need any assistance with County issues or concerns.

Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

 


Placer Shares small business and nonprofit grant funding program opened August 25th

Beginning August 25th, eligible small businesses and nonprofit organizations in Placer County can apply for grant funding to offset impacts caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the resulting state shutdown order.

The grant program, Placer Shares, could provide awards of up to $10,000 to cover eligible COVID-19 expenses. The grant portal is open for two weeks (Aug. 25 – Sept. 7) and consideration is not on a first-come, first-served basis. Learn more

 


 

Resource Conservation District’s Chipper Program to continue this fire season

Great news! The Resource Conservation District is working to get the Chipper Program back online after cutting services due to a shortage of crew members. Although this is not a Placer County program, many residents have been asking about the future of the program. Click here to read the full story published in the Auburn Journal on August 25th. 


 

2020 Census Events in Tahoe & Truckee

Need to complete your 2020 Census?  Stop by one of the scheduled U.S. Census Bureau events in Tahoe or Truckee and fill out your census form on-the-spot.  Sierra Community House will be on hand to provide assistance. To find out about upcoming events please visit the Placer Counts calendar of events

 

 


 

Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@placer.ca.gov

District Director Lindsay Romack: lromack@placer.ca.gov

District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.ca.gov

Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: jfriedman@placer.ca.gov