Placer County District 5 Newsletter | November 2

Placer County District 5 Newsletter | November 2


This past storm not only brought record breaking precipitation to Placer County, but also to most parts of California. We can only hope that this is a sign of a great winter ahead. The moisture was more than welcomed and long overdue – which helped any remaining regional wildfires to reach containment. And while this currently put the threats of this season’s wildfires at bay, fire season is never truly over. There is always more to do to prepare ourselves for next season.

Don’t forget!… With winter weather comes different types of preparation. Whether it be rain or snow, it is always smart to be prepared. Plan ahead by checking weather and road conditions before traveling, keep your vehicle fully fueled in case of delays or closures, and build an emergency kit to keep in your car. Be ready for anything from floods, debris, road closures, chain controls, evacuations, and beyond. For more information on ways to keep you and your family safe, I encourage you to visit Placer County’s winter weather preparation tips webpage, CLICK HERE.

In service,
Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor

Photo: Cindy Gustafson – District 5 Supervisor, Ryan Gembala – Pilot, Brian Estes – Fire Chief, and Jim Holmes – District 3 Supervisor


From left: Cindy Gustafson – District 5 Supervisor, Ryan Gembala – Pilot, Brian Estes – Fire Chief, and Jim Holmes – District 3 Supervisor.Prior to the recent storm, I had the opportunity to tour the burn areas from the air via helicopter to get an aerial view of the River Fire, Bridge Fire and several other smaller incidents. The aerial view allows for a much more complete understanding of the extent of damage and the access challenges faced by firefighters during the incidents. The helicopter, owned and operated by Heli One, is under a three-year Exclusive Use contract with Cal Fire. It is based out of Auburn Station 10 which allows the helicopter to be available exclusively to Cal Fire for initial attack fire suppressions. This Bell 212 HP is equipped with high performance upgrades including a 360-gallon fixed water tank and snorkel which allows the helicopter to draft water from closer sources as well as respond quickly and repeatedly during a fire emergency.

During the River Fire this aircraft played a critical role. It was onsite within 8 minutes and made over 60 water drops in the first day of the River Fire. Also, while trying to provide structure defense and rescue to homeowners, two fire engines and their crew were overrun and trapped by the oncoming fire, and this helicopter was instrumental in their safe escape. Because of its ability to draft water directly from the river, it was able to make 9 direct water drops allowing safe egress for the engine crews. Placer County Fire Chief and Cal Fire NEU Unit Chief, Brian Estes highlighted its importance to the safety of our area. “The support from Cal Fire to fund this exclusive use helicopter for 3 years here in Auburn has shown our dedication to our initial attack mission and the protection of life and property here in Placer County.” The Chief went on to say, “This asset proved to be critical in our firefighting operations in 2021 and will be an important part of our regional fire response in Placer for years to come.”

This helicopter, along with all the resources of Cal Fire and our first responders, saved lives and property during a number fires in Placer County. We are fortunate to have the dedicated resources to protect our communities.

CAL FIRE NEU’S SEASONAL BURN SUSPENSION HAS BEEN LIFTED | While the suspension has been lifted, please remember that burning may still be restricted periodically to help preserve air quality and reduce wildfire risk on windy days. Please check Placer Air before you burn. LEARN MORE




Placer County Redistricting

GET INVOLVED! Redrawing the County’s supervisorial districts only occurs once every 10 years and is critical to your representation. Many of you have already submitted input and we urge your continued review and input. Placer County staff received and reviewed over 240 Redistricting Placer surveys that provided feedback on their work to redraw the boundaries.

Redistricting principles are critically important to the integrity of the process. Both state and federal law provides direction including: compliance with the U.S. Constitution Equal Protection Clause; compliance with the California Voting Rights Act; and obtaining population equality between districts as nearly as practicable.

Additionally, consideration is given to the following factors in order of priority (Elections Code, § 21500(c)): 1. Geographically contiguous districts (each supervisorial district should share a common border with the next), 2. Geographic integrity of a local neighborhood or community of interest shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division, 3. Geographic integrity of a city or census designated place shall be respected in a manner that minimizes its division, 4. Easily identifiable boundaries that follow natural or artificial barriers (rivers, streets, highways, rail lines, etc.), and 5. Lines shall be drawn to encourage geographic compactness.

Following these principles, staff provided three alternative district maps for consideration. The public submitted five maps as well. All of these are now available for review as part of the staff’s report to our Planning Commission. Visit our agenda center to view or download the report or use our interactive map to see how the county provided alternative boundaries could affect your parcel specifically. Placer County welcomes and encourages your comments on these maps, which can be viewed and submitted through the online form, here.

Join us! The Placer County Advisory Redistricting Commission is hosting its next public meeting on November 4 before presenting its recommendation to the Placer County Board of Supervisors on November 30. Learn More

Watch the October 14 Advisory Redistricting Commission meeting, here.

The Board of Supervisors will hear the Placer County Advisory Redistricting Commission’s recommendations and make the final decision on Tuesday, November 30. Learn More


Placer County has launched its 2021 Internet Service Survey to help identify communities where broadband internet infrastructure improvements need to be made. The 2021 Internet Service Survey will gauge how Placer residents and business owners use the internet and rate the quality of their service. The survey is also intended to help identify unserved and underserved communities. LEARN MORE + TAKE SURVEY



During the pandemic my office expanded our outreach to include virtual town halls on key issues facing the County. We also held our municipal advisory councils (MACs) virtually. Now that we are out of the emergency, Town Halls can continue virtually, but MAC’s must meet in public. “Hybrid meetings” – which would allow the public to participate virtually (such as those the Board of Supervisors conducts) require a significant amount of time and investment to facilitate. Hybrid meetings require public rooms to be equipped for computer access, large screens, and cameras, as well as having IT professionals staffed to assist during the meeting. We are currently reviewing the process to make sure all County residents have equal access and opportunity to address myself and County staff. Look for a survey in the coming weeks to gauge the best way to communicate and engage with you! To learn more about Placer County’s Municipal Advisory Councils, CLICK HERE.


Ten schools in Placer now have Wellness Centers onsite, the result of a grant-funded partnership between the Placer County Children’s System of Care and Placer County Office of Education. LEARN MORE





The Placer County Board of Supervisors awarded Astound Broadband LLC, dba Wave Broadband a $500,000 “Last Mile Broadband Grant” to expand high-speed internet service to the county’s rural communities. LEARN MORE




A new roof has been installed on the historic courthouse in Auburn. A historic consultant was brought into the project to advise the contractor. Placer is dedicated to the preservation of this historic building for generations to come. WATCH VIDEO




Looking to make a difference and give back to the community? Placer County’s Free Tax Prep program is currently seeking volunteers for the 2022 tax season. LEARN MORE




Contact information:

 175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603 

Supervisor Cindy Gustafson:

District Aide Sophie Fox:

Assistant District Aide Lindsay Thayer: