LABOR DAY HAS COME AND GONE, BUT FIRE SEASON IS FAR FROM OVER!
Over 100 years ago, our Country began recognizing the first Monday in September as Labor Day, paying tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. Without a doubt, the last two years have been difficult for our workers and businesses in Placer County, nationally, and beyond. During such trying times, the Labor Day holiday is well deserved. Thanks to each and every one of you who have not only contributed and achieved for our communities’ success, but who have also worked hard to stay positive throughout these challenges.
In addition, Labor Day is the unofficial end of summer. And while summer comes to a close, I want to remind you that our fire season is FAR from being over. Not only have we seen devastating wildfires in our own County, but we are also watching several wildfires race through our surrounding counties, communities, and forests. Until we begin to see some rain and snow, I will continue to push out wildfire information. Let’s work together to keep Placer County — as well as everyone affected — educated, informed, prepared, and SAFE!
Cindy Gustafson, District 5 Supervisor
Placer County officials are inviting the community to join them at a 9/11 20-year anniversary event tomorrow, September 11 at 9am at the Placer County Fire Station #180 in Auburn. LEARN MORE
BRIDGE FIRE UPDATE | The Bridge Fire under the Foresthill Bridge on the Auburn side of Placer County has been active for 4 days, is currently at 411 acres and 75% contained. As of September 6, we are thankful to say all evacuation orders and warnings have been lifted. LEARN MORE
CALDOR FIRE UPDATE | The Caldor Fire in El Dorado an Amador Counties has been active for 26 days, is currently at 218,459 acres and 53% contained. While the Caldor did not burn in any area of Placer County, its impacts on the region were immense. The smoke-filled air deterred many from visiting our tourism destinations and some businesses are reporting extreme consequences as a result. In addition, the air-quality readings were unprecedented and dangerous through the Sierras and much of the foothills. Our Placer County staff has and continues to assist El Dorado County staff throughout this fire event. LEARN MORE
Fall is still fire season, especially with the extreme drought. Please continue to be fire safe and vigilant with your actions and evacuation plans. SIGN UP FOR PLACER ALERT — it is the single best way to stay informed in an emergency.
Be prepared, know your evacuation routes, and listen to law enforcement! Please remember evacuations are a very coordinated effort between all law enforcement, fire districts, Caltrans, and our county roads — it’s a significant undertaking and planning between the agencies is extensive. In the event of an evacuation, please remain calm, follow the instructions of the emergency personnel, and have an action plan ready before the fire strikes. Have your kit ready to go for every family member, know at least two ways out of your neighborhood, and remember to check all your apps, alerts and social media pages — officials will constantly be pushing out messages immediately and as fast as they can. Don’t wait for the evacuation order — if you feel threatened, leave — and leave as soon as the evacuation is recommended by any officials. Depending on where the fire is located, law enforcement will determine which evacuation route is best, and officials will be placed in strategic areas to direct people where to go. Please don’t stop to try and ask questions — this will delay everyone’s evacuation — trust they are directing you a safe way to get as many people out as quickly as possible. LEARN MORE
IMPORTANT WILDFIRE RESOURCES:
- Placer Sierra Fire Safe Council
- Ready for Wildfire webpage
- Homeowner’s checklist
- Defensible space information
- Red Flag Warning Program
- Hi-lo sirens during evacuations
- Prepare for quick evacuation
- Build an emergency kit
- Sign up for Placer Alert
Residents of Lassen, Nevada, Placer, and Plumas Counties who have been impacted by wildfires that started in July and August 2021 can now file for federal Disaster Unemployment Assistance (DUA). The California Employment Development Department (EDD) administers these benefits, which are available to workers, business owners, and self-employed individuals who lost their jobs or businesses, or had their work hours reduced due to the ongoing wildfires. For full details, see the EDD news release regarding available disaster benefits for those impacted by recent wildfires, CLICK HERE.
The Delta surge has resulted in record numbers of COVID-related hospitalizations and is leaving our local hospitals with less room to absorb more patients requiring hospitalization.
The bottom line: the surge is very real here in Placer County. As of today, Placer County reported 205 confirmed cases in the hospital with 53 confirmed cases in the ICU. In addition, our 7-day test positivity rate was 8.9% with our 7-day average daily case rate coming in at 34.9 cases per 100K — far surpassing the surge we experienced last winter. Visit the Placer Covid-19 Dashboard for more information on current stats.
To preserve critical infrastructure that serves all, including hospitals and schools, Placer County Public Health is advising residents regardless of vaccination status to use high-quality masks while in all indoor settings to protect against the highly infectious Delta variant. LEARN MORE
LABOR UNION NEGOTIATIONS WITH OUR DEPUTY SHERIFFS’ ASSOCIATION (DSA)
Over the last three years Placer County and the labor union (DSA) that represents our non-management Sheriff’s employees, have been in negotiations trying diligently to address the escalation of salaries and benefits which is outpacing the growth in revenues. The Board has steadfastly supported our Sheriff’s budget and in the past increased special pays to ensure that our deputies are compensated at the top in the region. Unfortunately, those special pays are not included in comparisons used for salary adjustments and the compounding impacts have created a financial condition that is not sustainable.
The labor negotiation process while extremely lengthy, includes legal protections to ensure the employees’ rights. The County has been proceeding through the process, following all required legal steps which have now resulted in the Board’s decision next Tuesday on whether to resolve the impasse.
I want to continue to assure you that there is NO proposal by the Board of Supervisors to cut the Sheriff’s budget or their salaries. In fact, our Board and our community has strongly supported our law enforcement professionals by increasing contributions to the Sheriff’s budget on average 8.8% annually over the past twenty years. Part of that increase includes annual salary increases for deputies, driven by the Measure F formula, averaging 3.8% each year over the past twenty years. As a result, Deputy Sheriff annual salary increases have significantly outpaced both general County employees’ annual increases and the Consumer Price Index for the last 10 years. For reference, please see the 5-year graph and the 10-year chart below. These salary increases combined with all other special pays and benefits has lead to our deputies’ TOTAL compensation being 20% above the surrounding jurisdictions.
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 top-tier law enforcement services. These plans must also consider the compounding of pensions that are most often longer than years of service. Our responsibility is to make sure that we as taxpayers can afford these future cost escalations. The voters’ enactment of the Placer County Charter in 1980 vested the Board with responsibility to negotiate on behalf of the taxpayers and thus superseded the Measure F formula enacted in 1977. Until now, the Board voluntarily continued to follow the formula and even chose to enhance the benefits when the formula-driven salary adjustments weren’t enough to ensure our recruitment and retention of staff. However, as discussed above, the Board must address the current and future economic situation created by Measure F.
The proposal before us now is to look at the total compensation, including all the special pays and pension benefits, to ensure that we stay competitive but also stay within what you can afford.
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. I encourage you to reach out with any additional comments or questions.
The 2021 California gubernatorial recall election is a special election on whether to recall Governor Gavin Newsom from office, and if removed, to select a candidate to replace him for the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2023. LEARN MORE
Projects that implement the Tourism Master Plan and benefit the North Lake Tahoe community may have an opportunity to receive funding with Placer County’s 2021-22 Tourism Master Plan grant program. LEARN MORE
175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603
Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@
District Aide Sophie Fox: firstname.lastname@example.org
District Aide Kelly McCaughna: email@example.com
Assistant District Aide Lindsay Thayer: firstname.lastname@example.org