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
175 Fulweiler Ave., Auburn, CA 95603
Supervisor Cindy Gustafson: cindygustafson@
District Director Lindsay Romack: firstname.lastname@example.org
District Aide Kelly McCaughna: kmccaughna@placer.
Temporary Assistant District Aide Judy Friedman: email@example.com.