Table of Contents


Responses to Previous Grand Jury Reports

COUNTY MANAGEMENT

BACKGROUND

The responsibility for County Management rests with the Board of Supervisors(Board).  These responsibilities are generally governed by the State Constitution and the California Government Code.  The Board is vested by the State Legislature with the powers necessary to provide for the health and welfare of the people within its borders.  The Board has executive, legislative, and quasi-judicial authority and responsibility.  

The Board performs its executive role when it sets priorities for the County.  Board members oversee most County departments and programs, and annually approve all departmental budgets.  The Board supervises the official conduct of County officers, but it does not direct or control the daily operations of a County department, or otherwise limit the exercise of discretion vested by law in a particular officer. 

Research was conducted by the Grand Jury in the following aspects of County Management:  

Each of these four topics are covered in detail in this report.  In addition, several issues of concern were discovered that do not fit into the four categories but are of sufficient import  to require further discussion and recommendation here.

RECOMMENDATION SUMMARY

The Board should:

1.       Set the “planning” example for its department heads to follow

2.       Require budget requests to be justified and supported by the requesting department’s short and/or long range plans

3.       Give serious consideration to including a Grants Specialist as a position on the Board’s staff

4.       Conduct annual performance evaluations of its department heads

5.       Have an organizational audit conducted by an outside entity to give the Board the information necessary to set future organizational priorities and establish reasonable goals and objectives in restructuring

6.       Evaluate the information requirements of each entity of County Management to develop and implement an effective Management Information System

7.       Form a task force, composed of possible users of new systems to thoroughly explore the needs of  County Management 

8.       Be properly briefed by the task force on their recommendations prior to the Board approving the purchase of new systems and other sharable equipment 

Response by Chairman of the Board:

All of the recommendations listed will be addressed when a County Administrative Officer (CAO) has been hired.  Because of the expertise that should be obtained through the hiring of this official, management concerns such as these should be properly addressed. 

THE COMMITTEE APPROACH VS A CHIEF ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER

BACKGROUND

In an effort to deal with the increasing complexity of County government operations, over time, the Board has developed a committee approach to carrying out many of its duties.  Each management committee is comprised of two members of the Board and is responsible for the oversight of one or more County departments.  In addition, each committee is charged with a responsibility to keep the Board informed of its actions, and to make recommendations for Board action as needed.  Committee assignments rotate, most on an annual basis. 

Each County department is headed by an elected, or an appointed manager.  Appointed managers serve at the pleasure of the Board and report directly to the Board.  Elected Officials are also County managers.  Although they have statutory authority, the Board controls their budgets.  Department managers are responsible for direct supervision of all activities within their span of control, and are charged with the responsibility to keep the Board informed of their activities.  This is usually, but not always, done through the Board committee assigned to oversee their department. 

Modern management requires that, in addition to a Board, which establishes policy, someone be responsible for the consistent long-term management of day to day operations.  Someone must serve as the “glue” between offices and departments, to insure that everyone is consistently “on track” and working towards the overall organizational goals and objectives in an efficient and cost effective manner.  As both its population and budget have increased over time, so has the size and scope of Amador County operations.  State and federal laws and programs, while often of benefit to its citizens, have added even more complexity to the business of County government.  Today, Amador County is a $42,000,000 operation. 

The review of Amador County’s overall management status conducted by the 1999-2000 Grand Jury brings the current administrative leadership into focus.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.      The Board should hire a qualified management consultant to assist them in reviewing the County’s current management problems; and, with the assistance of a trained facilitator, develop a clear plan of action.  This should include:

2.       Before a CAO is recruited, the issues of authority and reporting relationships must be addressed.  All County managers including County Counsel and the Administrative Director should report to a CAO.  In the interest of good government, no office should be exempt from normal County administrative requirements.

3.       Based on the information collected in step one, the Board should then develop a plan to provide adequate budget and staff support for the office of CAO.

4.       When the necessary preparation is completed, the Board should hire a CAO. 

Response by Chairman of the Board:

The Board has budgeted for a County Administrative Officer (CAO).  The Grand Jury’s research and assumptions are correct in that there are three (3) Board members in support of this proposal and two (2) opposing Board members.  These two (2) Board members voted against the proposal during the 2000-2001 fiscal year budget process.  However, The Administrative Director and Chairman of the Board have been compiling statistics to determine the appropriate salary and benefits and how the base management structure should compare to that of other counties (i.e., what policy decisions should involve Board committees and not operational functions).  An ordinance will be written to establish this position and to outline the duties expected thereof.

 

SECURITY AT COUNTY HEADQUARTERS

BACKGROUND

As part of the Grand Jury’s County Management review, it was decided security within the Board Chambers at the Begovich Building should be reviewed.

RECOMMENDATION

1.       The Board should invoke their authority under Section 25206 of the Government Code and direct the presence of a deputy sheriff at all open meetings of the Board to provide safety and security for the public, the Board and its staff. 

Response by Chairman of the Board:

The question of security during Board meetings has been discussed at various times in the past.  It would be a luxury to be able to do this at every Board meeting and would take additional funds that are not available at this time.  There have been occasions in the past that the Board felt security was needed due to a controversial issue and either the Sheriff or the City of Jackson has provided a law enforcement official to be present.  We will continue using them when it is necessary.  Further consideration of this recommendation will be given when the County Administrative Officer has been hired.

 

TRAVEL EXPENSES & PROCEDURES, AFFILIATION WITH OUTSIDE ORGANIZATIONS,CONFLICTS OF INTEREST

BACKGROUND

It has been several years since a Grand Jury reviewed the Board’ travel expenses, membership affiliations or possible conflicts of interest.  Therefore, the Grand Jury focused its attention on these areas. 

RECOMMENDATION 

1.       The Board should amend County Policy Number 2-700, Section 9.A(2) to coincide with the Amador County Municipal Code, Section 2.04.110.  This amendment will clearly define travel policies covering mileage between home and office and remove any inference of impropriety. 

Response by Chairman of the Board:

The Board has no objections to changing the ordinance and policy to allow that expenses by Board members to and from the office are covered.  The Board feels this is a justifiable expense because on many occasions they are required to meet with constituents to solve District problems when traveling to and from the office.

 

CONTRACT PROCUREMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

BACKGROUND

Because the Board has the sole authority to authorize agreements and contracts, the Grand Jury deemed it appropriate to review the procedures for procurement of engineering, architectural and construction services.  During the course of this review, a number of separate issues relating to the procurement process were identified.  These issues are: 

RECOMMENDATIONS

During the past three years, contracts totaling about $3,000,000 in value have been awarded by the County.  Optimizing the process of advertising, bidding and awarding contracts has the potential of resulting in significant savings.  Therefore, the following recommendations are made to improve the effectiveness of the County’s contract administration process:

1.       The practice of requiring bidders to quote on both prevailing wage rates and competitive wage rates serves no purpose and should be discontinued.

Response by General Services Director:

I disagree.  This practice was initiated to determine how much taxpayers money is being thrown down the drain because of antiquated prevailing wage laws, and to develop actual costs to assist the County in convincing the State and Federal government to repeal the prevailing wage laws. 

2.   An engineer’s estimate, prepared by the initiating agency, should be required on all projects.  When projects are recommended for award to the Board, they should be presented as a regular agenda item to engender attention and discussion by the Board.  The agenda submission for each recommendation of award should include a tabulation of the bids received and the engineer’s estimate.  Written justification should be required for award of a contract where the low bid exceeds the engineer’s estimate by 5%.  Written justification should also be required in the event of a single bid.

Response by General Services Director:

In the case of most large scale projects, all of the above is done, with the exception of placing it on the Board’s agenda for discussion.  This recommendation is a policy decision for the Board to make.  However, engineer’s and architect’s estimates seldom are within the 5% mentioned in the Grand Jury recommendation.  This is mainly due to the economy and bidding patterns we have experienced in recent years. 

3.       The mandatory pre-bid conference should be eliminated, except in the case of an exceptionally high contract value, or for complex projects where it is obviously important for the bidder to visit the site of the work.

Response by General Services Director:

There is no policy that dictates that every project have a mandatory pre-bid conference.  The mandatory pre-bid conference is only used by GSA when necessary. 

4.       Liquidated damage clauses should be eliminated, except for projects where the County would clearly be financially damaged by a delayed completion.  Where imposed, liquidated damage amounts should accurately reflect the true damage that would occur due to late project delivery.

Response by General Services Director:

I agree, and that is the way we handle liquidated damages on GSA Projects. 

5.       Projects over $10,000 in value should be advertised in the Daily Pacific Builder, an industry trade publication, as well as the legally required newspaper advertisement.

Response by General Services Director:

We have been advertising in the Daily Pacific Builder for several years, however, the Daily Pacific Builder is owned by McGraw Hill to whom we send the advertising to be placed in the Daily Pacific Builder.  This is why McGraw Hill is the name that appears on our Bidder’s Lists and not the Daily Pacific Builder. 

6.       Projects over $10,000 in value should have plans and specifications deposited in Builders Exchanges in Sacramento, San Joaquin and El Dorado Counties.

Response by General Services Director:

It has been our policy to deposit plans and specifications in all those builders exchanges mentioned above, as well as others located in Modesto and Roseville. 

7.       The time allowed for bidding should be increased to at least 30 days.  For major projects, the time should be longer.  The minimum legal requirement of 10 days is inappropriate for most projects.

Response by General Services Director:

As a general rule, and policy, I require 30 days as the time for bidding for all projects, even though the County Ordinance allows bidding to be only 10 days.  I agree, that some larger projects should be more than 30 days, and we will consider that on a case-by-case basis.  I see no need to change the County Ordinance as its only intent is to specify a minimum number of days. 

8.       The practice of requiring priced proposals for professional engineering and architectural contracts should be eliminated.

Response by General Services Director:

I plan to continue this practice because I feel it gives the County more information to choose from when selecting engineers and architects.  The “Little Brooks Law” which states that these professionals are to be selected solely by their qualifications does not apply to the County.  The law states that the County may choose to use that process. 

9.       Policy 5-100 should be rewritten so that it addresses only those provisions relating to purchasing goods, supplies and materials.  All references to contracts and agreements should be eliminated.

Response by General Services Director:

I do not plan to eliminate references to contracts and agreements from the County policy.  Contracts and agreements are directly related to the procurement process and policies need to be in place to insure that contracts and agreements are handled properly. 

10.   Policy 5-200 should be rewritten.  The revision should relate only to contracts.  It should clearly separate the provisions of professional architectural and engineering services from construction contracts and spell out the unique provisions of the two categories of contracts.  Revised Policy 5-200 should state that proposals for professional architectural, landscape architectural, engineering, land surveying and construction management services shall be evaluated solely on the basis of demonstrated competence and professional qualifications.

Response by General Services Director:

If we were to base our selection of these “professionals” solely on their demonstrated competence and professional qualifications we would be hiring the highest paid “professionals” most of the time.  I agree that they should be qualified, however, I do not feel we should spend more of the taxpayers money than necessary.

 

PUBLIC WORKS AGENCY 

ORGANIZATION AND MANAGEMENT

BACKGROUND 

In 1993, the Board reorganized the County management structure by consolidating various departments into agencies.  This resulted in the Department of Public Works (roads), and the Water Resources Department (water and wastewater) being combined into a single entity called the Public Works Agency (PWA).  The head of the old Water Resources Department was appointed as PWA Director.  As part of the 1999-2000 Grand Jury review of PWA, the organization and management of PWA was examined to see how well it was functioning and to determine if changes are needed to make it more effective.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.       The PWA should be reorganized to strengthen management of its operations.  There are several options available including: (a) breaking the agency into two separate entities, one for roads and the other for water and wastewater; (b) separating those two functions within the framework of a single agency by making the Deputy County Engineer responsible for water and wastewater operations; or (c) make the Deputy County Engineer a purely staff support position and have two supervisory positions, one managing roads and the other water resources.  Another option is to have the Amador Water Agency take over all CSAs and reorganize PWA accordingly.  Because reorganization is complex, however, it should be finalized only after considerable study and input from all levels of the agency and the Board. 

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  The Amador Water Agency (AWA) is analyzing the option of operating and maintaining CSA’s. (A report is due in September). 

2.       The Board should make it clear to the PWA Director that he is responsible for budgetary management, strategic planning, goal setting, advising the Board on policy issues, and general management of the agency.  He should not be concerned with day-to day operations, as is presently occurring.  All management and supervisory employees should be required to clearly understand their responsibilities and duties, and they should be entrusted to carry them out.  Tasks should be delegated to the appropriate organizational level.

Response by BOARD:

None.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  This is in conflict with other Grand Jury recommendations (also see #1 & 3 under "conclusions" above) 

3.       If the present organizational structure is retained, the current Public Works Maintenance Superintendent should be reassigned to a position for which he is qualified by experience and training.  The new Public Works Maintenance Superintendent should be a person with credible qualifications and proven abilities in both management and operations.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  There will be a new maintenance superintendent when the current one retires in September

4.       Coincident with reorganization studies, the Board should evaluate the benefits of combining all PWA accounting functions into one group within the PWA.

Response by BOARD:

None.

Response by PWA Director:

Disagree. there would be no benefit for the road department having CSA accounting duties performed under PWA 

5.       The Board should increase their level of monitoring over operations of the PWA.

Response by BOARD:

None.

Response by PWA Director:

Disagree.  This is covered through weekly Board meetings and monthly committee meetings. 

6.       The PWA Director should design and implement a MIS to replace the informal system now in use.  The MIS should provide reports to each management level to give managers and supervisors the information they need in a timely fashion.  The MIS should contain provisions for reporting progress and status to the Board.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  Developing a more formal MIS will be evaluated and a report reviewed by the Board by the end of the year 

7.       Policy 5-100 (Purchasing) should be rewritten to clearly spell out purchasing procedures and to define safeguards to ensure against abuse.  Purchasing of major recurring items, such as asphalt, should require that annual bids be obtained and a one-year blanket contract be executed with a single supplier.  The Public Works Maintenance Superintendent and the CSA managers should be given delegated authority to purchase items up to prescribed value without prior authorization.  For more costly items, approval by a higher authority should be required.  The rewritten policy should establish checks and balances to ensure that its provisions can no longer be bypassed.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  policy 5-100 should be re-written to meet the needs of PWA.  Re-write expected by 1/31/01

 

LONG & SHORT RANGE PLANNING

BACKGROUND

The Grand Jury review of the Public Works Agency (PWA) included an evaluation of the extent and effectiveness of the agency’s planning efforts.  Planning usually takes the form of both short-range tactical planning and long-range strategic planning.  Short-range planning focuses on maintaining facilities to ensure the continuance of a proper level of service, while long-range planning looks ahead to ensure that resources will be available when needed to meet the demands of growth and economic change. 

RECOMMENDATIONS         

1.       The Board should direct the PWA Director to prepare a short-range plan for correction of the most serious problems with roads and CSAs.  The short-range plan should identify and prioritize the most urgently needed improvements, present estimates of associated costs and develop a schedule for implementing the improvements over the next five years.

Response by BOARD:

 None.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  Planning for correction of most serious problems has been done and will continue, but without resources, follow through cannot be accomplished. 

2.       The Board should establish policies with respect to long-range improvements to roads and the water and wastewater systems.  Those policies should serve as the basis for developing a comprehensive strategic plan.  The plan should include a realistically attainable schedule, a financing plan and a process for monitoring progress.

Response by BOARD:

None.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree and disagree.  The long-range planning only works when there are resources to implement the plan.  A long-range accrual fund can be established.  however, a poll will be taken regarding CSA improvements and the rate payer's willingness to pay.  

3.       The Board should enter into meaningful discussions with the AWA aimed at eventual consolidation of the CSAs into the AWA system.

Response by BOARD:

None.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  When the AWA finishes their feasibility study, the BOARD can make a decision. 

4.       The Board, together with the AWA, should take a lead in developing a comprehensive long-range master plan for Amador County’s water supply.

Response by BOARD

None.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  The BOARD and AWA have been and still are working together on this subject. 

5.       The PWA Director should develop realistic estimates of the cost of the most urgently needed improvements for fiscal year 2001-2002.  The need for those budget requests, and the consequences of failure to provide them, should be forcefully articulated to the Board.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree and disagree.  Lists of most urgently needed projects are presented to budget committee, then what is affordable is presented to full board. 

6.       Within the bounds of fiscal responsibility, the Board should budget sufficient funds to accomplish the needs identified by the PWA Director for fiscal year 2001-2002 and beyond.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  the BOARD is faced with the needs of all aspects of the county, not just the Public Works Agency.  However, more effort will be made to convince the BOARD to provide a long-range accrual fund to draw from when the project(s) are ready to proceed. 

7.       The Board should adopt a policy of requiring each department and agency to prepare an estimate of their budget needs for the next five years.  The five year budget should be updated every year and approved by the Board at the same time they approve an operating budget for the current year.  In this manner, the County will be better equipped to assess their future financing needs and to develop a realistic financing plan.  This process would have the added benefit of requiring department and agency heads to conduct short-range planning studies.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  The public works agency will bring a 5 year budget plan to the full board and not just to the  budget committee.  planning is nice, but state budgeting has influence on county budget also.

 

ROAD DEPARTMENT

BACKGROUND

The Public Works Agency (PWA) is responsible for the maintenance of the County’s 410 miles of roads.  This work is done by two road crews whose duties include repairing, repaving, striping, and signing of the roads.  In addition, they ensure proper drainage and control roadside vegetation.  In winter, the road crews plow snow from County roads.  

In September, 1999, allegations arose concerning certain activities of some members of the road crews.  The allegations included drinking alcoholic beverages on the job, drinking at the Corporation Yard after work, use of County owned equipment for personal gain, an employee with a suspended driver’s license operating a County vehicle on public roads, receiving gratuities from material vendors and illegal dumping of hazardous wastes.  

Approximately three years ago, complaints were also made concerning alcohol consumption by some members of the road crews.  At that time, the PWA Director investigated the charges but could find no evidence to substantiate them.  Accordingly, no actions were taken. 

 Following the most recent assertions, the Board initiated an internal investigation to gather facts concerning the charges.  The District Attorney’s office was requested to assist in the investigation.  Because the 1999-2000 Grand Jury had been reviewing the operations of the PWA, it voted to expand its review to include an evaluation of the allegations insofar as they reflect on management of the PWA.

The County’s internal administrative investigation has been concluded and certain disciplinary actions were taken.  The District Attorney’s investigation continues. 

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.       As detailed in the section of the PWA review entitled “Agency Organization and Management”, the PWA should be reorganized to eliminate the serious management and operational problems.  Furthermore, the Public Works Maintenance Superintendent should be reassigned, whether the agency is reorganized or not.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  The CSA's require more attention than can be given with PWA's limited staff.  The AWA is studying if they can operate CSA's more efficiently (see Public Works Agency organization & management recommendation, item #3).  There will also be a new maintenance. 

2.       As detailed in the section of the PWA review entitled “Agency Organization and Management”, the PWA should develop a management information system (MIS) to provide better control over day-to-day operations and make management more effective.  Similarly, the County purchasing policy should be rewritten to provide control. 

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  "Service Request" forms are used for communicating and documenting activities and tasks.  Also since the first of the year, the agency has implemented a computerized daily planner in which up-to-date information on where personnel and equipment will be, a.  (incomplete) 

3.       Policies and procedures relating to road maintenance operations should be formalized to provide a standard approach.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  Additional policies are being drafted and should be finaled by December. 

4.       County Policy 2-300 should be reviewed and revised as necessary to ensure that County policies with respect to a drug-free and alcohol-free workplace are enforceable.  Strict penalties for violation of the policy should be spelled out.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  county policy 2-300 has been revised since the alcohol incident. 

5.       The PWA Director should establish monitoring procedures to ensure that County policies are strictly observed by all employees.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  In general, most PWA employees have followed the established county policies.  Certain positions in PWA are key to the success of our operation and will require a closer monitoring.  However as a rule, the PWA director must rely on these key staff members.

 

COUNTY SERVICE AREAS

BACKGROUND 

The Public Works Agency (PWA) operates and maintains five active County Service Areas (CSA) which provide water and wastewater service to several areas in the County.  Each CSA is separately financed by revenue from its customers.  Although the systems are owned and operated by Amador County, each CSA has an appointed advisory committee, composed of system users, whose function it is to communicate with PWA on matters that concern the system residents. 

The review of CSAs revealed a number of issues that are best discussed as separate topics.  Accordingly, the methodology is described for the overall CSA review, followed by a presentation of facts and conclusions for each of the three issues listed below: 

Because many of the Grand Jury’s recommendations are derived from one or more of the topics listed above, all recommendations for improvement of the CSAs are included as a final part of the CSA report.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.       The Board should assess the effect of current PWA management practices on the morale and efficiency of the CSA managers and take action to improve communications and supervision.  This matter is addressed in more detail in the section of the PWA review entitled, “Agency Organization and Management”.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  having AWA consider consolidating will provide more opportunity to focus on communications, morale building, and safety issues.  BOARD will review AWA report in September. 

2.       The PWA should develop a comprehensive five-year tactical plan for bringing the water and wastewater facilities up to a reasonable standard.  The plan should focus on the most critical issues of employee safety and water system capacity in the early years, with lower priority items being addressed in later years.  The plan should detail how the improvements are to be financed, and it should include a procedure for annual monitoring of progress by the Board.  Matters that should be included in the plan are listed below:

Response by PWA Director:

Agree and disagree.  A formal 5 year tactical plan will be developed, but until staff is increased, a consultant may have to assist.  (see #6 above) 

3.       The Board should carefully examine the staffing needs of the CSAs and provide an adequate budget to ensure a good working environment, employee safety and proper maintenance of facilities.

Response by PWA Director:

 Agree and disagree.  See # 4 response below. 

4.       Add at least one, and preferably two, full-time employees to assist the CSA managers.  Eliminate the need to contract with AWA for meter reading by assigning that duty to one of the new employees.

Response by PWA Director:

Disagree.  This issue was raised in the 1999 Grand Jury report (item 11).  Board action required.  AWA consolidation may be more economical.  board will review AWA report in September. 

5.       Establish a clearly defined decision-making process so that decisions are made at an appropriate management level.  The process should include a procedure for communicating and documenting critical decisions.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  Service Request forms are to be used for communicating and documenting critical decisions. 

6.       Train the CSA #3 manager in the use of the SCADA system and make that person the system controller with day-to-day responsibility for system operation.

Response by PWA Director:

Disagree.  The personnel need to know how to read SCADA, not program it.  the AWA has an expert in advance SCADA. 

7.       Assign one of the CSA managers as safety officer and train that person to conduct meaningful safety training.  The safety officer should be responsible for advising the PWA Director on all safety matters.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  Training could prove to be to be cost effective with AWA. 

8.       Provide adequate office and shop space for the CSA #1 and #2 manager and the CSA #4 and #8 manager.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree and disagree.  This would be ideal, but CSA #1 & #2 have a small office in CSA #1.  ARSA has a small storage building.  CSA #4 does not warrant an office since the corporation yard and shop offices are in the area.  The CSA #3 office and shop are also available when needed. 

9.       Review the requirements of 49CFR and revise the method of transporting chlorine cylinders to conform to that code.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  This has been taken care of by vendor delivery.        

10.   Develop a comprehensive preventive maintenance program.  The plan should describe the required maintenance and frequency for every item of equipment and plant.  It should also include a section on monitoring and documentation to ensure the work gets done.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  Weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual data entry forms were developed in the past.  They will be re-introduced. 

11.   The PWA Director should meet with each CSA Advisory Committee and inform them of: (a) the extent of system deficiencies, (b) agency plans for progressive improvements to the systems, (c) the estimated cost of such a plan, and (d) the probable effect on the rates for water and wastewater service.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree and disagree.  We are doing this, but will formalize it. 

12.   In future years, provide a separate line-item in the County Budget which identifies the “facility replacement” component of reserves.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree.  We already do this with the budget work sheets.  We will request that the Auditor also do this. 

13.   Commission an independent financial and management audit of the CSAs to ensure that such things as overhead  and allocations are being properly accounted for, and that the rate structures are fairly applied.

Response by PWA Director:

Agree and disagree.  The county Auditor already engages an independent financial audit.  we will request him to also consider a management audit in cooperation with the AWA.

 

GENERAL SERVICES ADMINISTRATION

BACKGROUND

GSA is comprised of divisions providing services for Purchasing, Central Stores, Motor Pool, Printing, Data Processing, Communications, Building Maintenance, Property Management, Waste Management, Grant Administration, Special Projects Coordinator, Custodians and Central Mailing.  One or more of these divisions affect every other area of County government. 

GSA also provides services to the public through the Public Library System, Museum, County Archives, Parks and Recreation and Westover Field. 

The 1999-2000 operating budget for GSA is approximately $12.8 million with a staff equivalent to 50.5 full-time persons. 

The Grand Jury’s review of GSA encompassed the following areas: 

A report for each area follows. 

Article 2, Section 926 of the California Penal Code grants the Grand Jury permission to employ the services of experts with the approval of the Court.  The Grand Jury used this authority in its review of GSA. 

The Harvey M.  Rose Accountancy Corporation was employed to assess the management practices and structure of GSA.  The original scope, to identify potential expenditure savings and opportunities for improved performance and efficiency, was cut back due to the limited funds available to the Grand Jury for this endeavor.  A copy of the report is included as Appendix A. 

The Grand Jury is in agreement with the findings outlined in the Harvey M.  Rose Report and makes the following recommendations. 

1.         The Board should:

Response by Chairman of the Board: None. 

2.         The GSA Director should: 

Response by General Services Director:

I already receive all the financial reports necessary to compare actual revenue and expenditure experience against the approved budget and the Auditor’s office keeps me in check with his accounting system.  I already have all the reports necessary to measure patterns of customer demand and other activity generators.  Workload activity reports are compiled on most employees under the GSA umbrella.  Implementing a report that measures organizational performance against critical elements of program success does not seem necessary at this point due to the fact that our programs are successful.  I agree, that I should take more time to review all the reports mentioned on a more regular basis. 

Response by General Services Director:

It would be nice to devote more time to monitoring activities and designing program improvements, however, I don’t think the program is broken, so why fix it? 

Several years ago all departments were required to make oral and written reports to the Board on a regular basis, however, this practice did not last long and I found that those reports did not always reveal what was really going on in those departments.  Reports can always be made to look good. 

Response by General Services Director:

I receive customer satisfaction/dissatisfaction reports every year during the budget process and throughout the year from concerned “customers”.  I have always promoted customer satisfaction and always will, however, I don’t feel we need to kill more trees to find out if our customers (county employees) are happy with our service.

 

MOTOR POOL

BACKGROUND

The Motor Pool’s primary duty is to maintain County owned vehicles.  Other entities also contract for Motor Pool services.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         The Department should establish routine procedures for evaluating anomalies in fuel usage patterns and conducting investigations of such anomalies.

Response by General Services Director:

We established these procedures in 1981 (19 years ago) when we first established GSA.  At that time we purchased a computerized fuel dispensing system that required two cards (for security) and it provided us with reports showing the date, time, driver’s name, vehicle number, gallons pumped, and odometer reading.  We began looking for anomalies in 1981 and have continued to this day.  We recently updated our fuel dispensing system so we would be in compliance with Y2K.  The new system also allows us to track the fuel usage.  Soon after we installed the first fuel dispensing system, we found that our fuel consumption was drastically reduced.  Part of that reduction was due to the fact that we reduced our fleet about the same time, however, a good portion of it was fuel that was being misappropriated.  I feel our current fuel system is doing a fine job. 

2.         Increase staffing at the maintenance level and enlarge the Motor Pool area.

Response by General Services Director:

Adding one additional mechanic would be nice, however, our current staffing level of two mechanics is adequate.  We do not have excessive backlogs.  If a vehicle is detained waiting for parts or a major overhaul, loaner vehicles are available.  We also utilize probationers and inmates to assist in the shop and many times they are qualified mechanics.  It would be nice to have one additional mechanic to fill in during vacations.  If the workload increases in the future I will recommend hiring an additional mechanic(s).  The Motor Pool shop area is adequate for our present needs.  It consists of five bays, which is more than adequate for the present and future.  For example: we could hire three more mechanics and each one would have his own bay.  Some time in the future I would like to build a new shop facility with drive through bays, however, that is really a luxury item that can wait.

 

MUSEUM

BACKGROUND

Amador County owns and operates the museum, which is open to the public for tours five days a week.  The museum has one full-time and one part-time employee, plus many volunteers.  The museum exhibits artifacts from Amador County.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Formalize the “Friends of the Museum” group with by-laws, officers and meetings.

Response by General Services Director:

The “Friends of the Museum” group is not part of County government; consequently, the County has no control over them and could not force them to do any of these things. 

2.         “Friends of the Museum” should explore the feasibility of being organized under the umbrella of the Amador County Historical Society.

Response by General Services Director:

Again, the County has no control over the “Friends of the Museum” or the Amador County Historical Society. 

3.         The group should hold fundraising efforts to enhance the museum.

Response by General Services Director:

Again, the County has no control of the “Friends of the Museum”.

 4.         Checks drawn from the “Friends of the Museum” account should require two signatures.

Response by General Services Director:

Again, the County has no control of the “Friends of the Museum”, however, I advised the Museum Coordinator (who was the signatory on the account) to change the account to require two signatures.

 

ARCHIVES

BACKGROUND

Amador County Archives is a County Division under the umbrella of the General Services Administration (GSA).  This division collects records, pictures, newspapers and various documents relating to Amador County.  The division is open to the public and has two part-time employees and several volunteers.  The Archives Division has built a website, allowing Internet access to information about the County’s history.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Formalize the “Friends of the Archives” group with by-laws, officers and meetings.

Response by General Services Director:

The “Friends of the Archives” group is not part of County government; consequently, the County has no control over them and could not force them to do any of these things. 

2.         “Friends of the Archives” should explore the feasibility of being organized under the umbrella of the Amador County Historical Society.

Response by General Services Director:

Again, the County has no control over the “Friends of the Archives” or the Amador County Historical Society. 

3.         The group should hold fundraising efforts to enhance the Archives Division.

Response by General Services Director:

Again, the County has no control of the “Friends of the Museum”. 

4.         Checks drawn on the “Friends of the Archives” account should require two signatures.

Response by General Services Director:

Again, the County has no control of the “Friends of the Archives”, however, I advised the Archivist (who was the signatory on the account) to change the account to require two signatures and since that time the “Friends of the Archives” organization and checking account have been dissolved.

 

COUNTY AIRPORT

BACKGROUND

The County Airport, known as Westover Field, operates as an Enterprise Fund.  Its 1999-2000 budget for operating expense is $1,044,368 with $1,079,293 in operating income.  The airport is a non-tower facility with 24-hour operation, 365 days a year.  Runway lights, weather and wind information is accessible by radio.  The airport is staffed daily between the hours of 9am and 5pm, except Thanksgiving and Christmas.  Airport traffic is approximately 300 to 500 flights weekly.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Refurbish the Airport Administration Building prior to its return to usage as the airport manager’s office.

Response by General Services Director:

The future of the Airport Administration Building is unknown at this time because we are attempting to obtain grant funding to expand the airport’s infrastructure.  If we are successful, we intend to build a commercial building that would accommodate a restaurant which may require demolition of the existing Airport Administration Building.  For these reasons, it would be premature to spend any funds refurbishing a building that we may tear down. 

2.         Remove the mound of debris dumped in front of the Airport Administration Building.

Response by General Services Director:

The subject debris pile will be moved this summer by the contractor working on airport improvements. 

3.         Resurface the public parking area and mark individual parking spaces.

Response by General Services Director:

Scheduled for completion on August 9, 2000. 

4.         Mark the area directly in front of the fire hydrant for no parking.

Response by General Services Director:

 No response. 

5.         Mark the area on the ground for disabled parking.

Response by General Services Director:

Scheduled for completion on August 9, 2000. 

6.         Conduct and document a survey of the hanger rental rates at neighboring airports to determine current market value and their method of calculation.

Response by General Services Director:

Waiting for results of survey of neighboring airports. 

7.         Establish and charge a consistent hanger rental rate taking into consideration the market value for like kind.

Response by General Services Director:

Waiting for results of survey of neighboring airports. 

8.         Review, assess and update the Airport Master Plan of May 25, 1991.

Response by General Services Director:

I agree and we are in the process of applying for FAA funding for this purpose.

 

DATA PROCESSING AND COMMUNICATIONS

BACKGROUND

The Data Processing and Communications Division is responsible for the evaluation, acquisition, installation, maintenance and repair of all County data processing and communication software and hardware.  In addition, this division provides end-user training, monitoring and reporting violations of the County’s “Information Assets Policy.”  One Computer Resource Coordinator, one Information System Specialist and three Microcomputer Technicians staff the division.

RECOMMENDATIONS 

1.         The Board monitor the progress of the construction for the new building that will house the Data Processing and Communication Division and insure it’s completion and readiness for occupancy in the Fall of 2000.

Response by General Services Director:

The new building is on schedule and should be completed early this fall. 

2.         Assign one Microcomputer Technician to the Jackson Branch of the County Library for one full day per week to support the computers used by the public.

Response by General Services Director:

We do not have sufficient Data Processing staffing to assign someone one full day per week, however we have been assigning someone part-time 2-3 times per week  to help support the library computers.  When hiring future library staff we will require new employees to have computer technology skills.  This would give support 5 days per week.

 

SUPPORT SERVICE DIVISION

BACKGROUND

The Support Service Division provides support services for the Purchasing, Central Stores, Motor Pool, Special Project Coordinator, Data Processing, Communications, Building Maintenance, Property Management, Waste Management, Grant Administration, and Central Mailing Services throughout Amador County.  These services include printing, GSA administration, and mail and courier services.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         The division should review and revise costing methods and rate schedules.

Response by General Services Director:

I agree, and we have already begun reviews and revisions. 

2.         The document listed as the “HOP JOB List” should be documented to include prioritization, expected completion dates, and monitoring system for compliance.

Response by General Services Director:

The HOP JOBS List is prioritized periodically, however, those priorities change almost daily due to new more important projects.  The priorities at present are the construction of the GSA/Agriculture Building, GSA Records Storage Building, Hospital remodel for courts, Sheriff Jail remodel, Sheriff Administrative Building, and the John C.  Begovich Building Annex.  The smaller projects on the HOP JOBS List are done on a fill-in basis between the larger projects.  I see no benefit to the recommended completion dates and monitoring system of the HOP JOBS List.  The HOP JOBS List is simply an informal reminder list that I developed several years ago.  Its only purpose was, and is, to remind us  of those small projects.

 

COUNTY LIBRARY SYSTEM

BACKGROUND 

The County Library has seven locations throughout the County with a total staff of 19.  The Main Library in Jackson has five full-time and three part-time staff members.  In addition, there are three extra persons in Jackson who are assisting with the library automation.  There are also fifty volunteers who assist the library staff.  The Amador City, Ione, Pine Grove, and Plymouth libraries each have one part-time person.  The 1999-2000 County Library System budget is $634,095 with $40,633 in revenue for the period July 1999 to March 2000 of which $36,848 comes from the State Library Trust Fund. 

The County Library System participates in a book exchange program with other libraries along the Highway 49/99 corridor.  Books, periodicals, tapes, and other materials requested by County patrons are delivered daily from Stockton.  This program enables the County Library System to provide books and other related items not on local library shelves. 

A tie-in to an automated system was purchased with funds from a $10,000 grant.  This system will assist the staff in providing control over it’s resources (books, periodicals, audio and visual tapes and other materials), identifying and collecting of fines for overdue books and generating management reports.  

“Friends of the Library,” a non-profit organization, is dedicated to supporting the needs and services of the Library.  They assist by raising needed funds through book sales and other fund-raising events and actively promote gift giving through memorials and group communications.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Conduct a study to determine the options for relocating or expanding the Main Library.

Response by General Services Director:

We have conducted studies in the past to relocate or expand the Main Library and determined that, if, and, when a government center is developed that a new library would be constructed on that site.  Studies have also been conducted regarding expansion of the existing library, however, the stream that runs under the library would make any expansion very costly.  At present, the Main Library is one of the best buildings the County owns and is meeting our needs for now. 

2.         Reverse the entry/exit door at the Sutter Creek Branch so that it opens out.

Response by General Services Director:

The Landlord has been instructed and has agreed to make this change. 

3.         Discontinue the practice of leaving combustible material outside the rear door at the Jackson facility.

Response by General Services Director:

Combustible material (newspapers) have been cleaned up.  The newspapers were being stockpiled for recycling, however, now they will be put in the dumpster and go direct to the MERF at the landfill where they will be sorted out and recycled. 

4.         Update the overhead lighting in the patrons’ reading area and repair the door to the outside storage locker at the Jackson facility.

Response by General Services Director:

The overhead lighting is currently being updated.  The door to the outside storage locker is scheduled to be repaired by the Sheriff’s work crew. 

5.         Clean the restroom at the Plymouth Branch.

Response by General Services Director:

The restroom has been cleaned and is inspected regularly and has been found to be clean. 

6.         Install an alarm system to improve employee safety at the Pine Grove and Sutter Creek Branches.

Response by General Services Director:

A door buzzer alarm has been installed at the Pine Grove Branch and a latch has been installed on the restroom door.  Cordless telephones have been issued to both branches allowing for better communications when requesting law enforcement and 911 assistance for employee safety.

7.         The Branch Librarians should participate in staff meetings.  Reduce the Administrator’s visits to the branches.

Response by General Services Director:

The Branch Librarians participate in staff meetings at the Jackson Main Library every 3 months.  I feel that the Administrator’s visits to the branches is an important task and should continue.  It is important that someone visit the branches regularly to inspect them and to evaluate the services being provided to the community.  It would be very difficult to perform Employee Evaluations on the Branch Librarians if the Administrator did not visit the branches on a regular basis. 

8.         Provide staff with additional computer training and encourage daily use.

Response by General Services Director:

Computer training is being provided and we are encouraging daily use of the computers. 

9.         Assign a Microcomputer Technician to the library part time.

Response by General Services Director:

The Data Processing Department is providing a Microcomputer Technician to the library on a part-time basis 2 to 3 days per week.  Future hiring of library staff should emphasize hiring new employees that have adequate computer technology skills to assist library staff. 

10.      Assess the need for a Library Branch in Amador City and take appropriate action.

Response by General Services Director:

We have conducted studies in the past and found that the cost to operate the Amador City Branch Library are so minimal that it would be best to continue the operation of that branch to better serve the community of Amador City. 

11.      Dispose of all obsolete equipment throughout the County Library System.

Response by General Services Director:

The only obsolete equipment in the library system are one computer monitor and one printer at the Jackson Library and one copier at the Pioneer Branch Library all of which will be delivered to GSA to be sold in the next surplus sale.

 

MENTAL HEALTH DEPARTMENT

BACKGROUND

The Mental Health Department (MHD), a branch of the Health and Human Services Agency, has operated in the County for 25 years.  Employees include 5 clerical, one of which is the office administrator, and 5 mental health workers.  A registered nurse is shared with the Public Health Department.  A contract psychiatrist has been on staff since 1990. 

The lack of a psychiatrist, living in the County, and the disagreement of the department to the recommendations of the 1996-1997 Amador County Grand Jury, influenced the 1999-2000 Grand Jury to include this department in this year’s routine review.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         The MHD should continue its efforts to enlist the services of a full time, locally based, psychiatrist.

Response from Mental Health Director:

Per your request, the following is my response to the Recommendations made by the Grand Jury concerning the Mental Health Department: 

Psychiatric services continue to be an issue of concern to this Agency as well as the Mental Health Department staff, and were mentioned in the last two Grand Jury reports.  Although we continue to contract with 2 psychiatrists for coverage on a 24 hour basis, there are none living within Amador County. 

The Grand Jury’s recommendation is that we should continue efforts to enlist the services of a full-time, locally based, psychiatrist.  As is previous years, we will continue to do so.  In the meantime, we will maintain our current system of coverage that is in compliance with State Mental Health standards.

 

CITIZEN COMPLAINTS

DRYTOWN CEMETERY

BACKGROUND

A citizen’s complaint was filed with the 1998-1999 Amador County Grand Jury by three County residents who claimed they were denied access to the Drytown Cemetery.  The complaint was filed too late in the jury’s term of office, so it was referred to the 1999-2000 Grand Jury for investigation. 

The Drytown Cemetery, one of Amador County’s oldest pioneer cemeteries, was established during the gold rush era and contains the remains of many of Amador County’s earliest residents.  The cemetery is a 1.54 acre parcel of land owned by the County of Amador, and is completely surrounded by privately owned property.  There is no publicly owned right of way giving access to the cemetery. 

Sometime in the early 1990’s, the owner of the surrounding property began locking the gate at State Route 49 on the only road leading to the cemetery.  Over the next few years, the County Board and the property owner conducted a series of negotiations to try to find a way to guarantee unrestricted public access to the cemetery.  The negotiations proved unsuccessful, so in 1996, the County filed a lawsuit in Superior Court asserting that long-term use of the property owner’s road by the public implied dedication of a public right-of-way. 

During the trial, three residents of Amador County, who had been instrumental in bringing this matter to the attention of the County Board, were subpoenaed to testify on the County’s behalf.  After hearing the testimony, the Court ruled against the County and declared that the property owner’s title “shall be quieted against a claim of a public right-of-way”.  Subsequently, the property owner denied access to the cemetery, over his property, to the three individuals who testified at the trial.  Because there is no other accessible route to the cemetery, the property owner’s denial of access has made it impossible for them to visit their ancestor’s graves.  While denying entry by those three individuals, the property owner has stated that any other person may use his road, providing they first obtain his permission.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The Grand Jury has concluded that the County should ensure that all persons have unrestricted access to the Drytown Cemetery.  Furthermore, the solution should be a permanent one.  A simple agreement with the present property owner is not sufficient, because the same problem could reoccur should the property be sold or transferred to another person.  The Grand Jury recommends the following actions: 

1.         The Board should publicly state their commitment to preserve the rights of everyone to unrestricted access to the Drytown Cemetery.

2.         The Board should enter into meaningful negotiations with the property owner in an attempt to establish a legal public easement along the alignment of the existing access road.

3.         Should such a negotiation fail, the County should initiate engineering studies of alternative access routes to determine if any are financially feasible.

4.         Should the construction of an alternative route to the existing roadway be shown to be financially infeasible, the Board should institute an eminent domain proceeding to secure permanent, legally binding, unrestricted public access over the route of the existing roadway. 

Response by the Chairman of the Board:

We agree with the recommendation of the Grand Jury; however, we don’t feel they researched this adequately.  There was a legal decision by the Amador County Superior Court, which ruled in favor of the property owner, Mr.  Matulich.  This ruling allows Mr.  Matulich to restrict the ingress and egress for three (3) people.  However, the County is still negotiating with Mr.  Matulich to allow some form of ingress and egress, but more then likely it will not be by automobile, but possibly a walking path.  This problem has now been compounded because Mr.  Matulich is in the process of legally turning the property over to his daughter and we may now have to negotiate with her. 

RANDOLPH STREET COMPLAINT

BACKGROUND

The Grand Jury received a citizen’s complaint against the Land Use Agency and the Planning Commission.  The complainants alleged: 

1.       Land and property owners are not notified when decisions are made concerning their property, or the property that lies within the influence of their property.

2.       The Planning Commission does not take into consideration comments made by others (other than the applicant) at the hearings.  It is as though the decisions are already made.

3.       Decisions are made at the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) meetings and not at the hearings.

4.       The Planning Commission makes decisions on people’s property without any consultation with the owner(s) involved.

5.       Notice of a road closure and movement of mail boxes was stuck on a wire of the complainant’s fence. 

In December, 1997, the parcel of land at the intersection of Randolph Street and Highway 49, on the outskirts of Plymouth, was purchased to relocate an established business. 

On January 29, 1998, a TAC meeting was held to review the request for a rezoning for that parcel from “Light Manufacturing” (LM) to “Heavy Commercial” (C2). 

On February 17, 1998, notices for a public hearing from the Amador County Planning Commission were mailed out to all neighboring property owners.  On February 18, 1998, the complainants received the notice of the Planning Commission hearing. 

The TAC recommended, and the Planning Commission approved, the rezoning.  On March 31, 1998, the Board approved the zoning change. 

On August 11, 1998, the Planning Commission conducted another hearing for a request for a “Substantially the Same” finding to make minor changes.  This hearing was to review the request to relocate the entrance to the parcel and to move the structure from one end of the parcel to the other.  This addressed the concerns expressed at the March 10th hearing.  The proposed changes were approved by the Planning Commission, and later by the Board.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         On zoning change matters, the Planning Commission should extend the lead time of notices sent out to affected property owners.

Response by Land Use Agency Director:

Zone changes require CEQA review which requires notification of the County’s intent to adopt a Negative Declaration to affected landowners surrounding the project site.  This notification is required to be a minimum of 20 days but in the case where the project has been sent to the State Clearinghouse for review by state agencies the minimum is 30 days.

The notice for the application at issue (Deaver & Ninnis) was sent to 21 surrounding property owners on February 17, 1998 for a Planning Commission hearing to be held on March 10th.  The Board held their hearing on March 31, 2000.  Notice of both the Planning Commission and Board hearings was contained in the same notice (copy attached).

It has been this office’s experience that since this extended notification period was implemented attendance at hearings has actually declined.  It seems people tend to forget about the hearing date, particularly the Board’ hearing date, when notified so far ahead unless they are really upset about the project. 

2.         When zoning change matters are referred to the TAC, the affected property owners should be notified in advance by mail.

Response:

TAO is comprised of staff members who are charged with the technical review of all but the most minor projects for environmental issues and developing conditions of approval.  These recommendations are for the Planning Commission’s consideration if they approve a project.  These conditions usually do not take into consideration non-environmental issues which arise during the Commission and Board public hearings. 

In the case of projects which are obviously going to be controversial due to their size, their impacts, or the issues they will most likely raise, TAO, and in some cases the Planning Commission, will hold a public scoping session.  A scoping session is designed to identify the environmental issues and concerns of a project.  Notice of the scoping session is sent to surrounding/affected landowners and agencies approximately 3 weeks (there is no statutory time requirement) before the meeting.

In the case at issue, the request was to change the zoning from “LM,” Light Manufacturing District to “C2,’ Heavy Commercial.  In the Planning world this is considered to be a “down” zoning; that is, ‘02” is lower in the hierarchy of zoning classifications than ‘LM.’ From a planning standpoint this project was not one we considered to warrant a scoping session; the property had been designated to be used for light manufacturing since 1981.

 

CITY OF IONE COUNCIL MEMBER MISCONDUCT

BACKGROUND

The Grand Jury received a citizen’s complaint against an Ione City Council member.  The complaint alleges the official is responsible for the:

A former Ione City employee requested the investigation of possible irregularities by a City Council member.  The concerns include treatment of several past city employees, a city business owner, and development companies.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         City Council members adhere to Ione Municipal Code, Section 2.10.220, or face censure by the Council.

2.         All City Council members adhere to the contents of the Ione Municipal Code.

3.         The City Administrator review the Ione Municipal Code and California Government Code and ensure provisions are followed.

4.         The Building Department be more diligent in documenting and filing all verbal and written complaints.

5.         Should further violations of the California Government Code or Ione Municipal Code occur, the violations should be referred to the District Attorney for review. 

Response by City Administrator for the City of Ione:

In regard to the complaint, “City of lone, Council Member Misconduct,” the response to the Grand Jury’s Recommendations 1 through 5 are as follows: 

All City Council Members have been provided additional copies of the California Government Code, Section 3204, and additional copies of the City of Lone Municipal Code, Section 2.10.220.  The specific portions of the Municipal Code in question states in part, “neither the city council nor any member thereof shall give orders to any subordinates of the city administration.” The specific portion of the Government Code states in part, “prohibits any elected official from using the position of their office to influence or discourage an individual employee’s action.” 

All Council Members have been encouraged and subsequently reminded to adhere to the contents of the lone Municipal Code as well as the Government Code to ensure that provisions are followed in the course of their duties and responsibilities.  Additionally, it will be my responsibility as the city administrator to continually review both the Municipal and Government Codes with the City Council to ensure that the City maintains a I9.ill compliance posture on all provisions of said codes. 

The Building Department under the direction of the new Public Works Services Manager/Building Inspector, has been directed to ensure that all verbal and written complaints are filed and responded to in both a timely and appropriate manner with courses of action taken, (if any), for future reference. 

All Council Members have been made aware that any future violations that occur regarding compliance to the Government Code as well as the Municipal Code could result in the possibility of Council censure or even reference to the District Attorney for review if the situation warrants such action.

 

CITY OF IONE HARASSMENT COMPLAINT

BACKGROUND

The Grand Jury received a citizen’s complaint alleging misconduct by an Ione City Council member.  The complaint alleges:

In September, 1999, an employee was cleaning sludge from the drying bed at the City of Ione’s Tertiary Wastewater Treatment Plant when a council member, whose demeanor and language was allegedly threatening and intimidating, approached him.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         City Council members adhere to Section 2.10.220, Ione Municipal Code or face censure by the Council.

2.         All council members adhere to the Ione Municipal Code.

3.         The City Administrator review the Ione Municipal Code and protect city employees against this type of action in the future.

4.         The Mayor demonstrate leadership when violations of the code occur.

5.         An alternative arbitration procedure be made available to city employees to provide protection against arbitration disagreements.

6.         A Personnel Manual be produced and distributed to all employees 

In regard to the complaint, “City of Ione, Harassment Complaint,” the response to the Grand Jury’s Recommendations I through 6 are as follows: 

Compliance to specific sections of the Municipal Code as previously stated in the first complaint have been re-emphasized and restated to the affected Council Member due to the repetitive nature of the violation. 

The City of Ione did not and currently does not have an adopted Personnel Manual available for all employees.  Specifically, the fact that all employees, with the exception of management, have two employee groups for representation, i.e.  Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and the Police Officers Association (POA), negotiations regarding employees rights, privileges, operational procedures and procedures for the resolution thereof; are set forth. 

In regard to the investigation of the alleged complaint, and as the city administrator, I responded to the procedure as outlined in Article 19 of             the MOU and met with both the complainant and the Council Member in
which the complaint referenced.  I determined, upon my investigation, the following: 

The employee was in violation of Article 25.2, which states in part, “overtime shall be worked only at the request of the Employer,” and further states in part, “overtime can only be approved if it constitutes public necessity and/or convenience,” Regulatory decisions as to the need for overtime are not considered arbitrary as identified in the report, but are, in fact, the decision by the employer substantiated by the facts of each case for consideration for overtime hours.  The former employee was not provided said decision to allow for overtime, nor was there a situation requiring such action. 

The Council Member was advised regarding the violation of said Ordinance, Section 2.10.220 in reference to his dealings with city staff; and that it was imperative that in all future dealings with city employees, that he does so in accordance with said stipulations.  As a result of my findings regarding the activities involving this complaint, I determined that both parties share responsibility as to the events that occurred and were advised accordingly.  In reference to any alternative arbitration procedure to be avail­able to union employees, additional protection is not warranted in that sufficient procedures are in place under the existing MOU’S that have been accepted and subsequently adopted by both union groups as well as the City Council. 

In reference to the role of the Mayor and his or her actions Wand when future violations of the code occurs, I submit to you the following: Lone is a General Law City that operates under the Council/Manager or Council/Administrator form of Government as stipulated under said provisions of the California Government Code.  As such, the position of Mayor is rotated among the elected Council with said Council Members selecting the Mayor annually with some selected Mayors serving more than one year, but usually not serving more than two years.  In a General Law or Charter City municipality that require a four year term of Mayor, if elected, the duties are somewhat extended as to the leadership role expected of the Mayor.  Specifically, in the City of tone, the chairing of council meetings, selection of special committee assignments, contractual signatures and the symbolic policy head of the City Council is a limited role.  However, the ability to censure Council Members with subsequent majority vote approval by other Council Members in addition to controlling the council meetings is available at all times.  In any other action in which the involvement of the District Attorney is an issue, this is available also to other Council Members as well as to the city administrator. 

In reference to a proposed Personnel Manual, it is my intent to seek City Council direction to consider implementing said manual in conjunction to the already adopted MOU’S that are in place to ensure that all future municipal operations are conducted with the provisions set forth in both city and government codes as they pertain to the needs of the City of lone and its’ employees. 

Thank-you for the time and effort the Grand Jury expended in addressing these issues that have been brought to the attention of the City of Ione. 

 

AMADOR COUNTY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT

ACUS OVERSIGHT

BACKGROUND

Because only a few of the schools have been inspected by a Grand Jury over the last several years, the current jury decided to conduct on-site visits to all the schools within Amador County Unified School District (ACUSD) as part of their routine investigation.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Evaluate the performance of custodial staff and take steps for improvement where needed.

2.         Annually budget sufficient funds for proper maintenance of the schools.

Response to Recommendation 1 and 2 by the School Superintendent:

There is inconsistent maintenance and custodial care at sites throughout the district.  Some of this is due to the aging infra­structure and physical plant needs.  Another factor has been training, supplies and staff at the various sites.  Recognizing this, the maintenance department contacted Sodexho Marriot Corporation for a proposal for professional management consulting Services.  They would provide a partnership between ACUSI and Sodexho Marriot to implement systems, procedures and employee training into the maintenance department.  Sodexho reviewed the sites, procedures, supplies and staffing that is currently in place.  They prepared a proposal for the Board of Trustees and their proposal was accepted.  Effective October 1, 2000 Sodexho Marriot will be consulting in the implementation of the plan.  They wilt work with our district staff to provide training and implement compliant practices.  In addition, the contract provides that supplies will be provided throughout the district.  We are excited about the opportunity to improve safety and training to our employees while improving our facilities. 

3.         Dispose of obsolete computers.

Response by the School Superintendent:

The Director of Technology will implement a plan to require schools to dispose of unused and outdated equipment during the 2000 - 01 school year. 

4.         Ensure kitchen staff adheres to Health and Safety Code, Section 27605.

Response by the School Superintendent:

Health and Safety standards have always been in place in Amador kitchens.  The Director of Food Services has reviewed your findings with all staff.  When taking money at the snack bars, it is unnecessary to wear gloves because the food is wrapped. 

5.         Increase supervision to insure that Education Code, Section 48900 is enforced.

Response by the School Superintendent:

Administrative assignments for the 2000-01 school year have been changed.  There is now daily administrative supervision on all campuses. 

6.         Relocate the students at Plymouth Primary School immediately.

Response by the School Superintendent:

Beginning this school year, on August 17, 2000 the students from the Plymouth Primary site are now attending school at Plymouth Elementary.  No students or staff are housed at Plymouth primary. 

7.         Form a task force to address the swimming pool problems at Amador High School.

Response by the School Superintendent:

The City of Sutter Creek has formed a joint task force to work on the swimming pool problem at Amador High School.  Staff from ACUSD has been attending the meetings and providing information. 

8.         ACUSD adopt and implement the “Deferred Maintenance Five-Year Plan”.  However, based upon the deteriorating condition at Jackson Elementary, it should be given top priority for all project categories.

Response by the School Superintendent: 

The Board of Trustees adopted the “Deferred Maintenance Five Year Plan”.  Funds have been allocated to implement some of the projects.  All facilities improvements must be weighed against the total  needs of the district.  Safety issues are addressed first, and as emergency situations arise, they are addressed.

 

HVAC GRANT

BACKGROUND

The 1998-1999 Amador County Grand Jury requested the 1999-2000 Grand Jury to review the Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Grants awarded to Amador County Unified School District (ACUSD) to determine if ineligible funds had been expended which were not in accordance with grant regulations. 

In 1993, the ACUSD applied to the California Office of Public School Construction (OPSC) for $3,967,522 in grant monies to install air conditioning at 11 of the 12 schools within the School District.  The grants were awarded and installation of the air conditioning systems was accomplished.  Subsequent investigations by the OPSC determined the School District was not in compliance with the requirements set forth in the grant’s objectives, as ACUSD was single-track and had not converted to multi-track year-round schools.  Since conversion to a multi-track year-round school system was the basis for the School District receiving funds, the State proceeded to rescind the grants.

In an attempt to avoid having to pay back the HVAC funds, the School District requested the State Legislature to waive the muti-track requirements.  During this appeal, the State did not pursue action regarding payback or auditing of the HVAC Grants.  In 1997, the waiver was granted and no repayment of grant funds was required. 

In August 1998, the OPSC completed an audit of the HVAC Grants and disallowed approximately $184,400.  This amount represents charges and fees that were not allowed within the parameters of the HVAC Grants stemming from change orders and overpayment of fees to the architect, inspectors, contractors and legal assistance on all eleven grants. 

The School District has written Board policies and procedures that were in place at the time the HVAC Grants were obtained.  These are currently being corrected and modified.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         The ACUSD should work diligently towards updating and adhering to their adopted Board Policies and Procedures Manual.

Response by the School Superintendent: 

ACUSD worked with CSBA (California School Boards Association) to update their current Board policies.  The project was begun, but not completed.  Current Board direction is to have a minimum of one policy on the agenda for review. 

2.         The Board should review their policies and procedures for cost accounting and grant management to assure there are adequate guidelines in place.  These procedures should be in writing and included in the Board’s Policies and Procedures Manual.

3.         The Board should establish regular oversight controls to ensure the problems that arose during the administration of the HVAC Grants do not reoccur.

Response by the School Superintendent to Recommendation 2 and 3: 

July 1, 2000 a new Chief Business Official was hired.  Once the books are closed and budgets are underway, policies and procedures will be reviewed. 

An individual line-item budget for all grants and major building and maintenance projects should be established.

Response by the School Superintendent: 

The current budget document is not in the format of a line-item budget.  It is the goal of the Superintendent and the Chief Business Official to achieve a line-item budget during the 2000-2001 year for all budgets.

 

COURT SCHOOL

BACKGROUND

The Grand Jury was approached by members of the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission concerning the operation and condition of the Amador County Community School (ACCS), also known as the Court School.  It is important that citizens are aware there are two separate offices operating from the Amador County Unified School District (ACUSD) facility.  One is ACUSD, and the other is the Amador County Office of Education (ACOE).  ACOE has jurisdiction over alternative schools, such as ACCS, and special education programs.  ACUSD controls all other schools within the County.  The Superintendent of ACUSD also serves as the Superintendent of ACOE.  Each has its own separate budget. 

In the early 1980’s, Assembly Bill 90 was approved providing funds for the Department of Education to create court schools.  Previously, court schools were only in juvenile halls.  The court school system was funded by the legislature specifically to provide special services as part of the State’s overall education and delinquency prevention/intervention program.  It wasn’t until the early 1990’s that ACUSD took advantage of AB-90 and created a court school system. 

ACCS receives students through the Student Attendance Review Board (SARB), Amador County Probation, and ACUSD expulsion referrals.  It is the job of ACCS to help students continue to work toward earning their diploma while being taken out of the regular curriculum. 

ACOE receives approximately $2,500 more Average Daily Attendance (ADA) money per student, per year, than ACUSD receives for a student enrolled in regular school.  Annual ADA funds for a community school student are approximately $7,600.  The funds are prorated according to the student’s length of stay in the ACCS system. 

When ACCS started, it was an integral part of the Independence High School (IHS) campus.  The ACCS room simply served as a homeroom for those students who were designated as ACCS students.  The ACCS students rotated to other classrooms in the same manner as the IHS students. 

This arrangement worked until IHS moved to its current location on Independence Drive.  After the move, the ACCS students were housed in one portable classroom on the IHS campus and no longer rotated to other classrooms. 

During this time, the State Office of Education decided court schools should be housed in separate facilities, apart from regular educational campuses.  Further, funding was to be kept separate, and staff would have to work for the ACOE instead of ACUSD. 

In January 1998, ACOE entered into a six-month agreement with a private owner to lease property adjacent to IHS.  The current lease agreement is on a month-to-month basis at $1,350 per month. 

The IHS principal remained in charge of ACCS.  However, funds continued to be co-mingled with ACUSD funds. 

At the beginning of the 1999-2000 school year, a new, part-time ( 1/3 of the salary paid from ACOE funds) ACUSD administrator was assigned to oversee ACCS.  Presently, staff at ACCS consists of one part-time principal, one full-time teacher (this position has been vacant since November, 1999 due to illness), one full-time substitute teacher, one Instructional Aide and one Secretary.  A Probation Aide was assigned in March, 2000, and a Mental Health Counselor was assigned on April 25, 2000. 

ACCS enrollment averages 10 to 18 students who attend school from 8:25 am to 12:36 pm.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Due to its deteriorating condition, the ACCS facility should be relocated.

2.         If a move is not imminent, Work Order Requests should be processed immediately to alleviate hazards in the school yard and clean up the buildings.

3.         Request a health and safety inspection of the Computer Lab portable classroom for possible condemnation.

4.         Install a security system to protect employees and students.

5.         Remove obsolete computers.

6.         Require supervision be present on the grounds when students are outside.

7.         Develop a detailed budget exclusively for ACCS that is discernible.

8.         Increase teaching from 4 to 6 hours to provide better educational opportunities.  This would also allow students to have bus transportation home.

9.         Remove the Librarian and School Counselor positions from the budget, since services are not being provided.

10.      Since the Secretary spends 90% of the time working on ACUSD projects, funding should be moved to that account.  Actual hours spent on ACCS projects should be billed to ACOE.

11.      Properly secure the Office portable to reduce the risk of vandalism.

12.      Increase supervision to ensure Education Code, Section 48900, is adhered to.

13.      The adjacent property owner should be required to secure the swimming pool area.

14.      Evaluate the work performance of the Principal to ensure ACCS has proper supervision and that he is responsive to the educational needs of the students. 

15.      The Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Commission should follow up and monitor the Grand Jury’s recommendations by creating a task force made up of ACUSD personnel, the Probation Department and the Courts. 

Response by the School Superintendent to all 15 Recommendations:

During the 1999-2000 school year several attempts were made to find a suitable site to relocate the Community School program.  At two different locations, negotiations had begun with the owners.  In both cases the neighbors and local community objected to having the community school in their neighborhood.  The Jackson City Council Planning commission did not approve the first selected location.  Subsequently, a new location has been selected and approved.  A lease has been secured for the building located at 823 South State Highway 49, Jackson, California.  The school will be moved as soon as the new site is available.  It is anticipated the move can take place 12/1/2000.  Many of you site recommendations will occur once the school is relocated.  An alarm system will be placed in the new site.  As it is only one building, communication will be possible to ensure the safety of students, staff and equipment.  The current computer lab is not being used for students.  To improve student supervision and safety, an administrator was assigned to the Community School beginning August 17, 2000.  This administrator is to be present on campus during school hours. 

The budget for Community School has been separated from other County Office programs.  Costs, such as a librarian, are not being charged to this budget, unless the service is being directly provided to the students. 

A member of the staff of the Community School has been appointed to the Juvenile Justice and delinquency Prevention Commission.  Presentations were made to this commission and they provided help and support in finally securing the new location of the school. 

The school district agrees that a longer day program would be beneficial to students.  It also agrees that until the school has been relocated, and the staff stabilized, a longer school day program is not feasible.

 

OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY

BACKGROUND

The District Attorney is the chief prosecutor for Amador County.  He directs the activities of the Deputy District Attorneys and serves as Public Administrator.  Other responsibilities include the administration of the District Attorney’s Investigators, the Family Support Division and the Victim/Witness Program.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         Provide a separate line-item budget for each grant in the Final County Budget.

Response by District Attorney:

We have discussed this issue with the County Auditor and it was explained to us that Auditing could not give us a separate line item for each grant because there are too many grants in the County.  And consequently too many line items, for Auditing to keep track of. 

2.         Complete the implementation of delayed grant Outreach Programs

Response by District Attorney:

As we had discussed with the Grand Jury representatives several grant outreach projects were delayed.  This was so for several reasons.  First, the grant attorney, went on four months maternity leave.  Second, we chose not to hire a temporary replacement for her, in part because Governor Davis had not decided whether or not he would refund the Statutory Rape Vertical Prosecution Program.  In the abundance of caution, we decided to conserve SRVP funds so that in the event that the grant was not re-funded we would be able to staff the Program for perhaps an additional year until the funds allocated had been expended.  In other words, we chose preservation of people to staff the SRVP Program over other possible expenditures such as public outreach.  Third, shortly before the grant attorney was to return to work, she notified management that she was going to accept a job in the El Dorado County District Attorney’s Office.  We had to advertise for the vacant grant position for all our grants and go through the interview process and background check.  Ultimately, we hired another attorney to prosecute and administer the Insurance Fraud grants and SRVP.  Governor Davis chose to re-fund the SRVP Program and such funding appears stable for the future. 

Under our attorney’s direction, numerous forms of public outreach have occurred for all our grants.  In regards to the SRVP program, she spoke to students at Amador and Argonaut high Schools, Independence High School, and the Court School Program.  She also spoke at several local service organizations, such as the Kiwanis, ATCAA, and the Rotary.  We have two more scheduled presentations in September and October with the Soroptomists and the Sutter Creek Womens’ Club.  We had a booth at the Amador County Fair where we distributed information about the SRVP Program.  We attended the opening of Sutter-Amador Hospital, where we also had a booth.  We will also have a booth at Sherriff’s Day.  We ran twenty-five minute spots regarding the SRVP program on TSPN.  Additionally, we are planning to run radio spots on KNGT, pending approval from the Office of Criminal Justice Planning. 

For the Insurance Fraud grant programs.  The grant attorney sent out a mass-mailer to hundreds of local businesses disbursing information relative to our program.  The Ledger Dispatch published an article about the Insurance Fraud programs.  We were interviewed by a reporter from Fox 40 News regarding worker’s compensation fraud.  We ran 20 five-minute spots regarding the Insurance Fraud grant programs on TSPN.  We had a booth at the Amador County Fair and plan on having a booth at Sheriff’s Day.  Our grant attorney has personally contacted represefntatives of many large local employers such as Mule Creek State Prison and the California Youth Authority, informing them of our program.  We will soon be running radio ads regarding the Insurance Fraud grant programs for 3 months on KNGT.  Additionally, we have made presentations to several local service organizations, with more planned in the upcoming months. 

3.         Enlarge clerical and storage areas to reduce congestion and improve employee safety.

Response by District Attorney:

We have simply outgrown our current facility and have no additional space to address this recommendation at the present time.  However, the Family Support Unit will transition out of the District Attorney’s Office in July of 2002.  It is anticipated the Family Support will move to the new Courthouse when spacethere becomes available.  However, there is the possibility that Family Support will either rent or build a facility to meet their growing needs.  It is anticipated that the Criminal Division will stay in its present location, which will provide a long-term solution to our space needs. 

4.         Provide lockable, fire resistant file cabinets and secure storage areas for confidential information.

Response by District Attorney:

The Family Support Unit has already budgeted and been approved to purchase lockable file cabinets.  They are not fire resistant, however, as such file cabinets are simply too costly (e.g., $1,000 - $1,200 per unit).  Most case information regarding Family Support cases is available on computer with back-up information stored in Sacramento. 

The Criminal Division has lockable file cabinets already and does not plan on purchasing fire resistant units as they are too costly.  We do have an evidence locker with limited access to store confidential information.  In addition, within the past year, I have made numerous changes to improve internal security for criminal documents.  For example, we have installed locks for the door to each attorney’s office.  Locks were also installed on the doors to several rooms within the investigative unit as well as to the doors of all management offices.  Case files are stored in these locked rooms in the evenings.  The CLETS room is locked and has bars over the outside window. 

5.         Install a facility access control system to improve public and employee safety and security.

Response by District Attorney:

We have already budgeted and been approved for the installation of either a bulletproof door or counter for both the Family Support Unit and the Crimnal Division.  We have been awaiting installation for more than a year.  When the Family Support Unit moves out of the building, the stairs from the ground floor will have to be blocked off to the public and other changes may have to be made to ensure security for the facility.  We have budgeted a burglar alarm for the facility.  Additionally, due to numerous vehicles being vandalized recently, we have budgeted a video camera system for the parking lot. 

6.         Install a smoke alarm system throughout the facility for improved public and employee safety and security.

Response by District Attorney:

We plan on installing a smoke alarm system this Fiscal Year pending Board approval. 

7.         Perform regularly scheduled fire drills to educate employees in the use of fire extinguishers, evacuation ladders and other emergency equipment.

Response by District Attorney:

We have appointed a Safety Officer from existing staff to address these concerns and added a new layer of management to the Investigative Unit in order to carry out policy. 

8.         Post directional signs for the location of emergency evacuation ladders.

Response by District Attorney:

This recommendation will be implemented. 

9.         Post operational directions at the location of each emergency evacuation ladder. 

Response by District Attorney:

 This recommendation will be implemented.

10.      Provide an obstacle free landing area for each emergency evacuation ladder. 

Response by District Attorney:

This recommendation will be implemented.

 

AMADOR COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE

COUNTY JAIL

BACKGROUND

The Amador County Sheriff is responsible for maintaining and managing the County’s adult custodial facility and housing and feeding incarcerated men and women.  The department provides the County’s primary and secondary radio communications and 9-1-1 center.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.         To avoid possible civil penalties and lawsuits, the custodial staff should be brought up to the minimum staffing as outlined in Title 15 CAC, and as recommended in the numerous letters from CBC dating back to 1992.

2.         The jail should be made self-sufficient in the preparation and delivery of inmate meals to reduce possible civil action from inmates due to meals not meeting the minimum standards of the food service contract and Title 15 CAC.

3.         The County should relocate the primary EOC to a facility with sufficient space and emergency power to accommodate the personnel required operating in both short and long term emergencies.

4.         Specific short-range plans need to address facility expansion to accommodate current and future staff and technological advances. 

Response by Sheriff to all Recommendations:

First, allow me to express my appreciation to the members of the Grand Jury for all your hard work.  We take your comments very seriously and view them as an opportunity to receive input from an independent source that is very often helpful to our operation. 

Government Code Section 25206

The first issue I wish to respond to is that which is relative to Government Code Section 25206, wherein, the Board may direct.  the Sheriff or his appointee to attend all Board meetings.  We are aware of that section and have always made ourselves available should a Board request come to us relative to an agenda item.  We also remain ready to provide ongoing and regular assistance should the Board members deem that necessary in the future.  Obviously, that would require an adjustment in our budget, however, those matters can be worked out with the Board. 

Sheriff’s Services to County Buildings 

Relative to other issues in the County Administration Building, currently the policy between the Sheriff’s Office and the Jackson Police Department, under the previous chief, has been that the Jackson Police Department has reserved the enforcement authority for the Begovich Building.  There was a short period of time wherein the Sheriffs Office agreed to handle that enforcement authority, as well as the enforcement authority in all other county buildings within the city limits of Jackson.  However, for safety reasons, according to the Jackson Police Department’s previous administration, the police department preferred to perform the enforcement authority iii county buildings themselves.  With that commentary, we gave way to those desires.  Since Jackson now has a new administration in their police department, I have already talked to Chief Sisneros relative to his desire to continue handling calls for service in county buildings.  We have not concluded this matter and future conversations will continue. 

One more comment relative to this item - the Sheriffs Office has notified the Board of potential problems in the past, and will continue to do so, relative to their meetings.  I do not want anyone left with any impression that we would not provide protection to the Board. 

Jail Issues

Another issue at hand is the staffing level in the Amador County Jail.  We note the comments the Grand Jury made relative to an increased need for staffing level based upon a series of letters from the Board of Corrections.  We defer our ability to hire increased staff to the Board.  We have also offered the same concerns to the Board relative to the need of increased staff and have received some increase, however, not the increase that would satisfy the Board of Corrections.  In addition to the staffing level in the jail, there are also the construction needs in the jail that should be an item of focus for the Board.  The jail meal situation has changed since the Grand Jury’s tour of the jail.  We now purchase our meals from Stanislaus County Sheriffs Office.  Those meals are being delivered within the guidelines of Title 15 and Title 22 governing inmate meals.  In other words, the meals are being delivered at the proper temperature and free of other conditions that would not be appropriate for inmate consumption. 

While we have somewhat remedied our meals issue, there is a need to construct a facility that would more appropriately house the re-therm oven and refrigeration system.  Currently, as you know, we operating out of a converted storage closet that marginally handles these two units.  A more appropriate kitchen facility would be needed to house the refrigeration and re-therm units, as well as additional items.  The Board has been aware of this need and has set money aside to devote to this construction project.  Hopefully, in the near future, we will see the completion of that project. 

Space Needs for the Sheriff’s Office:

The Grand Jury and the Board have also noted the untenable position that the Sheriffs Office is in relative to its needs for space.  We have an architect’s conceptual design for additional space, and hope that the project moves forward in a timely fashion to meet those needs.  Again, the time frame relative to the construction and the cost allocation of this construction will be under the purview of the Board. 

The observation by the Grand Jury regarding the space needs for the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) is also an excellent commentary on our space needs.  To relieve that situation, I would suggest that the Board consider utilizing some of the vacant and uncommitted space available below the main level of the old hospital at 710 Court Street as a possible site for the EOC to be relocated.  That would suit the space needs of the EOC as well as any other needs the emergency personnel manning the center may have in a very cost efficient manner.

 

PRESTON YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY

BACKGROUND

Preston Youth Correctional Facility is a California Youth Authority facility housing youthful offenders.  Ward population in the facility varies between 725 and 775.

RECOMMENDATIONS

1.       It is recommended that a new embedded communications system be installed, to include both fiber optics and a copper voice cable. 

2.       The fiber-optics system should be used for computer networking systems, and the copper voice cable should be used for sound, personnel alarm, telephone and fire alarm systems.

Response by Preston Superintendent:

The Preston Youth Correctional Facility has been provided $250,000 of Special Repair and Maintenance funds this fiscal year for starting replacement of the embedded base.  These funds, along with a large amount of materials purchased in prior years, should enable the institution to provide Lan capability to at least one half of the remaining structures without such capability.  Additional funds have been promised by the Department for the next fiscal year. 

Whether the Lan and other communication systems include fiber optics or copper voice cabling is an issue that has not been resolved at this time.  Other options are available.

 

JACKSON POLICE DEPARTMENT

BACKGROUND

The 1997-1998 Grand Jury Final Report was critical of the management practices of the department.  This review is to evaluate progress within the department since the publication of the 97-98 report and the city’s response to it.  Additionally, this review includes an inspection of grant programs used to support departmental operations.

RECOMMENDATIONS

Based on the previous contents of this review, the following are recommended: 

1.         To avoid becoming isolated and uninformed, management must be committed to participating in multi-jurisdictional activities, such as the Monthly Law Enforcement Intelligence Meetings, conducted by County law enforcement agencies.

Response by Chief of Police:

The recommendation has been implemented and the Jackson Police Department is now working closely with all law enforcement and related agencies in the area.  Personnel are taking part in Monthly Law Enforcement Intelligence meetings, School Attendance Review Board meetings, Domestic Violence meetings, Police Chiefs meetings, Amador County Law Enforcement Management meetings, along with working closely with schools in our jurisdiction, and being involved in community events planning, etc. 

2.         Provide contemporary discrimination training utilizing external experts and resources, following POST guidelines as a minimum.

Response by Chief of Police:

The recommendation has been implemented and the Jackson Police Department continues to provide contemporary discrimination and sexual harassment training to all personnel.  Sgt.  Scott Morrison has attended training on the above issued conducted by Attorney Gordon Graham, which was sponsored by the California Peace Officers Association.  Police Department personnel continue to receive up-to-date training regarding discrimination and sexual harassment issues by provided by Police Officers Standards and Training (POST), and other training materials on these topics. 

3.         Continue to apply for available grants to assist in funding operations.

Response by Chief of Police:

The recommendation as been implemented and the Jackson Police Department has continued to actively pursue available grants.  Currently the department has applied for and been awarded three (3) grants; 1) Local Law Enforcement Block Grant (LLEBG), 2) California Law Enforcement Technology Equipment Purchase Program (CLETEP) and 3) Amador Narcotics Enforcement Unit (ANEU).  We will pursue grants as they become available.