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AMADOR COUNTY AGRICULTURAL COMMISSION

AND DIVISION OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES

Authority for Review

Grand Jury Jurisdiction provided by Penal Code Section 925.

Background

Periodic review of County agencies.

Method of Review

Interview with Agricultural Commissioner
Interview with Weights and Measures Inspector
Interview with Agricultural Inspector
On-site visits

Findings

The responsibilities of the Agricultural Department include pesticide control, education in the use of pesticides, agricultural inspections, investigation of consumer complaints, roadside spraying and weed control.

The staffing includes the State licensed Agricultural Commissioner, two Inspectors, and a part-time secretary. The Agricultural Commissioner/Sealer of Weights and Measures is appointed to a four year term by the Board of Supervisors.

The Department's pesticide education and regulation is primarily directed at crop farmers. The Department also conducts programs in the safe use of pesticides for schools, hospitals, and other organizations.

Commercial pest exterminators operating in the County are required to register with the Department. Registration allows the tracking of all pesticides used in the County.

The Weights and Measures Division of the Department is responsible for annually checking, verifying, and sealing all commercial weighing and measuring devices. These include market scales and gasoline pumps. Weights and Measures also investigates related consumer complaints.

The Agricultural Department occupies one small building at the County Airport. The lobby of the building serves as an entrance to the airport. Both the Airport and the Departments use the lobby for meetings. Meetings held in the lobby are open and subject to interruptions as persons go to and from the Airport.

The lobby is open 24 hours a day for access to the Airport. The Department offices are directly accessible from the lobby and have no security alarms.

The Agricultural Commissioner has a small office. Another small office is shared by the two inspectors and contains their desks, file cabinets, computers, copy machine and other assorted equipment. For large copy jobs, the copy machine is moved into the hall to be less disruptive.

The secretary/receptionist has a small office near the front door. Her office is also used for storage of overflow file cabinets.

The Weights and Measures Lab, the Department's chemical storage facilities and the County Animal Shelter are in the same fenced enclosure. The Shelter has four permanent employees, several volunteers, and frequent visitors. Parking space is limited. The Animal Shelter plans to enlarge its facilities.

Conclusions

The Department's offices at the airport are inadequate. There is cramped office space, inadequate storage, insufficient security, and no private meeting area.

When the Animal Shelter completes its planned expansion projects, the parking problems and congestion at the Weights and Measures Lab and Chemical storage area will worsen.

Recommendation

Provide the department with larger facilities.

Provide the department with secure facilities.

Provide designated Lab parking spaces at the facility for the Weights and Measurement Lab.

Provide secure and more isolated facilities for chemical storage.

Response required

The Amador County Grand Jury requests the Board of Supervisors respond to this report within 90 days as required by Penal Code Section 933(c).

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