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APPENDIX B

RESPONSES TO 1998-1999 GRAND JURY RECOMMENDATIONS


Pine Grove Elementary School

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. Continue fence around playground Disagree District staff has reviewed the fencing situation and playground supervision. The District does not view this as a priority at this time.
2. Install portable restroom for boys Agree Arrangements have been made for portable restrooms that are not connected to the sewerage system. This facility will be pumped on a regular basis.
3. The access area for busses and private vehicles should be widened to allow additional parking. A safe walking area out of the traffic flow and a crosswalk area should be provided for the children dropped off from private vehicles. Agree in concept This project would impinge on the school leachfield. Until the Pine Grove Sewer Project is completed, the District must rely on site supervision to ensure that there are no accidents in the parking area. Many of the District schools were constructed with limited parking. Recent years have seen more and more parents utilizing private vehicles to transport students. School personnel are present to supervise drop off and pick up.

Pioneer Elementary School

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. Purchase property adjacent to school to provide additional parking and provide drive through access for busses Agree in concept The District is aware of the need for relief at the school in terms of access and parking. Efforts are underway to craft a solution that meets the needs of the school and is within the available resources. An offer to purchase adjacent property was turned down by the owner. Currently, a traffic pattern for busses and parent drop off of students is underway that seems to be better than the situation at the time of the Grand Jury visit
2. Properly secure loose sinks in portable restrooms Agree This work has been completed
3. Install sinks in portable classrooms Disagree Sinks have not been installed. These buildings are not hooked up to a sewer. To hook them up would be prohibitively expensive
4. Remove tripping hazard on the upper walkway Agree Local maintenance workers are responsible for completion.
5. Repair or replace safety rails on upper playground bleachers Agree This is a problem for many District schools. Bleachers purchased or constructed in the '50's and '60's are now outdated. A program of replacement has been initiated and the worst sets will be replaced first.
6. Install retaining wall on lower playground Agree in concept The Director of Maintenance is reviewing this project to establish its priority with the many other issues that he is dealing with.
7. Remove tree limbs hanging over classrooms Agree This task has been completed and staff has been advised to watch for and report any overhanging limbs.
8. Repair roof on east wing Agree This project has been given a high priority. A permit for asbestos removal is required and has been requested.

Sutter Creek Upper Elementary Crosswalk

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. Close the main gate, which provides access to the student parking lot, during lunch. Vehicles needing to leave the parking lot during lunch use exit behind high school. Agree The transportation Department indicates that this gate is locked at the recommended times.
2. Require elementary school students walk behind the closed gate when crossing between the two schools. Disagree Clearly defined crosswalks are in place for students to use when they leave the school. Supervision is also present during these times.
3. Post "3-way stop" on stop signs at the Spanish Street intersection. Agree in concept The City of Sutter Creek has been asked to review this intersection for safety. The School District does not post stop signs. This is a municipal responsibility.
4. Include a crossing guard program for schools that request them from the School District budget. Agree in concept This issue is under consideration. Legal opinions regarding the concept have been requested.
5. Have Sutter Creek Police Department evaluate intersection and make recommendations regarding pedestrian safety. Agree Sutter Creek Police Department will evaluate and make recommendations.
6. A crossing guard program should be implemented because of the potential for injury to a child. Agree in concept See #4 above.

Amador County Airport ( Westover Field )

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. Existing lounge facilities in Airport office building to be made accessible and the area refurbished. Agree in concept The County is constructing a new office building near the corporation yard. Agriculture-related departments will be moved into this building. This will allow the airport administration building to be used solely for airport-related activities. The building could be refurbished to meet the requirements of the airport.
2. One of the offices in the Airport Administration building should be designated as the airport manager's office. Other office space in the building should be used for airport-related purposes, such as car rental, air taxi, and a flight school. These businesses have shown interest in locating at the airport if office space were available. These rentals would generate four times the revenue being paid at present. Agree in concept See item #1 above
3. Amador Rapid Transit to schedule service between the airport, Sutter Creek and Jackson on weekends, to encourage tourism. Agree in concept Amador Rapid Transit is not under the jurisdiction of the Amador County Board of Supervisors.
4. Hanger rates should be reviewed and recalculated. All hangers should be leased, according to use, and a standard square foot rate applied. Agree A new airport manager is required due to the resignation of the current manager. Hanger rates and leases will be reviewed and a more equitable policy will be developed by the new manager.
5. Relocate Public Works equipment, presently stored adjacent to the runway, to an area out of the flight path. Agree Equipment has been relocated and "no parking" signs have been posted to eliminate future problems.
6. Public Works should remove abandoned underground tanks. Agree These tanks will be removed.
7. Grants are in process for gate and fence repair. Agree This project is underway and should be completed soon.

Amador County Land Use Department

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. Budget for hiring additional inspection personnel during peak periods Agree in concept There are undoubtedly seasonal fluctuations in the need for building inspectors. Hiring qualified people in this field with State mandated certificates willing to do short term employment is difficult. We will contract out some plans to private firms where time is critical on larger projects. If necessary, we will do the same for an inspection position for the late summer and fall months.
2. Salaries of entry level inspectors should be reviewed for equitability with counties of comparable size. Disagree Job classifications in Amador County are "cross compared", that is base lined with other agencies. Upgrading one may trigger reviews of others. This is the purview of the County Personnel Director.
3. Develop and Implement an action plan for centralizing all department records to one location. Agree The County is constructing a new building which will house a records storage facility in addition to other county offices. This will free up storage in the Begovich Building for the Land Use Agency.
4. Provide additional training on the use of computers for all department employees. Establish performance guidelines and expectations that are linked to utilization of the new computer skills in order to increase the effectiveness of the training. Agree in concept The County Data Processing Department has provided computer training resources and will continue to do so. Those who work almost exclusively with computers are given priority and time allocations are seasonal.
5. Immediately take actions needed to ensure all department computers are Y2K compliant. Agree in concept The County has experienced no serious problems related to Y2K. Where minor problems have been experienced, they have been addressed. The County has also allocated funding for purchase of a commercial permit tracking software program for the Land Use Agency. This package includes tracking and monitoring.
6. Install a network system on all department computers so information can be shared electronically. Make files available to employees who must access the information needed in performing their jobs. Agree in part The County Data Processing Department has established and intra- and inter-departmental network for those who need it. They have also made both the internet and the Novell desk top programs, including e-mail, available. They will continue to upgrade the Countywide computer system.
7. Purchase four-wheel drive vehicle(s) for use in conducting inspections and/or investigations in areas where these vehicles are required for safe access by employees. Disagree in part It is the Environmental Health Department, not the building inspectors, who go out where road access has not yet been established. The Agency has two four-wheel drive vehicles which can be swapped betweend departments for particular investigations where required. The Environmental Health Department Director agrees with the Grand Jury on this and will need to present the request in the budget process.
8. Establish a clerical pool for interdepartmental use. Agree in part A clerical pool with qualified replacements already exists if a department has money in the budget to cover the costs. The need to "pre-budget" money for temps to cover vacations, sick leave, etc. is an ongoing problem and management personnel continue to lobby for the pool to be independently funded.
9. Purchase tire chains for inspector's vehicles. Not addressed Not addressed directly. See #7 above.

Amador County Health Department

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. The Committee recommends that ongoing recruitment activities be continued to ensure an adequate number of physicians are available to meet the demand. Agree This is required by State law. The Department will continue efforts to recruit physicians to provide these services. An outreach worker has been hired to work almost exclusively with local physicians to recruit them as CHDP providers.

Office of County Counsel

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. Continue training for Board Members, Supervisors and Department Heads in Equal Employment Opportunity, harassment, and proper form of disciplinary action to lessen the number of lawsuits brought against the County Agree Training provided by the Administrative Director and interaction in personnel matters between County Department Heads and the County Counsel's office before cases arise should have a salutary impact on future litigation costs.
2. Analyze all cases brought against the County to determine which departments need additional training. Agree See #1 above

Amador County Election Board

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. The Amador County Board of Supervisors convene a special session for election results certification of the final voter tally. Disagree The time frame for completing the official canvas and then transmitting the results to the Board of Supervisors is governed by the California Election Code. Unless you have a close race, the results are apparent on election night and there is no reason for the Board of Supervisors to call a special meeting.
2. To prevent confusion, the request for permanent absentee ballots should be in large bold type on the Sample Ballot. Agree in concept Space limitations on the back of the sample ballot do not allow for larger print. However, we will discuss this with the printer to see if it is possible to make the recommended changes.
3. To prevent a possible breach of confidentiality (Federal Privacy Act 1974) the backup voter registration data tape should be stored in a safe on County premises or the local safe deposit box. Agree The backup tape will be stored in a local safe deposit box.
4. To comply with the California Election Board Code Section 14272, County precinct workers need to be trained in the practice of placing all ballots into secrecy sleeves. The Inspector's Task Handout should be changed to reflect this procedure. Agree The Inspector's Handbook has been changed to read "Give each voter a secrecy sleeve with their ballot". This change will also be discussed at the pollworker training meeting prior to elections.
5. The County Election Board advertise new precincts, including maps in the newspaper, prior to election day. Disagree Printing maps in the newspaper is not practical and would be very expensive. When there is a need for establishing new districts these changes are printed in the newspaper. The new polling place is also identified on the back of the sample ballot. A legal notice is also published in the newspaper listing all polling places.

Amador County Service Area 3

1998-1999 Grand Jury Recommendation Response Comments
1. A moratorium should be imposed on the issuance of new water meters until such time as increased reliable water resources are available. Agree However, a moratorium can have a serious impact on property values. This is a political issue that must be addressed by the Lake Camanche Village Owner's Association. This board will be making recommendations to the Amador County Board of Supervisors as to the desired direction of long term water use planning.
2. A formal survey of the wells and aquifers by a hydrologist is made to determine water availability. Agree The people in CSA #3 are willing to invest in a formal study by a consultant. However, no one can guarantee the reliability of a groundwater supply in this geographic area.
3. If proven effective, the drilling of additional wells should be utilized instead of proceeding with plans for a surface water system. Agree If the people in CSA #3 decide to take the risk of relying on groundwater, that option will be pursued first. However, this geographical area does not lend itself to "proven effectiveness" of groundwater. This is a very complex issue.
4. The Director of Public Works issue one clear statement on water availability and estimated usage to both the Lake Camanche Village Homeowner's Association (LCVOA) and Board of Supervisors. Agree The LCVOA is to review tables outlining available water supply and projected usage. This is a complex issue and there are many variables. Work is in progress to determine the feasibility of purchasing and conveying water to CSA #3 through the Jackson Valley Estates Subdivision.
5. Conduct bi-monthly safety meetings to update all employees on safety procedures and proper equipment and chemical use. Agree Safety meetings will be conducted on at least a bi-weekly basis.
6. Increase the current budget to provide adequate safety clothing for water and wastewater personnel Agree The CSA Manager is responsible for making safety clothing and other needs available. He will notify the Maintenance Superintendent so the budget can reflect this.
7. Provide Material Safety Data Sheets for all working areas. Agree The Maintenance Superintendent and the CSA Manager have been directed to provide Material Safety Data Sheets for the appropriate working areas.
8. Provide proper storage, in a separate building, for chlorine gas used at wastewater treatment plant Agree A separate building will be used to store chlorine gas.
9. Install outside rails and permanent ladders inside water storage tanks. Agree Ladders for tanks will be made a priority
10. To improve communications between field personnel and the Director of Public Works, system operators should be responsible to the Director of Public Works. Disagree Due to workload, it is not practical for the Director of Public Works to directly supervise day to day operations and maintenance activities in the field.
11. Hire one additional full time employee for CSA #3 and provide an additional vehicle to alleviate the need for outside contractors and County personnel from other districts. Disagree Hiring an additional full time employee and vehicle full time would cost $53,500 per year and is not economically feasible.
12. Homeowners in CSA #3 should assume responsibility to conserve water. Agree As long as CSA #3 relies on groundwater supplies there will always be uncertainty about the amount available. It is very important for LCVOA to develop a water conservation plan. The Department of Public Works will work with this group to help them do this

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