Supervisors updated on Klamath dams
by Dale Andreasen, Siskiyou Daily News 12/4/09
Yreka, Calif. - Siskiyou County Counsel Thomas Guarino presented
an update to the board of supervisors at its Tuesday meeting
regarding the status of the county’s involvement in the ongoing
negotiations concerning the Hydroelectric Settlement Agreement (KHSA)
and the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA).
Both agreements are aimed at examining and/or pursuing removal of
the four hydroelectric dams owned by PacifiCorp and currently in
operation on the Klamath River.
The county has been told by federal and state negotiators that, in
order to approve the hydro agreement, the KBRA must be signed. The
KBRA has been negotiated by a coalition of 26 non-elected,
non-governmental organizations representing environmental
concerns, some fisheries organizations, some tribal interests, a
group of farmers on the Klamath Project near Tulelake and others.
Guarino explained that meetings will take place concerning these
proposed agreements on Dec. 9 and 10 in Portland, Ore., and on
Dec. 15 and 16 in Sacramento. He said that a final decision on
whether the county will sign the agreements is supposed to be made
by Jan. 14.
“However, there can be no decision until the board has had a
chance to review the final KBRA document,” Guarino said.
He pointed out that the board received a copy of the KBRA on Nov.
13, the day after the last public meeting. Then, he continued, the
board received another, further revised, copy on Tuesday, just
prior to the board meeting.
Guarino said he understands that further revisions are still being
“There is no final document as of yet,” he said.
He explained that a “final, final” document is expected to come
out a few days before Christmas.
“The board will have less than 10 working days to make a
decision,” he added. Guarino said he has made it clear that the
supervisors need 60 days to consider a final document and to hold
another public hearing.
“The truth of the matter is that they will not change the final
date to accommodate the board and the citizens of Siskiyou
County,” Guarino said.
In a somewhat-related matter, the supervisors voted unanimously to
earmark $30,000 for salmon enhancement in the Klamath Basin.
The money would help fund a salmon propagation and restoration
program proposed by the Alaska Resource and Economic Recovery
team. ARED visited the county in September of 2008 and presented
several workshops on its unique methodology, which has been used
with great success in Alaska, according to County Natural Resource
Policy Specialist Ric Costales.
Committee to explore options for auditor replacement
The county’s finance committee, which was formed to look into
problems in the auditor’s office earlier this year, was instructed
by the board to explore options for replacing the
Auditor Leanna Dancer submitted a letter of resignation last month
and has presented a signed “notice of irrevocable resignation” to
county clerk Colleen Setzer.
Dancer’s resignation becomes effective Dec. 30. The position will
be on the ballot in the November 2010 general election. March 12,
2010, is the final day for prospective candidates to file papers
to run for the position. Qualifications for the office are
available at the county clerk’s office.
An appointee to the position would serve the remaining 12 months
of Dancer’s term of office.
The board decided earlier this year to remove the recorder’s
functions from the auditor’s office and to assign those tasks to
the county assessor, effective in January of 2011. On a motion by
supervisor Jim Cook, it was decided to move that effective date up
as early as possible in 2010.
The finance committee is composed of supervisor Ed Valenzuela,
board chair Michael Kobseff, county administrator Brian McDermott
and county counsel Guarino.
In other actions: • Assistant auditor Jennie Ebejer presented a
recommendation to the board to purchase software and installation
services to automate the county’s accounts payable system. The
proposal called for the purchase of software priced at $57,407
from ACS Enterprise Solutions and for the purchase of imaging
software and installation services priced at $64,850 from SSD
The purchases were voted on separately and narrowly passed on
votes of 3-2 on each item. Supervisors Kobseff and Valenzuela
voted no on both purchases.
Ebejer explained that the electronic system would allow the
auditor’s office to work “much more efficiently, which is
necessary due to employee cutbacks.”
The county’s Department of Child Support Services is providing
funding for the purchases.
• A hearing and second reading of a proposed ordinance to adjust
fees charged by the assessor’s office took place, with the board
approving the ordinance by a vote of 5-0. The first reading took
place at the Nov. 3 board meeting.
• Captain Doug Uhlik, new commander of the California Highway
Patrol Yreka area office, appeared before the board during the
public comment period to introduce himself. The next meeting of
the board of supervisors takes place on Dec. 8 at the county
courthouse in Yreka. Most meetings begin with a closed session at
9 a.m., followed by the open session beginning at 10.