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Mendocino County Today: May 6, 2013

JUST IN FROM THE REFORMATION PRAYER NETWORK: How the Prayer Network Sees Mendocino County.

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History

Mendocino County was one of the original counties of California, created in 1850 at the time of statehood. Due to an initially low population, it did not have a separate government until 1859 and was under the administration of Sonoma County prior to that.

The county derives its name from Cape Mendocino, which was probably named in honor of either Antonio de Mendoza, Viceroy of New Spain, 1535–1542 (who sent the Juan Cabrillo Expedition to this coast in 1542), or Lorenzo Suárez de Mendoza, Viceroy from 1580 to 1583. Mendocino is the adjectival form of the family name of Mendoza.

Neither Spanish nor Mexican influence extended into Mendocino County beyond establishing two Mexican land grants in southern Mendocino County: Rancho Sanel in Hopland, in 1844 and Rancho Yokaya that forms the majority of the Ukiah Valley, in 1845. In the 19th century, despite the establishment of the Mendocino Indian Reservation and Round Valley Reservation in 1856, the county witnessed many of the most serious atrocities in the extermination of the Californian Native American tribes who originally lived in the area, like the Yuki, the Pomo, the Cahto, and the Wintun. The systematic occupation of their lands, the reduction of many of their members into slavery and the raids against their settlements led to the Mendocino War in 1859, where hundreds of Indians were killed. The segregation continued well into the 20th century.

Mendocino County has a total area of 3,878.14 square miles (10,044.3 km2), of which 3,508.97 square miles (9,088.2 km2) (or 90.48%) is land and 369.17 square miles (956.1 km2) (or 9.52%) is water. The county is spread over a large geographic region and is known for it’s rugged coastline, breathtaking beaches, picturesque villages, majestic redwood forests and wine region. Ukiah is the county seat, where the city limits are approximately 15,500 residents. The Grater Ukiah area, including adjacent valleys and connecting community is home to more than 40,000. Ukiah is situated on the Highway101 corridor.

Demographics

According to the 2011 census the population of Mendocino County was 87,841. The median household income is about $35,000. The racial makeup of Mendocino County was 67,218 (76.5%) White, 622 (0.7%) African American, 4,277 (4.9%) Native American, 1,450 (1.7%) Asian, 119 (0.1%) Pacific Islander, 10,185 (11.6%) from other races, and 3,970 (4.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 19,505 persons (22.2%), 996.

The towns and cities in Mendocino County are: Albion, Anchor Bay, Boonville, Branscomb, Calpella, Caspar, Cleone, Comptche, Covelo, Gualala, Hopland, Inglenook, Laytonville, Leggett, Little River, Longvale, Manchester, Mendocino, Philo, Piercy, Pine Grove, Point Arena, Potter Valley, Redwood Valley, Rockport, and Talmage.

Adjacent counties: Sonoma County to the south, Lake County to the east, Glenn County to the east, Tehama County to the northeast, Trinity County to the north, and Humboldt County to the north.

Indian reservations: Mendocino County has nine Indian reservations lying within its borders, the fourth most of any county in the United States (after San Diego county, CA, Sandoval County, NM, and Riverside County, CA.): Coyote Valley Reservation, Guidiville Rancheria, Hopland Rancheria, Laytonville Rancheria, Manchester-Point Arena Rancheria, Pinoleville Rancheria, Redwood Valley Rancheria, round alley Reservation (partly in Trinity County), and Sherwood Valley Rancheria.

Economy, Agriculture and Major Industries

The county is noted for its distinctive Pacific Ocean coastline, Redwood forests, wine production, and microbrews. Many of the coastal communities depended mainly on commercial fishing but this has been interfered with as ground fish has become very regulated and even salmon fishing is cut off for much of the season. Mendocino County is blessed with a rich population of successful artists and writers. Some have come for the slower pace and beauty yet some have lived there most of their lives finding their niche in the arts.

Agriculture is a major industry in Mendocino County, and grows many of the wine grapes recognized in California’s great wines. Also grown is a high yield of cattle, buffalo, and other live stock as well as crops. Mendocino County has 4 Indian Gaming Casinos which employ many service workers. A majority of the businesses consist of less than 10 employees, and most are cottage industries or mom & pop establishments with fewer than 5 employees. The county depends a great deal on tourism, which has slumped since the decline in the economy.

The Unemployment Rate in Mendocino County is 11.5%. Mendocino has 8 parks listed by the State for closure. One of them has been spared due to the efforts of the community to keep it open through donations and fund raising. The difficulty that this raises with many communities is that when a significant park is closed, that interferes with the tourism that many small towns have come to rely on for economic vitality. Also, the plight of unused parkland will be subject to vandalism, marijuana growth, etc. The entire county is in a total uproar about this, for good reason.

Political Landscape

Much of the county leans more towards the liberal, non-conservative views. Mendocino is a strongly Democratic county in Presidential and congressional elections. The last Republican to win a majority in the county was Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1984. It is part of California’s 1st congressional district, which is held by Democrat Mike Thompson. In the state legislature Mendocino is in the 1st Assembly district, which is held by Democrat Wes Chesbro, and the 2nd Senate district, which is held by Democrat Noreen Evans.

Mendocino County, a part of the emerald triangle, has strong views about the use of cannabis and support for its legalization. It is estimated that roughly two-thirds of the economy is based on the cultivation of marijuana (taken from Wikipedia.)

In 2000, Mendocino County voters approved Measure G, which calls for the decriminalization of marijuana when used and cultivated for personal use. Measure G passed with a 58% majority vote, making it the first county in the United States to declare prosecution of small-scale marijuana offenses the “lowest priority” for local law enforcement. But, Measure G does not protect individuals who cultivate, transport or possess marijuana for sale. However, Measure G was passed at the local government level affecting only Mendocino County, and therefore does not affect existing state or federal laws. The city of Berkeley has had a similar law (known as the Berkeley Marijuana Initiative II) since 1979 which has generally been found to be unenforceable.

In 2008, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors placed Measure B on the June 3 county-wide ballot. After three months of hard-fought campaigning and national attention, voters narrowly approved “B”, which repealed the provisions of 2000′s Measure G. However, opponents of Measure B intend to continue the challenge in court, as the wording of Measure B relies heavily on S.B. 420′s state limitations which were recently ruled unconstitutional by the California Supreme Court. On July 3, the Sheriff and District Attorneys offices announced that they would not be enforcing the new regulations for the time being, citing pending legal challenges and conflicts with existing state law. In April, 2009, Sheriff Tom Allman issued his department’s medical marijuana enforcement policy, which includes the provisions of Measure B and also cites the California Supreme Court Ruling narrowly defining “caregiver” in the state’s medical marijuana law.

In 2004, Measure H was passed in Mendocino County with a 57% majority, making it the first county in the United States to ban the production and cultivation of genetically modified organisms.

On Nov. 4, 2008 Mendocino County voted 63.2 % against Proposition 8, which amended the California Constitution to define marriage as a union between one man and one woman.

Points of interest or concern

1. The City of Ten Thousand Buddhists, located outside of Ukiah in Talmage, is one of the largest Buddhist monastic communities in North America. The site was originally the Mendocino State Hospital and was purchased in the mid 70s. It is my understanding that the site was sold for one dollar.

2. Jim Jones worked at the Mendocino State Hospital as a social worker. Redwood Valley became the home of Jim Jones’ Peoples Temple cult for a short time. The site was chosen because Jones believed that it was one of the few places in the world likely to survive a nuclear holocaust.

3. Highway 101 is a corridor that seems to bring a great deal of homeless and transient travelers each Summer. Many become stranded there during the winter and suffer the cold and harsher climates. Fort Bragg has been known for a large population of disabled Veterans, mostly Vietnam Vets.

4. The first solar panel installed in America was installed in Willits, California.

5. Mendocino County has many residents that currently live off the grid. Although very strong and resourceful, there is a strong “independent spirit” that rules over many groups of people.

6. An independent spirit is a concern as many opportunities for funding for economic development, job creation and other regional approaches require counties to work together in a more regional approach. Also, this appears at times to take on an “anarchical chain reaction” among the residents here.

Prayer Points

Mendocino, like many counties is lacking in economic development and growth potentials. Although the job market is better than its neighboring Lake County, there is a great lack in sustainable wage employment opportunities that meet the needs of the housing cost in Mendocino County.

New Age and occult has a strong hold over many in this region. Drugs are a large part of this, as well as a strong independent spirit.

Pray for a breaking of all bondages that keeps people from having a personal relationship with the Lord: such as drugs, alcohol, disease, mental illnesses, poverty and religious spirits.

Pray that the job opportunities will open up: Many workers do not have the desire to work, and will opt to trim pot for $200.00 a day during the harvest 
time and live in poverty the rest of the year.

Many employers insist on paying very low wages, and not appreciating the workforce needs for sustainable 
wages.

Pray for the Poverty Spirit to be broken which includes complacency and lethargy.

Pray that the Board of Supervisors would set aside their personal and financial agendas and work together for economic development.

Pray for the Native Americans to be set free from poverty and the spirit of bitterness.

Pray that forgiveness and reconciliation would begin to break through.

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THE PRAYER GROUP'S description of Mendocino County is pretty good. What's odd is their concern for us. I thought the usual idea is to pray for individuals, not all the individuals who happen to be living within the temporal confines of a secular society. I know that God is on our side in global disputes, but that's all of US, not all of US county by county. Besides, this kind of thing, ostentatious piety, is specifically prohibited by God Himself!

MAJOR! Fetch our office copy of the Old Testament and read aloud Matthew, verses 5 and 6, The Parable of the Closet: “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogue, and at street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the goddam door, and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.” (I think the Major may have added a word there.)

THE WONDERFUL PHRASE, “anarchical chain reaction” as applied to the perceived independent spirit of Mendocino County seems apt, though. But from the prayer group's perspective, independence of thought isn't particularly desirable. It gets in the way of business. They're praying for us to be less independent. So, I'm writing to these people to ask that I specifically be excluded from their concern, and you should too.

PrayerNetworkBESIDES, LOOKING at the porpoise-slick pusses of the sponsors, and I don't pretend to speak for God here, but if I were Him I'd be a little offended at their, oh I don't know, their smugness, I guess. You want pious people to at least look like they're not on emotional auto-pilot, that they've given this stuff some serious thought. They should look like Tolstoy, not Ukiah Rotary.

THE PRAYERS should know that Jim Jones didn't work at the Mendocino State Hospital; he worked in Boonville as a school teacher. Jones' wife, Marcelline, worked at the State Hospital. Mike Thompson is no longer our Congressman. He has moved next door to a freshly gerrymandered Congressional district. His clone, Spike Huffman, now represents Thompson's old district plus Marin, basically. And, yes, it's true; the Supervisors sold the beautiful and perfectly serviceable 488-acre state hospital at Talmage to the Buddhists for just $248,000, a deal much like the one made by an earlier board of supervisors, the late Joe Scaramella dissenting, who sold all the water in Lake Mendocino, forever, to Sonoma County. Why the bargain sale of the state hospital to the Buddhists? The thinking was that the County couldn't afford the upkeep (!)

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COVELO has a brand new media, community radio KYBU at 96.9 on your dial, complete with a KZYX-like menu of programming supplemented by local stuff to be named later. Reading between the lines of the account in the Ukiah Daily Journal by Karen Rifkin, it seems the prime movers are Covelo young people who went off to Vassar College, came home, looked around to see what Round Valley could use, and came up with a public radio station. KOZT, the venerable Fort Bragg radio station, has been helpful getting KYBU on the air.

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GINA CONNOR is the new Deputy Director of Child Protective Services for Mendocino County. On April 23, 2013, she gave the Board of Supervisors a few child welfare statistics in a PowerPoint Presentation along with a somewhat unique, not to say self-serving, interpretation of them.

“Total referrals to Child Welfare Services in 2011 was 2,959. Total in person responses was 1746. Average monthly caseload is about 341 cases which includes kids back home with their parents (116), children in out-of-home care who are in reunification (100), children in permanent placement foster care (111), and children who are non-minors who are 18 and over (14).

“In 2011 the rate of substantiated cases of child abuse and neglect for California was 9.1 per 1000 children. However in Mendocino County it was 19.1. This is consistent with the higher rate for the entire northern region of children in care.” According to Ms. Conner, “We believe this is because we care in Mendocino County. We are concerned about our kids. When we get a call we are more likely to go out and investigate and check out what’s happening and how we can help.”

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THE GREAT GLOBAL FOOD GAP: Families around the world reveal weekly food costs cost ranges from $5 to $500

A study of what 30 families living around the world eat in one week shows the huge gulf between the diets of different nations.

Crisps, biscuits and chocolate treats dominate the shopping basket of the Baintons from Britain who spend an average of $250 every week to feed their family of four. Other items on their shopping list include ready meals such as baked beans as well as convenience goods like ketchup, teabags and mayonnaise. They list their favorite foods as avocado, prawn cocktail and chocolate fudge cake with cream.

Chad, North Africa: The Aboubakar family from Darfur, Sudan, spend $50 a week on food to feed six people.

Japan: The Ukita family from Kodaira City spends $320 weekly for food.

Egypt: The Ahmed family from Cairo spends around $65 a week on food.

Luxembourg: The Kuttan-Kasses of Erpeldange spend around $480 a week on food

At a refugee camp in drought-hit Chad, north Africa, six members of the Aboubakar family are forced to last an entire week on a few bags of grain, air-dried mutton and a few jerrycans of water, costing around $55 a week.

Families in Ecuador, South America, such as the Aymes, also struggle to survive on their measly provisions. They have just $32 to buy a week's worth of food, usually cabbage and yams for soup, to feed a family of nine.

But in other developed countries, the shopping lists resemble those of the UK.

America: The Revis family from North Carolina spends $350 on the weekly food shop which includes fast food such as pizza, Burger King and McDonald's to feed their family of four.

Australia: The Browns spend about $385 for a week's worth of food.

Poland: The Sobczynscy family from Konstancin-Jeziorna spends around $160 on their weekly shop.

Mongolia: The Batsuuri family of Ulaanbaatar spend around $40 a week on food.

India: The Patkars of Ujjain also spend around $40 a week on food

Mali: The Natomos of Kouakourou spend around $30 on food per week.

In Japan, the Ukita family spend $320 on their weekly shop which includes large amounts of expensive fish to cook dishes such as sashimi.

The Manzos family in Italy appear to have a more balanced diet with the fish, pasta and fresh fruit and vegetables and soft drinks appearing on their weekly $265 shopping list.

But the Melanders from Bargteheide, Germany beat them all with just over $500 spent on their weekly shop to feed four people.

It is world's away from what the Namgay family from Shingkhey Village in Buhtan have to spend to feed 13 people: a mere $5.

Ecuador: The Ayme family's week's worth of food cost $32 at their home in Tingo.

Kuwait: The Al Haggan family from Kuwait City with their $225 a week on food.

Guatemala: The Mendozas of Todos Santos spend around $70 a week on their weekly food shop.

Canada: The Melansons of Iqaluit, Nunavut Territory, spend around $350 a week on food.

Menzel visited 30 families in 24 countries to research the book with his wife Faith D'Aluisio, who said: 'We hope this is a culinary atlas of the planet at a time of extraordinary change.'

Each family's profile includes a detailed description of their weekly food purchases and a portrait of the entire family surrounded by a week's worth of groceries.

Mexico: The Casales family from Cuernavaca spends around $180 a week on food.

China: The Dong family from Beijing spends around $160 on food every week.

United States: The Caven family from California spends around $165 a week on food.

France: The Le Moines of Montreuil spends around $430 every week on food.

Greenland: The Madsens of Cap Hope spend around $285 a week on food.

Turkey: The Celiks of Istanbul spend around $150 a week on food.

(These food/diet snapshots of global eating habits are the subject of a new book, “The Hungry Planet” by Peter Menzel.)

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CITY OF UKIAH vs. UKIAH VALLEY SANITATION DISTRICT

ROUND THREE (April 3, 2013)

Mendocino County Grand Jury

SUMMARY

The Grand Jury (GJ) has been documenting the adversarial relationship between the City of Ukiah and the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District (UVSD) since 2005. Considering new costly environmental regulations, downgrading of the sewer plant loan, disgruntled ratepayers, and the lack of a new customer base, this continued animosity between the two agencies is only making a serious situation worse.

Both entities have little reason to trust each other. They are bound together by a Participation Agreement (PA) that is flawed and unworkable, and favors the City. The City has shown disrespect for the UVSD by ignoring their requests for basic information. The City’s antiquated computer system added to the problem by making it difficult to provide information to the UVSD. City management staff states they want annexation of the UVSD’s assets. The UVSD is considering withdrawing from the PA and joining with Ukiah Valley Water Districts.

City upper management continues to be unresponsive to official communication from the UVSD. The UVSD is reactive to the City, the City is reactive to the authorities, and no one is doing the long-range planning which is necessary for a successful operation.

The end result will depend on what Local Area Formation Commission (LAFCo) recommends and permits. Both parties may take legal action to amend or break the PA.

Adding to the problem are the Moody’s downgrade of the sewer bonds, and new water board regulations which have already cost $372K just to assess the situation. In addition, the aging infrastructure is in need of repairs. These issues will result in additional sewer rate hikes in the near future.

The GJ is recommending that the City and the UVSD learn how to work together beginning with improving their communication with each other. The City needs to provide documents to the UVSD and expedite implementation of their financial system. The UVSD should move forward towards implementing its own financial system and be attentive to the activities of the city council concerning water and sewer issues. LAFCo should conduct a feasibility study on the consolidation of sewer and water agencies. As final consideration, the UVSD should seek legal counsel regarding capture of lost revenues and options to disassociate from the PA.

BACKGROUND

In 1954, the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District joined with the City to provide sewer services for the Ukiah Valley. On July 19, 1995, the City of Ukiah and the UVSD entered into a Participation Agreement (PA) for the operation of sewer facilities. The UVSD was a dependent district governed by city and county officials until 2006, at which time they became an independent district with an elected board. There were never any modifications to the PA to address this change.

Since 2006, the GJ has conducted three investigations regarding the relationship between the City of Ukiah and the UVSD. The investigation resulted in a report (Time for Change dated May 21, 2009), which included 19 recommendations by the GJ. Although the City responded positively to most of the recommendations, none of them were implemented and all of the problems still exist.

A joint Ad Hoc Committee was formed in 2009, and in a report, made recommendations to revise the PA. These recommendations were described as “good governance improvements”. None of these revisions were made.

In 2012-2013, the GJ received a complaint accusing the City of unfair treatment towards the UVSD. This GJ decided to re-examine the relationship between the UVSD and the City and investigate the reasons for the City’s financial downgrade by Moody’s.

DISCUSSION

The relationship between the City of Ukiah and the UVSD is not working. The disparities are numerous and serious and indicate a lack of good governance to the detriment of the UVSD, and therefore the community it serves. This dysfunctional relationship is characterized by an unfair Participation Agreement (PA), fiscal mismanagement, a lack of cooperation by City upper management, and unclear policies and procedures that are a disservice to the UVSD. The GJ’s investigation of the current relationship uncovered the following.

Participation Agreement

The PA that binds the two entities has been biased towards the City from the start, and is not a fair or workable document. The PA essentially transfers the primary functions of the UVSD, to the City of Ukiah, leaving the UVSD with no oversight or control. The City has no motivation or reason to change the PA. Both the GJ and Joint Ad Hoc Committee made suggestions to improve the PA; however the recommendations were not implemented.

The City is responsible for collecting all revenue and paying all costs. The sharing of the cost is based on receipts of the ratepayers rather than the allocation of ESSU’s, as specified in the PA. There continue to be discrepancies in the assignment of revenue of some UVSD ratepayers residing within the city limits.

The PA does not address the problem of the rate variance between the UVSD ratepayers and the City ratepayers that reside within the city limits.

The City is responsible for operation and maintenance of the plant and the sewer collection system. However, the City does not maintain records of the specific costs involved; it is impossible to determine the accuracy of the City’s allocation of costs to the UVSD. The UVSD has found reason to question the City’s records and charges.

The agreement requires the City and the UVSD to meet jointly once a year to carry out the purpose of the PA, and this has not been complied with.

Other than budget matters, the agreement does not include a method for dispute resolution.

Serious Financial Issues

In 2012, two serious financial issues developed requiring cooperation and joint future planning. The Moody’s downgrade of the sewer bond makes borrowing money more costly, and the newly mandated requirements for removing additional chemicals from the sewer plant discharge requires expenditures of large sums of money.

Ratepayer costs for both the City and the UVSD have doubled and are expected to increase again. Both sides are to blame for the current situation. The Moody’s downgrade of the City of Ukiah’s outstanding bond debt of $71.9M went from A2 to Baa1. The downgrade reflects the City’s reliance on unexpended bond proceeds and capitalized interest to meet the rate covenant in fiscal 2011 and 2012, and the use of the Rate Stabilization Fund in 2013. This deterioration of finances points to a large rate increase in 2013 and beyond. The unused bond money and interest earned is being used to pay the indebtedness of the bonds.

New North Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board regulations are asking for additional technological requirements and modifications to the sewer plant. The facts reflect that the City has neglected to notify the UVSD in a timely manner of these new regulations, or of the City’s decision to hire an engineering firm to study the matter and propose solutions to treat the nitrate/ammonia problem. Initial contract cost is $372K, of which 65% is the responsibility of the UVSD. The UVSD has accused the City of insufficient notification of study and negotiations of the contract.

The sewer system infrastructure is aging and parts of it are in need of repair. Problems of infiltration (the entrance of ground waters into the sewer pipe) exist in the sewage collection system, which overwhelms the capacity of the sewer treatment plant in the winter months. With the financial assistance of grants some repairs have been accomplished but much more remains to be done. The repair and/or replacement of lateral lines and trunk lines will result in future costs to ratepayers.

The proximity of the percolation ponds that hold effluent from the wastewater treatment plant will eventually have to be closed due to their proximity to the Russian River. This effluent may be used for irrigation at parks, golf courses, orchards, etc. However, the additional treatment of the water and the infrastructure to carry the water to where it may be used will be costly.

The UVSD maintains that the City continues to ignore their request for financial documentation and information. The UVSD states the information received from the city is confusing and un-useable. City management states that the questions asked by the UVSD are not specific.

The UVSD has requested a list of district customers; however the city’s current billing system cannot deliver this basic information. The City has promised a new computer system since 2007, and informed us that the new system is finally being implemented. The UVSD’s continuing request for a basic customer list and the City’s inability to provide this information has now resulted in a FOIA request. UVSD claimed originally there were 172 accounts in the overlap area that were being incorrectly credited to the City. Recent clerical efforts on behalf of the City have resulted in reducing the number of discrepancies. The UVSD has recently decided to develop their own duplicate financial system to track costs since the City continues to deny their requests for information.

Instead of sending delinquent UVSD bills to the county tax collector, the City mistakenly sent them to a private collection agency resulting in delayed payments and loss of revenues. The UVSD has taken this function over from the city to avoid further problems.

In order to take advantage of planned road construction on North State Street, the UVSD laid sewer lines for future development. The development has not materialized resulting in a $250K cost to the UVSD with no incoming revenue.

Possible Solutions

Two conflicting solutions to the impasse have been suggested; each benefits a specific entity.

A recent study by an independent consultant contracted by UVSD, titled, “Consolidation of Wastewater and Water Services in the Ukiah Valley”, outlines a possible solution for dissolving the PA and strengthening the district. This would mean the consolidation of the UVSD and water districts for the Ukiah Valley. This solution requires the assistance of LAFCo, other cooperative water agencies, legal counsel, and possibly the state legislature. The authority of LAFCo is principally one of planning and regulating the extent of individual government services in a particular area of influence, to encourage orderly government and discourage urban sprawl.

The City is proposing detachment of the overlap areas of city and district and annexation of contiguous areas to the City. This solution reduces the extent of responsibility and service area of UVSD but does not resolve the issues inherent in the PA and does not address the financial responsibilities and obligations.

Positives

There are some positive things to note. The City has been promising a new financial system since 2007, and city staff stated that they are working on making the system operational later this year. Communication has improved as mid-level City staff and

UVSD have begun working together. To correct the infiltration problems, the City has lined a small portion of the clay pipes in older neighborhoods. There is also a small pilot project known as the Water Reuse Program to be used in the pear orchards south of town. After taking a tour of the Waste Water Treatment Plant, the GJ was impressed by the small, dedicated staff and its efficient operation.

FINDINGS

The City of Ukiah has not provided UVSD with sufficient information forcing UVSD to make a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request.

The City of Ukiah’s antiquated financial systems have added to the tension between the two organizations.

The unilateral management by the City of Ukiah has resulted in fees/fines that the UVSD has been required to pay. City upper management has shown a lack of respect to UVSD by being unresponsive to requests, and expecting UVSD to immediately concur with the city’s decisions.

The Participation Agreement (PA) is not a workable document and has a clear bias towards the City of Ukiah.

LAFCo is in a position to facilitate resolution of conflicts between agencies by means of the municipal service review and sphere of influence.

RECOMMENDATIONS

The City of Ukiah should provide UVSD with a copy of their customer list per the FOIA request.

The UVSD complete the creation of its own accounting system.

The UVSD use legal counsel to recapture lost revenues from the City of Ukiah.

The UVSD seek legal counsel regarding options to disassociate from the Participation Agreement.

LAFCo conduct a feasibility study on consolidation of sewer and water agencies and provide conflict resolution between UVSD and the City of Ukiah.

6 Comments

  1. James Marmon May 6, 2013

    There is a tool that CPS social workers are required to use called the Structured Decision Making (SDM) Response Protocol Tool. If Mendocino County used the tool correctly, they would go out on about 50% fewer calls than they go out on now. Supervisors routinely override the tool and send social workers out to harrash families anyway, even if the tool recommends evaluating out the referral. Children are a hot commodity in our county, that is why we have over twice the State average of responses.

  2. James Marmon May 6, 2013

    Ms Conner is correct regarding how her agency responds to referrals. However, most of the referrals that CPS goes out on, other counties would not waste their time. They would be what other counties “Eval Out.” If child abuse does not exist when CPS goes out to a home, it will before they leave.

    I do not believe that Mendocino County cares more about their children than any other county. It is my opinion that Mendocino County cares more for the Title IV-E funds that these children bring to the county and maintaining the human trafficking racket they and their contractors have constructed over the past years. Follow the money, foster care and adoption services are cash cows. Ms. Conner’s explanation for the high numbers is ridiculous and not evidenced based. The State of California has no research category in which they measure which county cares more their children than any other.

    Groupthink exists, do yourself a favor, ask questions, and evolve.

  3. Alisha taylor May 6, 2013

    So if CPS really ” cairs” then why is emerald herriot dead and the other poor baby who was an open cps case in the hospital? ? Because u all cair about you’re own, reunification is a joke. Everyone who eather works in Mendocino county cps is or thinks they are ” good people or cair so much ” is a stupid as they are. Cps needs an overhaul and the staff who are responsible for negligent decisions should be legally punished!!!!!!

  4. subscriber2@theava.com May 6, 2013

    The Ukita family could get more enjoyment from its fish budget by not cooking their sashimi.

    CPS:
    “We are concerned about our kids. When we get a call we are more likely to go out and investigate and check out what’s happening and how we can help.”

    Well, 60% (1746 out of 2959) of the time, anyway.

    Jim Armstrong
    PV

  5. John Sakowicz May 6, 2013

    Thanks for posting Grand Jury reports.

  6. Bill Pilgrim May 6, 2013

    Unless there’s been a revisionist war in heaven that has yet to percolate down to our mundane level, Matthew is still a book in the New Testament.

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