May 2, 2023 — Kings County Board of Supervisors
Documented by Josef Sibala
Here’s what you need to know:
- During the meeting, the Kings Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution authorizing the director of public health to apply for the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) Grant application with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery. The grant funds would be used for personnel, equipment and training costs associated with the implementation of the county solid waste program LEA, as required by CalRecycle.
- The board authorized the sheriff to sign the agreement with the Department of State Hospitals for the Jail-Based Competency Treatment Program retroactively, effective Dec. 2, 2022, through June 30, 2024. The agreement provides custody costs needed to provide services.
- The board adopted a resolution proclaiming May Mental Health Awareness Month and Maternal Mental Health Month in Kings County.
- The board (5-0) renewed the declaration of a local emergency due to flood conditions in Kings County since” extreme peril to the safety of persons and property” continues to exist within the county caused by excessive precipitation and flooding.
- The board approved an agreement with Kings Partnership for Prevention to establish, facilitate and support the Kings County Health Equity Advisory Panel per the California Equitable Recovery Initiative requirements, effective upon execution through June 30, 2024.
- How will the board and agencies respond to existing flood conditions in the county?
- What will be the further actions by the Kings County Health Equity Advisory Panel?
- How can residents participate in events coinciding with the Mental Health Awareness Month and Maternal Mental Health Month?
According to its website, Kings County is a “general law” county, meaning the state constitution and general law determine the county’s governmental structure.
The Board of Supervisors is the governing body for Kings County and many county special districts. Each of the board’s five members is elected in a nonpartisan manner to a four-year term.
The board sets policies and depends on the county administrator, county officials and department heads to fulfill its wishes.
The Board of Supervisors has administrative, legislative and quasi-judicial duties and responsibilities prescribed by the California State Constitution and Statutes.
On Tuesday, May 2, 2023, the meeting was held at 9 a.m. in the board chambers at 1400 West Lacey Blvd. in Administration Building No. 1 in Hanford.
Kings County County Board of Supervisors Members present:
- Joe Neves, District 1 (Lemoore and Stratford)
- Richard Valle, District 2 (Avenal, Corcoran, Home Garden and Kettleman City)
- Doug Verboon, District 3 (North Hanford, Island District and North Lemoore)
- Rusty Robinson, District 4 (Armona & Hanford)
- Richard Fagundes, District 5 (Hanford and Burris Park)
- Assistant County Administrative Officer Kyria Martinez
- Administrative Officer Analyst Domingo Cruz
- Assessor/Clerk/Recorder Kristine Lee
- Public Health Director Rose Mary Rahn
- Public Health Assistant Director Heather Silva
- Behavioral Health Director Lisa Lewis
- Diane Badasci
- Jay Wood
- Wendy Osikafo
- Christine Olvera
- Tyler Pepe
- John Bsmajian Criscom
- Gaby Rodriguez
- David Long
- Heather Silva
- Chanda Jackson
- Monica Connor
- Cynthia Baruch
- Jaime Howe
- Carin Kottraba
- Sheriff Robinson
- Atonya Moore
- Michelle Brown
- Scott Holewell
- Sarah Hacker
Executive Director of Main Street Hanford Michelle Brown said they have partnered with Adventist Health and Family Healthcare Network to solve food insecurity.
Sarah Hacker stressed the hiring difficulties in the District Attorney’s Office.
A. The board (3-2) approved the minutes from the regular meeting for April 25. Supervisors Valle and Fagundes abstained.
In the consent calendar, the board (5-0) unanimously approved items as follows:
A. Department of Agriculture:
1. The board (5-0) retroactively approved the cooperative agreement with the California Department of Food and Agriculture for the county’s Pink Bollworm Cotton Plowdown and Host-Free Monitoring Program, effective Dec. 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023.
The cooperative agreement is for the county to enforce the cotton plowdown and monitor the pink bollworm host-free period.
The department will survey all cotton-growing areas in the county for compliance with cotton plowdown regulations. It will monitor the pink bollworm host-free period for cotton from Dec. 20, 2022, through March 10, 2023.
This agreement is from December 1, 2022, through June 30, 2023. This is an ongoing program, for which the department received verbal confirmation from CDFA to continue while it drafted the agreement.
The department received the agreement on March 28, due to internal delays at the CDFA.
B. County Counsel:
1. The board (5-0) appointed Helen Wells as a trustee of the Hanford Cemetery District to fill a vacant term of office that expires on Jan. 1, 2024.
The Hanford Cemetery District has a five-member Board of Trustees. The trustees each serve staggered four-year terms.
Due to the retirement of Wesley Yeary, there is one vacancy to be filled. Wells’ application has been received by the clerk of the Board of Supervisors requesting appointment to the seat.
The district has requested that the Board of Supervisors appoint trustee Helen Wells to serve the remainder of Yeary’s four-year term, which will expire on Jan. 1, 2024.
2. The board (5-0) adopted a resolution authorizing the Hanford Joint Union High School District to sell bonds directly.
An election was held in the Hanford Joint Union High School District (the “District”) on Nov. 8, 2016, for the issuance and sale of general obligation bonds of the District for various purposes in the maximum amount of $33 million.
On May 22, 2018, the district issued an initial series of bonds for $12.99 million under the bond measure.
On July 29, 2020, the district issued a second series of bonds for $10.99 million.
The district now desires to issue the second series of bonds not to exceed $9.045 million and authorized the sale at its May 9 board meeting.
The bonds are being authorized for sale to provide funds to finance projects approved by Measure L and to pay the costs of issuing the bonds.
3. The board (5-0) renewed the declaration of a local emergency due to flood conditions in Kings County.
The California Emergency Services Act, Government Code section 8550, et seq., authorizes the Board to proclaim local emergencies based on the “existence of disaster conditions or extreme peril to the safety of persons and property” caused by the flood. After that, the county may work with the California Emergency Management Agency to seek appropriate aid and transfer funds to address emergencies upon a four-fifths vote.
On March 10, the county’s emergency services director proclaimed a local emergency due to flood conditions. Under Ordinance 6-7(A)(1), the board ratified the proclamation.
During the first quarter of 2023, the Tulare Lake Basin experienced unprecedented precipitation due to 12 atmospheric rivers. The time between January and March brought, significant rainfall and snow to the region. As of April, the 6-Station precipitation index for the Tulare Lake Basin was equivalent to the precipitation recorded during the wettest period in 1968-1969.
The series of atmospheric rivers in March partially filled Tulare Lake.
The California Department of Water Resources conducted snow surveys and reported that as of April 7, the statewide snow water content is 246% higher than the average amount recorded.
In the southern region, where the watershed for Tulare Lake is situated, the snow water content was 296% of the average.
Estimated runoff from the snowpack grossly exceeds the capacity of reservoirs along the Kings River, Kaweah River, Tule River and Kern Rivers.
Prolonged high releases from these reservoirs are anticipated to flow into Tulare Lake this spring and into the summer months.
These flows will cause additional flooding of Tulare Lake and other portions of Kings County. They will severely stress the water conveyance infrastructure in Kings County and the region, resulting from erosion caused by high velocities and seepage from elevated water surface levels in the channels.
Initial damage estimates due to flooding exceed $43 million. Additional damage is anticipated.
Conditions of “extreme peril to the safety of persons and property” continue to exist within the county caused by excessive precipitation and flooding.
C. Human Resources:
1. a. The board (5-0) authorized the human resources director to sign the side letter to the agreement with the supervisor’s unit for modifications to Article 41 Public Health Department Professional Licenses;
b. The board (5-0) authorized the human resources director to sign the side letter to the agreement with the general unit for modifications to Article 42 Public Health Department Professional Licenses.
The county’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the General and Supervisor’s membership of the California League of City Employees Association (CLOCEA) was approved, with a term beginning July 1, 2021.
The county and the CLOCEA met and conferred on April 12 regarding the increases to the professional license fees for employees in the Public Health Department.
The CLOCEA membership has ratified the agreement.
The fiscal impact of the professional license rate increases will be approximately $3,616 over three years. The Public Health Department’s budget will absorb these costs.
D. Public Health Department:
1. The board approved an agreement with Kings Partnership for Prevention to establish, facilitate and support the Kings County Health Equity Advisory Panel per the California Equitable Recovery Initiative requirements effective upon execution through June 30, 2024.
As part of the Coronavirus Response and Relief Act of 2021, the CDC awarded the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) a portion of the National Initiative to Address COVID-19 Health Disparities Among Populations at High-Risk and Underserved grant.
The CDC expects state public health agencies to use available funds to address the impact of COVID-19 and advance health equity.
CDPH subsequently awarded $421,620 to the Kings County Department of Public Health (KCDPH).
One of the main activities to be carried out with this funding is the establishment of a Health Equity Advisory Panel.
A Sole Source Justification was submitted to and approved by the Kings County purchasing manager to contract with Kings Partnership for Prevention (KPFP) to establish, facilitate and support the Kings County Health Equity Advisory Panel (KCHEAP).
The panel will be composed of, but not limited to, individuals from the following sectors: churches/spiritual leadership groups, health services, community-based organizations, schools and community day cares, tribal representation, food service/pantry providers and community-based services that are not necessarily health centric.
A specific emphasis will be placed on recruiting individuals and organizations that are representative of groups disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and representative of the cultural and ethnic diversity in Kings County.
KPFP has been identified as the best organization to lead this effort due to its extensive experience, knowledge and connections within the identified sectors, allowing KPFP to quickly and efficiently establish the KCHEAP.
2. The board adopted a resolution authorizing the director of public health to apply for the Local Enforcement Agency (LEA) Grant application with the Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery.
For fiscal year 2023-24, the LEA grant of approximately $19,666 is available from CalRecycle.
The grant funds would be used for personnel, equipment and training costs associated with the implementation of the county solid waste program LEA, as required by CalRecycle. Of the total grant amount, $17,666 would be allocated to personnel expenses to help offset the cost of performing the minimum 101 onsite inspections required per year.
Additionally, the grant will help offset the cost of responding to solid waste-related illegal dumping complaints.
$1,000 would be allocated to costs associated with training, such as travel expenses, and $1,000 would be allocated to equipment costs, such as PPE, boots, high visibility vests, gloves, eye protection, etc.
1. The board changed the designation from Sarah Poots to the risk manager, as the representative for Kings County, to the board of directors for the Public Risk Innovation, Solutions, and Management (PRISM).
Public Risk Innovation, Solutions, and Management Excess Insurance Authority (PRISM EIA) were formed by and for California counties in 1979 by the California State Association of Counties (CSAC).
Today, 55 out of the 58 counties in California participate in one or more of the EIA programs. In 2001, the EIA expanded its offerings to other California public agencies.
Currently, over 70% of the cities in California participate in one or more of the EIA programs.
In addition, various special districts, school districts and joint powers agencies also participate in EIA programs.
The EIA is recognized as the largest public entity property and casualty pool in the United States.
Regular agenda items are as follows:
A. Behavioral Health Department (reported by Lisa Lewis)
1. The board adopted a resolution proclaiming May as Mental Health Awareness Month and Maternal Mental Health Month in Kings County.
The primary purpose of the observance is to generate a greater understanding of the importance of mental health and to promote services and the natural resources available.
The observance also seeks to reduce the barriers and stigma associated with individuals seeking mental health treatments and wellness programs to live longer and healthier lives.
Additionally, May is Maternal Mental Health Month, for which the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) releases a tool kit to assist in spreading awareness of this observance.
The primary purpose of the observance is to raise awareness of the importance of maternal mental health and its impact on the mother’s health after the delivery of a baby and the development of children, families and communities.
Throughout May, Public Health and KCBH will be engaging the community in collaboration with Kings Partnership for Prevention and the Kings County Mental Health Task Force.
Radio messaging will promote the importance of mental health and the use of natural resources and services to promote one’s mental health. The monthlong campaign will be aired via iHeart Media in Spanish and English on La Preciosa 92.9, B-95, and Power Talk 96.7
Through Kings Partnership for Prevention, social media messaging will promote mental health wellness tips and resources.
Updated billboard near Lacey Boulevard and 11th Avenue, behind Baskin Robbins, promoting the ability for any individual to call or text the 9-8-8 national Suicide and Crisis Lifeline any time, night or day, to be immediately connected with crisis and suicide prevention support.
Community engagement via a Hanford’s Thursday Night Marketplace booth to promote local services such as the Kings/Tulare Warmline; 2-1-1 community resource locator; 9-8-8 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline; KCBH support groups; and KCBH Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder programs.
Oak Wellness Center Wellness Fair & Community Walk is open to the community and will occur May 25 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Oak Wellness Center at 1393 Bailey Drive in Hanford.
Pop-up resource booths throughout the communities in Kings County include locations such as the Kings County Commission on Aging in Armona, Stratford Library, Avenal Adult School, Kettleman City Family Resource Center, Lemoore Christian Aid, Corcoran Senior Center, Hanford Mall, Hanford Civic Park.
New this year, to further promote the importance of mental health, especially mental health among students and athletes, KCBH has collaborated with local schools to supply their spring athletic teams with lime green sweatbands to consider wearing during May.
KCBH will host pop-up resources and awareness booths to disseminate mental health information and promotional items at various school locations.
B. Public Health Department (reported by Public Health Director Rose Mary Rahn)
1. The board adopted a resolution proclaiming the week of May 6-12, 2023, as National Nurses Week.
This year’s theme, “You Make a Difference,” recognizes the many contributions nurses have given throughout the country, encourages Kings County residents to acknowledge the nurses in their lives, and provides an opportunity to express appreciation for the dedicated commitment of nurses everywhere.
C. Administration (reported by Assistant County Administrative Officer Kyria Martinez)
1. The board adopted a resolution proclaiming May 7 through May 13 Public Service Recognition Week and declaring the Kings County Annual Employee Recognition Barbecue as a tobacco-free event;
In 1990, the Kings County Board of Supervisors adopted the Employee Recognition Program to acknowledge the County’s outstanding employees.
This included an “Employee of the Quarter” recognition, the creation of a county newsletter to promote employee activities, and an annual barbecue.
The Employee Appreciation Recognition Barbecue allows board members, department heads, community leaders and jail kitchen staff to cook for and serve employees a lunch to recognize their dedication to outstanding public service.
Public Service Recognition Week is conducted nationally this week, with activities throughout the County acknowledging those in public service.
The event will begin at 11:00 a.m. with a Health Walk hosted by the Kings County Health Department, encouraging employees to begin an exercise regimen regularly.
This also coincides with the county’s health insurance open enrollment period for May, followed by the barbecue on May 9 from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The committee has requested the support of the Board to declare this annual event free of tobacco use to encourage all staff to improve their lives by taking this step towards a healthier, tobacco-free life.
D. Administration (reported by Assistant County Administrative Officer Kyria Martinez)
1. The board authorized the sheriff to sign the agreement with the Department of State Hospitals for the Jail-Based Competency Treatment Program retroactively, effective Dec. 2, 2022, through June 30, 2024.
The California Department of State Hospitals (DSH) is responsible for returning to competency individuals charged with a felony who have been found mentally incompetent to stand trial.
Defendants who are incompetent to stand trial are committed to state hospitals for care and treatment to restore competency to a level that allows the inmates to stand trial.
As a result of high demand and limited hospital beds for the treatment of defendants who are incompetent to stand trial, the DSH has sought to add capacity through the Jail Based Competency Treatment (JBCT) Program as part of its continuum of care in county jails.
There is no impact on the general fund.
Under this agreement, California Department of State Hospital (DSH)agrees to reimburse the County’s cost to provide restoration of mental competency services to Kings County inmates for a maximum amount not to exceed $2,662,946 over the one-and-a-half-year contract term, which includes a one-time program implementation cost of $10,000 to be paid for by the DSH. The agreement provides custody costs needed to provide services.
There will be an increase of $143,554 in the 2022-23 budget and included in the fiscal year 2023-24 recommended budget.
The amount of the agreement with California Forensic Medical Group is up to $1,368,682 for the term period.
There will be an increase of $124,729 for this agreement in the fiscal year 2022-23 final budget in Budget Unit 223000, which will be included in the fiscal year 2023-24 recommended budget.
Closed session includes the following:
Conference with Labor Negotiator/Meet and Confer: [Govt. Code Section 54957.6] Negotiators: Kyria Martinez, Carolyn Leist, Che Johnson of Liebert Cassidy Whitmore
- General Unit – CLOCEA
- Supervisor’s Unit – CLOCEA
- Blue Collar – SEIU
- Detention Deputy’s Association
- Firefighter’s Association
- Deputy Sheriff’s Association
- Probation Officer’s Association
- Prosecutor’s Association
- Unrepresented Management
The meeting ended at 1 p.m. The next board meeting will be on Tuesday, May 16, 2023, at 9 a.m.
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