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Current Sutter County News
 
Board of Supervisors seeks public input in CAO search decision
August 22, 2016

The Sutter County Board of Supervisors has asked the recruiter helping it find the next County Administrative Officer to create an online survey which allows County residents to help the board identify the characteristics and qualifications the new CAO should possess

The Board released the link to the online survey today: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DWJH8QZ.

"Our Board is taking the time to find the right candidate, and part of the process is asking for the public's help," said Board Chairman Larry Munger. "This survey has four parts: one on characteristics, one on qualifications, one on public expectations for priorities, and one open ended on the whole process. We hope people take the opportunity to help us in this important endeavor."

Those without access to a computer can mail responses to The Board of Supervisors, 1160 Civic Center Boulevard, Yuba City, CA 95993.

  1. What are the five most important characteristics you would like to see in the next County Administrative Officer?
  2. Is there any specific experience you feel the next County Administrative Officer should possess?
  3. What would you like to see the next County Administrative Officer focus on and/or accomplish in their first 12-18 months on the job?
  4. Do you have any other comments, questions, or concerns?
 
New Marijuana Garden Ordinance Enforcement Ends 300-Plant South Sutter County Grow
August 17, 2016

After one attempt in front of an administrative hearing officer and two attempts in court to get around Sutter County’s new marijuana cultivation ordinance banning outdoor grows, a 300-plant cultivation on Catlett Road in the Pleasant Grove area was voluntarily abated Monday morning.

The operation, on land leased by Cal Farms Medical Supply at 219 West Catlett Road, is the largest known cultivation to date in Sutter County. In court documents filed in connection with the grow, the attorney for Cal Farms claimed an investment of $80,000 was made in establishing the marijuana cultivation.

An inspection by Sutter County Development Services and the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department on Tuesday confirmed that all of the plants have been cut down and were being removed from the property. In addition to losing the investment in the plants, those leasing the property and the property owners will be on the hook for administrative penalties, enforcement costs, and even taxes on the plants and farming equipment. The full cost is still being calculated.

“This is a tremendous, combined effort by the departments of Sutter County,” said Board Chairman Larry Munger. “Our ordinance bans commercial grows, bans outdoor grows and establishes fines of $1,000 per day for grows that are out of compliance. For those who really need access to medical marijuana and want to grow it, there’s a way to do it that is a lot easier than a lot of other places. We’ve even made it so you don’t need a building permit for pre-fabricated greenhouses which do not exceed 80 square feet in size. But no commercial grows or outdoor grows are allowed in Sutter County.”

Fifth District Supervisor Barbara LeVake was very pleased with the results. “A special thank you to the Sheriff, County Counsel and Development Services for their hard work in abating this large grow in my district,” she said. “My constituents are very pleased with the results.”

As of the second week of August, Sutter County had responded to 60 complaints of alleged marijuana gardens in violation of the County’s new ordinance, and had found 54 outdoor marijuana gardens. Of those, 45 have been voluntarily abated. After visits by the County to the property, “we’re getting a high rate of voluntarily compliance,” said Danelle Stylos, Director of Development Services. None of the gardens, however, have been as large or presented the legal challenges posed by the Catlett Road property.

On June 30, Development Services received an official complaint about marijuana growing outside on the Catlett Road property. On July 8, County personnel inspected the property and issued a Notice of Violation, which included an order that the marijuana be abated by July 18 or the property owner appear at an administrative hearing. Attorney Mitchell L. Abdallah of Sacramento appeared before Administrative Hearing Officer Michael Johnston on behalf of Cal Farms Medical Supply and argued that because his clients had relied on the previous version of the Marijuana Cultivation ordinance, they should be allowed to continue to operate. Johnston disagreed, and ordered abatement by August 5.

The order also imposed administrative penalties of $1,000 per day if the cultivation was not removed prior to August 6. When the cultivation was not removed by that date, Sutter County imposed administrative penalties in the amount of $30,000, billing 30 days at a time.

Abdallah appealed Johnston’s ruling, first to Sutter County Superior Court, and later to the Third District Court of Appeal, arguing the marijuana farm should be permitted to remain under the old rules. The County opposed his request and argued the new ordinance, adopted March 22, applied to all properties regardless of whether they met criteria under the older ordinance. Judge Perry Parker of the Sutter County Superior Court agreed with the county and refused to issue a stay of enforcement.

Abdallah then appealed that ruling to the Third District Court of Appeal which denied the appeal on August 11 upholding Judge Parker’s order.

Because Cal Farms ultimately abated the cultivation on August 15, the administrative penalties were reduced from $30,000 to $10,000 to reflect the actual number of days that the cultivation was allowed to remain on the property after the August 6 deadline set by the Administrative Hearing Officer.

Under the ordinance, administrative penalties which are assessed in 30 day increments may be reduced proportionately when proof is provided to Development Services that the cultivation has been removed. In this case, the cultivation was removed 10 days after the penalties were imposed so the amount was reduced from $30,000 to $10,000. However, the County is calculating the cost of enforcing the ordinance, including the time of law enforcement and code enforcement personnel, and the cost of County Counsel personnel.

Additionally, Sutter County Assessor Todd Retzloff said his office will also be assessing the property owner the value of each of the marijuana plants and all of the associated agricultural equipment on the property, as he is allowed to do under state law.

Before abatement

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After abatement

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Sutter County Supervisors Affirm Community’s Support For Law Enforcement, And Encourage ‘Back The Blue’ Campaign
August 12, 2016
Sutter County Supervisors Affirm Community’s Support For Law Enforcement, And Encourage ‘Back The Blue’ CampaignThe Sutter County Board of Supervisors expressed its support for the men and women of local law enforcement Tuesday night and encouraged local service clubs and community members to join a national effort to “Back The Blue.”

The Board of Supervisors presented Gold Resolutions affirming the support of the Board of the Supervisors and the residents of Sutter County to representatives of the Yuba City Police Department, the California Highway Patrol, the Sutter County Sheriff’s Department, the Sutter County Probation Department, and investigators from the Sutter County District Attorney’s Office.

The Gold resolutions detailed the history of law enforcement officers putting their lives on the line for American communities since the 18th century, the tens of thousands of professional interactions engaged in each year by the men and women in law enforcement in Sutter County, and noted the dramatic increase in violence against police officers and “a national dialogue disrespectful and often unfairly critical of law enforcement.”

“The Sutter County Board of Supervisors affirms this community’s abiding support and respect for the men and women of law enforcement, and understanding of the critical role of law enforcement in the quality of life of our community,” the Gold Resolutions read.

Board member Barbara LeVake displayed a variety of blue ribbons and encouraged residents to “Back the Blue” by displaying ribbons, button stickers, window decals, or other paraphernalia indicating support for law enforcement officers.

“Every day our law enforcement personnel risk their lives to protect our homes and our communities,” LeVake said. “Every day, law enforcement men and women pin on their badges in their dedication to protect and preserve our freedom.

“Back The Blue is a public awareness campaign which has started across the U.S. dedicated to displaying public support for law enforcement. I would like to initiate that campaign in Sutter County and encourage Yuba County to join with us.

“While the emphasis is on law enforcement, I would like to also include firefighters,” LeVake said. “They, too, risk their lives to keep us safe and often times can be the first responders in certain situations.”

“I can’t express my appreciation enough,” said Supervisor Dan Flores, who recounted how law enforcement and fire personnel saved his son who nearly drowned several years ago. “You are doing a great job.”

“The need to support law enforcement is out there all the time,” said Supervisor Jim Whiteaker, who comes from a law enforcement family. “They are doing an incredible job for Sutter County.”

“Sometimes I think we take law enforcement for granted, like we take our electricity being turned on at home for granted,” noted Supervisor Ron Sullenger. “We just assume naturally that when we need some assistance or help that we are going to receive it. So I think it is great that we are taking a little bit of extra time to honor the guys and the gals that are trying to maintain some semblance of order in our community.”

 
Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health Newsletter
August 02, 2016
Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health is excited to present their first edition, quarterly e-newsletter. We hope you enjoy learning more about Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health and the services and programs that are offered to the local community.

Please also visit the Sutter-Yuba Behavioral Health web page for further information.

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