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California

Local Opportunity for Candidates, Campaign Treasurers
February 24, 2010
The California Fair Political Practices Commission will offer area candidates and their campaign staffs a local opportunity to learn the proper procedures for filling out required FPPC campaign documents.

Sutter County Clerk-Recorder Donna Johnston said that the type of training that will be offered at the Veterans Memorial Center in Yuba City on March 8, 2010 can help candidates avoid embarrassing and expensive mistakes.

“Candidates and their treasurers have had to travel to Sacramento to receive this training in the past,” Johnston said. “This will be the first opportunity in many years for candidates from Sutter, Yuba, Nevada and Colusa counties to receive hands-on training from an FPPC representative about the sometimes overwhelming documentation required to meet FPPC requirements, without having to travel to Sacramento.

“As some campaigns have discovered in the past, violating the FPPC rules, even mistakenly, can be expensive because the FPPC will levy fines.”

The FPPC training is free. The two-hour workshop will be offered from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on March 8. To R.S.V.P. for the event, please contact the Sutter County Elections Department at 530-822-7100.

Frequently Asked Questions about Sutter County Roads
February 17, 2010
Sutter County is responsible for maintaining roads in unincorporated areas of the county that are neither private roads nor state highways. Following are frequently asked questions about Sutter County road work.

How many miles of roads are there in all of Sutter County and what roads are Sutter County responsible for?

Sutter County currently incorporates 790 miles of roads comprising 630 miles of paved roadways and 160 miles of gravel / dirt roads. The county is responsible for all road segments outside the incorporated limits of the cities of Live Oak and Yuba City. Sutter County is not responsible for state highways or private roadways.

Who decides what roads to fix?

The Public Works Department assesses the pavement condition and traffic volumes of the county’s roads on an annual basis and prepares a recommended fiscal year work plan for our residential, collector and arterial roadways. Depending on the available funds, Public Works adjusts the yearly “Road Plan”. The County Board of Supervisors then reviews the recommendation, may direct changes to it, and approves the plan.

What causes potholes and how long does it take to fix them?

Potholes are caused by the failure of the asphalt concrete pavement. As the flexible pavement ages and deteriorates, cracks can form. The cracks allow water into and under the pavement layer, weakening the base material and allowing separation from the flexible pavement. As vehicles drive over the weakened, broken asphalt, portions will be dislodged. Potholes are patched with either asphalt paving mix and compacted in place. A good patch requires removal of fractured asphalt, squared sides, dry compacted base, and hot mixed asphalt. Once a service request is received, the pothole is usually repaired not later than the next working day.

What is a road made out of and why does it cost so much to construct/maintain?

Paved roads are typically composed of 4 inches of black asphalt concrete pavement over 6 to 12 inches of compacted base rock over native soil. The cost to perform a 2-inch rehabilitation overlay includes the labor, equipment and materials to deliver, place and compact the asphalt pavement along the road segment. The Public Works Department utilizes a variety of preventative maintenance and rehabilitation techniques to maintain the roadways at the lowest possible cost, including slurry seals, chip seals, leveling overlays and structural overlays.

Where does the money to fix roads come from? Yeah, I know it comes from the taxpayer, but how?

Sutter County receives state and federal funding to maintain and rehabilitate our road segments. From the state, the County receives the following: Gas Tax Revenue, Proposition 42 (Transportation Congestion Relief) and Proposition 1B funds. From the federal government, the County receives Regional Surface Transportation Program funding (and occasionally one time funds like Stimulus 1). The federal funding is administered through the Sacramento Area Council of Governments (SACOG) and is distributed on a competitive project selection basis.

How do I report a problem with a road?

A citizen may notify the Public Works Department of a road hazard by calling (530) 822-4500 or by submitting a Road Service Request on the County website.

Holiday Closure
February 11, 2010
On Monday, February 15th, most county offices will be closed in observance of President's Day.
Sutter County Animal Shelter FAQs
February 10, 2010
Following recent articles in The Appeal-Democrat newspaper, Sutter County Animal Control staff received a number of questions about plans to construct a new Animal Shelter to replace the existing structure constructed in 1986. The following is provided in response to the most common questions raised after the newspaper articles.

Animal Shelter Frequently Asked Questions

  1. When is the new shelter going to be built? Why is it taking so long?
    Sutter County has hired an architect to design a new shelter. Yuba City has expressed concern about the size and layout of the conceptual design. A meeting is being arranged so that an ad hoc committee of Sutter County, Yuba City and Live Oak can come to agreement on those issues. Once those issues are decided, the architect will be authorized to proceed with the design.
     
  2. Where will the new building be located?
    The plan is for the new Animal Shelter to be located off Garden Highway on a parcel of land that is south of the Welfare/Public Works building, that adjoins the county corporation yard. It will be an easier location to visit with an entrance off of Garden Highway.
     
  3. Will the new shelter be larger? Will the animals have more kennels, or will they still have to be housed four and five dogs to a kennel?
    The current shelter is just over 4,100 square foot. The new shelter, as planned, will be approximately 10,000 square feet in size. The new shelter will have more kennel area to house the animals properly, with one animal per kennel. This should reduce the stress and spread of contagious diseases that are caused by over crowding.
     
  4. Will the new shelter have areas for interacting with the animals for adoption?
    There may be a dedicated area that would be fenced in as "play yard/get acquainted" area for the dogs. It would have a larger cat adoption area where adopters could interact with the animals before choosing their new pet.
     
  5. Would the shelter have an exam/surgery area to perform spays/neuters of the shelter animals? Would we be able to administer health vaccinations to the animals on intake?
    The new shelter would have a room dedicated to health exams, and possibly a surgical area to perform spays and neuters on shelter animals. The possibility of spays/neutering and vaccinations for animals incoming to the shelter is a consideration with a veterinarian's assistance.
     
Sutter County Announces New Animal Shelter Hours
February 08, 2010
On January 19, 2010, the Sutter County Board of Supervisors approved new hours the Animal Shelter will be open to the public. The new hours will take effect on March 1, 2010. The reason for the new schedule is to have the shelter open longer on Saturday and one evening a week to increase adoptions and reduce the amount of time animals are kept at the shelter.

The new hours the shelter’s administration office will be open to the public are 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday except Wednesday when the office will remain open until 7:00 p.m., Monday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and closed Sundays and holidays.

The shelter’s kennel area will be open to the public from 10:00 a.m .to 4:00 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday except Wednesday when the kennels will remain open to the public until 6:00 p.m., Monday from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. and closed Sundays and holidays.

The shelter has plenty of loving dogs and cats ready for adoption. If you are interested in adopting an animal you can contact the Sutter County Animal Shelter by phone at (530) 822-7375 or stop by the shelter at 102 Second Street, in Yuba City. You can also visit the shelter’s website.

Assessor Pleased With Conviction In Deceptive Assessment Appeals Solicitation Mass Mailing
February 05, 2010
Sutter County Assessor Mike Strong today said he is pleased with the conviction of the principal of a company that misled property owners into believing they had to pay to have their property assessments appealed.

"I am very happy with the criminal conviction and very hopeful that California property owners who fell for this deceptive solicitation mailer, including some from Sutter County, will be reimbursed," Mr. Strong said.

Sean McConville, 29, pleaded guilty in Los Angeles Superior Court to a dozen misdemeanor counts of disclosure violation for unsolicited mailing, according to LA Deputy District Attorney Carolyn Nakaki.

McConville was ordered to perform 250 hours of community service and sentenced to three years summary probation. McConville must reimburse victims if the California Attorney General's Office is successful in a separate civil lawsuit, or face up to six years in jail.

In February of 2009, hundreds of property owners in Sutter and Yuba counties, and other counties across the state, received notices from a company called "Property Tax Reassessment." The notices, which advertised a $179 fee for processing an appeal of the property owners assessment for property tax purposes, arrived in an envelope that appeared to be from a government agency, which was a violation of the law, according to the LA County DA's office.

"No property owner has to pay a dime to appeal a property tax assessment," Strong said. "The filing of an assessment appeal is free and there is no reason to waste your money with such companies." Mr. Strong added that "in most cases, property assessment disputes are resolved by my office without the necessity for proceeding with an appeal." According to Mr. Strong, his office already has reviewed roughly 8,500 primarily residential properties and, of those, over 6,800 have received assessment reductions, generating some $5 million in overall tax savings for property owners.

Further, according to Mr. Strong, legislation (AB992) recently was signed into law (October 2009), now barring any assessment reduction filing service from "charging, demanding, or collecting money" for such service until after filing of the request for reduction with the appropriate agency.

Those who have paid an advance fee, in response to any property assessment reduction solicitation, are encouraged to contact the State of California Attorney General's Office for assistance in obtaining restitution.

Free H1N1 Vaccine Clinic
February 02, 2010
Sutter County Public Health Department is holding a FREE H1N1 community vaccination clinic for Sutter County residents this weekend.

Sunday, February 7, 2010
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
St. Isidore’s Church Gymnasium
222 Clark Avenue, Yuba City