Archive for the ‘Supervisors’ Category

Supervisor Glover files for re-election to sixth term

Wednesday, December 4th, 2019

Supervisor Federal Glover. Herald file photo.

Incumbent Supervisor Federal Glover, representing District 5 on the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors, officially filed for re-election on Monday with the County Registrar of Voters Office.

“I’m so proud of our accomplishments and excited to be applying for a final term to complete the good work we started,” said Glover.

He has been one of the County’s top transportation advocates, identifying funding to improve Highway 4, I-680, and bring BART to Pittsburg and Antioch.

“We’re in the beginning of negotiations on establishing possible ferry service to San Francisco from Hercules, Martinez, Bay Point and Antioch, and I want to see that through completion for the residents I represent,” Glover added.

Other accomplishments that make Glover proud: Bringing the County into a AAA financial rating due to sound budgeting decisions, establishing three Family Justice Centers to support victims of domestic violence, increasing prosecution of human traffickers who kidnap and victimize young women, strengthening the Industrial Safety Ordinance to reduce refinery accidents, and leading the fight to protect open space, our hillsides and maintaining the County’s Urban Limit Line to control growth.

Glover says that making PG&E accountable for upgrading its service, and working with cities to create alternative forms of energy to decrease the company’s issuance of power outages is another issue he is working on that requires more work.

“Supervisor Federal Glover was there for our firefighters and our residents during the massive fires we experienced the last couple of years. We wholeheartedly support Supervisor Glover’s re-election and look forward to working closely with him for another term,” said Firefighter Vince Wells, President of Contra Costa Firefighters Local 1230.

Glover is also endorsed by the Contra Costa Deputy Sheriff’s Association, the Contra Costa Building and Construction Council, the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Association, police associations, Congressional, Senate, Assembly and local city elected officials (see partial list of endorsements, below).

“We have a great campaign team and I will raise whatever donations necessary to run a top-notch campaign to the voters of District 5,” Glover added. “This will be my last term on the Board of Supervisors, and I’m excited to complete the projects important to my District.”

Glover’s district includes Martinez, Hercules, Pinole, Alhambra Valley, Briones, Antioch, Port Costa, Clyde, Bay Point, Pittsburg, Crockett, Mt. View, Pacheco, Reliez Valley, Rodeo, Tormey & Vine Hill.

Supervisor Federal Glover Endorsements (partial list)

Congressman Mike Thompson

Congressman Jerry McNerney

State Treasurer Fiona Ma

State Senator Bill Dodd

State Senator Steve Glazer

Assemblymember Tim Grayson

Assemblymember Jim Frazier

County Auditor Bob Campbell

County Tax Collector Rusty Watts

East Bay Regional Parks Director Colin Coffey

Antioch Mayor Sean Wright

Antioch Mayor Pro Tem Joy Motts

Antioch Councilwoman Lori Ogorchock

Antioch Councilwoman Monica Wilson

Antioch Councilmember Lamar Thorpe

Hercules Vice Mayor Roland Esquivias

Hercules Councilwoman Chris Kelley

Hercules Former Mayor Myrna De Vera

Hercules Former Mayor Sherri McCoy

Martinez Mayor Rob Schroder

Martinez Councilwoman Lara Delaney

Martinez Councilmember Mark Ross

Pinole Mayor Pete Murray

Pinole Vice Mayor Roy Swearingen

Pinole Councilmember Vincent Salimi

Pinole Councilmember Anthony Tave

Pittsburg Mayor Juan Benales

Pittsburg Councilwoman Merl Craft

Pittsburg Councilmember Holland White

Pittsburg Councilwoman Shanell Scales-Preston

Contra Costa County Deputy Sheriffs Assn.

Contra Costa Professional Firefighters Local 1230

Contra Costa Deputy District Attorneys Assn.

Pittsburg Police Officers Association

Contra Costa Building & Constructions

Trades Council

IBEW

Boilermakers

Teamsters

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Supervisors ban vaping product sales, plan to approve cannabis retail, cultivation permits

Thursday, November 21st, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized CCTV on its 25th anniversary at the supervisors’ meeting on Tuesday. Accepting the resolution on behalf of CCTV was Susan Shiu, Contra Costa County director of communications and media. CCTV currently broadcasts six channels – CCTV, City Channel, Ed TV, Community Access, Hercules Community TV, and Delta TV. The Contra Costa Television network provides public, education and government access services for users in Contra Costa County, in the cities of Antioch, Clayton, Danville, Hercules, Martinez, Moraga, Pleasant Hill, and San Ramon. CCTV has adopted the slogan “Making Television Part of the Solution.” Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

Recognize 25th anniversary of CCTV.

By Daniel Borsuk

A few hours after supervisors had unanimously passed an ordinance banning the sale of vaping products and prohibiting the delivery of cannabis vaping products in unincorporated Contra Costa County, the elected officials instructed Planning Department officials on Tuesday to prepare for supervisors’ potential approval of land use permits for commercial cannabis storefront retailers and cultivators at the supervisors’ upcoming December 10th meeting.

Supervisors adopted the county’s anti-vaping ordinance, after supervisors listening to 10 speakers advocate for the prohibition of the sale or delivery of tobacco vaping products, cannabis vaping products, and flavored tobacco products in 54 retail stores in unincorporated areas of the county. A week ago, more than 50 speakers called on supervisors to pass the proposed anti-vaping ordinance.

Prior to adoption of the new law banning the countywide sale of vaping products, the county prohibited the retail sale of vaping products to persons under 21 years old within 1,000 feet of a public or private school, playground, park or library. That law had affected about 45 retailers in unincorporated parts of the county.

More than 2,000 Americans, many of them teenagers and young adults, have become sick from using vaping products since March, according to the U.S. Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Some persons have died from using vaping products.

Supervisors set the stage to select candidates who will be invited to apply for either cannabis storefront retail and commercial cannabis cultivator land use permits from the Conservation & Development Department.

Supervisors learned a 10-member Cannabis Review Panel consisting of representatives from the county Administrator’s Office, Department of Agriculture, Contra Costa Fire Protection District, Health Services Department and Conservation & Development Department(CDD), had met 15 times to score and rank candidates seeking land use permits to start the regulatory process of legally operating in accordance with the County’s Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance that was approved by county voters on Nov. 6, 2018.

The county cannabis ordinance permits for the creation of four storefront cannabis retailers, 10 commercial cannabis cultivators and two commercial cannabis manufactures in agricultural zones.

CDD official Ruben Hernandez, said proposals for storefront retailers were received from Bay Point, 2; from Clyde, 1; Pacheco Boulevard, 10; El Sobrante, 7, and North Richmond, 1.

Eleven of the 19 commercial cannabis cultivator proposals were found to be ineligible because the subject properties are not within service area of a retail water supplier, a requirement set in the Cannabis Business Tax Ordinance.

A majority of the commercial cannabis cultivation proposals were located in the Eastern Contra Costa areas of Bethel Island, Kingston and Brentwood area. Three proposals were located in North Richmond.

“Since fewer proposals were received than the maximum number of commercial cultivation businesses to be permitted, the panel is recommending that all seven eligible proposals be invited to apply for land use permits,” a document from CDD Director John Kopchik stated.

During the public speaking portion, several persons protested that the cultivation operations nearby housing subdivisions will stimulate crime and/or health problems.

Knightsen resident Ann Richie said permitting cannabis cultivation operations nearby her residence will only increase crime. “We’ve had two incidents recently,” she said. “They were violent crimes. Please don’t let this happen.”

Patrice Kintral of Knightsen told supervisors that allowing a cannabis cultivation operation nearby her home will mean more health problems for her nine-year-old special needs daughter. “This proposal could mean she may expect to have more migraines,” Kintral said.

In the meantime, some Supervisors plan to study the proposed sites before the December 10, meeting.

Board Chair John Gioia plans to look at each site before the Board’s next meeting. “Some of these locations are better than others,” he said.

“We want to start slow on this,” said Vice Chair Candace Andersen. “We want to dot the i’s and cross the t’s because we have seen how other counties have made mistakes when they enacted cannabis laws.”

District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who has five cannabis proposals in his district, and District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who has 10 cannabis proposals in her district (Pacheco Boulevard), both liked the community benefit proposals that bidders submitted. “You did a fabulous job,” Mitchoff said.

In other action, supervisors approved on consent the following:

  • Renewed a $322,927 a year contract with Baker & Taylor for book rental services for the Contra Costa County Library from Jan. 1, through Dec. 31, 2020. Baker & Taylor builds and maintains an economical method for maintaining an inventory of the most current, high demand hardcover titles.
  • Approved the $13 million Marsh Drive Bridge Replacement Project over the Walnut Creek Channel. Constructed in 1938, the existing bridge is structurally, seismically and hydraulically deficient and will be replaced with a new five-span bridge, pre-stressed concrete slab structure on concrete piles that is longer and wider than the existing bridge, at about 340 feet long and 55 feet wide. The bridge is currently 325 feet long and 34 feet wide.
  • Increased solid waste collection rates in the unincorporated West County areas covered by the Richmond Sanitary Service. The residential rate increase of 4.63 percent effective Jan. 1, 2020
  • The rate increase corresponds with a monthly raise of $1.17 in the most common (35-gallon cart) collection rate.
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Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors ratify proclamation of local emergency

Friday, November 1st, 2019

By Susan Shiu, Director, Contra Costa County Office of Communications and Media

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors adopted a resolution at a special Board meeting today, November 1, 2019, ratifying the County Administrator’s October 27, 2019 proclamation of existence of a local emergency when the Board of Supervisors was not in session and could not immediately be called into session.

Contra Costa County issued a proclamation of local emergency due to severe weather conditions on Sunday, October 27, 2019 at 4:37 pm when County Administrator David J. Twa, as the Administrator of Emergency Services, signed the proclamation.

The proclamation states that “conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property have arisen within the County, caused by a severe weather event commencing at 8 p.m. on October 26, 2019. The velocity and duration of wind, coupled with low humidity, is driving wildfires in multiple locations, causing power disruptions, tree falls and infrastructure damage, and necessitating evacuations; and that these conditions are or are likely to be beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment and facilities of the County.”

Board Chair, Supervisor John Gioia, said, “The weather conditions were such that there were a series of fires one after another that led to evacuation orders in multiple parts of the County on that day alone. Throughout the local emergency, Con Fire and other fire district firefighters, Sheriff’s Office, County departments’ employees and other partners, including the National Weather Service, worked diligently to coordinate in the County’s Emergency Operation Center.”

The Supervisors all echoed this sentiment of pride in how the County worked together with multiple agencies and jurisdictions to keep residents safe and informed during an unprecedented local emergency affecting tens of thousands of Contra Costa residents.

“The County prepares for emergencies. Our teams did the work they were trained to do. We are grateful that there was no loss of human life,” says County Administrator David Twa. “We will continue to support residents and encourage you to stay prepared.”

To learn about and register for Contra Costa County’s Community Warning System, go to cwsalerts.com. Sign up to receive alerts, such as evacuation alerts, via voice, text and email. Follow @CoCoCWS, @CCCounty and other official sources on Twitter.

For safety and preparedness resources, go to https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/5435/Public-Safety-Emergency-Info.

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Supervisors form committee to consider half-cent sales tax measure for Nov. 2020 ballot

Thursday, October 24th, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized the community service of CERT C-8 on Tuesday. Currently consisting of 70 members, supervisors recognized the organization that is known to dispatch volunteers to train senior care staff, serve as Amateur Radio Operators, Red Cross Shelter workers, traffic control and join the Contra Costa CART. C-8 has helped to get Spanish Cert out to many areas of the county. The program is called Listos. Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

Demand NuStar Energy safety probe before Crockett plant is reopened following fire

By Daniel Borsuk

At their meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, Contra Costa County Supervisors voted 4-0 to create an ad hoc committee to explore the feasibility of placing on the ballot a sales tax measure. The committee will consist mainly of union leaders, county agency heads and nonprofit organizations leaders.

On the vote, District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover was absent.

At the recommendation of District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, who serves on the Finance Committee, proposed the establishment of a citizen-based ad hoc committee to study a proposal that could wind up on a ballot for county voters to decide on perhaps by the November 2020 general election.

In California, the maximum sales, use, and transactions tax rate is 9.25 percent. That includes a statewide base sale and use tax of 7.25 percent and up to 2 percent for local district transaction and use taxes.

Current projections for annual revenues for a countywide transaction and use tax are one half cent $93 million and quarter cent $46.5 million. Current projections for annual revenues for an unincorporated area transaction and use tax are one half cent: $8.32 million and one.

So far, the ad hoc committee will study several potential tax scenarios. Current projections for annual revenues for a countywide transaction and use tax area:

. 0.50 percent (1/2 cent): $93 million

. 0.25 percent (1/4 cent): $46.5 million

Projections for annual revenues for an unincorporated area transaction and use tax are:

. 0.50 percent (1/2 cent): $8.32 million

. 0.25 percent (1/4 cent): $4.16 million

Mitchoff said she is promoting the sales tax ad hoc committee because she frequently hears from constituents why Contra Costa County does not have a sales tax while other counties like Alameda, San San Mateo, Santa Clara and others do draw additional revenues for county services from a sales tax.

The ad hoc committee will be led by stake holders, not supervisors, Mitchoff said. “We want all comers at the table,” she said. “This will be a difficult lift.”

“This is a huge opportunity,” said Sean Casey, executive director of the nonprofit organization First 5. “16,000 families could benefit from this in Contra Costa County.”

Demand NuStar Energy Plant Safety Probe

Also during their meeting, the Supervisors demanded that county officials confirm that operators of the fire damaged NuStar Energy plant in Crockett not resume operations until its fire and hazardous materials safety measures have been completely reviewed and upgraded by state and federal authorities.

“I want updated progress reports on your investigations,” demanded Board Chair John Gioia, whose District 1 covers the Crockett refinery location where the fire erupted from a tank filled with ethanol at 1:45 p.m. on Tuesday, October 15. The fire spread, catching a nearby tank also containing ethanol. Some 250,000 gallons of ethanol were destroyed in the fire.

The blaze forced county authorities to call a Shelter in Place in the Crockett area. Interstate 80 was closed for six hours. The incident was officially over at 8:10 p.m. when I-80 was reopened to traffic by the Highway Patrol, said Contra Costa County Director of Hazardous Materials Randy Sawyer.

“At the end of the day, the incident was contained, “said Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Lewis Broschard. “No other tanks were destroyed. No other materials were discharged.”

Broschard told supervisors it was through the fire fighting resources of NuStar Energy and several other refineries that were able to promptly respond to the fire site to assist CCCFPD in extinguishing fire. Those refineries – Shell, Chevon, Phillips 66, Tessoro, and Marathon – supplied foam that the county fire district did not have to adequately extinguish the blaze, said Chief Broschard.

Chief Broschard said at this time there is no known cause for the fire including whether arson may have been a factor.

Gioia made it clear to Contra Costa County Fire Protection District Chief Broschard and Contra Costa County Hazardous Materials Program Director Randy Sawyer that he wants a thorough investigation completed before “there is a reopening” of the NuStar plant.

Supervisors heard from eight speakers, all critical of NuStar and its safety track record.

NuStar spokesperson Mary Rose Brown told the Contra Costa Herald via an emailed message:

“We absolutely agree, and we are working closely and cooperatively with CalOSHA and other regulatory agencies on detailed plans to ensure that the facility is safe to operate before it is reopened. We also are continuing to work in very close cooperation with all applicable local and state regulatory agencies to investigate the root cause of the incident so that we can take whatever measures are required to ensure the continued safety of our employees, contractors, neighbors and the community. We worked over the weekend to pump liquids out of the incident area and CalOSHA and local fire investigators accessed the area today (Tuesday).”

County resident Carl Davidson suggested that the NuStar plant incident may have been triggered by a seismic event since the facility is located on the Pinole fault and the fire erupted after seismic events were reported in the Pleasant Hill area the previous day.

Twenty-five-year Crockett area resident Isabella Izzi said the board of supervisors and regulators should clamp down on NuStar for this environmental violation and future violations by requiring the refiner to provide hazmat masks to all residents of Crockett. “The Board of Supervisors should make it clear that it will deny any new expansion at that refinery,” she said.

Dan Torres, a representative of an industrial fire sprinkler installation union, questioned the quality and reliability of the fire sprinkler system installed at NuStar.

At the end, Chair Gioia asked that updates on the NuStar fire will be reported at the Public Safety Committee that he chairs.

In other business, the supervisors:

-Approved a $240,000 contract to Concord Yellow Cab, Inc. to provide non-emergency taxicab transportation services for Contra Costa Regional Medical center and Contra Costa Health Center patients for the period July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2020. The county pays taxicab service for patients unable to transport themselves to medical appointments due to medical conditions, including physical disabilities, patients who have verifiable seizure disorder or patients who have received medications which has or could impair their mobility.

-Approved a $1.97 million Public Works Department contract with Debri-Tech, Inc. to provide on-call assistance with trash and abandoned waste cleanup and removal for the Contra Costa County Watershed Program for the program October 15, 2019 through September 30, 2022.

-Approved the issuance of $85 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bond by the California Statewide Communities Development Authority for the Fairfield Hilltop LP, a California limited partnership, to provide for the financing of the acquisition and rehabilitation of a 322-unit multi-family housing development known as Hilltop Commons Apartments located at 15690l Crestwood Dr.

 

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Supervisors prepare for PG&E power shutoff during Tuesday meeting

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors proclaimed October 6 through 12 as National 4-H Week throughout the county. Supervisors encouraged citizens to recognize 4-H for the “significant impact it has made and continues to make by empowering youth with the skills they need to lead for a lifetime.” 4-H has helped 3,159 youth in Contra Costa County to become leaders. The University of California Cooperative Extension delivers the program in California. National 4-H Week showcases the experiences that 4-H offers youth. Attending Tuesday’s resolution presentation were from left, West Contra Costa County 4H Director Jen Komaroni, Board Chair John Gioia of Richmond, District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, eight year 4H member Delanie Sheridan, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, seven year 4H member Brodie Emmons of Brentwood, fifth year 4H member Emily Tavers of Brentwood, Briones 4H Director Paula McCauley, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, Brentwood 4H Director Julie Carter, University of California Cooperative Extension Director for Alameda and Contra Costa Bob Bennaton and Vice Chair Candace Andersen. Photo by Daniel Borsuk

Approve MOU for Route 239 in East County to connect Brentwood to Tracy; $2.1 Million for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

By Daniel Borsuk

Potentially facing the first-ever utility-induced electric power shutdown in parts of Contra Costa County, members of the Board of Supervisors discharged a barrage of questions on Tuesday about the preparedness of the Contra Costa County Fire Protection District in handling potential emergencies during what could be a power shutdown lasting several days.

At the end, Supervisors learned CCCFPD is ready to handle whatever might come down from a PG&E power shutdown.

Supervisors relayed their concerns about the CCCFPD’s fire emergency readiness at Tuesday’s fire district meeting where supervisors also serve as the fire district’s fiscal and policymaking entity.

PG&E revealed plans on Tuesday it would intentionally shut down power serving Rossmoor and parts of the Lafayette-Moraga-Orinda areas on Wednesday, due to high winds and concerns the winds could knock down power lines sparking a fire. The power shutoff could last through Friday or longer depending on weather conditions.

CCCFPD Chief Lewis Broschard III forecast one-third of Rossmoor or 4,000 to 5,000 residents could be potentially harmed by a power outage. Many elderly residents living in senior housing don’t have backup electric generators, he said.

“We’re looking at longer response times due to traffic tie ups,” the chief said. This will require having equipment and personnel strategically located ahead of potential emergencies.

Broschard acknowledged that the fire district has encountered a roadblock in obtaining state pre-position funding.

When Chief Broschard informed supervisors that the district’s newly built Fire Station 16 in Lafayette will be officially opened on Wednesday, Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen, whose District 2 covers most of the areas PG&E has identified will have power shut off observed “We might not have power tomorrow to dedicate the station.”

Chief Broschard said the district recently accepted delivery of its newest bulldozer, the district’s second bulldozer that will provide district extra firefighting power in what has been “a quiet fire season” up to this point in time.

In other business, supervisors unanimously approved their 2020 schedule consisting of 30 meetings. Vice Chair Candace Andersen of Danville has already been elected chair for next year and District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood has been elected vice chair for 2020.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors designated the second week of October as Code Enforcement Officer Appreciation Week in Contra Costa County on Tuesday. Supervisors recognized the work and dedication of code enforcement officers, of which there are five in the county. “You’re our unsung heroes<” said Supervisor Karen Mitchoff who acknowledged “We’ve recently have had some problems in the Pleasant Hill Barea area.” Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg remarked “The work you do is unappreciated. That’s mostly because the cases are complaint driven.” The supervisors’ resolution states “Contra Costa County wants to recognize and honor our Code Enforcement Officers that serve our community and acknowledge their role in leading the way to improve quality of life within our communities.” Photo by Daniel Borsuk

Supervisors also approved as consent items:

MOU for Route 239 in East County

An amended and restated Memorandum of Understanding between the county and the Contra Costa Transportation Authority concerning the development and federal funding for State Route 239 Project in the Byron area. There were no public speakers concerning the $17.6 million project, $14 million in federal funding and $3.6 million in Local Road Fund.

$2.1 Million for Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program

Supervisors approved a $2,099,274 contract for the California Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program for the period of Oct. 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021. The grant is funded with federal money through the California Department of Community Services and Development.

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Supervisors raise salaries for Auditor-Controller, Clerk-Recorder, Treasurer-Tax Collector, exclude Assessor

Thursday, August 8th, 2019

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors presented a resolution recognizing National Health Center Week, August 4-10, at its meeting on Tuesday. Supervisors recognized the work of Community Clinic Consortium consisting of Lifelong Medical Care, La Clinica de La Raza, and Planned Parenthood of Northern California that provide high-quality, affordable. Comprehensive primary and preventive health care in the county’s underserved communities regardless of their ability to pay, insurance or immigration status. Health centers serve more than 160,000 patients in Contra Costa County a year. Attending the resolution presentation were from left, Board Chair John Gioia of Richmond, Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg, Lifelong Medical Clinic Executive Director Lucinda Bazile, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill; Community Clinic Consortium Executive Director Alvaro Fuentes, Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen of Danville, and Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood. Photos by Daniel Borsuk

Glover postpones youth summit to ensure safety following recent mass shootings

By Daniel Borsuk

Supervisors unanimously approved cost of living increases to three major elected office holders but withheld a salary boost for county assessor Gus Kramer citing “a salary adjustment for the Assessor will be considered at a later date once other issues in the Department have been resolved.”

That citation is in reference to an ongoing sex harassment case lodged against Kramer by county employees. Kramer would have been in line to have received a 1.96 percent cost of living adjustment increase that would have increased his pay to $208,013.

In compliance with a Dec. 11, 2018 Board Resolution, County Administrator David Twa said his office conducted a salary comparison of analysis of elected office officials in Alameda, Marin, Napa, Sacramento, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano and Solano counties and discovered in order to bring the salaries up to Bay Area average, the salary of Auditor-Controller Robert Campbell will rise 8.45 percent to an annual salary of $225,594. The annual salary of Clerk-Recorder Joseph Canciamilla will increase 5.48 percent to a yearly salary of $210,686. The yearly salary of Treasurer-Tax Collector Russell V. Watts will rise 4.77 percent to a yearly salary of $235,611.

There was no discussion from either the supervisors or public on the topic.

Blackhawk Country Club Donates $40,000 Per Year for 10 Years for Police Services

Notching a political victory in the tony enclave of Blackhawk, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood played a role for steering the Blackhawk Country Club to donate $40,000 a year over a 10-year span to help cover police services provided by the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Department.

A dispute had erupted recently when the Blackhawk Homeowners Association, led by association president Ron Banducci, who had called on county supervisors to intervene in urging the Blackhawk Country Club to contribute funds towards the community’s police force that consists of three deputy sheriffs and one lieutenant. Up until now, the country club had not provided funds for police services since formation of County Service Area P-2A in 1985.

Since the creation of P-2A, homeowners have shouldered the financial costs for police protection, but the county club has never provided any financial assistance for P-2A coverage. Last May, Banducci, who also serves as chairman of the Blackhawk Police Advisory Committee, warned supervisors of “any backroom deal” like the one Burgis and the country club were then discussing, the 10-year, $40,000 a year donation.

Banducci did not return a Contra Costa Herald phone call to respond to the $40,000 a year donation consent agenda item at Tuesday’s board of supervisors meeting. There was no comment from either the public or supervisors on the item.

“I appreciate the Blackhawk Country Club’s donation to the county to support supplemental law enforcement services in the Blackhawk community,” Burgis said in a statement to the Herald. “I look forward to continuing to work with the Blackhawk Police Advisory, the Sheriff’s Office and other community shareholders to support the level of police service that the community wants.”

In a July 26 letter, sent to Burgis, that lays out details about the donation, Country Club President Scott Batiste states that this is a donation, not a tax.

“Residents of P2-A have authorized a special tax for police protection services in this area,” he wrote. “The BHCC does not pay this tax. The BHCC Board of Directors has authorized making a donation to the County of Contra Costa of $40,000 per year to support the Sheriff’s law enforcement services in P-2A each year for a ten-year period.”

Over the next 10 years, the county will receive a donation totaling $400,000 from the country club.

The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors recognized two recent high school graduates who are recipients of Comcast Leaders and Achievers Scholarships. Overall 192 California college bound high school graduates were awarded scholarships in recognition for their academics and community work. At the presentation on Tuesday were from left Board of Supervisors Chair John Gioia of Richmond, Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg, Freedom High School graduate Amara Payne who will attend Los Medanos College, Concord High School graduate Assal Bastani who will attend the University of California Los Angeles, Supervisor Karen Mitchoff of Pleasant Hill, Supervisor Candace Andersen of Danville, and Supervisor Diane Burgis of Brentwood.

Supervisor Glover Postpones Youth Summit Over Mass Shooting Concerns

Citing the series of weekend deadly shootings triggered by ultra-right shooters in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, Supervisor Federal Glover of Pittsburg announced that the Youth Summit, a one-day event that he co-sponsors at Los Medanos College in Pittsburg has been postponed.

Originally slated to be held this Saturday, August 10 to draw thousands of youth in Contra Costa County, Glover announced at the supervisors meeting, “I will convene a meeting of the stakeholders, including law enforcement, to make sure we are ready to deal with active shooter scenarios and other public safety emergencies that may arise. The Youth Summit brings together a number of youth and I need to be confident as well as be able, to assure their parents that we have taken all reasonable measures to ensure their children’s safety at such a large public event.”

“As we review our protocols and formulate our plans, we will notify members of the public of our plans for a future youth summit,” Glover said in a press statement.

Approve $19.2 Million Multifamily Housing Revenue Rehab Bonds for Bay Point Apartment Building

Keeping in mind the county’s affordable housing shortage, supervisors approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of $19.2 million in Multifamily Housing Revenue Bonds to finance the costs for the acquisition and rehabilitation of 88 units of rental housing known as Hidden Cove Apartments at 2900, 2911, and 2921-2931 Mary Ann Lane in Bay Point. The apartments will be initially owned at the time of the financing by Hidden Cove Apartments, LP, a California Limited Partnership.

OK Contract With Canine Companions for Independence

In another consent act, supervisors approved an agreement with Canine Companions for Independence to provide a dog to the Contra Costa District Attorney’s Office. The dog offers comfort and assistance to victims of crimes during interviews, in-court testimony, and other traumatic situations. The cost of expenses for the care and feeding of the facility dog is estimated to be about $5,000 a year and will be covered from the District Attorney’s general fund budget.

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Supervisors seek members for Independent Oversight Committee for the Regional Measure 3 bridge toll increase

Wednesday, July 24th, 2019

In 2018, voters passed Regional Measure 3 (RM3) which increased bridge tolls in the Bay Area and also established an Independent Oversight Committee. Each of 9 Bay Area counties appoint two members to the Committee. The Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors is seeking two members of the public to serve.

The RM3 Independent Oversight Committee (oversight committee) will be established by the Bay Area Toll Authority (BATA) pursuant to Senate Bill 595 (which placed RM 3 on the ballot). The purpose of the Oversight Committee is to ensure that any toll revenues generated pursuant to the RM3 toll increase are expended consistent with the applicable requirements of the RM3 expenditure plan set forth in Streets and Highways Code Section 30914.7. The Oversight Committee shall annually review the expenditure of funds by BATA for the projects and programs specified in Section 30914.7 and prepare and submit a report to the transportation committee of each house of the Legislature summarizing its findings.

An individual interested in serving on the Committee must be a resident of Contra Costa County and meet the Streets and Highways Code Section 30923 (h) (3) restrictions below:

  • A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be a member, former member, staff, or former staff of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission (MTC) or BATA.
  • A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be employed by any organization or person that has received or is receiving funding from MTC or BATA.
  • A representative appointed to the oversight committee shall not be a former employee or a person who has contracted with any organization or person that has received or is receiving funding from MTC or BATA within one year of having worked for or contracted with that organization or person.

The RM3 Oversight Committee is subject to open public meetings (The Brown Act). Meeting dates, frequency, and length of meetings will be established by the members of the committee. The location of meetings will be in San Francisco at the Bay Area Metro Center. BATA anticipates a stipend to members for meeting attendance. The term length for representatives is four years, and each representative is limited to two terms.

Applications are available online at https://www.contracosta.ca.gov/3418 or by contacting the Clerk of the Board’s Office at (925) 335-1900 or clerkoftheboard@cob.cccounty.us. Completed applications are due by 5 PM on August 9, 2019, and may be completed and submitted online, emailed to the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, mailed or submitted to 651 Pine Street, Room 106, Martinez, CA 94553.

 

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Supervisors give green light to Habitat for Humanity Bay Point Affordable Housing Project

Thursday, July 11th, 2019

In recognition of the East Bay Regional Park District’s 85th anniversary, the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday passed a resolution acknowledging how the park district has served the residents of Contra Costa and Alameda counties since the district’s founding in 1934. At the presentation were from left, District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, District 4 Supervisor Karen Mitchoff, East Bay Region Park District Ward 7 Board Member Colin Coffey, EBRPD Legislative Assistant Lisa Baldinger, District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis, EBRPD Governmental Affairs Manager Erich Pfuehler and Board Vice Chair Candace Andersen. Contra Costa voters approved a annexation to the EBRPD in 1964. Soon thereafter, Kennedy Grove and Briones were developed and opened as the first regional parks within Contra Costa County. In total, the park district consists of 122,278 acres, including more than 1,330 miles of trails, 235 family campsites, 40 fishing docks and 10 interpretative and education centers. Photo by Daniel Borsuk.

SSI applications overwhelm county’s Employment & Human Services Department, hires 24 more employees

By Daniel Borsuk

A 29-unit affordable residential development planned for a Bay Point site donated to the Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay Silicon Valley got the green light from the Contra Costa County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday to proceed with construction.

On a 4-0 vote supervisors approved Habitat for Humanity’s Pacifica Landing Project on a 2.42-acre site that was willed to the nonprofit organization with the intent to build affordable housing on the vacant Pacifica Avenue property next to the Rio Vista Elementary School. Board Chair John Gioia of Richmond was absent.

There was no public opposition aired at the Supervisors meeting, but at the County Planning Commission meeting there were concerns about the lack of off-street parking and the loss of 13 trees that the developer, Habitat for Humanity, has since addressed and mitigated.

The Bay Point affordable housing project will be the second Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay/Silicon Valley development in Contra Costa County. The nonprofit organization spearheaded the construction of a 45-unit affordable townhouse development at the Contra Costa Centre/Pleasant Hill BART Station.

Mike Keller of Habitat for Humanity of the East Bay/Silicon Valley expects construction of the Pacifica Avenue project to get underway by October or November.

“This is a good project,” said District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, whose district includes the development site. “Habitat for Humanity does good work. I’m in favor of it.”

The project will include a mix of two-bedroom, three-bedroom, and four-bedroom residences ranging in living area from 992 to 1,442 square feet. The townhomes will be two-story, single family residential units and will be developed in tri-plex and five-plex clusters throughout the property.

The proposed subdivision will provide 51 uncovered surface parking spaces for the residences and seven additional guest parking spaces.

Elevation of one of the Pacifica Landing Project housing units.

Board Issues Bonds for Other Housing In Bay Point, Pittsburg

In related affordable housing board action, supervisors voted to approve as consent agenda items two resolutions authorizing the issuance of revenue bonds – one of not more than $19.2 million to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of an 88-unit, multi-family housing rental development called Hidden Cove Apartments located at 2921-2931 Mary Ann Lane, also in Bay Point. A second bond issuance of $42.4 million will be for offering mortgage loans or otherwise providing funds to finance the acquisition, construction and rehabilitation of multifamily rental housing, including units for lower income households and very low income households for a borrower of 200 units of multifamily rental housing units known as Marina Heights Apartments located at 2 Marina Blvd. in Pittsburg.

In the event the two bonds are issued, the county will be reimbursed for costs incurred in the issuance process. No county funds are pledged to secure the bonds. The Contra Costa County Conservation and Development Department oversees the program.

SSI Applications Overwhelms County Department

Supervisors learned expansion of the CalFresh program on June 1, has squeezed the county Employment & Human Services Department to hire 24 additional staff since July 7 because the department has received 3,562 Food Stamp applications, Kathy Gallagher, Employment and Human Services Director, reported.

Effective June 1, persons receiving Supplemental Security Income/Supplementary Payments through the Social Security Administration are eligible for CalFresh or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program. This development has triggered a surge of CalFresh applications that has partially hobbled the Employment and Human Services Department’s ability to promptly process applications.

Initially, the county department expected to receive 2,512 applications for CalFresh, but the rising number of submissions is forcing department officials to reconfigure personnel needs. “We can handle this,” Gallagher assured supervisors.

“I’m glad that the SSI Cal Fresh benefit for each recipient to live on is now $900 a month,” remarked Larry Sly of the Contra Costa Food Bank.

Environmental Health Chief Underwood Leaving

The Contra Costa Herald has learned that Contra Costa County Environmental Health Department Director Dr. Marilyn Underwood will be leaving her post. It was announced during the Board of Supervisors meeting, but supervisors were unavailable to comment about Dr. Underwood’s announcement.

Dr. Underwood has led the county environmental health department since March 2011.

The Herald has learned from one source that the environmental health chief, who has overseen or been involved in the Keller Canyon Landfill/Hunters Point Naval Shipyard radiation case, the countywide anti-litter program along with other environmental health duties, has decided to retire.

Neither Dr. Underwood nor her press contact were available for comment at before the Herald’s deadline.

Supervisors Approve New Ammunition Distributor for Sheriff

Supervisors approved Sheriff David O. Livingston’s request to change its new Winchester Ammunition Distributor from Adamson Police Products to Dooley Enterprises. Winchester has informed the Sheriff’s Office that they had to change distributors in Northern California from Adamson to Dooley. The supervisors’ consent action will permit a new purchase order with Dooley Enterprises as the new Winchester Ammunition Distributor for the Office of the Sheriff. The new purchase order with Dooley Enterprises, Inc. is in the amount of $450,000 for the purchase of ammunition for the period of July 1, 2019 through June 30, 2021.

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