MENDOCINO Co., 8/29/21 — Mendocino County Sheriff Matt Kendall’s ongoing lawsuit against the Board of Supervisors will be on their agenda this coming Tuesday, after a fashion, when they meet to discuss Government Code Section 29121 — a state law which reads in its’ entirety that, “Except as otherwise provided by law, obligations incurred or paid in excess of the amounts authorized in the budget unit appropriations are not a liability of the county or dependent special district, but a personal liability of the official authorizing the obligation.” It’s not clear what, if anything, the supes can do to protect Kendall from G.C. 29121, but the matter became a recent point of contention after one of them reportedly joked about enforcing it.
The county has stated in recent court filings that they do not intend to leverage G.C. 29121 as part of their budget process, and staff is recommending that the board inform department heads and elected officials that “it is not and has not been the policy of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors to hold officials personally liable for budget overages that result from duly authorized expenditures, variations between actual and projected revenue, and other issues routinely addressed through quarterly budget adjustments.”
There are also three items totalling $2.25 million in funding for mental health care and related services, including $550,000 for Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, $1 million for mental health crisis response and “$700,000 to work with the community, including law enforcement, physicians, community leaders, and community members, to reduce mental health discrimination through advocacy, education, and outreach efforts to change public perception and stigma associated with mental illness and further to help encourage and normalize help-seeking behavior related to mental health.”
Supervisors Glenn McGourty and John Haschak will be updating the rest of the board on their work with the drought task force ad-hoc committee, and the next item on the agenda is discussion of drafting an “Urgency Ordinance Regarding the Prohibition of Water Hauling from One Source to Another Except for Health and Human Safety or Permitted Businesses.” There’s also a presentation (warning: 27mb file) on a recent assessment of the needs of county parks by Berkeley-based consultant BluePoint Planning. This item should be of interest to avid park users countywide.
The board’s lengthy closed session agenda includes discussion of Sheriff Kendall’s lawsuit, as well as the wrongful termination suit filed by former Agricultural Commissioner Harinder Grewal. Both plaintiffs are being represented by the Law Offices of Duncan James. The board will also be discussing ongoing litigation with the Willits Environmental Center regarding the county’s cannabis permitting program.
The Fort Bragg City Council is holding a special meeting to address pressing water issues (among other things) at 6 p.m. Monday, and the Willits City Council is holding a special meeting to address water issues at 6 p.m. Wednesday. A link to the board of supervisors agenda and related documents are available on the county’s website at https://bit.ly/3ypGKQH and the meeting will be livestreamed on the county’s Facebook page and YouTube channel.