The following is a letter to the editor submitted by Mendocino County District 3 Supervisor John Haschak, published here as a column, in which he updates his constituents. We encourage the other supervisors to submit letters — we will happily publish them. You can see Haschak’s previous letters to his constituents here. The opinions expressed in this letter are the author’s, not those of The Mendocino Voice.
The last Board of Supervisors meeting of 2022 was on Tuesday so I thought that this would be a good time to look back at what has transpired over the year and then look forward to the New Year.
In March, CEO Carmel Angelo retired and Darcie Antle took over as Interim CEO in June. The Board made some changes to the role of the Board as far as overseeing department heads. Ms. Antle was named CEO in June.
The Board approved the Strategic Plan. This will provide a roadmap for the next 5 years. Of course, the budget will determine what routes are taken on that journey. This past year has been difficult in regards to the budget. The Board needs budget numbers and the books for ’21-’22 have yet to be closed. My goal is that we can figure out the way to get the numbers we need and create a more efficient, effective fiscal department. On the bright side, the County has settled negotiations with most of the bargaining units.
The County received over $22 million in PG&E settlement money. Though much of the money was given to Redwood Valley and Potter Valley for their losses, the County has spent a lot of money on countywide emergency facilities and IT infrastructure, emergency medical services, and prevention and recovery. The 3rd District has received additional funding for fire districts, UTV side-by-side rescue vehicles, an ambulance, and fire training facilities.
Measure B funds were used to open the Crisis Residential Treatment Center in May. Since its opening, 42 clients have been served. The Behavioral Health Regional Training Center is up and running. The Dual Response Mobile Crisis program is responding to 911 calls which have a behavioral health component. In collaboration with law enforcement, mental health specialists responded to 258 clients. Design work on the Psychiatric Hospital Facility (PHF) has begun. It will be located at 131 Whitmore Lane in Ukiah. It will take a couple of years to build and get it operational. Other programs of community education, awareness, and stigma reduction are ongoing. Suicide and substance abuse prevention events are happening throughout the County.
Creation of the water agency has taken a lot of time. Water and drought will continue to be critical issues in the County. I want a water agency that builds capacity for solving our water problems internally rather than hiring “expert” consultants from the outside.
I sponsored a water extraction and hauling ordinance which was moved forward by the Board to County Counsel and the Planning Commission. It has been with County Counsel and should go before the Planning Commission in February.
Finally, the people of Mendocino County approved both Measures O (Libraries) and P (Fire protection and prevention) to better fund these needed community services. The library in Laytonville should open in early 2023.
Please reach out to me at [email protected] or 707-972-4214.
Best wishes to you and yours during these Holidays and New Year.