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Indian Valley Record
Greenville, California
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May 18, 2011     Indian Valley Record
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May 18, 2011
 

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[tlJ,;.L!L.[lLiildLlflgl.,tillll| iIaJdilIIUJlILUII]I,ILIqEIILm.ILUMILJLLJ --" ' .' :lt JiHHIIrdlHJIlUqd.ILI&JUJiLL, IiIkW,UDIilILll  .._.L 4B Wednesday, May 18, 2011 Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter State appeals Herzog writ, local decision Sam Williams Staff Writer swilliams@lassennews.com Lassen County and the city of Susanville's fight to remove paroled "Speed Freak Killer" Loren Herzog from the area continues. On Thursday, April 28, the California Department of Cor- rections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) filed an appeal seek- ing to overturn a Nov. 12, 2010. ruling by Lassen County Superior Court Judge Donald Sokol that ordered Herzog's immediate.removal. Sokol's order was stayed pending the state filing the appral with the Court of the State of Cali- fornia, 3rd Appellate District. "Can a local government in- terfere with the California De- partment of Corrections and Rehabilitation's statutory dis- cretion in placing a parolee that no community wants at a location that serves the best interests of the public, the vic- tims and the surrounding community?" CDCR asks in the introduction to its appeal. "The answer is no, and for this reason, the court should reverse the superior court's order granting the petition for (a) writ of mandate." City Attorney Peter Talia and Lassen County Counsel Rick Crabtree were both attendfng an out-of-town conference and were unable to comment on the appeal, but Traci Witty, former Lassen County deputy county counsel, is handling the matter as a private contractor. Witry said she was respon- sible for the case, and she was in the process of reviewing the state's appeal and the case law it cited. She said the city and the county have 30 days to file a response. "I've already talked to Peter Talia, and we% getting our response ready. It's dnitely not a dead issue. It's important for the community to know we didn't just roll over just because they're appealing it. We're still fighting. We want him gone." Traci Witry, Former Lassen County Deputy County Counsel "I've already talked to Peter Talia, and we're getting our re- sponse ready," Witry said. "It's definitely not a dead is- sue. It's imimrtant for the com- munity to know we didn't just roll over just because they're appealing it. We're still fight- ing. We want him gone." Luis Patino, a spokesperson for CDCR, provided the news- paper with a copy of the ap- peal but declined to comment. "We are just going to allow the brief to speak for itself," he wrote in an email. "The legislature entrusted the CDCR with the sole dis- cretion in determining the placement of parolees," CDCR wrote in the appeal. "Such discretion is necessary to pre- vent local communities from blocking the placement of un- popular criminals, such as Loren Herzog, especially when the state has assumed extraordinary effort to prove a secure placement for that parolee." The state's argument "CDCR's ultimate selection of Lassen County, which of- Preparedness Instructor Don Will (standing) leads participants throug a flood scenario during the final day of a three-day Incident Command System (ICS) trainir class at the Eastern Plumas Health Care Education Center in Portola on Thursday, May 12. The series of.classes, sponsored by a grant from Homeland Security and targeted for mid-levpI management people at the federal, state, local, tribal'and private sector, is designed to help coordinate response to local and national emergencies. This class (ICS 300) featured representatives from the Plumas County Dispatch Center, PlumasCounty Sheriff's Office, U.S'. Forest Service, Plumas County Environmental Health, Plumas District HoSpital, Eastern Plumas Healt Care, Plumas County Public Works, Portol Fire, and Eastern Plumas Rural Fire Photo by Trish aylor fered readily available law en- forcement, strict security measures and an around-the- clock electronic monitoring sYstem, served the state's pri- mary interests of protecting Herzog's victims and the greater community," CDCR wrote. According to the appeal CDCR gave local officials "the best practicable notice" and the 45-day notice rule in Penal Code section 2058.6 "does not apply here" because of the dif- ficulties encountered in try- ing to place Herzog in three other counties, and CDCR "fully complied" with require- ments of the penal code. Herzog "could not be paroled in San Joaquin County, his last county of residence, because a number of his victims or witnesses lived within 35 miles of Her- zog's planned paroled place- ment a violation of Penal Code section 3003. CDCR considered several other locations, including placing Herzog with a sister :iffE.lRGrove, iri-Scramento County, but Elk Grove is clos- er than 35 miles to-the loca- tion of "at least one of Her- zog's victims." CDCR considered Modoc County, but it was "too re- mote" for CDCR parole staff and lacked sufficient coverage through global positioning system, thus making it harder for CDCR parole officers to electronically track Herzog's movement. Lassen County was deemed an appropriate location for Herzog's parole because CD- CR receives a strong GPS sig- nal in the area, it's readily ac- cessible to parole agents and has a strong law enforcement presence. CDCR pays all of Herzog's living expenses; therefore, he "does not need to seek em- ployment while living on prison grounds." Herzog is under a strict cur- few and is subject to the "prison's security restrictions in addition to the conditions of his parole." CDCR also notes that it, Lassen County and the city of Susanville do not dispute the facts of the case. "Because there is no dis- pute on these operative facts, the question of whether the superior court can direct CD- CR to transfer a parolee out of a specific county presents a pure question of law." Since a writ of mandate may only be used to compel a duty that is "purel ministeri- al in character," it "may not be invoked to control an exer- cise of discretion, i.e pel an official to exe cretion m a particul According to CDCI of mandate, howev, proper to compel ex discretionary act state agency has n( its discretion." CDCR cites McCar perior Court, a 1987 which the court cc "By affording CDCR discretion over a 1 plficemenL/e :legis] ., to com- rcise dis- r way." , "A writ .w, is im- rcise of a vhen the ,t abused Lhy v. Su- ruling in ncluded, with full mrolee's ature did not provide the trial court with any jurisdiction to issue a temporary restraining order enjoining a parolee's release in a particular county. The same rule applies here." According to the McCarthy ruling, a county cannot force the transfer of a parolee to another county simply be- cause the citizens don't want the parolee living in their community. "If local jurisdictions or agencies were indiscrimi- nately permitted to obtain in- junctive relief, either tempo- rary or permanent, to pre- vent the return of undesir- able parolees to their respec- tive jurisdictions, then the legislative purpose underly- ing (the) enactment of (penal code) section 3003 would be seriously undermined," the McCarthy court wrote. According to CDCR, Sokol "failed to consider the extent to which CDCR considered all factors, especially safety, in determining Herzog's place- ment in Lassen County served the public's best interest." CDCR also wrote Sokol "failed to consider that, due to the exigent circumstances of the case, the 45-day notice requirement (of the penal code) did not apply, and CD- CR provided notice as promptly as it could under the circumstances." CDCR argued the difficul- ties in finding a suitable pa- role location for Herzog "triggered a new notice peri- od, requiring that CDCR pro- vide Lassen County officials with the soonest practicable notice." CDCR also noted Sokol's or- der that "CDCR immediately transfer Herzog out of the county is in direct violation of (the) statutory requirement of 45-day's notice." And CDCR noted its actions "fulfilled the purpose of no- tice provisions by providing the public a full opportunity to resp0.nd, of which the pub- lic took fut admage." ahij  Is YOUR HOME SAFE from fire? 100' of DEFENSIBLE SPACE It's the law! (CA PRC 429 ! ) Plumas County . Fire Safe Council as-" (PC FSC) Is offering s00stance00n creating or maintaining Defensible Space to residents over 62 years of age in 2011 or disabled living in Plumas County. PC FSC will provide a free Home Ignition Zone consultation for determining work necessary to meet the requirements of the law. PC FSC will procure competitive bids from qualified and insured cortractors to meet California's Fire Safe Standards. PC FSC will certify the work done before payments are made. PC FSC will provide financial assistance based on residents income. Contact Rob Gimbel, c/o Plumas County Fire Safe Council P.O. Box 1225, Quincy, CA 95971 283-0829 or 283-3739 emaih rob@plumascounty.org This program is provided by the Plumas County Fire Safe Council with funding from the Plumas County Board of Supervisors, the Plumas NF through the Plumas Resource Advisory Committee, The California Fire Safe Council Clearinghouse with funds from the US Forest Service and assistance from Plumas Corporation and Plumas Rural Services. LAW, fi'om page 3B Slick roadway, May 9 At 11 a.m. Debra Burley, of Fernley, Nev., was driving a 2000 Toyota Tundra at ap- proximately 50 - 55 mph northbound on Highway 49, north of Heriot Lane. It was hailing with snow flurries and the road was covered with hail. Due to her excessive speed for the roadway, according to CHP, Burley lost control of the vehicle while ascending the south side of Newman Point. The Tundra slid off the right side of the roadway and turned over onto its driver's side. Burley was wearing a seat- belt. No injuries were reported. Backs into truck, May 10 At 12:.30 p.m. Danyelle Mus- grove, 19, of Quincy, was back- ing up a 2001 Dodge Durango from a parking space on Court Street, south of Main Street, when she backed into a 2010 Ford F-350 pickup parked on the opposite side of the street. According to the CHP, Mus- grove caused minor damage to the Ford, but did not notice the damage when she exited the Dodge and looked. Think- ing she only hit the bumper and caused no damage, she left the scene and returned home. A witness to the collision obtained the license plate number and contacted the owner of the Ford. When the CHP arrived at Musgrove's residence, she admitted to bumping the Ford but said she was unaware of any damage. Plumas Unified School District Superintendent PUSD Glenn Harris Basic Aid School Finance Issue #3 12 In my last issue, I discussed the reasons for Basic Aid reserve requirements and presented an example of how a return to revenue limit would affect a basic aid district. In this issue, we will discuss the specifics related to our Plumas Unified School District. Under state laW, Plumas Unified School District is required to hold a minimum of 3% reserve. Without requiring all school districts to maintain a small reserve, they could easily get into financial difficulty and lose the ability to meet required cash flow expenditures for payroll. The 3% minimum reserve established by law, is not enough even in good financial times to meet our obligations as a small district. Why? Our district is a relatively small with less than 2,000 students in Average Daily Attendance (ADA). The smaller the district the smaller the 3% represents of our total budget. In essence, our district has an annual budget of $26 million, therefore we hold at least $780,000 aside for emergencies. If one of our building systems failed and require d a $1 million overhaul the 3% reserve would not handle it. The issue of our reserve is more complicated due to our Basic Aid status in that we must ensure an additional reserve to enable us to return to Revenue Limit should the stat notify us that we no longer meet the excess tax appropriations above our base revenue limit to remain Basic Aid. The reserve amount determined for our situation is basically the annual difference between our revenue limit calculation and our local property taxes. The governing board has set the reserve level to $12 million which would allow for a two year transition. Hence, our Basic Aiddistrict with $26 million annual revenue/expenses, upon returning to Revenue Limit may only receive $11.7 million in revenue limit funding for the next year as a Revenue Lirhit district. This scenario would leave our district with a $5.3 million budget shortfall in July, unable to meet the coming $26 million of annual expenses. Our district would most likely utilize approximately 45% of our reserve to offset the loss of revenue for year one, while still having annual expenses of $26 million. Effective in March of the same year, the district would be forced to cut roughly $5.3 million of operating expenses to absorb the hit. Since 74% of our school district's expenses are in personnel costs you could easily see that the district would have to reduce a significant part of our workforce in the first year. This action for our school district would mean drastic changes in class sizes, course offerings, athletic funding etc..with little time for yearly planning to plot our course of action. This is why Basic Aid districts across the state, depending upon their size, liabilities, and their local community's socio-economics, hold reserves varying from 20% to over 140%. Sincerelyl Glenn R. Harris, Superintendent PUSD-PCOE ]00ltt]l]t,00l00l IB II,EI,00[ ll00lHIltIl00 00l,ltllfll[flllBl00liil.il I $ :1 I1H1 tl 00'll