Tag Archives: county

GUEST OPINION: State needs to honor its debt to California’s counties


By Assemblywoman Mariko Yamada
and Yolo County Supervisor Matt Rexroad (Woodland)

The California Department of Fish and Wildlife owes 36 California counties collectively over $17 million in delinquent payment-in-lieu-of-taxes.  For Yolo County, the share is nearly $1.4 million.


(courtesy photo)

The payment-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILT) program was established in 1949 to offset the loss in county property tax revenues resulting from state acquisition of private property for wildlife management areas.  These payments were intended to help counties continue to provide vital services such as public safety, health care and roads construction and maintenance.  In Yolo County, the state has not made a payment to offset its acquisition of property acquired primarily for the Yolo Bypass Wildlife Area since 2000, thus leaving Yolo County programs and services to suffer.

The state has also not made payments to the No Man’s Fire Protection District that sits east of Davis.  These payments would help support fire services.  Instead, the cost has been borne solely by private landowners in the district.  This is not the partnership that the County of Yolo expected.  The failure of the state to adhere to state law and meet its end of the bargain discourages the primary intent of land conservation.

YOLO SUPERVISOR MATT REXROAD (photo courtesy of Yolo County)

YOLO SUPERVISOR MATT REXROAD (photo courtesy of Yolo County)

Now, the State of California wants to own or control even more property in Yolo County to address the environmental issues associated with the Delta.  With over $17 million in delinquent monies currently owed to 36 counties, we are skeptical of the state’s future efforts in Yolo County.

Counties throughout California are doing everything they can to reduce expenses, tighten budgets and find funding for critical programs and services for their residents.  We believe the State of California should recognize its payment-in-lieu-of-taxes obligation, pay past due monies and resume ongoing annual payments as the first step in building a better state-local government relationship.

We all have to pay our bills – the state shouldn’t get an exception on the backs of the counties.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

County contracts with private company to promote better broadband connectivity


Yolo County has hired Magellan Advisors to analyze the local broadband internet infrastructure and “assess future needs and identify strategies to meet those needs,” the company reports.

The study is being commissioned by Yolo County’s Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCo) in conjunction with the cities of West Sacramento, Davis, Winters and Woodland.

The resulting plan will “provide Yolo County with a roadmap to strengthen broadband inits community through evaluation of wise public investments in infrastructure, broadband-oriented public policy, strategic public-private partnerships, and collaboration with stakeholders, community anchor institutions and service providers,” said a statement from Magellan Advisors.

  UPDATE, DEC 9, 2013: Documents from the County of Yolo show that Magellan Advisors was selected from among eight responses to the county’s call for proposals.

  The contract is valued at $46,200, and Magellan is tasked with promoting broadband to the community, strategizing to improve broadband services, and other tasks.

Magellan will be working with representatives from the county and its cities, including Diane Richards of the City of West Sacramento.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013


Fire Chief takes Sonoma County job

Alfred 'Al' Terrell: Fire Chief in West Sacramento for five years (courtesy of WSFD)

Alfred ‘Al’ Terrell: Fire Chief in West Sacramento for five years (courtesy of WSFD)

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — News-Ledger Staff

West Sacramento Fire Chief Al Terrell has accepted a job  as chief of the Sonoma County Fire Services Department. Terrell, who has been the head of West Sacramento’s fire department since 2008, will serve his last day here on Nov. 29.

West Sacramento’s city council has appointed Rick Martinez, former fire chief for SacMetro, as an interim fire chief beginning on Dec. 2.

The city has begun the process of recruiting applicants for the chief’s job.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013

Special DUI-prosecuting unit to continue


The state’s Office of Traffic Safety will continue to fund a special DUI enforcement unit in Yolo County, reports the Yolo District Attorney’s office.

The state has awarded Yolo $233,295 for the prosecution of “driving under the influence” cases, said a press statement from Chief Deputy D.A. Jonathan Raven.

A drunk driver faces 30 years after rolling his car off an embankment near Rumsey. His wife and 14-year old son both died in the accident. Photo courtesy of Yolo County D.A.’s office

A drunk driver faces 30 years after rolling his car off an embankment near Rumsey. His wife and 14-year old son both died in the accident.
Photo courtesy of Yolo County D.A.’s office

“As a result of the (Office of Traffic Safety) funding, a highly trained staff can focus attention and resources on repeat offenders and drivers who cause collisions where there is an injury or fatality,” said Raven. “The grant will continue to fund the District Attorney’s Vertical Prosecution Unit, allowing one prosecutor to handle a case through all stages of the criminal process, from the time of arrest through sentencing. The funding also allows the team to assist law enforcement in the investigation of fatal and major injury collisions.”

The office prosecutes “thousands” of DUI cases annually, said Raven. Most of those are alcohol-related, but prosecutors are seeing more cases of drivers under the influence of marijuana, prescription drugs, methamphetamine or a combination of alcohol and drugs.

The Yolo prosecution team includes Deputy D.A. Matt De Moura, investigator John Shugart (a retired CHP sergeant) and legal secretary Lori Castaneda. Last month, the team joined Deputy D.A. Martha Holzaphel in gaining the conviction of Reyes Barajas of Redwood City on two counts of second degree murder. Barajas killed his wife and teenage son in an accident while he was driving with a blood alcohol level of 0.19 percent. A level of 0.08 percent is “presumed guilty” for DUI.

Barajas had three prior DUI convictions. He faces 30 years to life in state prison.

Copyright News-Ledger 2013