Jessica Cejnar / Monday, May 4 @ 5:44 p.m. / Emergencies, Local Government
Supervisors to Discuss State Parks Closure, Letter to Pelosi, Schumer Regarding COVID-19 Stimulus Bill
After California State Parks turned down a request to allow Del Norters vehicular access to local units, county supervisors will discuss taking their argument to the Natural Resources Agency.
The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday will discuss sending a letter to Wade Crowfoot, director of the California Natural Resources Agency. The letter asks Crowfoot to direct his staff to discuss opening local state parks to vehicular traffic. The letter also touches on permanent gates erected after California State Parks closed all 280 units to vehicles, boats and off-highway vehicles on March 29.
Supervisors argue that State Parks erected the gates due to temporary barriers being damaged and that people congregating weren’t “indicated to be a concern.”
“The resulting response to place permanent gates where none have existed has created tremendous local concern,” Del Norte County’s letter states. “And our board has been contacted to address the situation through coordination with State Parks.”
County supervisors’ proposed letter to Crowfoot is the second of three they will discuss on Tuesday. The first is a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi supporting the position she and Senate Minority Leader, Chuck Schumer took in making $150 billion through the Phase 3.5 of a COVID-19 stimulus bill available to all counties, cities and states.
Local governments with populations less than 500,000 were left out of Phase 3.5 of the stimulus bill, according to County Administrative Officer Jay Sarina. The next stimulus bill, Phase 4.0, is expected to include “that discussion,” Sarina said, though there aren’t any guarantees that Congress will approve additional relief money.
Sarina noted there aren’t many governments in California whose jurisdiction encompasses more than 500,000 people.
“If it’s approved any additional stimulus money will come directly to counties to deal with issues we’re going to experience as a result of the shut down,” Sarina told the Wild Rivers Outpost last week.
“Every community is going to have similar types of issues, some worse than others, but the loss of revenue and additional expenses are typically the ones we’re going to experience whether that’s tax base or otherwise.”
For Del Norte County, dealing with an emergency everyone else in the country is living through is unusual, Sarina said. During the March 2011 tsunami, he said, the Stafford Act kicks in. The county declares a local emergency, the state and federal governments follow suit and the Federal Emergency Management Act gets involved, Sarina said.
“It is different for us in this case,” he said. “The legislation that is being passed directly sends (us) the funding, whereas the other one kicks in the Stafford Act.”
District 3 Supervisor Chris Howard requested the letter to Crowfoot and the letter to Pelosi and Schumer be placed on Tuesday’s special agenda.
The third letter supervisors will ask other small rural counties to urge California Governor Gavin Newsom to open up small rural counties in a safe way. This request comes from District 5 Supervisor Bob Berkowitz.
The special meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday. To view the meeting, visit www.co.del-norte.ca.us.