The Barbed Wire - January 13, 2023

January 13, 2023
RCRC’s Rural Rundown of Governor Newsom’s 2023-24 Proposed Budget
Bill of the Week Returning Soon
Register for RCRC’s 2023 Installation of Officers and Rural Leadership Awards Reception
President Issues Emergency Declaration for California
California Lawmakers Urge Expedited Federal Support for Caltrans in Response to Winter Storms
Madera 41 Expressway Project Receives $25 Million in Federal Funding

RCRC’s Rural Rundown of Governor Newsom’s 2023-24 Proposed Budget

On Tuesday, January 10th, Governor Newson released his Administration’s 2023-24 Proposed Budget. This proposal is the first step in the State’s budget negotiations with lawmakers, who must pass a budget by June 15th for the July 1st start of the 2023-24 fiscal year.  

This year’s proposed budget marks a dramatic departure from recent years due to California’s projected revenue shortfalls for the 2023-24 budget year. Due to various outside factors influencing decreased income tax revenues to the state, California now projects General Fund revenues $29.5 billion lower than expected in 2022-23 State Budget projections, resulting in an estimated $22.5 billion budget gap for 2023-24 

The Rural Rundown captures highlights of the proposal as it relates to RCRC member counties and can be accessed here.

Bill of the Week Returning Soon

The 2023 legislative year is underway, and RCRC's Government Affairs team is engaging in the legislative process on issues impacting California's rural counties and monitoring bill introductions. The Bill of the Week feature will return later this month as the process unfolds.

Register for RCRC’s 2023 Installation of Officers and Rural Leadership Awards Reception

On Wednesday, January 18, 2023, the RCRC Annual Installation of Officers and Rural Leadership Awards Reception will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sacramento at 5:00 p.m. Learn more…

President Issues Emergency Declaration for California

On Monday, January 9th, the President approved a declaration of emergency for the State of California. The order provides Federal assistance to supplement State, tribal, and local response efforts due to the emergency conditions resulting from successive and severe winter storms, flooding, and mudslides beginning on January 8, 2023, and continuing.  The President’s action authorizes the Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), to identify, mobilize, and provide equipment and resources necessary to alleviate the impacts of the emergency. 

Whereas most requests for a federal emergency declaration are made after a catastrophe, the State made this request in advance based on predictions of where the worst damage of the storms would take place. RCRC member counties El Dorado, Mariposa, Mendocino, Merced, Monterey, Napa, Placer, and Sonoma were included in the declaration, along with the counties of Los Angeles, Riverside, Sacramento, San Bernardino, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Stanislaus, and Ventura. Due to the proactive nature of the emergency declaration request, the State expects to add more counties to this list. 

California Lawmakers Urge Expedited Federal Support for Caltrans in Response to Winter Storms

On January 11th, California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, along with 36 California members of the House of Representatives, sent a bipartisan letter to Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg and Federal Highway Agency (FHWA) Administrator Shailen Bhatt, to request expedited support, funding, and other assistance to the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) in response to the ongoing winter storms that have severely damaged road and highway infrastructure across the state. Caltrans requested immediate assistance through the FHWA Emergency Relief Program. Funding though this program can be used for the repair or reconstruction of Federal highways and roads on Federal lands which have suffered serious damage from natural disasters.

Madera 41 Expressway Project Receives $25 Million in Federal Funding

The Madera 41 Expressway Project was among 12 projects selected in December 2022 to receive a Rural Surface Transportation Grant Program Award. The project will upgrade approximately four miles of the Madera 41 South Expressway in Merced County from a two-lane rural highway to a four-lane limited-access expressway. In addition to the construction of the four-lane expressway, the project will improve the local road network by widening the Lateral 6.2 canal crossing near Avenue 15, constructing storm water detention basins, raising the height of the new roadway and constructing at-grade intersections at Avenue 12 and Avenue 15, reserving right-of-way for a future freeway interchange at Avenue 12, and adding a widened and raised median between the canal and Avenue 15. 


Announcements regarding hearings, grants, and public comment notices of importance to California's rural counties.


California Cannabis Authority Free Webinar for Local Governments 

The California Cannabis Authority (CAA) is hosting a free webinar on February 2nd, exclusively for local governments looking to start, or currently operating, cannabis programs. 

Hear from Andrew Freedman, Colorado’s first cannabis czar, and nationally recognized experts at Cannabis Public Policy Consulting (CPPC). Get the scoop on what your cannabis program needs to be successful! Reserve your place now

Date: Thursday, February 2, 2023 
Time: 10:00am to 11:00am 
Where: Virtual, Join via Zoom 
RSVP Here 


Training Announcement: Land Use Planning for Wildfire (Free!) 

The Board of Forestry and Fire Protection announces the launch of the CAL FIRE / Office of the State Fire Marshal’s Introduction to Land Use Planning for Wildfires in California Trainings.  

These free, all-day, in person trainings are open to land use planners, fire marshals, fire chiefs, fire mitigation specialists, building officials, and other professionals from government agencies and the private sector engaged in planning, policy, development review and/or approval activities in California. 

Eight trainings are scheduled for January – April 2023 across the state. 

  • January 24, 2023 – Riverside 
  • January 26, 2023 – Lake Forest 
  • February 7, 2023 – San Diego 
  • February 16, 2023 – Redding 
  • March 7, 2023 – Roseville 
  • March 9, 2023 – Morgan Hill 
  • April 18, 2023 – Del Rey 
  • April 20, 2023 – Los Osos 

Space is limited. For more information and to register, see here

view flyer 


Virtual Workshop: AG/Livestock Pass Disaster Access Program Development and Success

The Ag/Livestock Pass Workshop aims to provide county officials insight into how to set up a functional Ag/Livestock Pass program, discuss common challenges and workable solutions, and to showcase examples of program success during recent fires. The workshop will also provide details on complying with AB 1103, a 2021 law which facilitates and governs county adoption and execution of these programs. For more information, see the flyer here.

Date: January 18, 2023
Time: 1:30 PM
Register here


Career Opportunities

Imperial County

Imperial County is seeking applicants for three open engineering positions. These positions are open until filled.

  • Associate Civil Engineer to perform, supervise, and coordinate professional civil or structural engineering work in the field and office.  View details here

  • Assistant Director of Public Works to plan, organize, and assist in the day to day-to-day operations of the Department; prepare and deliver presentations to a variety of commissions and groups; assist in the oversight of the department’s divisions and special districts; and assume responsibility for Department operations in the absence of the Public Works Director. View details here

  • Principal Engineer to plan, organize and direct complex civil engineering work. operations and activities including the office and field design, preparation, review and analysis of engineering and construction plans and specifications; coordinate and direct communications, information, personnel, projects and resources to meet designated County engineering needs and assure smooth and efficient activities; supervise and evaluate the performance of assigned personnel.  View details here


Sierra County

  • The County of Sierra is seeking a Director of Health and Social Services, responsible for the management and administration of Department of Health and Social Services.  A full description and qualifications are available here. For more information, visit the county website here or call (530) 289-2879.
  • The Sierra County Department of Transportation is recruiting for a Transportation Planner II or III, depending on qualifications. This position is open until filled. For more information, see the county website here or call 530-289-2879

Tuolumne County

  • Tuolumne County Auditor Controller's Office is seeking qualified candidates for the Assistant Auditor-Controller. This assistant department head position will be responsible for assisting with the planning, organizing, and directing of the daily functions of the Auditor’s Office, including budget prep and administration, payroll, fixed asset accounting, procurement, general accounting, A/P, auditing and reporting. Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree with emphasis in accounting, and five (5) years of public accounting experience. Equal Opportunity Employer. Salary range: $9,505 - $11,553/mo. Position closes Sunday, February 12, 2023 at 11:59 p.m. Apply online here.

  • Tuolumne County Public Works is seeking an experienced integrated waste professional with extensive knowledge of environmental regulations and compliance to oversee the collection, transportation and disposal of solid waste and hazardous materials, provide public outreach and training, promote recycling programs, maintain two closed landfills, and negotiate and monitor contracts for environmental and landfill services. The Director of Solid Waste, as a key member of the management team, will oversee a staff of four and provide expert advice and support to the Director, Board members, and the community.  Bachelor’s degree and three years’ experience in solid waste management with two years at a supervisory or higher level. Flexible schedule 90/8 or 20%-40% telework considered for right candidate. Position is open until filled. EOE For additional details, see here.

Yolo County

  • The County of Yolo is recruiting to fill one (1) regular, full-time position in the class of Public Information Officer (PIO) at the County Administrator's Office. The role of the Public Information Officer is to manage the County’s communications with the public through press releases, social media, videos, live media and the County website. The PIO informs and engages the community and other stakeholders regarding County activities, services, and strategies.  The PIO also functions as the County Spokesperson which requires knowledge of County programs and policies. As a member of the County Emergency Operations Center personnel, the PIO also acts in a lead capacity in disseminating information during an emergency. The full job announcement can be found here. This position is open until filled.


Institute for Local Government Launches New Digital Planning Commissioner Handbook & Regional Trainings

The Institute for Local Government (ILG) recently released an updated version of their Planning Commissioners Handbook. This handbook is designed to support planning commissioners, their staff, and other officials interested in land use and planning; to help local officials understand the planning process; and provide a glimpse of some potential planning challenges commissioners may experience during their terms. The handbook describes the major terms, plans, and policies that make up the framework of local planning, as well as typical stakeholders in the process and the basics of reviewing applications for development.

In conjunction with this release, ILG is hosting regional training sessions for planning commissioners. These interactive sessions will take place in person at various locations throughout the state and will cover topics such as the role of a planning commission, how to work effectively with staff and the governing board, effective community engagement, CEQA basics, required planning documents, and local and regional planning challenges and opportunities. Each session will give participants the opportunity to engage with experts in the field and fellow planning commissioners to hear best practices, emerging trends, and lessons learned. All sessions are FREE but space is limited and registration is required. Find a full schedule and register here.

Next Training: San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties, February 17, 2023


Access the State Grants Portal for a Multitude of Funding Opportunities

Billions of dollars are up for grabs to public agencies and other entities, including tribes and businesses. Grant seekers can access a centralized portal of grant and loan opportunities here, or sign up to receive new grant opportunities delivered straight to your inbox


Announcements regarding key staffing changes of importance to California's rural counties.


Rebecca Curtis, of Santa Barbara, has been appointed to the California Volunteers Commission. Curtis has been Senior Portfolio Manager at AmeriCorps – West Region since 2022, where she was Portfolio Manager from 2021 to 2022. She was Assistant Director of Development and Communications at the Santa Barbara Botanic Garden from 2019 to 2021. Curtis was Director of Programs and Partnerships at C&O Canal Trust from 2010 to 2019. This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no compensation. Curtis is a Democrat.


Jessica Koppes, of Redding, has been appointed Administrator of the Veterans Home of California, Redding, where she has served as a Skilled Nursing Facility Administrator since 2019 and has held several positions since 2014, including Standards Compliance Coordinator, Chief of Domiciliary Services and Coordinator of Volunteer Services. Koppes was a Project Coordinator of Family Outreach at the Shasta County Office of Education from 2011 to 2014. She was an Adjunct Human Resources and Organizational Leadership Instructor at National University from 2005 to 2014. Koppes held several potions at Shasta Regional Medical between 2007 and 2008, including Manager of Physician Services and Executive Assistant. She was an Adjunct Business Instructor at Shasta College from 2008 to 2000. Koppes earned a Master of Arts degree in Human Resources and Organizational Leadership from National University. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $139,164. Koppes is a Republican. 


Isaiah Mall, of Fairfield, has been appointed Deputy Secretary of Administrative Services at the California Department of Veterans Affairs. Mall has been Agency Chief Information Officer at the California Department of Veterans Affairs since 2018. He was Chief Technology Officer at the California Department of Veterans Affairs from 2017 to 2018, where he was Project Director for Electronic Health Record from 2013 to 2017. Mall was Portfolio Oversight Manager at the California Department of Technology from 2012 to 2013. He held multiple positions at the California State Personnel Board from 2003 to 2012, including Systems Software Specialist II, Staff Information Systems Analyst, Associate Information Systems Analyst, Staff Services Analyst and Student Assistant. Mall was a Computer Technician at Computronix from 1997 to 2003. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $166,656. Mall is registered without party preference. 


David J. Paris, of Redding, has been reappointed to the Board of Chiropractic Examiners, where he has served since 2018. Paris has been a Chiropractor at Dignity Health, Mercy Medical Center Mt. Shasta since 2022 and a Chiropractor at the Veterans Health Administration in Redding since 2005. He has been Adjunct Clinical Faculty at Palmer College of Chiropractic since 2009, at the University of Western States since 2014 and at Parker University since 2019. He was Owner at Active Care Chiropractic from 2002 to 2009. He was a Chiropractic Consultant for the State Compensation Insurance Fund from 2004 to 2006 and a Qualified Medical Evaluator at the California Division of Workers’ Compensation from 2002 to 2009 and from 2011 to 2013. He was a Staff Chiropractor for Sutter Health at Work Medical Associates from 2003 to 2005. Paris was a Chiropractor at Anderson Walk-in Medical Clinic from 2014 to 2018 and at Redding Industrial Occupational Health from 2003 to 2004. He was Associate Doctor at Redding Chiropractic Clinic from 2001 to 2003 and an Emergency Medical Technician at Goodhew Ambulance from 1989 to 1990. He is a member of the American Chiropractic Association, California Chiropractic Association and the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Paris earned a Master of Science degree in Neuroscience from Parker University and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic West. This position does not require Senate confirmation and the compensation is $100 per diem. Paris is registered without party preference. 


Yolo Land Trust has hired John S. Currey, a long-time conservationist and farmer, as Executive Director, and has elected Mary-Ann Warmerdam, RCRC Senior Vice President for Government Affairs, as President.


RCRC press releases and related news clips about RCRC and our member counties. Please note that a subscription may be required to read some external publications.


A California hospital closes its doors: ‘A great loss’ – Chief Health Care Executive

After over 50 years in operation, the Madera Community Hospital celebrated its 50th anniversary has closed its doors to patients. The hospitals abrupt closure is due to recent bankruptcy.


Congressman LaMalfa Introduces the ‘Protect Our Water Rights’ Act

Congressman Doug LaMalfa (R – Richvale) introduced H.R. 289, the Protect Our Water Rights (POWR) Act. This bill will give certainty to agriculture producers and irrigators during dry years and hold the Bureau of Reclamation accountable for proper water delivery.


Why California's much-touted CARE Court is 'no one-and-done program' – Union-Bulletin

When Governor Gavin Newsom signed the CARE Act into law in September, he set the clock on seven counties to have the program with its signature courts up and running by Oct. 1, 2023. Three months into implementing its provisions, however, mental health directors advise against setting expectations too high, pointing to logistical and financial challenges of launching a labor-intensive program from scratch.