The Barbed Wire - January 20, 2023

January 20, 2023
RCRC Celebrates 2023 Officers and Honors Rural Leadership Award Recipients
ICYMI: RCRC’s Rural Rundown of Governor Newsom’s 2023-24 Proposed Budget
Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators Call on OMB to Provide Information on Federal Firefighter Housing
Congressman LaMalfa Introduces ‘Protect Our Water Rights’ Act
Representative Garamendi Secures Federal Funding for Projects in Two Rural California Counties

RCRC Celebrates 2023 Officers and Honors Rural Leadership Award Recipients

RCRC gathered at its annual reception on Wednesday, January 18th, to celebrate the RCRC 2023 Officers and to honor the recipients of the 2022 Rural Leadership Awards. 

The Rural Leadership Awards are presented to two public officials who have demonstrated an understanding of, and distinctive leadership regarding rural county issues. RCRC honored Angela Avery, Executive Director of the Sierra Nevada Conservancy, for her bold leadership in forest stewardship and conservation; and Assemblymember Jim Patterson (AD-8), for his role in advancing wildfire risk reduction, community safety, and attempts to restore Williamson Act funding.  

The 2023 RCRC Officers were installed during the Board of Directors meeting earlier that day, with the official Oath of Office administered by California State Assemblymember James Gallagher (AD-3). RCRC Chair, Butte County Supervisor Doug Teeter; First Vice Chair, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez; Second Vice Chair, Modoc County Supervisor Geri Byrne; and Executive Committee Member at Large, Inyo County Supervisor Matt Kingsley, were recognized at the reception for leading the organization in championing policies on behalf of California’s rural counties. 

Read the full press release here

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

On 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.

Bipartisan Group of U.S. Senators Call on OMB to Provide Information on Federal Firefighter Housing

In a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on January 18th, a bipartisan group of U.S. Senators identified several issues that may contribute to the high cost of firefighter housing including changes made to price-setting regulations in 2019. These regulatory changes affected the cost for multi-room units and rent reduction for particularly remote cabins.  The letter was signed by California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Alex Padilla, in addition to Steve Daines (R-Montana), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), Jim Risch (R-Idaho) and Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon). The full text of the letter is available here.

Congressman LaMalfa Introduces ‘Protect Our Water Rights’ Act

On January 11th, Representative Doug LaMalfa (R–Richvale) introduced the Protect Our Water Rights (POWR) Act (H.R. 289). This bill will give certainty to agriculture producers and irrigators during dry years and hold the Bureau of Reclamation accountable for proper water delivery. It requires in-person field briefings and outreach, in each county where a Central Valley Project (CVP) water contractor is located, after Reclamation’s initial allocation announcements and before the allocation announcement for April is made. 

Representative Garamendi Secures Federal Funding for Projects in Two Rural California Counties

On January 12th, Congressman John Garamendi (D-Walnut Grove) announced that he successfully secured $37 million as part of a government funding package for Fiscal Year 2023 for transportation, workforce development, affordable housing, drinking water improvement, and flood control projects in several counties in his district, including the RCRC member counties of Solano and Yolo. Funding for the local projects was added to the legislation as Community Project Funding requests—a new initiative that allows Members of Congress to request direct funding for critically important projects in their district. The legislation was signed into law by President Biden in December. View all the projects funded here.


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


CMSP Launches Healthcare Infrastructure Development Matching Grant

The CMSP Healthcare Infrastructure Development Matching Grant program (HID Matching Grant) will help CMSP counties and non-profits contracted with CMSP counties to expand their physical capacity to provide healthcare and behavioral health services by providing required local level match funds for state, federal or other infrastructure grants.  Up to $10 Million may be awarded!  Awards range up to $500,000 for projects serving a single CMSP county and up to $ 1,000,000 for projects serving multiple CMSP counties. HID Matching Grant applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, beginning February 1, 2023 through June 1, 2023.   Applications will be considered as they are received and will be submitted to the Governing Board for consideration at an upcoming regularly scheduled public meeting of the Board. Completed applications must be submitted to by June 1, 2023. To learn full program details and requirements, or to download an application, visit the CMSP website here.


Participate in a Caltrans Pilot Study, Earn up to $250, and Help Bring the Rural Voice to the Future of Transportation Funding

California needs a fairer, more transparent, and more sustainable way to fund our roads and is exploring the California Road Charge policy idea. Caltrans wants the voices of rural community members, ranchers, tribes and business owners at the table to understand how the concept fits into your day-to-day and what unique challenges and opportunities it may provide rural and tribal communities.  The state is offering incentives of up to $250 for community members to take part in a 7-month pilot launching in March 2023. To be eligible for the incentive, rural community members will need to have mileage reported electronically through a device or app, drive around as usual during the pilot timeframe and participate in two surveys. Technology and user experience are the focus of the pilot study and no participant will pay for the simulated road charges. For more history and information, or to sign up for the pilot, visit  If you are interested in having Caltrans come to your community or have any questions, contact Road Charge Program Manager Lauren Prehoda at


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


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 


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


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.


Can California’s grid handle 12 million electric cars? – CalMatters

Despite expecting 12.5 million electric cars by 2035, California officials insist that the grid can provide enough electricity. But that’s based on multiple assumptions — including building solar and wind at almost five times the pace of the past decade — that may not be realistic. 


California Attorney General Supports USDA Proposal to Protect Competition in the Agriculture Industry – Sierra Sun Times

California Attorney General Rob Bonta, as part of a multistate coalition, filed a comment letter in support of a proposed rule by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to promote competition in the agriculture industry and strengthen enforcement under the federal Packers and Stockyards Act. The USDA’s proposed rule would prohibit discrimination and retaliatory practices against vulnerable producers, improve USDA monitoring and enforcement of these prohibitions, and more clearly identify deceptive practices that would be violations of the Act. 


These overgrown California forests will be thinned with new wildfire funds from feds – The Sacramento Bee

Now in year two of the 10-year wildfire reduction strategy of the USDA Forest Service, the agency, in connection with community-based and governmental organizations, has identified 11 new landscapes that will receive federal aid this year.