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Board Selects Montgomery as Chair, Holmes as Vice Chair for 2012

January 10, 2012

The Placer County Board of Supervisors chose Jennifer Montgomery Tuesday to serve as chair and Jim Holmes to be vice chair during 2012.

2011 Board Chair Robert M. Weygandt and 2012 Chair Jennifer Montgomery.
The five-member board approved both appointments on unanimous votes.

Supervisor Montgomery has been on the board since 2009. She represents the 5th district, which stretches from Auburn to North Lake Tahoe.

Vice Chair Holmes has been on the board since 2005 and served as chair during 2008. He represents the 3rd District, which includes Ophir, Newcastle, Penryn, Loomis, most of Rocklin and part of North Auburn.

As the new chair, Montgomery’s first order of business was thanking 2nd District Supervisor Robert M. Weygandt for serving as chairman last year and for his many years of board service. He is beginning his 18th year representing the 2nd District, which includes Lincoln, Sheridan, part of Rocklin and part of the west Roseville area.

Chair Montgomery noted that Supervisor Weygandt has played a leading role on such pivotal issues as development of the county’s Placer Legacy Open Space and Agricultural Conservation Program, work on the proposed Placer County Conservation Plan, and efforts to develop a regional approach to solving wastewater treatment issues in western Placer County.

“I really respect and honor Robert for his work on these issues,” Montgomery said.

She praised her colleague as a humble leader noted for his work as a coalition builder, saying “Most of all, I really respect his leadership style.”

The chairman presides over board meetings, approves final agendas and often represents the county at community events, but generally has the same powers as other supervisors.

In other action, the board approved Placer County’s 2012 legislative platform, a 27-page report that identifies issues important to the county that will be the focus of it advisory efforts in Sacramento and Washington, D.C.

In a report to the board, county staff notes that Placer County has received substantial federal funding for high-priority projects as a result of its advocacy efforts.

It notes, for example, that last year the Sheriff’s Office was awarded a $2.6 million grant by the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS), a branch of the U.S. Department of Justice. The grant will allow the office to hire eight deputies to help combat the cultivation and use of illegal drugs throughout the county.

The grant program uses a competitive process to allocate grant funding among law enforcement agencies. Placer County’s grant proposal was developed by the Sheriff’s Office and County Executive Office in cooperation with other county departments, the Placer County Superior Court, Placer County Office of Education and other local agencies. Holland & Knight, the law firm that serves as Placer County’s advocate in Washington, D.C., provided significant assistance in the grant-preparation process and reinforced the benefits of collaborative, regionally based approaches.

This year’s advocacy efforts will focus on funding for biomass, transportation projects such as the Placer Parkway, the proposed Placer County Conservation Plan, a proposed regional wastewater treatment system, a state-of-the-art wireless communication network for law enforcement agencies, Health and Human Services programs and additional COPS funding.

At the state level, Placer County’s advocacy efforts will focus partly on gaining flexibility, additional revenue and constitutional protections for public safety realignment. Other issues of note include the proposed conservation plan, potential relief from a new state fire planning fee, possible relief from wastewater compliance timelines and opposition to any moves to reduce or eliminate state funding for county programs.
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