Stanislaus County supervisors decided to raise fees for concealed weapon permits from $13 to $100 for new applicants and from $6.75 to $25 for renewals. Oakdale resident Dan Qualls questioned the move, saying states that grant more gun permits charge less but bring in more revenue because people aren't discouraged by high fees. Supervisors Vito Chiesa, Bill O'Brien and Dick Monteith said raising fees is much better than laying off deputies. Supervisor Jim DeMartini stood alone in his vote against the proposal, saying, "I don't think the county has to recover its costs on every single fee."
Also Tuesday, supervisors voted to:
Raise some parking fines in unincorporated areas by an average of $11. Officers want more tools to "promote safety" at events such as flea markets on Crows Landing Road in south Modesto, in addition to gathering more money, Sheriff Adam Christianson said. The vote was unanimous.
Establish fees for inspections of above- ground fuel tanks larger than 10,000 gallons. Saying regulations already are burdensome, some supervisors appeared opposed until learning that state inspectors, who previously regulated such tanks, charged more than the county will. DeMartini cast Tuesday's only "no" vote, saying the charge is "excessive" for an "unnecessary" program.
Raise fees for fingerprint scans required in background checks for some jobs, from $10 to $15. The vote was unanimous.
Use eminent domain to seize another parcel needed to widen Kiernan Avenue north of Modesto. Property controlled by A&P Cal Properties became the 27th in recent months taken by the county over owners' objections. A Caltrans official said his agency is working on a proposed land swap involving property next door to satisfy the owner of the 0.22-acre strip.
— Garth Stapley