By unanimous vote, Stanislaus County supervisors Tuesday:
Approved laying off an animal control worker
Agreed to explore merging some firefighting services with Modesto and Salida. Those fire agencies and others are partners in fire prevention, investigations, communication, training and some administrative functions. They would like to expand their cooperation to rescue operations, medical emergencies and hazardous materials calls. Supervisors Jeff Grover and Bill O'Brien will discuss options with representatives of the Modesto City Council and Salida Fire Board.
Signed off on contracts with Oakdale that will pay the county for building inspections, fire safety inspections and review of construction plans
Adopted a new formula determining pay for the Board of Supervisors, resulting in no raise this year. The previous method allowed raises as long as pay remained 20 percent less than the average of eight other counties, including some coastal areas. At that threshold, supervisors' yearly pay of $71,000 could automatically be bumped by 3.75 percent twice a year until it reached $85,800. Tuesday's action changed the formula by taking out Monterey, Sacramento, Solano, Sonoma and Ventura counties and adding Madera, Merced, Tulare and Kings counties, all in the San Joaquin Valley. Twenty percent less than the average pay of supervisors in those counties, plus San Joaquin, Fresno and Kern, is $69,384.
Agreed to pay more for a flood control study of Orestimba Creek near Newman, where flooding causes about $3 million in yearly damage, according a federal estimate. Twelve years ago, study costs were estimated at $1.3 million, with Stanislaus County and the federal government splitting the cost. The estimate has since grown to $6.8 million.
Accepted a $1 million grant to help about 25 low-income, first-time home buyers. The county has helped 276 families with previous grants over 16 years.
Changed job performance reviews for managers and administrators, except for elected officials. Canceling reviews by peers and subordinates, which makes up 40 percent of current evaluations, could reduce time spent on evaluations from 10 weeks to six weeks, saving 1,700 hours across the county's 27 departments, according to an estimate. Now, only a superior's evaluation will count. The change does not affect lieutenants in the Sheriff's Department, whose terms are subject to union bargaining.
Accepted a $193,800 state used tire grant, funded by a $1.75 surcharge on each new tire since 1989. Grants have paid for more than 1,400 inspections of the 380 waste tire businesses throughout the county, except for Modesto, which applies for money separately.
Applied for a $1.46 million homeland security grant. In seven years, such grants have brought $8.6 million to Stanislaus County for disaster preparations.
Agreed to sponsor a Green Ideas Expo on Nov. 4 at the county agriculture center. The event might cost $4,550, mostly for advertising and fliers, posters and brochures — to be printed with soy ink on recycled paper.
— Garth Stapley