In order to prepare for the California Assembly Water, Parks and Wildlife Committee's upcoming hearing on Friday, the Board of Supervisors will discuss a proposed water bond measure and provide direction to the two members who are scheduled to attend.
The informational hearing, which will take place in the supervisors chamber from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., seeks to gather information on the North Coast's water needs and how the proposed bond measure -- known as the Clean and Safe Drinking Water Act of 2014 -- could best suit them.
Third District Supervisor Mark Lovelace and 5th District Supervisor Ryan Sundberg -- representing the North Coast Resource Partnership -- are set to attend the meeting, along with representatives of several North Coast tribes, conservation programs, fishing organizations and the Humboldt Bay Municipal Water District.
"It's an issue that is clearly important to Humboldt County," Lovelace said. "We need to ensure that there is funding available for other water projects in the future."
The bond measure on the November 2014 ballot is one of two that would repeal a still pending $11.1 billion water bond measure from 2009, and replace it with a much smaller $6.5 million water bond.
"The two new bills have slight differences, in that the money will be designated to different priorities," Lovelace said. "As a board, we haven't had a discussion about the bond yet. I don't anticipate we're going to be at a point of taking a position for or against the bond."
At the Tuesday board meeting, the Planning and Building Department will ask the board for further clarification on what the Planning Commission should review in the Conservation and Open Space Element of the Draft General Plan.
The board previously voted 3-2 -- with Lovelace and 2nd District Supervisor Estelle Fennell dissenting -- at its Jan. 13 General Plan Update meeting to send the entire element back to the commission for 45 days of review.
The Planning Commission held two public hearings on Jan. 25 and Jan. 27 to review the element and narrowed down its review to the Open Space and Biological Resources sections until further guidance from the board was given.
Lovelace said that the lack of direction from the board poses a problem for the Planning Commission, as each special meeting costs around $600.
"Before we adjourned on that issue, I did ask if the board wanted to provide more guidance because I thought it was unclear," Lovelace said. "If they have to review the whole element, they'll have to find more money."
Fourth District Supervisor Virginia Bass said the Planning Commission had informed the board in a letter that if a section of the element was going to be sent back that it "would be sent back with the entire element."
"I said during our meeting that it was up to the Planning Commission to decide which section they wanted to review, whether it was the short list or an item by item approach," Bass said. "I think it's up to their preference."
Each board member is also slated to discuss concerns within their respective districts regarding Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuits. At its Jan. 7 meeting, the board voted to gather information on ADA lawsuit concerns in each of their districts and reconvene at its first February meeting to determine whether an ad hoc committee would need to be created.
"Part of the discussion is whether it makes sense that we all do our own separate things or -- for the county as whole -- that a couple of us sit on an ad hoc committee," Bass said. "We're working more on how to help people come into compliance with the ADA."
If you go:
What: Board of Supervisors meeting
When: 9 a.m. Tuesday
Where: Supervisors' chamber, first floor, Humboldt County Courthouse, 825 Fifth St., Eureka
The full agenda can be viewed online at http://co.humboldt.ca.us/board
Will Houston can be reached at 707-441-0504 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @Will_S_Houston