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Like Water for Elephants

MENDO TO SPEND $307k just to re-establish the County Water Agency. (Staffing and admin separate.)

Agenda Item 5b: Discussion and Possible Action Including Adoption of Resolution Approving Department of Transportation Agreement Number 210054, Professional Services Agreement with GEI Consultants, Inc., in the Amount of $306,808, for the Term Starting Upon Execution of the Agreement through December 31, 2022, for the Re-Establishment of a Stand-Alone Mendocino County Water Agency (Countywide)

(Sponsor: Water Agency)

Recommended Action/Motion:

Adopt resolution approving Department of Transportation Agreement Number 210054, Professional Services Agreement with GEI Consultants, Inc., in the amount of $306,808, for the term starting upon execution of the agreement through December 31, 2022, for the re-establishment of a stand-alone Mendocino County Water Agency (Countywide); and authorize Chair to sign same.

Previous Board/Board Committee Actions:

By Resolution Number (No.) 21-051 (April 20, 2021), the Board declared a local emergency and imminent threat of disaster due to drought conditions. By Resolution No. 21-079 (June 8, 2021), the Board renewed its declaration and extended the existence of the local emergency. On June 8, 2021, the Board directed the Executive Office to proceed with re-establishing the Mendocino County Water Agency as a stand-alone agency, use a loan from Disaster Recovery Funds to complete a work plan for the Agency, determine staffing resources necessary to address the Water Agency's critical responsibilities, including health and safety issues related to the drought and other key tasks, pursue interim staffing capacity as necessary for interim enhanced operations, and prioritize completion of a competitive process to identify contract assistance for this effort.

Summary of Request: 

At the direction of the Board, Department of Transportation (DOT) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a consultant to assist the County in developing a work plan and updated action plan to address current and projected County water concerns, including re-establishment of a stand-alone Mendocino County Water Agency. After a review of the proposals received, GEI Consultants, Inc., of Rancho Cordova, California, was determined to be the best qualified firm to perform the desired services. DOT Agreement No. 210054 provides for the following tasks: conducting a stakeholder and needs assessment, shaping a mission, vision and objectives, defining agency requirements and identifying resources, determining and pursuing funding mechanisms, and developing a work plan and updated action plan for a re-established stand-alone Mendocino County Water Agency. GEI Consultants, Inc., has agreed to perform the desired services at a negotiated not-to-exceed amount of $306,808. DOT staff recommends and respectfully requests the Board adopt the resolution approving DOT Agreement Number 210054, Professional Services Agreement with GEI Consultants, Inc., in the Amount of $306,808, for the term starting upon execution of the Agreement through December 31, 2022, for the re-establishment of a stand-alone Mendocino County Water Agency. 

Fiscal Details:

source of funding: Budget Unit 2910 (Disaster Recovery)

budgeted in current f/y: No

current f/y cost: $306,808

annual recurring cost: N/A

budget clarification: This Agreement provides for a work plan to re-establish the Mendocino County Water Agency and will determine the funding needed and potential funding mechanisms to support the Agency in future Fiscal Years. The Board allocated $1,500,000 in PG&E Settlement Funds for drought relief efforts, to be paid back using General Fund carryover or other funds. To date, less than $250,000 of those drought relief funds have been expended or allocated and it is highly unlikely the total amount will be necessary. The Executive Office fiscal team has determined, with high confidence, this Agreement can be funded using a portion of the remaining funds allocated for drought relief efforts without any additional funding allocations required.

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Note: The last time they “established” the Water Agency more than a dozen years ago they simply hired the Water Agency Manager (Roland Sanford) and told him to “establish” his own agency. Now, more than a dozen years later they want to spend over $300k to do the same thing. OVER $300k! At the same time they’re nickel and diming the Sheriff on his overtime! This fits right in with CEO Angelo’s famous $50,000-kitchen approach to everything the County now does. Money is no object. They’ve got lots of unused money with apparently nothing better to do with it. What the hey! Hire another expensive consultant!

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ANOTHER BACKDOOR PROMOTION

When we first read the following agenda item, we thought the County’s relatively recently hired Cannabis Program Manager Kristin Nevedal, had quietly resigned, as we expected. 

“Closed session Item 9c: Pursuant to Government Code Section 54957 - Public Employee Appointment - Cannabis Program Director”

Mendo issued no presser, of course, just this cryptic closed session item on next Tuesday’s agenda.

But immediately after we posted on the website that we thought Ms. Nevedal had resigned, Supervisor Ted Williams accused us of “fake news” without elaboration. After some back and forth, Williams clarified that, Oh no, no no no, Ms. Nevedal is being promoted and getting a pay raise from Cannabis Program Manager to Cannabis Program Director. She is also going to preside over a much bigger budget since Mendo is getting millions of dollars from the state to deal with the pot mess. Williams acknowledged that Ms. Nevedal has a “near impossible task” to oversee a program that is beyond repair. When Ms. Nevedal was hired back in March Mendo issued an official press release about her arrival. But now that she’s being promoted all the public gets is a secretive closed session announcement that the Board intends to appoint someone to the position of Cannabis Program Director. 

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HERE’S A RETROACTIVE CONSENT CALENDAR ITEM that actually made us groan and laugh at the same time.

“Consent calendar item 4k: Approval of Retroactive Agreement with Granicus LLC, in the Amount of $29,250 for a New Total of $58,500 for Live Closed Caption Services During Board of Supervisors Meetings, Effective July 31, 2021 through a New End Date of August 5, 2022 (Original End Date July 30, 2021)”

Recommended Action/Motion:

Approve retroactive Agreement with Granicus LLC, in the amount of $29,250 for a new total of $58,500 for live closed caption services during Board of Supervisors Meetings, effective July 31, 2021 through a new end date of August 5, 2022 (original end date July 30, 2021); and authorize Chair to sign same.

Summary of Request: 

Mendocino County first began contracting with Granicus LLC for live closed captioning services in July 2020, when virtual meeting accessibility related to the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted an already existing need for these critical services. Granicus hosts a vast number of programs utilized by Mendocino County related to live meeting services, agenda publication, and government transparency, making them the most logical, functional, and cost effective option for captioning services. Live captions are an essential service for compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements to provide increased accessibility to Board of Supervisors Meetings for the hearing impaired. The original, department level Agreement stipulated an option to renew for an additional year, which began on July 31, 2021. Staffing changes led to a late discovery of this amount coming due, necessitating retroactive approval.

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