Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Photo of CEO, Rick Haffey

CEO Budget Message: Nevada County Benefits from a Long Economic Expansion

It has now been nine years since economists agreed that the Great Recession ended. This country is now entering the 10th year of the longest economic expansion since the end of World War II. Nevada County has benefitted from this long expansion by maintaining services at pre-recession levels while bolstering a few needed areas of service, addressing pension liabilities, and building additional reserves for the next economic downturn.

The County of Nevada is an arm of the State of California. Well over half of our budget comes from State sources. When the State is doing well, generally counties are doing well. The State is currently doing very well. Those who follow history know that the State goes through extreme peaks and valleys. Obviously, at the moment the State is experiencing one of those extreme peaks. The Governor has warned the Legislature in May that, "We’re nearing the longest economic recovery in modern history, and as Isaac Newton observed: What goes up must come down," said Governor Brown. "This is a time to save for our future, not to make pricey promises we can’t keep. I said it before and I’ll say it again: Let’s not blow it now."

My fear here is that Governor Brown is leaving office at the end of this year. He has been a stalwart proponent of building reserves for a "rainy day." The Legislature has a pent up need for new programs and spending. These new programs will require counties, for the most part, to implement them. The State never pays the total cost of what it mandates. Counties usually pick up the difference. The State may deplete their resources and go back to balancing their budget on the backs of local governments. A new governor may not have the inclination, desire, or ability to hold off a spending spree by the Legislature as Governor Brown has for the last eight years. This could imperil many local governments, including Nevada County.

The County of Nevada is better off than many local governments because of the fiscally prudent policies of our Board of Supervisors. These policies have allowed for the continued maintenance of quality services to our citizens while building resources for an economic rainy day. The Board’s budget policies can be found beginning on page X of the Reader’s Guide in the 2018-2019 Proposed Budget.

The 2018-2019 Nevada County budget is proposed to total $235.7 million, an increase of 3% over the last fiscal year. Among the largest increases was salary and benefits which came in at 4.2%. This budget also includes funding for the top priorities of the Board of Supervisors including regulation of cannabis cultivation and increased funding for homelessness programs and prevention. Also included are increased resources for fire inspections to improve fire prevention.  

Read more on the 2018-2019 budget and Nevada County's outlook in Nevada County CEO, Rick Haffey's, Budget Message from the 2018-2019 Proposed Budget.


Photo of I Voted sticker

Primary Election Ballots Continue to be Counted

Tuesday, June 5th, was the Statewide Primary Election Day, and around 16,300 Nevada County residents exercised their right to vote! This year, Nevada County elections changed. Nevada County is one of five California counties piloting the Voter's Choice Act, making voting more convenient and accessible for eligible voters.

Polls for the June 5th Statewide Primary Election Day closed at 8:00 p.m. that day. The first report on results started at 9:00 p.m. and followed with updates every hour until 11:00 p.m. Ballot results are still being counted and confirmed by Nevada County Elections.

For more information on the results of the June 5th election, visit Election Results June 5, 2018 web page or use the Latest Election Results Map to search results by your Nevada County address.


Photo of campfire

County Addresses Illegal Campfires During Fire Season

As fire season resumes, several county departments are ramping up efforts to discourage illegal camping and campfires within the unincorporated areas of the County.  Outreach workers, funded by the Behavioral Health Department, regularly visit known homeless camps to encourage individuals to accept services and come in from camping in the woods. County Facilities staff regularly walk all County owned properties to look for signs of encampments and when found, they are reported to Nevada County’s Housing Resources Manager for follow up by the outreach workers.

In addition, the Sheriff's office has several Community Oriented Policing Projects (COPPs) around the unincorporated areas of Nevada County to patrol locations that have been the subject of complaints regarding trespassing, vandalism, littering, and/or illegal dumping.  The Sheriff's office has a process to handle and respond to these types of complaints to the best of their ability and within the legal limits of the law.

Finally, a multidisciplinary team has been meeting regularly throughout the winter to address fire and other safety concerns, specifically in the Yuba River canyon. The team includes representatives from CalFIRE, Nevada County Consolidated Fire District, Nevada County Sheriff, Office of Emergency Services, California State Parks, Bureau of Land Management, South Yuba River Citizens League, Friends of Purdon Crossing, and Board of Supervisors. Group efforts are underway to address parking, sanitation, fire and communication issues in the area.


Photo of Nevada County DSS EBT Token for Nevada County Farmers Markets

CalFresh Farmers’ Market Match Program Starts Its 5th Year

The Nevada County Department of Social Services (DSS) is collaborating with 211 Connecting Point to operate a Market Match Program at local Nevada County farmers' markets.  Due to recent changes among local market schedules, this year the Market Match Program will be offered at three farmers' markets, including one new location: Tuesday’s at the Nevada County Certified Growers’ Market in the Pine Creek Shopping Center near Raley’s, Saturday’s at the Nevada County Certified Growers’ Market at the North Star House, and Saturday’s at the Nevada City Farmers’ Market in Union Alley in downtown Nevada City.

The goal of this program is to encourage CalFresh recipients to spend their CalFresh benefits at our local farmers' markets on seasonal fresh fruits and vegetables.  To do this, the Market Match Program provides token matching incentives to purchase additional produce, in addition to the amount they spend with their own EBT dollars.
 
Due to the success of last year's match program, an increased token match will continue for the current season as well.  When CalFresh recipients come to 211 Connecting Point's booth at any of the three eligible farmers' markets and show their EBT card and photo ID, their EBT tokens will be matched up to $10 at each and every market, all season long.

211 Connecting Point's successful collaboration with Nevada County DSS over the past five years has shown increased the amount of EBT dollars being spent at our local farmers markets.  Connecting Point also assists with CalFresh outreach at their market booth, providing information on the CalFresh program and how to apply. 

Contact Nevada County DSS today to find out more about the CalFresh program, or apply online. You can also apply in person at one of Nevada County’s local offices at 950 Maidu Avenue in Nevada City, or at Joseph's Center at 10075 Levon, Suite 202 in Truckee; or call us at (530) 265-1340 in Nevada City, or (530) 582-7803 in Truckee, with any questions regarding the CalFresh program. 


Nevada County Better Together logo

Better Together: Truckee Homeless Community Outreach Event

On Tuesday, June 5th, several Truckee community partners gathered at the Church of the Mountains for a homeless community outreach event to increase their collaboration, as well as build relationships with Truckee’s homeless population in order to bridge services, talk about safety practices, and provide a welcoming environment to discuss needs and services. Partners such as Nevada County Behavioral Health, Church of the Mountains and Emergency Warming Shelter volunteers, Truckee Police, Tahoe Forest Hospital, the Truckee Fire Department, Project Mana, Mountain Valley Meats, the Pedal Project, and local hair stylist and barber, Ben, all came together to provide services and a warm meal for Truckee’s homeless population.

Organizers provided snacks, delicious grilled carne asada tacos, and refreshments. The Truckee police provided items such as lip balm, sunscreen, and flashlights. The Truckee Fire Department discussed fire safety and handed out fire prevention materials. Ben, the hair stylist, gave free haircuts and nurses were available for free health checkups. Essential items such as cloths, socks, tents, camping gear, dog food, and jackets were provided as well.

Thank you to everyone in the Truckee community who joined together to care for some neighbors in need. And a special thanks to The Pedal Project, Mountain Valley Meats and Bombas.


Nevada County Community Library: Create, Connect, Inspire logo

Kick Off Summer Learning with the Library

Kick off Summer Learning at the Library with mad science and fun activities for children such as a bubble station and face painting at the Grass Valley Library on Saturday, June 9th from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.! Mad Science Sacramento will demonstrate impressive science experiments using real fire and ice from 1:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Babies, kids, and teens can sign up for Summer Learning starting this Saturday at any Nevada County Library branch. Participants will receive a free book donated by the Friends of the Library for signing up. If they complete some learning and reading challenges by July 27th, they will also receive two free ride passes to the Nevada County Fair and have the chance to enter a raffle to win prizes like movie tickets donated by Sierra Cinemas, a Sphero robot and tablet, a drone, and more.

For more Summer Learning events all summer long, visit the Nevada County Library’s online calendar.


National Safety Month Wellness Week graphic

National Safety Month: Wellness and Tobacco Prevention

June is National Safety Month and the theme is "No 1 Gets Hurt". Join the Nevada County Safety Committee for National Safety Month presentations on Wildfire Preparedness, Wellness and Tobacco Prevention, Fall Prevention, and Summer Water Safety scheduled each Monday in June from 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. Each presentation will take place in the Board Chambers at the Eric Rood Center and will focus on how you can keep yourself and your family safe.

Last week, Matt Furtado, Deputy Fire Marshal for Nevada County and Fire Captain for CAL FIRE, shared important information on wildfire and emergency preparedness. Matt described how Nevada County's topography makes the area prone to wildfire, although it is also what makes Nevada County so beautiful. He also spoke about the importance of creating and maintaining defensible space around your house and on both sides of your driveway, and thinking about how you can harden your home when making any home improvements or building a new house. Lastly, he covered how you can prepare for an emergency event by signing up for CodeRED emergency alerts, becoming familiar with your neighborhood and possible evacuation routes, and having a go-bag for an emergency evacuation.

The theme for the second week in June is Wellness. On Monday, June 11th, Shannon Glaz, Health Education Coordinator for Nevada County, and Jamie Sweet, PHN,MSN/Health Educator, will provide an overview of the Nevada County Tobacco Prevention Program. Their presentation will include updates on tobacco resources in the community, public policy on tobacco use, new forms of tobacco products, and coalition work.

Information on each week's topic will be available in the lobby at the Rood Center for the entire week. More information can also be accessed on the National Safety Council's website.


Public Health staff at 5th Annual Health Fair at Silver Springs High School

Public Health Celebrates 5th Annual Health Fair at Silver Springs High School

Nevada County Public Health, in collaboration with Silver Springs High School in Grass Valley, celebrated the 5th annual Silver Springs Health Fair on May 23rd.  Students had the chance to experience a day of health and wellness classes, outdoor experiential booths, and healthy snacks.

The morning health classes focused on both physical and emotional wellness. They included classes on Healthy Relationships, Stress Reduction, Fitness Training, Music & Movement, Aikido, Hula Hooping, Yoga, Poetry, and Nutrition. Classes were followed by a festive booth area where students, braving the end of a spring rain, learned from fun and healthy experiences, including a smoothie bicycle, fresh fruit tasting, and GVPD's impairment carts.

One of the primary goals of the fair is that students who may face personal or academic challenges gain new coping mechanisms and tools for success by being exposed to positive messaging around overall health, and that all students have the chance to experience information and supports focused on healthy living.

Public Health would like to acknowledge the many partners that gave their time to teach classes and host booths, including Grass Valley Police Department, Aikido Ka, The Training Zone, Yoga Well, Generation Gratitude, NEO, Community Beyond Violence, Western Sierra Medical Center, Golden Mandala, The Clinic!, Sierra Harvest, poet Julie Valin, music educator Andrew Werderitsch, Nevada County Superintendent of Schools' TUPE program, and Nevada County's Tobacco Use Prevention Program.

For more information, contact Jen Winders at jennifer.winders@co.nevada.ca.us or (530) 265-1228.


Photo of local Nevada City historic cemetary

Historical St. Canice Cemetery Tour with the Doris Foley Library

Have you ever been curious about the missing headstones in Pioneer cemetery? Wondered who built the beautiful tributes to loved ones in the cemetery of St. Canice? Then join the Nevada County Library from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. on Saturday, June 16th at the Doris Foley Library for our first annual cemetery walking tour! Guests will meet at the Doris Foley Library, located at 211 North Pine Street in Nevada City, and walk down to St. Canice and Pioneer cemeteries, where local cemetery expert and historian Chris Ward will lead a tour of each cemetery and discuss their fascinating histories. Afterward, guests will walk back to the Doris Foley, where they will learn how to search obituaries and records using the Doris Foley’s new Scan Pro 3000 microfilm scanners. Refreshments will be served, and library staff and volunteers will be on hand to assist guests with any questions they may have. Don't miss out on this unique opportunity to learn more about the rich history of Nevada County and its citizens!

The Cemetery Walking Tour is a project of the Nevada County Library supported by the Libraries Illuminated project of the California State Library. The Cemetery Walking Tour is supported with California Library Services Act funding which is administered by the California Library Services Board.

Registration is available on Nevada County Library’s online calendar or by calling (530) 265-1407. For more information, please contact Tiffany Roberts at (530) 265-4606 or Jillene Davidson at (530) 470-2747.


Beware of Wire Fraud

The Nevada County District Attorney’s Office is currently investigating a series of high-dollar wire transfer scams. These scams were the result of hackers using software to copy and redirect emails sent to and from legitimate email accounts in what law enforcement nationwide refers to as Business Email Compromise. The California Department of Justice has already identified more than 2000 infected devices.

This is a sophisticated scam because the hackers are preying on people who are conducting legitimate transactions and the hackers are waiting for the appropriate time to launch the scam. Here is an example of a common scam:
An employee of a business has an email address of JohnDoe@business.com. He communicates with a client about the transaction as a regular course of business. Meanwhile, the hackers have read the email correspondence between the employee and client, and familiarized themselves with the business transaction. The hackers create a similar email address, such as JohnDoe1@business.com, or they create a hidden email address that JohnDoe@business.com forwards to. The hackers then begin communicating with the client without the original employee ever seeing the communication.

In the event of the real estate scam, at a point near the closing of escrow, the client/victim will receive a set of wire-transfer instructions to send money to; often times creating a fraudulent letterhead belonging to a local title company. The instructions include a recipient bank account that has no association with the real estate transaction. Sadly, the victim will not know the title company has not received the money until it is far too late to recover any money.

In some occasions, the recipient bank account holder is also a victim of being scammed by a foreign criminal who is using them as an unsuspecting money mule. These recipient bank account holders are tricked into believing a story that requires their help receiving money and issuing cashier’s checks to help complete some transaction their new friend has. Sadly, once this check has been issued, the original victim’s money is now gone.

This hack is not isolated to any particular company or business transaction. Any business transaction that requires transfer of large sums of money via wire are at risk. Numerous businesses throughout the country have been compromised. Email addresses and phone numbers can be spoofed (made to look like the original), which gives the hackers the ability to appear legitimate. A hacker can also call you from a caller ID that looks like the person/ company you are doing business with.

Therefore, it is imperative to work with people you know and trust and confirm information via other forms of communication before sending money to anyone. If you receive a call or email that doesn’t seem right, slow down and make your own confirmation follow-up calls or appointments. Although it is easy to simply hit reply on an email, creating a new email and typing in the actual recipient will direct the email to the legitimate person and not the hacker. This is also true regarding a spoofed phone number.

Although it might be slower, the use of alternative payment methods, such as issuing a cashier’s check to the title company, can be the difference between a successful business transaction and a devastating loss

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