Saturday, December 31, 2016

[Mendocino County] Grand Jury gets a prize

Blog note: this is an excerpt from an article reporting on the December 20 meeting of the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors.
Kathy Wiley, the 2016-17 Mendocino County Grand Jury foreperson, and Finley Williams, a former grand jury foreperson, updated the board on grand jury activities in the last year, which included winning a prize from a state association. Topics that came before the grand jury’s attention included, but were not limited to, budget transparency on Prop 172, the planning and building code enforcement in Point Arena, District Attorney David Eyster’s marijuana restitution program, and mental health services in the county. Wiley said the grand jury also “took a look” at the dispute between the CIty of Ukiah and the Ukiah Valley Sanitation District, but that the jury has an internal policy that does not allow it to make reports that might affect litigation. However, she said, in the event of litigation, “ratepayers would be on the hook, so that was an issue of great concern.”
In November, the California Grand Jurors’ Association (CGJA) awarded the Mendo County grand jury the Robert Geiss Excellence in Reporting Award for its 2014-15 report on the library’s record keeping and fund disbursement. According to the CGJA’s website, the Mendocino County Board of Supervisors’ request for clarity from the state legislature regarding the payment of librarians’ salaries “May result in a change in how tax-supported librarian salaries are paid across California.” Williams told the board, “I think every agency needs to have somebody looking over its shoulder, and for you all, it’s the grand jury.”
December 30, 2016
The Mendocino Voice
By Sarah Reith