More Mono Grand Jury: AB109, training, and Measure C

monocourthouse2008Assembly Bill 109 will eventually shift low-risk prison inmates from state prisons to county jails. After the Mono Grand Jury toured the jail, they concluded that the County “should be planning ahead to determine a viable solution to housing long-term inmates as a result of AB 109.”

The Jury found that AB109 has not yet seriously impacted the jail, but reported that staff predicted the number of full-time prisoners will increase to 15 by the end of this year. The concern is a mix of career criminals with others.

The Jury offered positive supporter the Voluntary Work Assignment program for inmates. They also recommended hiring a part-time cook to help with the schedules of the current two cooks. The Jury also recommended that a minimum staffing standard be established and adhered to and that additional staff should be hired. Other areas of concern – the aging 911 Dispatch and Computer Control System, better outside exercise facilities and a classroom.

The Report says the Probation Department is understaffed and should seek funding for a half-way house for the some 130 drug offenders on probation.

In other matters, the Mono County Grand Jury looked into a letter of complaint regarding pre-hospital training for personnel of the County’s eleven fire districts. To complaints, the Jury found no problem with the way the contractor was selected. According to the Jury Report, the eleven fire chiefs have control over the program, County equipment was appropriately used and the contractor had required liability coverage. The only recommendation – for the County to audit time keeping practices of the program.

The Grand Jury initiated an inquiry into Measure C, a school bond measure approved by Mono County voters in 2000. The funds are tracked by the Kern Community College District and used in the construction and development of the Dave McCoy College Center through leveraging with other funding. The Jury felt it was time for an update.

They found the fund balance was over $8 million with $4 million remaining bonds to be issued. The account is audited annually by an external auditor. The Jury recommended that the funding spreadsheet include a new separate category to track Measure C money used for maintenance of the Eastern Sierra College Center. They found that facilities priorities are examined and determined with studies and that the College Director and Director of the Mammoth Lakes Foundation work closely to gain community input and financial support for the College. The Jury Report says college enrollment dropped after passage of Measure C and that is being tracked. The Jury has asked for a brief Measure C status report in the next College “Report to the Community.”

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