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Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors watch

The Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday:

Approved the restructuring of the county's Disaster Council. The council dates back to 1946 and has dealt with such issues as bomb shelters in the Cold War. After the Sept. 11 attacks, however, it became involved in Homeland Security issues. The structure approved Tuesday will coordinate disaster planning among government agencies, utilities, church groups, industrial groups, community organizations, schools and others. After a presentation on the concept, county board Chairman Tom Mayfield said, "I hope we never need it, but if we do, we have good people doing it."

Vote: Unanimous

Set up an ad hoc committee to work with the county transportation staff to find ways to address senior citizen needs. Seniors' groups are protesting the fact that senior transit funds have been left out of the proposed half-cent sales tax for transportation. The sales tax would raise $700 million over 20 years for road improvements and transportation projects. Slated for the November election, it needs a two-thirds vote. An attempt 18 months ago failed. That proposal was for 30 years, and did include senior transit projects. The ad hoc committee will look at what existing funds might be available for senior transit projects. Supervisors Dick Monteith and Jeff Grover were named to the committee.

Voted to give a 2.5 percent raise to county Chief Executive Officer Rick Robinson. The board voted in closed session and said Robinson is doing "an outstanding job," according to County Counsel Michael Krausnick. The raise will boost Robinson's annual salary to $234,825.

Voted to rezone a nine-acre parcel of agricultural land south of Ceres for planned development. The property will be used as a manufactured home sales business. The rezoning was unanimously recommended by the Planning Commission.

Vote: Unanimous

Voted to adjust lot lines on three parcels of land east of Waterford for the purpose of expanding a wildlife refuge owned by Friends of the Tuolumne. The Bobcat Flat refuge will increase from 115 acres to 148 acres with the change. The change creates the first nonagricultural Williamson Act designation in the county. The Williamson Act gives tax breaks to property owners for keeping land in agriculture, or in this case, open space for wildlife.

Vote: Unanimous

Supported a farmland easement that will preserve the Menghetti Ranch west of Modesto for farming in perpetuity. The easement is being purchased by the Central Valley Farmland Trust on the 156-acre ranch on Route 132.

Vote: Unanimous, consent calendar

Added $849,593 to the $6 million contract with the California Department of Education for child care services for the welfare-to-work program. The extra money comes from state and federal funds and will cover an additional 703 children through the end of the fiscal year in June.

Vote: Unanimous, consent calendar

Accepted a $278,735 grant from the state for re-entry and rehabilitation services for minors returning from Department of Juvenile Justice detention facilities.

Vote: Unanimous, consent calendar

— Tim Moran
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