These are the Summaries, Findings, Commendations, Recommendations, and Requests for Responses only. All of the full Reports including this one can be found on the Shasta County Grand Jury's website here.
Fiscal Year 2022-2023 Grand Jury Compliance Report
This Compliance Report covers responses to the 2020-2021 Grand Jury Final Report. The final report is available at www.shastacountygrandjury.org. California Penal Code §§933 and 933.05 mandate the timeliness and content of responses to findings and recommendations in grand jury reports. Elected officials must respond within 60 days and governing bodies within 90 days after a report is released to the public. The 2022-2023 Grand Jury reviewed responses to the 2020-2021 reports. All responses are in compliance with California Penal Codes §933 and §933.05.
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES
City of Redding
Activity by City of Redding (COR or City) crews and vehicles on a portion of Enterprise Park where various materials and debris have been discarded and stored for a number of years, prompted the Grand Jury to address the questions and concerns related to the COR and others’ use of the Park as a dumping ground. Such discarded material included: mounds of ground asphalt, tree stumps, tree rounds, wood chips and cut brush, piles of scrap lumber, discarded vehicle tires and seemingly perpetual puddling or pooling of unidentified liquid substances. The concerns implicated by the conditions at the Park include safety, fire risk, and environmental contamination. Could the unidentified liquid sludge be toxic or contaminated? Are toxins or contaminants polluting the ground and nearby Churn Creek? Are the numerous mounds of debris combustible and if so, do they constitute a fire hazard when stored on park grounds? Is the City developing a landfill at this site; if so, is it legal? The Grand Jury deemed that these and additional questions warranted investigation. As further described in this report, the COR has taken action and made considerable progress to address the foregoing concerns for which it is to be commended. Additionally, this Report makes recommendations to further address the conditions at the Park.
F1. The COR has utilized the lower level of Enterprise Park as a dumping area for assorted types of debris without any management plan or direct oversight by the City.
F2. There has been no accounting or documentation of the type of disposed materials nor their quantity by the City.
F3. Some of the disposed materials have been dumped at the Park by the COR and some others have been impermissibly dumped by unknown individuals without consent or permission from the City.
F4. The City has failed to secure the area in a manner sufficient to prevent or deter dumping of materials and debris at the Park by unknown individuals.
F5. Various materials and debris remains stored at the lower tier of the Park, although the size and quantity of the materials and debris has decreased over the last year.
F6. The City intends to continue utilizing the lower tier of the Park as a location to dump substance and materials excavated from city project sites. The City’s use of the Park for this purpose is not prohibited by local rules or law.
C1. The COR Parks Department recycles material whenever possible, saving the City time and money.
C2. The COR is commended for making significant progress over the past year in removing, recycling, and discarding materials and substances previously dumped or discarded at the lower tier of the Park.
C3. The COR is commended for creating a draft of a Site Management Plan Enterprise Park Disposal Area addressing issues raised by the investigation of the Grand Jury.
R1. COR Public Works Department and Parks & Recreation Department, in collaboration, will develop a management plan for all levels (tiers) of the Enterprise Park by Nov 1, 2023, including plans and measures to eliminate, prevent, or mitigate illegal dumping.
R2. By November 1, 2023, COR Public Works Department and Parks & Recreation Department shall develop an accounting system to track content and quantity of material deposited on Enterprise Park
R3. COR Public Works Department and Parks & Recreation Department, in collaboration, will develop a plan by November 1, 2023 to recycle, remove, or otherwise properly dispose of materials dumped or discarded at the Park.
R4. COR Public Works Department and Parks & Recreation Department, in collaboration, will replace the locks on the gates to the lower level by November 1, 2023, and will keep a key inventory of City staff allowed access to the area.
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES
City of Redding Director of Community Services/Parks and Recreation:
F1 through F4
R1 through R6
City of Redding Director of Public Works:
F1 through F4
R1 through R6
Another Look at the Shasta County Coroner's Office
The Shasta County Coroner’s jurisdiction and responsibilities with respect to how and when information within the Coroner’s purview is shared with the public is the subject of this report.
The Shasta County Coroner’s Office (SCCO) staff are charged with the notification of the next of kin of deceased individuals and of communicating the circumstances surrounding that death. The Jury found that Coroner’s staff do so with compassion, thoughtfulness and sensitivity. They do so as expeditiously as their evaluation and the law allows. Resulting from this investigation, the grand jury came to appreciate the delicacy with which the Coroner’s investigators must deliver such heartbreaking news, as well as the emotionally charged impact such news will have on the recipient. The ensuing eagerness for the next of kin to learn the how and why this tragic loss could have occurred can sometimes be confounded by the legal constraints that limit the extent and timing of information the Coroner’s staff may impart.
Beyond the demands required to comply with applicable legal standards for disclosure of information, the Coroner’s staff must contend with conditions at the Coroner’s facility that may impede their ability to conduct examinations as expeditiously and effectively as they otherwise might. Such conditions in the Shasta County facility include limited staffing, a facility that is too small for current operations, workflow and safety. Despite these conditions, detailed in the following report, the jury found the SCCO fulfills all of its duties in a professional, sensitive and timely manner. The entire SCCO staff is commended for their largely unobserved and generally unappreciated efforts to ensure the compassionate care of the county’s deceased and their loved ones.
F1. Shasta County Coroner’s office is struggling to keep up with their workload. Other rural northern California Coroner’s offices are benefiting from utilizing volunteers from local colleges/universities.
F2. On occasions, the Shasta County Deputy Coroner Investigators are left by law enforcement at the scene of a death without any means of protection or assistance.
F3. The Shasta County Coroner’s refrigerated morgue can only be entered by passage through the Autopsy Suite, which requires an alternate storage location if an autopsy is in progress.
F4. The Shasta County Coroner’s facility currently has an unpaved access yard and a manual gate, which is kept locked during weekends and evenings, which all contribute to unsafe working conditions for DCIs when transporting decedents to the facility.
F5. The Shasta County Coroner’s facility is outdated, of insufficient size and has a poorly designed floorplan which all hinder the efficient operation of the Coroner’s office duties.
F6. Shasta County Coroner’s current computer program is outdated, requiring much data to be retrieved manually which increases workload for coroner staff.
F7. Shasta County Coroner has a grant pending for replacement of the current computer program contingent on the Board of Supervisors allocating any additional funding necessary to complete the purchase.
C1. The Shasta County Grand Jury commends the Shasta County Coroner’s Office for their dedication and commitment in executing their responsibilities and for the compassionate care shown by the personnel in considering the emotions and needs of the public they serve despite the Coroner’s office outdated condition, poor building design, and limited resources available to them.
R1. The Shasta County Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Coroner’s Office create a volunteer program to alleviate their manpower shortage by January 1, 2025.
R2. The Shasta County Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Sheriff allow DCIs some type of self-protection and provide the necessary training.
R3. The Shasta County Grand Jury recommends that the Shasta County Sheriff include life/safety improvements in his 2024-25 fiscal year county budget proposal.
R4. The Shasta County Grand Jury recommends the Shasta County Board of Supervisors and the Shasta County Sheriff investigate all opportunities for the replacement of the current Shasta County Coroner’s facility.
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES
Shasta County Sheriff:
F1 through F7
R1 through R4
Shasta County Board of Supervisors:
Clear Creek Community Services District
The Grand Jury received information regarding the Clear Creek Community Services District (CCCSD/District). This information concerned accounting problems, lack of Board oversight, management practices, administrative personnel turnover, and water acquisition/distribution problems.
The Grand Jury investigated various aspects of the CCCSD as set forth in this report. The Jury found inadequate record keeping and uncollected accounts. The CCCSD Board failed to follow its own policies regarding oversight of District operations, which led to unapproved management practices. The Jury discovered the turnover of key administration staff contributed to the conditions at CCCSD. The lack of Board oversight contributed to the problem of water acquisition at reasonable rates.
The Grand Jury also looked into the District and its continued ability to have sufficient funding adequate to serve the customers of Happy Valley. New board directors and a new general manager, along with support from volunteers, are creating confidence in the future of CCCSD.
F1. Failure of the Board to provide oversight to management regarding payroll and overtime issues, as well as appropriate pay raises.
F2. Failure of the Board to create and enforce policies and procedures for administrative personnel to do their jobs effectively and equitably for all CCCSD customers.
F3. The Financial Standing Committee failed to meet consistently to review finances and make appropriate recommendations to the Board.
F4. The Planning and Steering Standing Committee failed to ensure that Reserve Accounts were used for the purposes intended.
F5. The Board failed to review monthly financial statements that reflected actual vs. budgeted income and expenditures.
F6. The Board failed to adhere to its own policies regarding maintaining adequate Reserve Accounts for capital expenses for repairs and replacement of equipment and delivery systems.
F7. Insufficient planning by management contributed to the inability of CCCSD to meet financial and budgetary responsibilities for daily operations and customer service.
F8. The Board ignored independent audits that identified irreconcilable differences in the Customer Accounts Subsidiary Ledger with the General Ledger from 2014 to 2021.
C1. CCCSD customers who created the Happy Valley Community Committee, whose persistence helped to expose and correct the problems within the District.
C2. The Interim General Manager and other staff who stayed and continued their service even under severe difficulties.
C3. The customers who volunteered many hours to update the backlogged 2021 minutes and to audit customer accounts.
R1. By December 31, 2023, the Board annually review the General Administration Policy for updates and modifications to ensure Board compliance.
R2. By December 31, 2023, the Board review all Standing committees to assess their effectiveness and responsibilities or consider reconstructing the committees.
R3. By December 31, 2023, the Board shall invite at least two CCCSD customers to serve on each Standing Committee.
R4. By December 31, 2024, the Board shall oversee the creation and implementation of an Administrative Office Policies and Procedures Manual.
R5. By June 30, 2024, the Board will conduct annual financial planning meetings in conjunction with annual budgeting process to establish short-term (1-5 years) and longterm (5-10 years) goals for operational growth, infrastructure build/maintenance, financing of projects, and revenue reserves.
R6. By June 30, 2024, the Board will create and utilize a Budget Variance and Analysis Guide in order to meet financial obligations.
R7. By December 31, 2024, the Board perform an annual performance review of the General Manager.
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES
Clear Creek Community Services District Board of Directors:
F1 through F8
R1 through R7
Are Foster Kids at Risk in Shasta County?
This Grand Jury conducted an investigation in order to better understand how the Shasta County Health and Human Services Agency cares for and tracks our local foster children. There are multiple organizations and levels of care for the approximately 500 children involved in our foster care system at any given time. In a department that has recently seen a significant shift in management and personnel, it was obvious to this Grand Jury that the people involved in the health and care of foster children in our county have a passion and desire to do their best to help our children in need. With the exception of only a couple of cases, that were positively resolved, the limited staff at the Shasta County HHSA have done a great job with the care and tracking of local foster children.
F1. Multiple agencies and departments are responsible for the placement and care of foster children in Shasta County to assure constant accountability of the children.
F2. Child safety is a high priority in Shasta County HHSA.
F3. Various steps are taken by HHSA to track and trace foster children throughout the system, including a relevant computer system (CWS/CMS), which helps to assure that no child is lost within the system.
F4. While the HHSA tracking system is thorough, the delay of information from various sources can delay the tracking of a foster child.
F5. Despite a recent significant shift in HHSA management there seems to be a team effort to make sure the Agency continues to provide the foster care services for which it is responsible.
F6. Funds for Resource Families are provided by Federal and State sources for each child in the system.
F7. Whenever possible, Shasta County HHSA goes to great lengths to see that a child is placed with a family member or friends. Also, every effort is made to keep the child in their current school. These policies give the child their best chance of a comfortable and familiar environment within the system, reducing their stress under traumatic circumstances.
F8. Resource Families go through rigorous background screening to ensure the safety of the child placed in their homes.
F9. There are open positions in the Foster Care Department which impact the number of cases per worker.
C1. The Shasta County HHSA is commended for providing excellent support of the foster children in the county with its currently limited staff.
C2. The staff working with resource families and foster children in Shasta County are commended for being passionate about their work.
C3. Current reduced staff is commended for pulling together to support one another, especially during heavy workloads.
R1. The HHSA should be more aggressive in its recruiting to fill the relatively large number of unfilled positions within HHSA. It should consider new ways of recruitment, such as free public service announcements on radio, TV, and social media platforms.
R2. HHSA should actively recruit new Resource Families to serve the foster children within the county. It should consider new ways of recruitment, such as free public service announcements on radio, TV, and social media platforms. To become a resource family if you live in Shasta County, you’ll work directly with our Shasta County Resource Family Approval team.
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES
Shasta County Director of HHSA:
F1 through F9
Shasta County CARES
The Shasta County Grand Jury investigated the Shasta County CARES Act Business Grant Program. Out of the $18,153,328 Shasta County received in CARES Act relief, $4,000,000 was allocated through the Spending Plan for the administration of a Business Grant Program. The three incorporated cities within Shasta County also received CARES funds and had business grant programs separate from the County’s program.
While the County program helped businesses within all of Shasta County, the Jury found a major component of the County program, the prioritization of businesses in the unincorporated areas, was not met. The cities’ programs could not be used for unincorporated areas.
The Jury was able to review extensive applicant lists, spreadsheet and bank records, and conduct its own random audit of the County program. The Jury found some specifications of the contract were not followed, and there were duplications of grant awards between the Cities’ programs and the County program.
F1. Shasta County recognized the urgency to allocate CARES monies to support small businesses during this historical emergency.
F2. The contract for the Shasta County CARES Business Grant Program, while prioritizing businesses in the unincorporated areas of the County, contained no language with respect to how that goal would be achieved.
F3. The lack of contract language for measurements and standards regarding awards to the unincorporated areas unintentionally resulted in the majority of grant monies being disbursed to businesses in the incorporated areas.
F4. The Second Amendment’s new language to the County’s contract permitted duplicate awards while multiple businesses on the waitlist went unserved.
F5. The Jury found there are areas within the County where there is limited or no access to the Internet and cable television services, either due to economics or availability issues, which inadvertently resulted in fewer businesses having knowledge of the Program.
C1. Members of the Grant Review Committees who volunteered their time and expertise during a pandemic.
C2. The cities of Anderson, Shasta Lake and Redding for keeping and providing detailed records of their Spending Plans to this Grand Jury.
C3. The Shasta County Auditor/Controller Department for keeping and providing detailed records of the county CARES Spending Plan to this Grand Jury.
R1. Shasta County Board of Supervisors shall evaluate and assess best practices to ascertain emergency county-wide needs, and quick response to those needs, during a declared National State and local emergency.
R2. Shasta County Board of Supervisors must include clear contract language to specifically measure all provisions of the contract are fully monitored and meet.
R3. The Shasta County Board of Supervisors will identify the areas within the County that are lacking Internet services and establish alternate methods of communication for those areas.
REQUEST FOR RESPONSES
Shasta County Board of Supervisors:
F1 through F5
R1 through R3