Supervisors approve Grand Jury report on animal shelter consolidation with Antioch, countywide sidewalk obstruction ordinance, two years’ worth of ammunition for Sheriff’s Office
By Daniel Borsuk
A grieving, yet stoic Contra Costa County District 3 Supervisor Diane Burgis conducted on Tuesday her final meeting as Board Chair a month to the day that her husband, Richard Clayton, took his own life. Showing remarkable resilience, Burgis thanked her family, fellow board members, her staff, county employees and constituents for their support.
“We accomplished so much in 2021,” said Burgis, who wore a black dress. “The annexation of the Contra Costa County Fire District with the East Contra Costa County Fire District will make Contra Costa County so much safer.”
Burgis, whose served on the Board’s Airports’ Committee, praised how the County has developed both the Byron and Buchanan airports, especially Byron with the startup of innovative aeronautical enterprises near the airport.
“I am so proud of our health workers,” Burgis said. “The county public health services have become a model of the state.”
For her work, fellow board members presented Burgis with a picture of Marsh Creek, one of Burgis’ favorite environmental cleanup sites.
“That was really hard for you to do,” District 1 Supervisor John Gioia of Richmond said of Burgis after handing over the gavel to newly sworn in Chair Karen Mitchoff of Ditrict 4 in Pleasant Hill. “We’re all behind you.”
Mitchoff, who will not seek re-election to the supervisorial post that she has held since January 2011, said, “In my final year as an elected official for Contra Costa County, I am excited about what lies ahead and ready to work together to keep improving the quality of life in our county.”
An avid reader, Mitchoff noted that last year she read 60 books, mostly audiobooks. As a gift for her fellow board members, Mitchoff gave each supervisor a copy of the historical book, “The 1619 Project,” written by Nikole Hannah-Jones.
District 5 Supervisor Federal Glover, who has served on the Board since 2000, will serve as Board Vice Chair. Glover, who was in line to become chair this year passed on accepting the post to allow Mitchoff to take on the leadership duties in recognition of her more than 40 years of public service.
Third Grand Jury Report on Consolidating County, Antioch Animal Shelters Approved
Without hearing any public comment, Supervisors approved a third Grand Jury report, this one recommending that the County hire a consultant to study the potential consolidation of the County run animal facility in Martinez and the City of Antioch animal shelter run by the Antioch Police Department.
“Public and private animal shelters are experiencing pressure from the explosive growth in the homeless animal and abandoned pet populations,” the new Grand Jury Report states. “Community outreach and education are high priorities for both Contra Costa and Antioch Animal Services, the two public animal shelters within the county.”
The grand jury report went on to state, “The Grand Jury recommends that Contra Costa Animal Services (CCAS) engage a consulting firm for guidance on the possible redistribution of animal services that could be achieved by a gradual process of cost-sharing and shelter coordination. A comparable consolidation currently underway between Monterey County and the City of Salinas Animal Shelters provides a possible model for the integration of Contra Costa and Antioch Animal Shelter services.”
The grand jury also recommends that the two public animal shelters improve their emphasis on community outreach to comfort homeless animal overpopulation.
In addition, the report calls on both the County and City of Antioch to resolve the ongoing problem of abandoned animals left at the Antioch shelter by residents outside the City of Antioch. “Although there is an informal working relationship between CCAS and AAS personnel on this issue, a more formal agreement between AAS and CCAS would facilitate abandoned pet retrieval at both shelters.”
Animal Services Home to Home Contract Approved
In a related animal shelter issue, Supervisors passed a Home-to-Home contract that will not cost the County any funds. Maddie’s Fund will pick up the tab to re-home pets. The Home-to-Home Network will lessen boarding of homeless dogs and cats in County Shelter. Home-To-Home adoptions are free.
Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance Revised
Without hearing any public comment, Supervisors amended the County Sidewalk ordinance. The revision permits the County Director of Public Works to “abate any sidewalk obstruction.”
“An adjacent owner shall keep the sidewalk abutting the adjacent owner’s property free and clear of all weeds, rubbish, dirt, rocks, debris, or any other obstruction that interferes with the free passage of pedestrians,” the new ordinance states
Approve Two-Year Ammo Contract for Sheriff’s Office
Supervisors approved a $450,000 contract with Dooley Enterprises, Inc. to deliver Winchester ammunition for the Sheriff-Coroner from Jan. 1, 2022 to Dec. 31 2023. The Sheriff-Coroner’s Office has used Winchester ammunitions for training and duty ammunition purposes for more than 20 years.