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Government

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Craig Baracco
5 days ago
Amador County Planning Director Susan Grijalva explains a detail in the General Plan. Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco

A new Amador County General Plan, a document the county has been working on and fighting over for ten years, now stands on the verge of final approval. A narrowly split Amador County Planning Commission voted Tuesday night to recommend approval of the plan to the Amador County Board of Supervisors.

The commission’s recommendation to the board passed on a 3-2 vote. Commissioners Dave Wardall, Ray Lindstrom and Ray Ryan all voted for approval, while commissioners Andy Byrne and Caryl Callsen voted against a positive recommendation....

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Craig Baracco
5 days ago

Personnel matters were the topic of discussion at the Jackson City Council on Monday night, as the council approved a new employee agreement with the city’s police officers and increased the salary of an unfilled wastewater tech position.

The city’s new agreement, called a “Memorandum of Understanding,” with its police officers does not include an increase in base salaries. However, it does increase the city’s contribution to officers’ health insurance and increases the number of plans that officers have to choose from. The new...

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Lucy Hackett
5 days ago
Water flowing through the Amador Transmission Pipeline now generates electricity to power the AWA Treatment Plant and offices. Amador Ledger Dispatch file photo

The Amador Water Agency Board of Directors, Amador County Supervisors, PG&E NLine officials and members of the Amador community gathered Thursday morning, at AWA headquarters, on Ridge Road, east of Sutter Creek, to dedicate the AWA’s Tanner Hydroelectric Generation Plant. Small turbines inside the 30-inch Amador Transmission Pipeline now capture otherwise-wasted energy, for a reliable, local and renewable source of electricity.

The turbine uses water flow inside the Amador Transmission Pipeline, and excess pressure at the water...

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Craig Baracco
5 days ago
Miss Amador 2016, Sydney Julien, and members of her court Angie Kay Lyman and Bailey Mitchell, thank the Board of Supervisors for their support of the Amador County Fair. Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco
On Tuesday morning, the Amador Board of Supervisors approved its official response to the 2015-16 Grand Jury Special Report, which was highly critical of the county’s handling of a lease agreement for the county’s Health and Human Services Building. The supervisors’ response, approved on a 4-1 vote, offers a point-by-point reply to the Grand Jury report’s 19 findings and nine recommendations. While the board does agree with some of the items in whole or in part, for the most part the county response rejects most of the Grand Jury’s... [Read more]
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Guest Commentator
5 days ago

Amador County deserves politics that are as good as its people.

I am responding to the unfortunate personal attack levied on me by former District 4 Supervisor Candidate Gwen Clayton in last week’s paper. I was saddened and dismayed to see Ms. Clayton bring to Amador County the worst kind of political rhetoric we are seeing in the presidential race today. Instead of focusing on what we can do together to make our county prosper or explain why she prefers the incumbent in the election, she chose to attack me.

I think we...

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Greta McElroy
5 days ago

Editor’s note: Until 2016 election results are in, this spot will be devoted to voters’ questions, with answers provided by Greta McElroy, Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, Amador County Elections Department, (209) 223-6270, gmcelroy@amadorgov.org.

Who is on your ballot for this election?

In the November General Election, all voters receive the same ballot, no matter what political party you are registered with (or if you have no party preference). Your home address where you are registered to vote determines which contests...

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Eric Winslow
5 days ago
Supervisors Oneto and Forster. Photo by Craig Baracco

On June 22, 2016, a special Grand Jury Report, which investigated dozens of questions and problems with the County Board of Supervisors in its alleged mismanagement of the Amador Health and Human Services Building, was released to the public. Last Tuesday, the Board of Supervisors made an official statement, formulated by a special ad hoc committee, called "Response by the Amador County Board of Supervisors 2015-2016 Grand Jury Special Investigation – Health and Human Services Building Lease" (see link to document, below).

The...

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Craig Baracco
2 weeks ago

Sutter Creek will resume work on updating the city’s General Plan, a project that has been left incomplete for four years.

At their meeting Monday night, members of the Sutter Creek City Council approved a new scope of work to complete an update of the city’s general plan. The new general plan, which plays a role similar to that of a constitution at the state or national level, was completed in draft form in 2012, but the city of Sutter Creek placed a hold on the update process, citing lawsuits against the Gold Rush Ranch...

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Caitlyn Schaap
2 weeks ago

The November 8 General Election ballot has been finalized in Amador County. The filing deadline for elected offices was 5 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, but elections code dictated that, if an incumbent had not filed by that deadline, it was extended until Wednesday, Aug. 17. Now that the extended deadline has passed, a clear list of candidates has been set.

The battle for the District 4 Supervisor’s seat will be between incumbent Supervisor Louis Boitano and challenger Frank Axe.

In Amador City, three seats on the city council are up...

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Jerry Budrick
3 weeks ago
ACDCC Chair Caryl Callsen stands beside California State Senate Speaker Pro Tempore Kevin de Leon and Jack Ohman’s depiction of Governor Jerry Brown. Photo courtesy to the Ledger Dispatch

The Amador County Democratic Central Committee held its 11th annual dinner last Thursday, in the Grand Oak Ballroom, at Jackson Rancheria Casino Resort. The 92 attendees enjoyed excellent cuisine and service, provided by the Rancheria’s skilled staff, and listened to inspirational speakers, both local and State-level.

First to the podium was ACDCC Chair Caryl Callsen, who introduced what became a recurrent theme for the evening by speaking about her mother and aunt, who held responsible jobs, but were told that they could never...

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Craig Baracco
4 weeks ago
Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco
The issues of wastewater and water quality were once again before the Ione City Council at their meeting Tuesday night. The latest discussion on the city’s sewer plant centered around a new letter from the California Regional Water Quality Control Board, which critiqued the city’s plan to address increased levels of heavy metals in groundwater and Sutter Creek caused by Ione’s wastewater treatment. Ione will be required to line the treatment ponds at its sewer plant, so water can no longer percolate into the ground from the ponds,... [Read more]
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Greta McElroy
4 weeks ago

Editor’s note: Until 2016 election results are in, this spot will be devoted to voters’ questions, with answers provided by Greta McElroy, Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, Amador County Elections Department, (209) 223-6270, gmcelroy@amadorgov.org.

We’ve had several questions about when offices come up for election. As you know, the president and vice president stand for election every four years, in even years. The Governor & Lieutenant Governor run in the even-numbered years that the President does not run. This year is 2016...

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Craig Baracco
07/28/2016 2:25 PM
The chairs were filled with Amador residents who wanted to present their comments to the Amador County Planning Commission last Thursday night. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco

Amador residents have plenty to say about the Amador County’s update to its General Plan. The Amador County Planning Commission was bombarded with comments on the county’s general plan and the environmental impact report that analyzed the document at its hearing last Thursday night.

The planning commission held a public hearing to receive comments on both the updated general plan and Final Environmental Impact Report. Both documents responded to and incorporated changes from previous comments received by the county during the...

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Guest Commentator
07/28/2016 2:47 PM

U.S. Congressional District 4 candidate Dr. Bob Derlet has said that incumbent Representative Tom McClintock (R-4th CD) is “out of step” with the world by supporting Donald Trump and the Republican Platform on the environment – which denies global climate change and wants to dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency.

“California has taken the lead with an impressive presence at the recent Paris Climate Summit,” said Derlet, former University of California, Davis professor and Chief of Emergency Medicine at the UC Davis...

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Craig Baracco
07/28/2016 2:04 PM
Amador County Sheriff Martin Ryan accepts an award on behalf of his department from CAL FIRE for its co-operation with the fire agency during last year’s Butte Fire. Ledger Dispatch photo by Craig Baracco

The Amador County Board of Supervisors pulled a last-minute discussion of the Grand Jury Special Report from their agenda on Tuesday, leaving discussion of criminal justice and recycling as the main topics of the day.

An addendum for Tuesday’s Supervisors’ meeting, which was not part of the regular notice sent out in advance of the meeting, included discussion and possible action on the board’s response to the 2015-2016 Grand Jury special report. However, at the meeting’s start, District 4 Supervisor Louis Boitano, who chaired...

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Craig Baracco
07/21/2016 1:15 PM
At its Monday night meeting, the Sutter Creek City Council voted to begin the recruitment process for a permanent chief of police. This time, the position will be offered as a part-time position, which the city hopes to fill with a retired senior officer willing to return to police work. Since May of last year, the city has had difficulty filling the position on a full-time basis and currently has contracted with Amador Sheriff Captain Gary Redman to fill the position on a part-time basis. Interim Chief Redman reported that, in his... [Read more]
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Caitlyn Schaap
07/21/2016 1:27 PM
Residents in the Upcountry area of Amador County are increasingly concerned about dead and dying trees. Amador Ledger Dispatch photo by Sarah Spinetta
The Upcountry Community Council held its monthly meeting on Monday, July 11, with a large turnout of locals interested in discussing Upcountry issues, such as tree mortality, fire safety and the construction of the new Dollar General store. The meeting began with a presentation by Earl Curtis on fire safety and defensible space. He shared an informative video providing tips for why and how to clear defensible space and how to make a home as fire safe as possible, and he answered numerous questions from citizens interested in making... [Read more]
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Eric Marks
07/21/2016 1:06 PM

Next Monday, July 25, 2016, history will be made, as Amador City Mayor Timothy Knox will be the first local delegate to attend a convention for any of the major political parties.

Knox, 58, has been chosen as a district-level delegate for Senator Bernie Sanders, of Vermont, and will be one of 221 delegates from the state to attend and participate in the electoral process.

He is representing Congressional District 4, which encompasses the counties of Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, El Dorado, Mariposa and Tuolumne, as well as parts...

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Lucy Hackett
07/21/2016 12:35 PM
Amador Water Agency directors voted last Thursday to terminate the current small-diameter pipeline project designed to pipe the open ditch Amador Canal from Lake Tabeaud to New York Ranch Reservoir, which provides about 100 customers with untreated Mokelumne River water. The project was officially known as Phase 2 of the Amador Transmission Pipeline project. Phase 1, installation of 8.8 miles of 30-inch pipeline from Lake Tabeaud to Tanner Reservoir, was completed nine years ago, at a cost of approximately $25 million. A significant... [Read more]
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Greta McElroy
07/21/2016 12:30 PM

Editor’s note: For the past few months, this spot has been devoted to voters’ questions, with answers provided by Greta McElroy, Chief Deputy Registrar of Voters, Amador County Elections Department, (209) 223-6270, gmcelroy@amadorgov.org. This week,Greta has penned a message to the citizens of Amador.

The national political conventions are, and will be, taking center stage, quite literally, on every type and kind of media in this country. In the midst of all of the hoopla and speeches I think that it is easy to lose track of...

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