Sutter County offers to keep animal shelter employees
This story has been modified from an earlier version that ran in print.
A potential solution to the standoff between Yuba City and Sutter County officials tasked with building and staffing a new animal shelter was proffered on Tuesday by the county's Board of Supervisors.
The supervisors voted 4-0 to recommend to the Sutter Animal Services Authority a change that would have shelter employees maintain their jobs with the county.
An agreement governing the animal authority currently requires that the employees transfer into Yuba City's employment when the new facility — which has not yet broken ground — is completed.
Gary Stucky, executive director of the employees union representing both the county and Yuba City, said he supported the change.
"Your employees don't really want to transfer to the city," he said to the supervisors.
The issue, which questions the terms under which Yuba City would be obligated to hire Sutter County shelter employees threatened to derail both the joint-powers agreement and its new shelter project.
Confidential correspondence last month from County Attorney Ronald Erickson is what prompted a heightened state of concern for the city, City Manager Steve Jepsen has said.
"It was revealed yesterday at the SASA meeting that these confidential personnel issues were known as early as mid-2011," said Karen Hess during public comment on Tuesday. Hess is part of a new group calling for new shelter construction to get under way.
The supervisors' action included recommendations to the authority board that it proceed with construction, which is on hold, pending the resolution of employee issues.
Under the proposed arrangement, Sutter County would retain its shelter employees. The County and SASA would enter into independent contractor contracts for those employees. The animal shelter authority would retain its own independent executive director/shelter manager to lead the new agency and oversee shelter operations.
"A lot of time and effort and money has been expended on this (new shelter project)," said Pat Miller of the Sutter County Taxpayers Association on Tuesday. "Folks, that's taxpayer money. You need to get this done."
CONTACT Nancy Pasternack at email@example.com or 749-4781.