During the final board meeting of the year, and the final meeting for supervisors Dick Pland and Liz Bass, the county honored the pair’s accomplishments over almost 100 combined years of public service.
“You’re both remarkable people deserving of respect,” said County Administrator Craig Pedro.
Bass and Pland finished their final terms as supervisors this week — Bass wrapping up eight years on the board and Pland finishing 16, this year as chairman.
Bass came to county government by way of the school system and then the City of Sonora. She started working as a teacher at Sonora High School’s continuation program in 1972 and continued in education until retiring as principal at Cassina High School in 1996.
Bass was elected to the Sonora City Council in 1994, and served there for 10 years before being elected to the Board of Supervisors in 2004. While at the city, Bass was the city’s first woman mayor.
Multiple county leaders and residents on Tuesday spoke of Bass’ tireless work for local youth and seniors, and of her thoughtfulness as a supervisor. During her time on the board, she represented District 1, which covers Sonora and some adjacent communities.
“I have learned so much from you … to think deeply about the decisions,” said Supervisor John Gray.
Bass herself did not opt for eloquence.
“I really don’t have anything to say,” she said.
Pland was first sworn in as a supervisor 16 years ago after working 41 years as a forester — most of them in this county. He also was on the county Board of Education for 30 years before representing Jamestown and Columbia as the District 5 supervisor.
Speakers touched on Pland’s leadership and diplomacy on the board, and his ability to get to the heart of an issue to get things accomplished.
“When things start to get a bit wanky up here, or things start to run amuck … you just always get to the point and it’s concise and consistent,” said Alicia Jamar, clerk of the board.
Both supervisors received recognition from the board and both state and federal representatives during Tuesday’s meeting. The county also held a small reception for the two during a lunch break.
Karl Rodefer and Sherri Brennan will fill the seats occupied by Pland and Bass at the beginning of next year. They’ll be sworn in Jan. 7, with their first full meeting likely coming Jan. 15.
In other news, the Board of Supervisors:
• Opted to send the county back to the drawing board on its Biological Resources Review Guide. The guide is meant to help developers navigate local, state and federal environmental regulations.
A special committee worked for months to draft a final guide. However, representatives from business and conservationist groups continue to raise questions about its contents and effectiveness. The board will likely form a second committee next year to draft another version.
• Approved contracts with Sierra Vista Hospital and Kaweah Delta Health District for inpatient hospital services for county patients who need acute psychiatric care. Both contracts limit the total spending by the county at each facility at $300,000.
• Voted to name the access road for the county’s pending Law and Justice Center located off Old Wards Ferry Road near Highway 108. The road will be called Justice Center Drive.
• Approved an agreement between Cal Fire, the county and the Groveland Community Services District to have the state fire department handle administration and personnel for the district department.
• Approved a contract with Icon Enterprises to overhaul and host the county’s website for $53,337 and annual fees of $6,389.