Chris Caskey, The Union Democrat

Tuolumne County leaders will discuss Tuesday whether to fill a pair of positions for the county Sheriff's Office.

The Board of Supervisors is scheduled to discuss Sheriff Jim Mele's request he be allowed to hire a jail commander - at a cost of about $125,000 a year - and a part-time clerk. The jail commander position is now vacant.

The need for a commander will increase as the county criminal justice and probation systems oversee more criminals previously in the custody of the state prison system, according to a memo from the County Administrator's Office to the board.

A state budget cutting maneuver last year, known as AB 109, put counties in charge of incarcerating and monitoring people convicted of certain "nonviolent" and "non-serious" felonies that previously earned prison terms.

"The restoration of the jail commander position is needed to managethe jail and make it safer for both the inmates and county employees," the memo reads.

If approved, half the salary for the position will come from the state and the other half from an eliminated jail deputy position.

The $20,000 clerk position will be funded by state AB 109 money.

The item will require four of five votes to pass.

Also on the Board of Supervisors agenda:

•Multiple planning items for next year, including the 2013 Board of Supervisors Committees, Organizations and Partnerships Handbook; the board's 2013 legislative platform and a discussion on the 2013 five-year plan.

• A continued public hearing on a solar power plant located on O'Byrnes Ferry Road. The proposal calls for a 14.6-acre solar farm with 6,000 solar panels on about 100 mounts, which could power 500 homes.

• The Tuolumne County Visitor's Bureau annual report.

• A public hearing on the county's Small Business Revolving Loan fund, which recently received a $300,000 grant but also was bolstered by $1.25 million in return payment.

The Board of Supervisors typically meets every first and third Tuesday of the month, but moved back the second meeting this month because of the Thanksgiving holiday.

PUBLIC MEETING: Tuolumne County Board of Supervisors, 9 a.m. Tuesday, 2 S. Green St., Sonora.