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Meddlers Report 5/16/17

Today’s meddlers’ meeting was full of interesting topics and capped with a very engaging guest speaker. Like all meetings, this morning began with Auburn Mayor Matt Spokely briefing the crowd on city happenings. As the mayor stated, there really wasn’t a whole lot of breaking news going on in Auburn this week. The mayor did want to thank the volunteers who helped with the 370 free tax preparations for Auburn residents this year. Spokely stated that over $50,000 was returned to those who participated in the 370 free tax returns.

The mayor also allowed the self named ‘butt lady,’ Sally, to update everyone on here community project of picking up cigarette butts around Auburn. Of course, she counts how many butts she has picked up and told meddlers on lookers that she has now picked up 738,420 cigarette butts. You can visit kahi.com for a picture of Sally’s truck which lets everyone know that the butt patrol is on duty as her Ford pickup has a sign on the doors that say “butt patrol” with a cross going thru a cigarette on it.

Next up was Jennifer Montgomery from the Placer County Board of Supervisors to give everyone the county happenings. Montgomery started with last week’s votes during the supervisors Tuesday meeting. She mentioned the vote in Granite Bay that allowed some relief to Granite Bay residents who were upset with the Barton Ranch project claiming it was infringing in a variety ways with their properties.

Next, Montgomery told the crowd about an interesting aspect to the decision of voting in favor of the 5 year extension with the “temporary” homeless shelter in North Auburn. In the vote they also gave a one year extension to Volunteers of America to continue to run the shelter. However, in 13 months Montgomery explained that the county would be issuing a RFP, which essentially gives opportunity to other organizations to make a presentation to the county showing interest in over taking Volunteers of America in running the homeless shelter. Montgomery said that this process had taken place once before but that nobody stepped forward to challenge the current managing organization. However, given recent developments that will likely not be the case in 13 months.

Montgomery then explained that for the 2017-18 calendar year there will not be anymore library closures which was a major concern with Placer residents following last year’s library closures throughout the county. She also said that Placer would set aside money from its budget to hire new library employees.

Lastly she talked about the recently very controversial Bear River Campground. The park had recently been in the news as arrests had been made and various Facebook groups had numerous write ups about what they explained as “out of control drug use and the harassment of woman by homeless drug users.” To which Montgomery explained was a major over exaggeration of the actual situation at the campground. The supervisor explained that the Placer County Sheriff’s Department makes at least two sweeps of the park to make sure things being explained on Facebook don’t happen. She also talked about the parks new reservation system that will allow Placer Park Rangers to know exactly who enters and exits the park each day.

The guest speaker this morning was the Brehm Communications Vice President, Tom Kirk, whose company is the parent company of the Auburn Journal Newspaper. Kirk explained that he was at the meddlers meeting in order to let the public know that he is aware of their concerns they have with their local newspaper and that he wanted to hear exactly what their concerns were so corrections can be made. And boy did the crowd let him know.

The concerning topics varied in degree but mainly they could all be boiled down to continuity. The crowd expressed numerous times that the Journal gets excellent reporters but that none of them stick around long enough to truly get to know Auburn well enough to be effective. Some in the crowd questioned if what they considered to be important was the same as what Kirk considered to be of the highest importance. Kirk promised the crowd that he will be dedicating time each week to travel up to Auburn from his company’s headquarters in San Diego to personally see this process through. We shall see if the concerns are turned into resolutions or set aside due to monetary limitations.
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