Mono County Supervisor Hap Hazard wasn’t a fan of Gov. Jerry Brown (pictured here in the 1970s) in his first go-round as governor, but may be a convert in 2011. (Photo: uclafacultyassociation.blogspot.com)
Mono County’s Board of Supervisors finally approved the new building codes on Jan. 11, and came a lot closer to embracing the new CalGreen Title 24 residential and non-residential construction mandates enacted by the state as of Jan. 1.
The Board thinks the County can reckon with most of the new regulations, except one: fire suppression. Board Chair Hap Hazard said the supervisors aren’t happy with residential fire suppression mandates, particularly as concerns remote, part-time occupied homes. “Full-time residential homes are not the issue,” Hazard commented. “We’re concerned about cabins, especially those that sit empty during the winter.”
Hazard said those structures would be left sitting unattended with charged systems and wells running, leading to freezing issues. “I think that a fire in an unoccupied building, in a snow-covered field, isn’t much of a risk as a health and safety issue,” he said. “It’s another one of those ‘one state law fits all’ situations.”
Hazard’s favorite color
It may not be brown, but the District 2 Supervisor expressed some optimism when it came to the state’s newest “old” governor, Jerry Brown, who took office on Jan. 3 for another term, after having served two terms in the 1970s. (That was prior to California’s enacting of term limits on the state’s highest office.)
Hazard, not speaking for the rest of the Board of Supervisors (just himself), indicated he’s cautiously optimistic about Brown’s immediate assault on the state’s fiscal problems and size of the budget scalpel he’s wielding.
“I’m not a big Jerry Brown fan … I lived under him before, but at this point, he’s appearing to be more Republican and conservative than Ronald Reagan was,” Hazard opined. “He truly seems to understand how the state got in this position. He identified what the problems are and hit the ground running.”
Brown has yet to fully win over Hazard as a convert, but the supervisor is nonetheless impressed at the speed at which the governor presented his proposals. “Usually we would have to wait 6-8 months to see something. He’s way ahead of the typical schedule. At least we know where the hits will come,” Hazard remarked. Thanks to the jump on the budget plan, County staff has the “luxury” of reviewing Brown’s budget proposals for use in the Board’s mid-year budget review next month. “We’ll have to see how they impact the County,” he added.
Cash flow for the state, he thinks, is going to be the most crucial factor. One aspect he pointed to that isn’t being talked about (at least not yet) involves localities having to pass tax increases to pay for burdens transferred by the state to local governments, should the governor’s proposed tax extensions be rejected at the ballot box this coming June or prevented from reaching the ballot at all.
Hazard indicated to The Sheet he’s not pleased at the prospect of that scenario emerging. Given the recent resistance voters have exhibited toward enacting “new” taxes (as opposed to Brown’s plan of extending existing taxes at current levels), self taxing at the local level is likely not something Mono County citizens will be too thrilled about, either.
Bipartisan solutions will be needed to make most if not all of the budget proposals work, Hazard suggested. “Nobody’s going to like everything.”