CALIFORNIA CITY – With little fanfare and no public comment, City Council voted Oct. 22 to move the city’s off highway vehicle program from police supervision to parks and recreation and authorized creation of a new OHV manager position. It was the only new business item on the agenda.
“We are moving the OHV under parks at City Hall,” said City Manager Anna Linn. “With the Thanksgiving holiday coming up and grant deadlines due, it’s imperative that we have an employee to manage the OHV program. This employee will continue to manage the OHV grant and overall OHV programs. My recommendation is that the council direct the city manager to create a position of OHV manager and appoint this position immediately to continue the OHV program without interruption.”
Linn said the manager’s salary of $25 to $32 an hour will be paid out of the OHV grant fund. Karen Sanders, who had been managing the program for several years, resigned the day before the council meeting.
“I just think that OHV is important,” Mayor Pro Tem Gene Stump said. “I think that putting it under parks and rec is the better way to go.”
Councilmember Ron Smith said he was initially opposed to the proposal as the city did not have a budget at the time.
“But after talking with our city manager and giving this some thought, I really see two reasons to approve this,” he said. “We need to squash any rumors that we are opposed to the OHV program. I think there’s been some misinformation that we are opposed.”
Secondly, he said it would help take some of the pressure off Linn.
“While in principle, I would say, no new positions while we don’t have a budget,” said Smith. “But this is very important to her to be able to to be able to function and do her job.”
Councilmember Don Parris also felt it was important to move forward with the new position.
“The sooner the better we get somebody in that position,” he said. “I’m all in favor of doing this.”
The motion passed unanimously.
Although unable to confirm at the time, Linn said on Oct. 25 that Inge Elmes had been hired to fill the position.
Elmes is an interim planning commissioner and co-owner of Cal City MX Park in California City.
In other business, the council:
• Give second reading, by title only and adopted an ordinance rezoning 160 parcels located within the city
• Adopted a resolution supporting the Reducing Crime and Keeping California Safe Act of 2020.