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On August 7, 2007, the city and county had a joint meeting culminating in a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the two entities. This followed months of joint meetings and staff meetings. The MOU is an effort by two independent governmental entities to work together and cooperate with each other. The MOU was passed unanimously by both the City Council and the Board of Supervisors. Copies of the MOU are available from either the city or the county.
The MOU lays out the terms of the agreement. The article in the Triplicate on August 8, 2007, may have created misunderstanding. The word "combine" in the phrase "some of the areas they will combine services include code enforcement, building and planning, technical support and law enforcement" should be considered. The MOU states "provide" or "coordinate" which means that the City and County will each continue to be responsible for the provision of their own services. They may contract with each other to provide some services as needed, or they may coordinate by working with each other.
The phrase "eliminate duplicate services" is not applicable because each entity will continue to be responsible to provide their own services. Those services can be coordinated with each other, or each entity can contract with the other for services on an as needed basis.
The word "combined" in the statement "services that were combined in the memorandum of understanding include: building plan checking, building inspection, code enforcement, distribution of zoning and land use public information, administration and maintenance of wastewater collection system, grant and housing program coordination, purchasing information technology services, technology support, law enforcement's Drug Endangered Children and asset forfeiture programs" should be modified. No services were combined. Services will either continue to be provided by each entity separately with occasional coordination between employees, or some services can be contracted with each other on an as-needed basis.
The phrase "other areas they will address in the future will be recreation, the swimming pool, a drug task force" could also include parks and recreation, housing rehabilitation, rehabilitation of roads, shared maintenance yards, homelessness, annexation/consolidation.
The phrase "the possible combination of city and county law enforcement" is the suggestion of one of the 10 elected officials from the County Board and the City Council.
The City Council and the Board of Supervisors were both excited about the future of cooperation between the two local governmental entities. The MOU is in the spirit of each being a good neighbor and working for the betterment of both Crescent City and Del Norte County.
Eli Naffah is the city mangager of Crescent City.