VENTURA, Calif. – In their last meeting of 2015, the Board of Supervisors had a full agenda and a full day ranging from Christmas carols to condors. Highlights from the meeting included:
- An energetic performance by the Ventura County Christmas Carolers.
- Recognition of Olivia Lopez on her retirement after 43 years of service to the County.
- A report on the recently concluded Senior Summit that included recommendations for the new General Plan that is currently being developed.
- A study session discussing the potential impacts of oil and gas operations on the California condor. The Board heard numerous public comments on this matter and will be exploring potential land use regulations – including permit conditions – to address the potential impacts.
Other matters before the Board:
Psychiatric Care – The Board approved a $42.6 million contract with the Sterling Care Psychiatric Group to provide psychiatrists for the County's Behavioral Health Department. The 3.5-year contract is expected to provide stability to the psychiatric services the County offers.
Medical Marijuana – The Board voted to move ahead with efforts to ban marijuana dispensaries in unincorporated parts of the county. The Supervisors unanimously directed staff to begin development of an ordinance. Because the state has passed a law that allows counties to regulate medicinal marijuana, County planners recommended the development of an ordinance to the Supervisors.
Medical Services for Inmates – The California Forensic Medical Group will continue to provide health care to County jail inmates under a new $10 million-per-year contract approved by the Board on a 5-0 vote. The medical group has been under contract with the County since 1987 and, under the new contract, will provide some expanded services such as alcohol withdrawal treatment, improved dental and eye care, electronic medical records and additional therapy programs. The contract goes through June of 2021 and can be extended after that.