After a special meeting held the day before where three candidates were interviewed, Herald Fire Protection District (HFPD) board of directors announced at their regular meeting Thursday, March 19 that they have unanimously chosen Nick Besara to fill the vacant seat on the board.

Nominated by board member Dennis Johnson and seconded by vice chairperson Heidi Braziel, Besara was appointed onto the board at the March 19 meeting but is, of yet, not officially sworn in as that is planned for the upcoming April meeting. But he received a warm welcome from his new fellows on the board.

Besara will serve the remainder of term of Brian Hurlbut, who resigned earlier this year, due to health related reasons. Hurlbut was halfway through his second four-year term, having been reelected in 2018. Besara will fill Hurbut’s seat through 2022.

Besara has been a Herald resident for five years and has been active in the community. He is a heavy equipment operator with Operating Engineers Local 3.

After approving the consent calendar, Chairperson Lindsey Liebig announced the postponement of reviewing of policies 5010 – 5070 to the April meeting. Those policies address board conduct and appropriate protocols during board meeting.

“We wanted to approve as an entire board of five,” Liebig said.

HFPD also has new forms, specifically new forms for the EMS (Emergency Medical System), and officials are discussing possibly updating or revising the worker’s comp form, as well as clarifying when and how the form should be filled.

Although most residents of the area already know about the “Shelter in Place” directive by Governor Newsom, Liebig provided clarification for what is considered essential business.

“If you haven’t been aware, there was a mandated order that went out this morning [March 19] at 11 a.m. from the Sacramento County Public Health Department, increasing the directive for shelter-in-place for Sacramento County, that only essential business is what people should be out and about for,” Liebig said. “That does include healthcare operations, grocery stores, farmer’s markets, all [agriculture] functions, any businesses that provide food, shelter and social services, newspapers, television, radio, media, gas stations, auto-supply and auto-repair shops, banks and other financial institutions, hardware stores, any sort of plumbers, electricians or those types of services; any business providing mailing or shipping services, P.O. boxes, any educational institutions … laundromats, drycleaners, restaurants for take out and to go ….”

The board also said that the community should check in with any neighbors who may be too scared or may feel unsafe, such as elderly and disabled citizens, to leave their homes and offer assistance to them, or calling upon public services, which are there to provide help.

Also, the Brown Act, instituted in 1953 guaranteeing the public’s right to attend meetings held by local bodies of government, is being relaxed during this time to allow for boards across the state to meet over the phone.