Last week, the San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors proclaimed February 2015 as “Grand Jury Appreciation Month” at its Feb. 10 meeting.
Ward Downs, the 2014-15 foreperson, and Gary Spaugh, president of the local association chapter, received the award that was presented by chairwoman Kathy Miller.
Civil grand jurors are charged with investigating issues raised involving local government agencies. The jurors conduct confidential investigations and draft reports that include recommendations to address the issues raised.
The County’s proclamation says:
“Whereas, Grand Juries are crucial components of California’s justice system; and
Whereas, like other California counties, San Joaquin has a Grand Jury composed of individuals who dedicate their time for a full calendar year to serve in the Grand Jury system; and
Whereas, county Grand Juries are impaneled to act as an “arm of the court,” as authorized by the state constitution, to be a voice of the people and a conscience of the community; and
Whereas, the primary duties of the San Joaquin County Grand Jury is to investigate and report on local governmental operations to assure that the responsibilities are being fulfilled efficiently, honestly and in the best interest of the public; and
Whereas, the California Grand Jurors’ Association and local chapters strengthen juries statewide by providing training, tools and techniques to assure that each jury operates under the same standards of efficiency and integrity to which they hold local government; and
Whereas, it is appropriate to provide a designated opportunity to recognize the efforts of those who have volunteered, and are volunteering, their time and service to advance the work of the San Joaquin County Grand Jury; and
Whereas, the reward of being 19 grand jurors is the satisfaction received working with fellow residents of the county to improve local government for all of us.
Now, Therefore, Be It Resolved that this San Joaquin County Board of Supervisors does hereby proclaim the month of February 2015, as ‘Grand Jury Appreciation Month’”