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McClintock opposes efforts to stymie certification

U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa announced plans to join a group of Republican lawmakers in objecting to the certification of the presidential election and calling for an investigation into election integrity.

“I will be joining with Senator Ted Cruz and many other members of Congress to challenge the electoral college certification until a Congressional investigation is complete,” LaMalfa said in a Tuesday press release.

Congress was scheduled to certify the Electoral College’s vote Wednesday.

LaMalfa, whose district includes most of Nevada County, said his objections stem from “an endless dripping of reports of mishandled ballots, numbers not adding up and outright violations of the U.S. Constitution’s clear direction for setting election rules.”

In an email Tuesday LaMalfa’s office declined to provide further details of voter fraud allegations.

“The continual release of allegations are readily available to anyone who’s paid attention to the news since mid-November,” LaMalfa’s Chief of Staff Mark Spannagel said.

Nevada County Assistant Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Natalie Adona said LaMalfa has not expressed election concerns to the county, and it takes integrity concerns seriously.

“To try and address any general worries, I’d add that the integrity of every election rests on careful planning and preparation, including pre-election testing of voting equipment and a post-election audit,” Adona said in an email.

“Our voting equipment passed all tests for logic and accuracy and our audit showed no discrepancies.”

U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock, who represents part of eastern Nevada County, said he will not object to the election certification despite his concerns over election integrity.

“I do NOT support the election outcome – I wish the Electoral College had sent us at least 270 votes for Trump. It didn’t,” McClintock said in an email Tuesday.

“I DO support the Constitution, which commands Congress to count the votes – ALL the votes – the states DID send us.”

 

LAWSUIT

The effort to hold up election certification comes following a string of failed maneuvers in the courts. Last month both congressmen signed on to support a lawsuit before the Supreme Court asking for an injunction stopping certification in several states.

The suit was dismissed for lack of standing, which was enough for McClintock.

“I believe that fraud may indeed have occurred and that some states and courts have done a poor job of assuring the integrity of the vote and investigating allegations of fraud,” McClintock said. “But that does not give Congress the power to seize the powers accorded to the states and the courts to itself. Period.”

LaMalfa, however, has persisted, citing a failure of the courts to do their duty and ineptitude from White House lawyers.

“The court system should have reviewed these problems. Before the election, the court punted saying no one was ’injured’ yet. After the election, it became a political issue and courts sidestepped the question using ‘standing,’ ‘procedure,’ and some sloppy lawyer work by the Trump legal team,“ he said.

While the latest attempt to hold up the transfer of power is unlikely to succeed — the objections would need approval from a Democratic-controlled House of Representatives — election experts say the move could have lasting impacts on our democracy.

According to Paul Gronke, professor of Political Science at Reed College and founder of the Early Voting Information Center, the display even if performative could be “deeply corrosive to the democratic process.”

Gronke, who researches voter trust and election implementation, said while the data is limited, efforts to question election integrity could pale in comparison to all other factors known to affect voter confidence.

“(W)e don’t have reliable scientific estimates of how damaging these are compared to the ’winners effect/losers regret’ or the voter experience, but all indications are that they swamp anything we’ve seen in the past,“ Gronke said in an email.

LaMalfa said he did not come to his decision lightly, acknowledging the potential for his objection to damage the electoral system and further divide the country.

“Because the courts at all levels have sidestepped their duty to the Republic, there is no other alternative than to use the power of Congress to investigate and hopefully get to the truth,” he said.

Nevada County Board of Supervisors Chair Heidi Hall, saying she was speaking for herself, said the election has been decided and the challenge would be an affront to voters.

“Any challenge to this certification will rightly be seen as an attempt to throw over the vote of the people, a grave and serious violation of the Constitution,” Hall said in an email.

“Congressman LaMalfa will do a grave disservice to his constituents, the Constitution, and the country if he votes against certifying what the voters, the County elections officers, the state Secretaries of State, and the Courts at every level have determined to be the legitimate, duly elected next President of the US.”

Hall ran unsuccessfully against LaMalfa in 2014.

John Orona is a staff writer for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. Email jorona@theunion.com or call 530-477-4229.

New Truckee Town Council members take oath

At its Tuesday session, the Truckee Town Council said goodbye to a trio of council members, while three new members were sworn in during a video presentation.

Jessica Abrams, David Tirman, and Tony Commandatore each finished their terms on Tuesday, while newly elected members Jan Zabriskie, Courtney Henderson, and Lindsay Romack took action on their first items.

Council says goodbye

Abrams was elected in 2016, and during her four years on the Town Council was part of the Marketing and Visitor Services Subcommittee, 25th Anniversary Subcommittee, League of California Cities liaison, and Truckee Chamber of Commerce liaison.

“During these four years of service Jessica worked tirelessly on behalf of the community, volunteering for any task that might better the town and its government,” said Council member David Polivy.

Tirman also served on the Town Council for four years, including as mayor in 2019 and vice mayor in 2018. He was involved in a number of committees and subcommittees, including the Solid Waste Citizens Advisory Board, Mayor Manager League of California Cities Division Representative, Library Committee, Truckee River Basin Water Group, Truckee Tahoe Airport Land Use Commission, Legislative Correspondence Committee, Mountain Housing Council, General Plan Update Committee, Reimagine Bridge Street, Nevada County remote access network board, Truckee Sister City Committee, and Nevada County Redevelopment Successor Agency Oversight Board.

“You have been a rock for council during challenging times, and you’ve been amazing comic relief in easier times,” said Abrams. “You’re like a mentor.”

Commandatore was appointed in September 2019, and served on committees such as the Reimagine Bridge Street Advisory Group, Transit Center Relocation Feasibility Study Advisory Committee, Revenue Measure for Housing Advisory Committee, Truckee River Basin Water Group, and the Nevada County Economic Resource Council.

“I thought that (Commandatore) really brought a sense of new balance to the council and perspective that we had not had before with (his) business acumen, (his) experience in the community,” said Tirman.

Klovstad selected as mayor

After being sworn in, the new members of the Truckee Town Council chose a new mayor.

Vice Mayor Anna Klovstad was immediately nominated as new mayor and quickly approved via a unanimous vote.

From there, newly elected Council member Courtney Henderson was nominated for the vice mayor position before being unanimously approved.

Former Mayor David Polivy led the town throughout the 2020 pandemic and moves back to the role of a Town Council member.

“To the community, it’s time to work together,” said Polivy. “It’s time to help each other. It’s time to practice COVID safety, and it’s time to really look within and look at your own actions to flatten the curve that we are currently experiencing. This is a serious time and we wouldn’t be having these conversations if it weren’t. We can do this, but we need everybody on board.”

Truckee Town Council certifies Measure K

Truckee Town Council certified the results of local elections at its Tuesday meeting, including to taking action on Measure K, a change in the transient occupancy tax rate from 10% to 12%.

In November voters overwhelmingly passed the measure with 8,199 votes in favor of the 2% increase versus 1,505 that opposed it.

“A big thank you to everbody in the community for the support and passage of Measure K.,” said Council Member David Polivy. “As many of you probably know that was put on the ballot by the town council, and we’ve supported it throughout its campaign.”

Unlike ordinances adopted by the Town Council, Measure K was adopted by voters, meaning council members needed to only certify the vote. Measure K, which is estimated to generate approximately $700,000 in annual revenue, will go into effect on Jan. 1.

Nevada County advocates for rural counties at legislative hearing

While there has been some rain recently, much of the state, including Nevada County, is in a drought and the threat of wildfire still exists.

On Monday, California’s Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management, comprised of 12 Assembly members and senators from across the state, met to address emergency response to disasters with a specific focus on emergency alerts and evacuations. The committee, chaired by Assembly member Luz Rivas, met at the Capitol and listened to experts share testimony on this statewide challenge.

One of the subject matter experts presenting was Nevada County Office of Emergency Services Program Manager Paul Cummings. His testimony was heard along with senior representatives from Cal Fire, Cal OES, the president of the California State Association of Counties, Butte County’s sheriff, and more.

Cummings focused on the telecommunications and evacuation challenges Nevada County faces as a rural community. He praised how the community demonstrated a state of readiness in the Jones Fire, and underscored the early alert and evacuation challenges a Public Safety Power Shut-off would present. Cummings highlighted the connectivity difficulties rural counties face with limited cell phone coverage, inadequate backup capability for landline and cell towers, and the lack of internet during a Public Safety Power Shut-off.

The Nevada County Office of Emergency Services advocated for bolstering redundancies through backup power systems, enhanced notifications, and increased evacuation support for older adults and people with disabilities.

Cummings also focused on developing transportation and sheltering support for older neighbors and those with disabilities.

“The data shows that these most vulnerable residents are of the highest likelihood to perish in a fast-moving wildfire,” Cummings said. He encouraged the state to do more to center its policy and planning on these residents.

As winter progresses, the Office of Emergency Services encourages all Nevada County residents to use this time to review individual and family emergency plans, increase defensible space to protect properties, and offer support to neighbors who may need extra help developing an emergency plan.

The Joint Legislative Committee on Emergency Management’s primary focus includes disaster preparedness, emergency management, and homeland security issues.

Source: Nevada County

Election 2020: Nevada County certifies its vote

The Nevada County elections offices on Wednesday, Nov. 25, certified its vote. 65,800 out of 75,123 registered voters cast ballots, or 87.59%.

Town of Truckee Town Council, Full Term, Two will be seated

  • Dow Costa: 2,645
  • Marcy Dolan: 1,807
  • John “Jack” Forbes: 727
  • Frank J. Bernhard: 1,255
  • Courtney Henderson: 4,979
  • Lindsay S. Romack: 4,143
  • Nicholas J. Sielchan: 403

Town of Truckee Town Council, Short Term, One will be seated

  • Carla Embertson: 3,504
  • Jan Zabriskie: 4,544

Truckee Tahoe Airport District, Full Term, Three will be seated

  • Ken Aronson: 3,352
  • David Diamond: 6,040
  • Leigh Golden: 3,192
  • Teresa O’Dette: 3,081
  • Rick Stephens: 5,061

Measure K — whether to adopt a 2% increase in the town’s transient occupancy tax

Yes: 8,199

No: 1,505

Truckee Donner Public Utility District, Full Term, Three will be seated

  • Joseph R Aguera: 3,729
  • Jeff Bender: 5,107
  • Bob Ellis: 3,582
  • Kim Harris: 5,150
  • Cathy Stewart: 2,267

Truckee Donner Recreation & Park District, Full Term, Two will be seated

  • Jason Hansford: 5,319
  • Lori Marquette: 4,338
  • Mark Tanner: 4,765

State and federal races

State Senate, District 1

Pamela Dawn Swartz: 218,606

Brian Dahle: 323,863

State Assembly, District 1

Elizabeth L Betancourt: 101,715

Megan Dahle: 145,662

1st Congressional District

Audrey Denney: 153,372

Doug LaMalfa: 202,860

Election update: Measure K passes

With 9,795 ballots counted out of a possible 11,356 registered voters, Measure K has been overwhelmingly approved by Truckee voters.

As of the latest election update, released by the county on Tuesday, the measure, which will increase the town’s transient occupancy tax from 10% to 12%, has received 8,018 votes in favor versus 1,469 votes against.

The results are unofficial and incomplete until certified.

Measure K’s 2% increase in transient occupancy tax is projected to provide $700,000 annually and would go toward affordable housing, preparing for wildfires and other natural disasters, along with acquiring and permanently preserving natural open spaces.

The measure was endorsed by several local businesses and organizations, including Tahoe Mountain Sports, the Truckee Fire Protection District Board, Truckee Town Council, Visit Truckee, Sierra Nevada Alliance, Sierra Business Council, and the Truckee Donner Land Trust.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Sierra Sun. Contact him at jscacco@sierrasun.com or 530-550-2643.

AP calls Pennsylvania, puts Joe Biden over 270 electoral vote threshold

Four years ago, President Donald Trump breached the Democrats’ “blue wall,” narrowly winning Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin — a trio of Great Lakes states that had long served as a bulwark against Republican presidential candidates.

On Saturday, Nov. 7, Democrat Joe Biden captured it back — and also won the presidency — after The Associated Press declared the former vice president the winner of his native Pennsylvania at 11:25 a.m. EST.

The AP called the race for Biden, who held a 30,952-vote lead after it determined that the remaining ballots left to be counted would not allow Trump to catch up. The news agency has already declared Biden the winner in both Michigan and Wisconsin.

Under Pennsylvania law, a recount is automatic when the margin between two candidates in a statewide race is less than 0.5 percentage points. Biden’s lead over Trump was on track to stay outside of that margin as final votes are counted.

There are roughly 62,000 mail ballots remaining to be counted. Biden has won the overwhelming majority of mail ballots cast in the state.

Biden’s win in Pennsylvania was a dramatic, though not unexpected, turn after Trump jumped out to an early Election Day lead of 675,000 votes and prematurely declared he had won the state.

Over coming days, as local elections officials tabulated more ballots, Trump’s lead dropped sharply, with Biden winning roughly 75 percent of the mail-in vote between Wednesday and Friday, according to an analysis by the AP.

Another reason the late-breaking mail vote broke Biden’s way: Under state law, elections officials are not allowed to process mail-in ballots until election day.

Biden, who was born in Scranton, claims favorite-son status in the state and has long played up the idea that he was Pennsylvania’s “third senator” during his decades representing neighboring Delaware. He’s also campaigned extensively in the state from his home in Delaware.

Special district boards take shapes

Jeff Bender is the frontrunner in the race for the Truckee Donner Public Utility District board.

Bender received 239 votes from Placer County and 2,508 votes from Nevada County, for a total of 2,747 votes.

Kim Harris’ Placer County votes totaled 227. Combined with her Nevada County votes, she has a total of 2,617 votes.

Bob Ellis and Joseph “Joe” Aguera vie for the third available position on the board.

As of Thursday morning, the counties recorded 122 votes from Placer County and 1,799 votes from Nevada County, giving Aguera 1,921 votes total. Ellis receive a total of 1,905 votes from district members in both counties.

Aguera currently is beating Ellis by a 16-vote margin.

The top three vote-getters will be seated on the board. The vote total is incomplete and unofficial.

Cathy Stewart received the fewest votes from either county — 164 in Placer County and 1,100 in Nevada.

District Clerk Shanna Kuhlemier said the Placer County voters are “a much smaller group” than that of Nevada County. Kuhlemier said the results won’t be official until the district gets a certified canvas, which is likely to happen the first week in December.

Kuhlemier said her multi-county jurisdiction opted to add their election to the November ballot in Placer and Nevada County to save money.

Truckee-Donner Recreation and Park District

Incumbents Mark Tanner and Jason Hansford appear to have secured the two available positions on the Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District.

Hansford led with 2,466 votes from Nevada County, and 274 votes from Placer County, giving him a total of 2,740.

Hansford said he looks forward to returning for another term to offer continuity to the district as the nation transitions out of the COVID-19 era.

“Getting back to normal operating procedures is the first order of business,” Hansford said.

Hansford said regardless of surges in the pandemic, his board maintains focus on providing services that best serve the needs of the community.

“I think it’s important for board members to have an open dialogue and be receptive to community input,” Hansford said. “Our staff do a great job and make it easy for board members to make choices.”

Tanner led the way in Placer County with 357 votes of ballots cast. Between the two counties, Tanner received 2,517 votes total.

Tanner said he feels fortunate to continue his service for district.

“I look forward to seeing through the completion of the Downtown Community Park revitalization project that got interrupted due to COVID and helping the district and community through these tough times and bring forward new programs and activities to unite and invigorate the community,” Tanner said.

Tanner said he is looking forward to establishing stability and balance between the district’s finances and facility maintenance.

“(I’m) looking to opportunities to add to our base,” Tanner said. “I’m really looking forward to 2021 and beyond.”

Lori Marquette received 258 votes from Placer County and 1,977 votes from Nevada County, bringing her total to 2,235.

North Tahoe Public Utility District

The North Tahoe Public Utility District operates out of Tahoe City. All 3,683 of the voters who participated in the special district’s 2020 election hail from Placer County. Five candidates — two of them incumbents — vied for four positions on the board.

Incumbent Sarah Coolidge garnered the majority with 1,110 votes.

“I am honored that North Shore recognized the value of what we have accomplished at the NTPUD and that they voted to send me back for four more years,” Coolidge said. “It is exciting to be given the opportunity to solidify our infrastructure work and continue our collaborations with other local agencies, all of which supports a vibrant local community.”

Coolidge said her appreciation for the election’s outcome extends to the results of many other races in the area.

“I am also eager to advocate for advancing local leadership development so that our elections continue to foster strength throughout the Tahoe-Truckee region,” Coolidge said

Coolidge said she is grateful that the board opted into open elections — as opposed to challengers targeting a specific incumbent — in 2016.

“We decided on open election years ago in order to get people more involved as opposed to fighting against each other for a seat,” Coolidge said. “If the people want someone new, let them vote for it.”

Danielle Hughes is a newcomer to the board, and received 893 votes. Hughes is the capital program manager at the Tahoe Transportation District. Her campaign website indicates Hughes’ career trajectory has given her professional experience working on water quality, restoration, recreation, technology and transportation.

Coolidge said she believes the board will continue to work well together with its newest member.

“We’ve had a wonderful board in the past and I believe we will continue to have one,” Coolidge said. “I respect all the education and work Danielle is doing, so I’m sure she’ll be a great addition.”

Pending election certification, incumbent Phil Thompson secured the third available seat on the board with 855 votes, or 23.21% of the district’s support.

Tim Ferrell received 821 votes, currently losing the election by 34 votes.

Coolidge said the board makes crucial financial decisions to ensure the district’s infrastructure is safe and replaced in a timely manner.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.

Incumbents appear to keep seats in state, congressional races

As of Thursday, it looked as though the incumbents would retain their seats in the state Assembly and Senate, as well as in Congress. While all three challengers beat the incumbents in Nevada County, those percentages were reversed districtwide.

State Assembly District 1

The candidates facing off for the state Assembly District 1 seat both prioritized fire prevention and forest management, as well as broadband access.

Megan Dahle, the Republican incumbent, sought reelection against the same contender she faced in a 2019 special election, Elizabeth Betancourt. Dahle won the seat after her husband, Brian Dahle, vacated the position.

As of Thursday, Dahle was leading with 103,033 votes to Betancourt’s 73,305, or 58.4% to 41.6%. As with the other races, those numbers were flipped for Nevada County, with Betancourt at 17,280 votes to Dahle at 12,489 — 58% to 42%. The two women were in a virtual dead heat in Placer County, with Betancourt leading by 15 votes.

“I am incredibly humbled and very grateful for the support of my constituents and their trust in me to represent them,” Dahle said. “We worked really hard to reach out and be available.”

Dahle pledged to continue to highlight issues of concern to the region, saying, “I will continue to be the voice of the North State.”

“It certainly did not go the way I hoped,” Betancourt said, but noted that she performed far better in Placer County than she ever had before.

“It’s the will of the voters, that’s the way we determine things in our democracy,” she said. “But I am disappointed that people didn’t notice that (Megan Dahle) didn’t show up, not to candidate forums, … she didn’t make any public appearances, really.”

Betancourt said it’s not all “doom and gloom,” however.

“We held on to the over 40 percent, record breaking numbers we had last year,” she said. “I’m pleased with the attention this region has gotten. We’ve made real progress.”

State Senate District 1

District 1 state Sen. Brian Dahle, who won his seat in a 2019 special election, headed into the general election as the front runner after getting the most votes in the March primary. Dahle, a Republican, again faced Democratic challenger Pamela Swartz, a Nevada County resident, and was looking to serve his first full term as a state senator.

Nevada County’s results did not reflect the overall vote, with Swartz beating Dahle locally 16,663 to 13,154 — 55.9% to 44.1%. Districtwide, however, Dahle prevailed with 214,422 votes to Swartz’s 159,758 — 57.3% to 42.7%.

“It’s just been a crazy year,” Dahle said Wednesday. “I’ll be termed out in 2024, this is my last race. It’s nice to have four more years and be able to do the job.”

Dahle noted he has served at the county and state level for nearly 24 years.

“I’m going to do my job and focus on my constituents,” he said. “There are still a lot of things I am concerned about.”

Swartz, a Nevada City resident, said the election outcome was expected.

“While it was not a surprise, it still stings,” she said. “Not because of my ego, but because the people in our district are suffering. We have a lot of issues and I don’t see how Dahle is spearheading efforts to address those issues, I don’t see any kind of advocacy at the state level.“

Swartz said she will continue to advocate for the North State, adding, “Despair coming out of defeat is not an option. I’m gonna fight like crazy.”

4th CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT

Republican U.S. Rep. Tom McClintock is leading his Democratic challenger Brynne Kennedy by 173,324 to 154,090 votes, or 52.9% to 47.1%.

Again, the numbers are flipped when only Nevada County is considered.

Kennedy in Nevada County took 3,572 votes to McClintock’s 1,070, or 76.9% to 23.1%.

Kennedy, a tech industry entrepreneur, has said she is poised to lead the district through the pandemic. She’s spent the past 15 years in the private sector, with most of that time at a company trying to connect people to good jobs.

She said her experience with the private sector — working with people who have diverse views and an obligation to owners, shareholders and others — could change the political sphere.

McClintock has said through a campaign manager that he ran for Congress to bring fiscal sanity to government, and ensure natural resources benefit people and their community.

McClintock pointed to the four years he chaired the Federal Lands Subcommittee of the House Natural Resources Committee as a sign of his commitment to financial responsibility and providing access to local lands.

1st Congressional District

On Nov. 3, Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. Doug LaMalfa once again faced Audrey Denney, the top vote-getter among the Democrats in the March primary. Denney ran against LaMalfa in 2018 and lost by a 10% margin, but the congressman for the first time lost two counties in that election — Nevada and Butte.

This time around, Denney beat LaMalfa locally with 14,429 votes to 10,969, or 56.8% to 43.2%. Districtwide, however, LaMalfa again had taken a 10% lead, with 149,101 votes to 119,423 for Denney — 55.5% to 45.5%. As in 2018, Denney also took a lead over LaMalfa in Butte County.

But even though the Associated Press called the election for LaMalfa early Wednesday afternoon, Denney did not appear ready to concede, according to the Redding Record-Searchlight.

She could not be reached for comment, but posted on Facebook around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday that LaMalfa had not yet won the election.

“We are hearing updates from our elections offices that there are huge numbers of unprocessed ballots,” Denney posted. “We anticipate at least another 70k votes to be counted across the district, probably even more than that.”

LaMalfa, R-Richvale, also could not be reached for comment.

Liz Kellar is a reporter for The Union newspaper in Grass Valley, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. Contact her at 530-477-4236 or by email at lizk@theunion.com.

Frontrunners revealed in Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board race

David Diamond appears poised to take a seat on the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board, according to election results.

Diamond received 2,771 votes in Nevada County, and 2,905 votes in Placer County, for a total of 5,676 votes.

Incumbent Rick Stephens received 2,370 votes from Nevada County and 2,538 votes from Placer County, bringing his total to 4,908.

Incumbent and serving Board President Teresa O’Dette received 3,358 total votes. Ken Aronson got 2,981, and Leigh Golden received 2,795.

The top three vote-getters will be seated on the board.

Diamond said he remains “cautiously optimistic” as votes are still being counted between counties for the special district, as winners have not been officially announced.

“I haven’t posted anything on social media because I don’t know what’s going to happen,” Diamond said.

Diamond heard Dave Mencarelli on 101.5 FM Truckee Tahoe Radio announce that he was in first for the race from the open door of his car as he pulled signs from the side of the road on election night.

Diamond said if the election’s final results align with the current projections, he is looking forward to being on a board cohesive enough to accomplish a lot over the next four years.

“When I think of the five people who at this point in time appear to make up the board — including Kat Rohlf — this could be one of the most community-focused, productive airport boards we’ve ever seen,” Diamond said. “I’m really excited.”

The fifth person on the board is Mary Heatherington, who didn’t have to run for election this year. Lisa Wallace didn’t seek reelection.

Diamond said the board he anticipates joining is made up of creative problem solvers and he is honored to join their contingent on behalf of the community.

Diamond said he was surprised to receive the most votes out of any candidate who ran in the race, but his commitment to solving regional problems and communicating transparently with the district’s constituents is paramount.

ACTIVE BOARD

Stephens said he used the same campaign signs in 2020 as he did in 2016. Similarly, Stephens’ concerns with aviation safety, noise and annoyance and community support remain constant.

Stephens said navigating his campaign amidst the pandemic and COVID-19-related concerns was challenging, but the board has remained active over the past few months.

Stephens said the airport board not only appointed a replacement for pilot and former chair Jim Morrison, who left in August, but secured funding for local conservation efforts.

“It was a million, but at the last board meeting we agreed to put a half million dollars into the Tahoe Donner Land Trust,” Stephens said.

Almost 30 acres south of the Truckee River, called Truckee Springs, was originally slated to be housing, Stephens said.

“Now it will be open space, and we’ll be able to run Legacy Trail from Brockway Road to where the Truckee River turns south toward Squaw,” Stephens said. “The land trust has put a sign on property — ‘Coming soon: Nothing.’”

O’Dette said she is grateful a pilot will be joining the board, but is not likely to celebrate until the election is certified — a process that could take about 30 days.

“I’m super excited David Diamond won, because I depend on a pilot’s voice on the board because it’s valuable,” O’Dette said.

O’Dette did not run a campaign this election cycle and reiterated that as an elected representative to the district, she has “no more agenda other than to do great things.”

“With the five people looking like they’ll probably be on the board, I’m optimistic we’ll get some great things done,” O’Dette said.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff write for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun.