Grand Jury offers advice to Nevada County

County officials say they’re already doing what the Grand Jury wants, or declined to make any changes

Alan Riquelmy / The Union

County officials this week praised the Civil Grand Jury for its work, thanking it for investigating the issues.

They then explained why the county either wouldn’t implement its recommendations or already was doing what it suggested.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday heard about two reports from the Grand Jury — one detailing county roads and the other Joint Power Authorities in the county.

The Grand Jury is empowered to investigate public entities based off complaints or on its own volition. It also inspects the efficiency of local governments.

In its report on county roads, the Grand Jury report stated, among other things, that the county should implement procedures to tell residents about road work before it starts; that it should have a policy about inspecting work completed by road maintenance crews that’s equal to what’s required of private contractors; and that the road commissioner should provide supervisors with a budget that covers proposed expenses for county roads.

The county won’t do the first because it said it’s not reasonable, won’t do the second because it said it’s not warranted, and already is doing the third.

“Residents are notified of significant planned projects in accordance with project specifications,” the county response states about the first recommendation. “However, it is impractical and would be an inefficient use of resources to require notification of all road work, which would require substantial administrative resources to implement.”

Concerning Joint Power Authorities, the Grand Jury recommended the county identify someone to obtain, keep and track a list of all such authorities in the county; and identify a department that would be responsible for auditing authority compliance with the law.

JPAs are separate legal entities formed by two or more public entities. They exist for a variety of purposes.

The county said neither recommendation was warranted. The state already maintains a list of such authorities, and no local government has oversight of a JPA.

Supervisor Dan Miller questioned what kind of work the Grand Jury was doing.

“I guess I’m a little annoyed that they should bring this forward,” he said, noting the county already has inspections and oversight of its roads.

“It makes us look at things from different points of view,” Supervisor Sue Hoek said.

Supervisors then unanimously approved its responses to the Grand Jury.

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor of The Union. He can be reached at or 530-477-4249

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.