Jennifer Montgomery: Mixed emotions in stepping away as Placer County supervisor for new role | SierraSun.com

Jennifer Montgomery: Mixed emotions in stepping away as Placer County supervisor for new role

Jennifer Montgomery
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In 2008, when you first elected me to be your Placer County Supervisor, I pledged to work for you, listen to you and do everything in my power to give you strong representation at the county level.

I have done that to the very best of my ability. In these past 10 plus years, I have learned a lot about our communities, and the people — you — who live in them, and the issues that you confront daily. And I love my job.

But one of these issues — forest management and the ongoing threat of catastrophic wildfire — has risen above all others in my work as Supervisor. Over the past several years, it has increasingly defined a greater purpose for my public service. As a Californian, I believe this is one of the critical issues of our time.

So it is with a mix of sadness and anticipation that I announce today that I will be leaving my position as your county supervisor on March 31. I have accepted an appointment by the Honorable Gov. Gavin Newsom to the position of director of the Governor's Forest Management Task Force. As I said before, management of our forests (and other wild lands) for natural resources, recreation and to prevent — when possible — catastrophic wildfire, has been a passion of mine for many years. In my new position, I will coordinate efforts with all levels of government and private stakeholders to design and execute strategies to better manage our wild lands for public safety, resources, recreation and protection of the environment.

It has been with your encouragement and support that I have worked to improve our quality of life and safety, not just in our wild lands but in all the communities and cities throughout the county. As Director of the Forest Management Task Force, I will be expanding to the state level all the efforts and programs we have worked on for years here in Placer County.

My 10 years as supervisor has been marked by both successes and failures, as is always the case. But by working together, you and I have helped protect thousands of acres of open space, crafted better approaches to development, increased responsiveness to communities and so much more.

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Serving the people of Placer County has been one of the greatest honors of my life. It is my goal to take what I've learned over the years as your public servant and bring it to Sacramento in hopes that we can work on these tremendous issues with the same collaborative spirit we fostered in Placer County. Going forward, I have great confidence in my fellow board members and I am hopeful that you will give whomever replaces me on the Board of Supervisors all the assistance they will need to do the job well for the next two years.

Jennifer Montgomery is the District 5 Placer County supervisor.