Truckee Donner PUD tabs Ferree as newest director | SierraSun.com

Truckee Donner PUD tabs Ferree as newest director

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun
Courtesy imageLaura Ferree is the newest member of the Truckee Donner Public Utility District board.
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TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; It was unanimous, and perhaps a surprisingly unconventional choice.

Truckee Donner Public Utility District directors on Wednesday appointed local attorney Laura Ferree as the replacement for John Hillstrom, who resigned his seat on June 22.

Directors cited Ferreeand#8217;s newness to Truckee and to public office as a way add a fresh and balanced perspective to the board.

and#8220;She had something the others didnand#8217;t seem to have and that was a passion I saw tonight,and#8221; said Director Ron Hemig.

Ferree, whoand#8217;s been a Truckee resident for 4 years, fills the seat until the end of Hillstromand#8217;s term, on Dec. 7, 2012.

She was questioned publicly and#8212; along with fellow applicants Jamie Brimer, Josh Susman, Dan Warren and Scott Parker and#8212; during the night. Ferree highlighted herself as ambitious and eager to take on director duties.

and#8220;I am not going to win the contest for number of years in Truckee and#8212; Iand#8217;ll lay that out there right away.and#8221; she said. and#8220;I arrived (to Truckee) with no job and nobody. In the four years Iand#8217;ve been here Iand#8217;ve managed to create a viable successful nonprofit program (a law consultation service at the Truckee Family Resource Center) that is now sustainable to do well enough that I have now resigned from that job.and#8221;

Ferree also said she has been able to start her own law practice, Ferree Law, now very profitable.

and#8220;I think my training and analytical ability is an asset to the board,and#8221; she said, adding that her bilingual abilities in Spanish would allow her to communicate with the districtand#8217;s Latino constituency.

Ferree said she intends to run again for the seat next year.

Selling points for other applicants centered on two traits and#8212; time and experience in Truckee, and 2010 TDPUD election results.

Susman and Warren both said they didnand#8217;t expect the previous two-seat election and#8212; in which Susman finished third and Warren fourth, behind incumbents Ron Hemig and Tony Laliotis and#8212; should grant them any type of entitlement to the position. They did say, however, it should be factored into the decision.

Within its line of questioning, the board did consider the election, asking why Brimer, Parker and Ferree didnand#8217;t run in 2010, and asking Susman and Warren to expand on their perceived negative opinions of the 2010 boardand#8217;s decisions.

Hemig questioned the latter two thoroughly, asking Warren why he had called the board and#8220;complacentand#8221; and having and#8220;bad habitsand#8221; during political stumps last year, and why Susman had labeled the board as operating with a and#8220;business as usualand#8221; mentality.

Both said they might have disagreed with previous board actions in the past, but thought the board and staff were doing a good job at present.

After the meeting Susman said he intended to run again next November, when three seats will be available.