Can the county and town just get along?
First, a thank-you to Truckee. Truckee incorporated 12 years ago this coming March for a number of reasons. Mainly because the citizens of Truckee felt largely ignored by Nevada County, something I intend to change as 5th District supervisor.
The catalyst for incorporation was undoubtedly the condition of our roads. Nonetheless, Truckee became a town, elected a council and set forth on the path of self governance. Many in western Nevada County thought Truckee would fail, but it didn’t fail; it succeeded beyond anyone’s imagination.
From the beginning, our councils have been balanced, driven and focused clearly on Truckee’s future. To have served local government in this town has been not only a highlight, but a wonderful educational experience. I’ve had many coaches and mentors who made it so and I’ve taken that with me down the hill. Thank you Truckee.
West Nile virus is going to be headline news this summer, even more so than last year. With the heavy snow in the Sierra, mosquitoes are going to be thick this spring. A recent report to the Nevada County Board of Supervisors indicated the virus will continue to spread throughout Northern California, including Nevada County.
Last year the county spent $39,000 distributing mosquito fish and sentry chickens as a quick preventative approach. The fish feed on mosquito larvae; chickens were used as an early detection strategy, testing them weekly for any signs of the virus.
This year the board will continue this effort with a stepped-up version of last year’s strategy and begin study on a necessary long-term policy, perhaps an abatement district similar to Placer County. Due to logistics, Truckee will be able to piggy back onto Placer County’s efforts .
The Sierra Nevada Conservancy signed into law last September by the governor has begun to take shape. Last week was the first meeting of the subcommittee of the central sub-region. The members are Nevada, El Dorado, Placer and Yuba counties. Our task was the selection of the supervisor who will serve on the conservancy board. A seemingly simple task one would think, yet after an hour and a half of pontificating about qualifications, it became evident that there would be no movement by the four of us. We each desired the job.
So it was left to chance, drawing business cards out of a bowl. Not unprecedented, I might add. We were the second sub-region to make the selection in this fashion.
Supervisor Helen Baumann of El Dorado County will be our representative. Baumann’s district is similar to Nevada County’s 5th District in that it reaches from the foothills up to South Lake Tahoe. I am satisfied that she will represent those who actually live in the Sierra well and plan to meet with her soon to discuss Nevada County issues as well as Truckee. The big issues are where the conservancy office will be located and who will staff it. There will be competition for this and will be one of the first charges of the new board to determine.
Last Thursday evening I attended a meeting in Nevada City to hear Trustee Aaron Klein speak. Some of you may recall the recent departure of College President Dr. Kevin Ramirez under a cloud of accusations largely leveled at him by newly elected Klein.
After Truckee’s outstanding support for Measure H last November, many of you shared concerns that perhaps the proposed Truckee campus may be in jeopardy. I went to find out.
I fired a few questions at Klein. He indicated that the Truckee campus is moving ahead and, in fact, the board had accepted the findings from the request for proposals and awarded the design work to an architect just last week.
Meanwhile, can the county and town work together? My view is yes.
The county has several road stripping projects this summer out to bid. I’ve asked that the county consider approaching the town for projects like this where the town has the equipment. Of course costs would be covered, but let’s face it a subcontractor from Sacramento will cost more. If working cooperatively saves taxpayer dollars, we should never pass the opportunity.
Until next month…
Ted Owens is the 5th District supervisor for Nevada County from Truckee.
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