| SierraSun.com

Northstar community votes ‘yes’ on Measure U


On Tuesday, the Northstar community voted “yes” on Measure U in a landslide.

The measure is currently passing with 86.67% of the vote. Out of 105 votes cast, Measure U was approved with 91 votes in favor and 14 opposed.

Measure U will impose a $219 fee annually per parcel in the Northstar Community Services District for 10 years. This will provide up to $450,000 in annual funding, which will go toward improving wildfire prevention by removing fire hazards such as dry brush and dead trees. It will also improve evacuation routes and add firebreaks — gaps in vegetation used as roadblocks to fires — and also supply residents with green waste disposal options.

The funding will go directly to the Northstar Fire Department, and will include annual adjustments as well as exceptions for low income home owners. A citizen oversight committee will oversee the initiative, according to the measure.

Concerns were raised following the Caldor Fire regarding fire safety and a need for additional evacuation routes in the event that a fire were to reach other regions of Lake Tahoe. Approximately 49,800 people were evacuated during the Caldor Fire. This measure was raised in light of those concerns by the Board of Directors of the Northstar Community Services District.

Ted Charter, a Northstar resident, said he is not opposed to fire mitigation, but believes that there may be some underlying inequities involved with the measure. Charter said that because Northstar Ski Resort owns a large portion of the land that will reap the benefits of the measure, Vail should offer a larger contribution.

“My problem with the proposition is that the proponents have not made it clear that the clearing of Vail property is being subsidized by the homeowners of Northstar … Vail should be paying their fair share,” Charter said.

Leaders in the Northstar community who endorsed the measure included the board president of the Northstar Community Services District, Sawmill Heights community manager, president of Sierra Watch, the fire chief of the Northstar Fire Department, and the president of the Northstar Property Owners Association.

Elizabeth White is a staff writer with the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at white@sierrasun.com

Northstar Community Services District special election set for Nov. 2

Voter information guides and mail ballots are hitting the mail from the Placer County Elections Office to registered voters in the Northstar Community Services District in preparation for the upcoming Nov. 2 special election.

Residents in the Northstar region of North Lake Tahoe are being asked to vote on a measure to levy up to $219 per year for 10 years, providing $450,000 annually in locally controlled funding to the Northstar Fire Department for fire protection.

Should voters in the Northstar Community Services District approve the increase, the measure will improve local wildfire protection by funding the removal of dry brush, dead trees and fire hazards, improving evacuation routes, adding fire breaks and providing homeowners with easy, inexpensive green waste disposal options.

The measure will also provide annual adjustments, exemptions for low-income residents and citizen oversight.

Voters in the district will need to obtain a two-thirds majority vote in order to approve the measure.

The Elections Office located at 2956 Richardson Drive in Auburn will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday for early voting and on election day, Tuesday, Nov. 2, from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

It will also be staffing one polling place at the Northstar Community Services District, located at 900 Northstar Drive in Truckee, which will offer in-person voting, voter registration, accessible ballot marking devices and language assistance.

Should voters prefer not to mail their ballots, a 24-hour ballot drop box is located in front of the Placer County library at 301 Secline Street in Kings Beach and the Elections Office at 2956 Richardson Drive in Auburn.

Placer County residents who do not receive their ballots and information guides by Oct. 18 or misplace their guide can view it at https://www.placercountyelections.gov/ or request a duplicate guide or replacement ballot by contacting the Elections Office at 530-886-5650.

Voter registration forms may be picked up at all post offices, libraries and California Department of Motor Vehicles offices in Placer County or completed online at sos.ca.gov.

Voters who miss the Oct. 18 registration deadline may come to the Elections Office during normal business hours or the polling place on Election Day and complete a conditional voter registration.

Registered voters who’ve recently interacted with the DMV are urged to confirm their voter status, political party preference, vote-by-mail status, address and all other pertinent information. Voter status information is available at https://voterstatus.sos.ca.gov/.

For more information, visit the Elections Office website at https://www.placercountyelections.gov/ or call 530-886-5650 or toll-free in California at 800-824-8683.

Source: Placer County


Oct. 4: Ballots were mailed to registered voters

Oct. 18: Last day to register to vote for the special elections

Oct. 26: Last day for the Elections Office to mail a ballot

Nov. 2: Election day


Nevada County hits 73% turnout in recall election

Nevada County voters opposed the recall of Gov. Gavin Newsom 54% to 46%, according to the county’s official vote tally released Wednesday.

The results show 29,851 Nevada County ballots were cast against removing the governor from office, as opposed to 25,426 in favor of displacing him.

The county had a turnout of 73.34%.

Statewide, unofficial results show Newsom defeating the recall effort 7,907,725 to 4,854,873 votes, or 62% to 38%. Results must be certified by Oct. 22.

Supporters of the recall needed to get over 50% of the vote to oust Newsom. If that had occurred, the top vote-getter would have replaced him.

In Nevada County, that would have been Larry Elder with 16,546 votes. Statewide, Elder took 3,534,379 votes.

Other top vote-getters in Nevada County include state Assemblyman Kevin Kiley with 3,454 votes, Former San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer with 2,841 votes, and real estate broker and YouTube personality Kevin Paffrath with 2,390 votes.

UPDATE Sept. 24: Newsom fights off recall; Measure T headed to victory


Results are unofficial, and must be certified by Oct. 22.


Statewide results – all precincts reporting

No: 7,754,972 – 62.4%

Yes: 4,670,621 – 37.6%

Some top vote-getters vying to replace the governor, if Gavin Newsom had failed to get at least 50% of the vote:

Larry A. Elder: 3,395,419

Kevin Paffrath: 688,618

Brandon M. Ross: 382,962

John Cox: 293,466

Kevin L. Faulconer: 578,087

Kevin Kiley: 240,200

Nevada County results – 72.94% of possible votes counted

No: 29,702 – 54.03%

Yes: 25,273 – 45.97%


Must pass by two-thirds

Yes: 6,035 – 78.46%

No: 1,657 – 21.54%

Truckee votes yes on T

Truckee residents overwhelmingly voted for Measure T during Tuesday’s gubernatorial recall election.

The measure, which will tax property owners $179 per parcel, per year for wildfire mitigation and prevention, passed with 79% approval from residents within the Truckee Fire Protection District.

The vote was 4,748 to 1,259. It needed to pass by two-thirds.

The vote tally is incomplete and unofficial.

“Clearly the Truckee and Donner Summit communities have shown their commitment to reducing wildfire risk in our area,” said Fire Chief Bill Seline. “They sent us a message loud and clear that they want us to get to work.”

The measure is projected to provide $3.7 million annually in locally controlled funding for wildfire protection, and will include independent audits, exemptions for low income residents, and citizen oversight.

“Our community has chosen to take action rather than wait for someone else to solve the problem and that’s notable,” said Seline. “There was a lot of discussion about should we wait for the state or federal government to take action … I think our community agreed.”

Seline credited fuel reduction work in and around Meyers for helping save the community from the Caldor Fire, adding that there’s a sense of urgency from the district to get work done, which is why the measure was placed on a special election ballot rather than waiting for the 2022 general election.

“You could sometimes justify that it’s not our backyard,” said Seline on past California wildfires. “But this year there’s not that option. It was in our backyard, and I don’t think anybody could argue that it couldn’t happen in Truckee.”

The district won’t see funds from the measure until 2023, due to the way property taxes are collected. In the meantime, Seline said the district will use reserve funds to launch a free green waste disposal program and hire defensible space inspectors. Once fully funded, the program will offer green waste pickup days, dead tree removal. The district will also contract with a forester and other companies to provide removal of fire fuels.

Seline said in the near future the district will roll out a full list of programs to be funded by Measure T, along with an operating budget.

“The community put their money where their mouth is on this one, and we’re not going to let them down,” said Seline.

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

Newsom survives recall with Nevada County support

Nevada County voters turned out largely in favor of retaining Gavin Newsom as governor.
Photo: Elias Funez

Gov. Gavin Newsom kept his job after Tuesday’s vote, with support from the majority of Nevada County voters.

Per the unofficial results from the Nevada County Elections Office, 54% of the county’s registered voters — 40,796 of 75,586 — participated in the 2021 gubernatorial recall election.

Votes are still coming in, and the numbers will likely change.

As of Wednesday afternoon, the Nevada County Elections Office stated that 58% — 23,519 — of the election’s participants voted “no” against Newsom’s recall.

Ninety-two percent of the election’s participants selected their choice for the future of California via mail-in-ballots.

The majority of the votes — 73% — cast in-person early or on election day supported the recall, but ballots filled out onsite only made up 8% of the total votes Nevada County cast throughout the election.

Even if all 3,127 of the total votes cast in-person were against Newsom’s continued leadership, the collective opponents would have been unable to overcome the 8,000-vote margin required to surmount the current governor’s lead established through Nevada County’s mail-in ballots.

Of the 42%, or 17,277 voters, who marked “yes” to the recall question, 11,220 sought to replace the Democrat with Larry Elder; 2,243 chose Kevin Falcouner; and 2,213 selected California’s 6th District Assemblyman Kevin Kiley.

In-person voter Jacquelyn Mattoon described Elder, who received 42% of the votes cast for Newsom’s replacement, as a Christian radio host. Although Mattoon convenes with a weekly prayer group made up of politically like-minded individuals, the Rough and Ready resident opted for Kiley because of his “constitutional” reputation.

Kiley and Falcouner each received approximately 9% of the votes cast to replace Newsom. Falcouner, who concluded his term as San Diego mayor in 2020, escaped a tie for the conservative voters’ would-be second place with 30 votes more than Kiley.


Although the special election’s results remain pending, data collected by the Secretary of State’s Office Wednesday morning indicates Newsom will continue his term with a 2.5 million vote margin.

According to data collected by the Secretary of State’s Office just prior to the 2020 presidential election, California has 22 million registered voters of nearly 25 million eligible. According to its website, this special election marks the highest voter registration — 89% — California has seen since before 2003.

As of Aug. 30, 47% of the registered California voters were Democrats, 24% were Republican and 23% were registered with no party preference.

The Secretary of State’s website notes the possibility of discrepancies between county and state-generated data because the agency based its eligibility estimates from the 2010 census. More accurate numbers would be available had the COVID-19 pandemic not delayed the collection and release of the official 2020 census data.

The Secretary of State’s Office reported over 98% of eligible voters in Nevada County are registered to vote. Forty percent, or 30,067 people within county lines, are registered Democrats; 32%, or 24,411, are registered Republicans; and 14% indicate no party preference.


Chair of the Nevada County Democrats, Eric Robins, described the mood in his organization as “grateful” and “proud.”

“We were pretty confident, but we were still pretty thankful with the results,” Robins said.

Robins said more Nevada County residents voted in favor of Newsom continuing his original term in this special election than those on the winning side of the governor’s election almost four years ago.

“It was stronger — percentage-wise — than Newsom got here in 2018,“ Robins explained. ”(He) only won Nevada County by 5 points, and it looks like ‘no’ votes got a 15-point margin this time.“

Robins said this marks the fifth election in a row in which Nevada County voted majority Democratic, and he is looking forward to continued engagement in the region’s political progression.

“We’re looking forward to 2022,“ Robins said. ”We have statewide races again and local stuff, with Board of Supervisors, and defending the Nevada City Council in June.“

Robins said he, personally, has not figured out how to interrupt the increased flow of misinformation that intensifies political polarization, but trusts local election officials’ oaths of service and commitment to transparency.

“We’re entirely confident in the reliability of our mail voting system,” Robins said, adding, “practically speaking, it’s the same — you’re handing a ballot to a registrar’s office (or you’re mailing it in). You either trust them or you don’t.”

When Robins said “we trust the registrar,” he is referring to Democrats as a whole.

“Left-wing voters vote heavily by mail than conservative voters,” Robins said. “Here in Nevada County there are more left-wing voters.”

According to the county election website, absentee ballots postmarked on or before the day of the election will be included in the election’s final report.

In the meantime, organized members of the Nevada County Democrats are taking a breath of fresh air.

“We are taking a break for the next few weeks,” Robins said, attributing the lack of scheduled events in the coming weeks to continued risk posed by COVID-19 and smoke.


According to the Truckee Fire Protection District’s website, Measure T will tax land owners — $179 per parcel, per year, or 49 cents per day — to provide a dedicated fund for wildfire prevention and mitigation.

Eastern county residents reached the two-thirds majority vote required to pass the tax, with 73% of the 5,745 votes cast in favor of additional financial support for the district.

The measure’s fact sheet states allocated funds will assist efforts to relocate dry brush, dead trees, fuels and fire hazards; improve emergency evacuation systems, routes and procedures; and support defensible space and critical infrastructure.

According to a resolution by the Truckee Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors, the tax will generate $3.7 million annually in locally directed funding for wildfire protection, with independent audits, exemptions for low income residents, and local oversight. The tax will automatically expire in eight years.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer with The Union, a sister publication to the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com

Voters head to polls for recall election

Voters in Truckee will decide whether to support Measure T, a tax measure that would generate approximately $3.7 million annually, to provide the Truckee Fire Protection District with increased defensible space and green waste disposal options for property owners. The vote coincides with the statewide recall election of Gov. Gavin Newsom, and is happening as local governments struggle with the Delta variant of the coronavirus.
Justin Scacco / jscacco@sierrasun.com

On Tuesday, Truckee and North Tahoe voters will have their voices heard in the state’s gubernatorial recall election.

While much attention is on the possibility of Gov. Gavin Newsom being recalled, voters within the Truckee Fire Protection District will be faced with an additional choice at the polls. Measure T, which if passed would cost homeowners $179 per parcel for eight years, would provide an estimated $3.7 million annually for wildfire protection funding. It must pass by two-thirds of the vote.

“The more fuels there are, the more intensely the fire burns in the community, the more difficult it is for incident commanders to put fire resources in the way of the fire,” said Truckee Fire Protection Chief Bill Seline. “That’s what Measure T is about. It’s about removing fuels from the wildland urban interface to reduce the intensity even of a big fire that’s coming toward our neighborhoods.”

As of Wednesday, 31,177 ballots issued by Nevada County have been returned by mail, representing roughly 40% of the ballots sent out, according to Natalie Adona, Nevada County’s assistant clerk-recorder/registrar of voters.

“For a special election, the turnout numbers are pretty much what I would expect them to be,” said Adona.

Comparatively, 87.59% of registered voters from Nevada County voted in last year’s presidential election, while 88.21% of registered voters from Placer County cast their ballots in last year’s presidential election.

Also, with fires continuing to burn in the region, Nevada County is one of 12 counties offering provisional ballots to emergency workers and firefighters.

“If they can’t make it to their home county in time to vote, they can vote a provisional ballot where they are and we’ll send it to the correct county,” said Adona. “If any out-of-county emergency workers working on fire need to vote, we’re obligated to give them a provisional and get that over to their home county.”

The voting center in Truckee — at Truckee Town Hall, 10183 Truckee Airport Road — will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday through Monday. On Tuesday, election day, the voting center will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.

“Most of our in-person voters will probably be on election day,” Adona said.

Placer County has poling locations at The Old Fire House in Tahoe City, at North Tahoe High School, and at the North Tahoe Event Center in Kings Beach. Locations are also set up at the Olympic Valley Public Service District and Northstar Community Services District.

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


Truckee Town Hall: 10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee

Northstar Community Services District: 900 Northstar Drive, Truckee

Olympic Valley Public Service District: 305 Squaw Valley Road, Olympic Valley

The Old Fire House: 300 N. Lake Boulevard, Tahoe City

North Tahoe High School: 2945 Polaris Road, Tahoe City

North Tahoe Event Center: 8318 N. Lake Boulevard, Kings Beach

Placer County experiencing urgent shortage of poll workers

With just weeks remaining until the Sept. 14 California gubernatorial recall election, the Placer County Elections Office is facing a shortage of volunteers to serve in precincts throughout the county.

Poll workers who are bilingual in Spanish, Tagalog, Punjabi or Korean are in special need, too.

Training classes for election poll workers will be held in Auburn, Rocklin and North Lake Tahoe.

Poll workers must be at least 18 years old (unless participating in the student poll worker program), be registered to vote in California or a permanent legal resident of the United States, provide their own transportation and be able to work from 6 a.m. to around 9 p.m. on the day of the election.

Poll worker duties include opening and closing polling sites, verifying voter names on election rosters, and issuing and collecting ballots. Pay ranges from $100 to $160 and includes a stipend of $25 for attending poll worker training.

Volunteering can be a great fundraising opportunity for service clubs or community organizations. Staffing an entire precinct can earn a group up to $900.

For more information or to apply online, visit the Placer County elections website or call the Elections Office at 530-886-5650 or 1-800-824-8683.

Source: Placer County

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.

More than one-third of Nevada County voters have cast ballots

Almost 40% of Nevada County voters have cast ballots in today’s election, officials said.

The elections office had received 25,646 ballots by Monday afternoon, out of some 68,600 mailed — a turnout of 38.5%.

Nevada County is entirely a vote-by-mail county, and every registered voter should have received a ballot in the mail. Voters can complete their ballot and mail it in, drop it off at one of several designated spots or vote in person at a handful of vote centers.

All vote centers will open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, election day.

The county had 26,548 registered Democrats as of Monday, and 22,869 Republicans. Decline to state and no party preference voters totaled 14,942.

Nevada County voters will make their picks for Board of Supervisors District 1, Nevada City Council and two local ballot measures. Voters across the state will cast ballots for state Assembly, Senate and U.S. representatives. People voting a Democratic ticket will select their choice for president.


The following vote centers are open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. today, and 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.

• Truckee Town Hall

10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee

• The Cedar House Hotel Ballroom

10918 Brockway Road, Truckee

• Eric Rood Administrative Center

950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

Gold Miners Inn Ballroom

121 Bank St., Grass Valley

• Best Western Conference Center

1012 Sutton Way, Grass Valley

• Penn Valley Fire Protection District, Station 43

10513 Spenceville Road, Penn Valley

• Higgins Lions Community Center

22490 E. Hacienda Drive, Grass Valley

An additional vote center will open at the North San Juan Community Center from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. election day.


• Truckee Town Hall

10183 Truckee Airport Road, Truckee

Daily: 24 hours

• SaveMart

11399 Deerfield Drive, Truckee

Daily: 6 a.m. – midnight

• BriarPatch Food Co-op

290 Sierra College Drive, Grass Valley

Daily: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

• Chicago Park Store

19077 Colfax Highway, Grass Valley

Daily: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.

• Grocery Outlet

616 Sutton Way, Grass Valley

Daily: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

• SPD Market

129 W. McKnight Way, Grass Valley

Daily: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.

• SaveMart

2054 Nevada City Highway, Grass Valley

Daily: 6 a.m. – midnight

• Eric Rood Administrative Center — parking lot

950 Maidu Ave., Nevada City

Daily: 24 hours

• Holiday Market

11324 Pleasant Valley Road, Penn Valley

Daily: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

• Holiday Market

10952 Combie Road No. 12, South County

Daily: 7 a.m. – 10 p.m.

• North San Juan Community Library

18847 Oak Tree Road, North San Juan

Tuesday and Thursday: 11 a.m. – 7 p.m.

To contact City Editor Alan Riquelmy, email ariquelmy@theunion.com or call 530-477-4239.