The Union staff

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March 7, 2014
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Candidate filing creates race for Nevada County Superintendent of Schools


As the filing deadline passed for most elected county offices in the June 3 primary election on Friday, one new race came to light with a last-minute candidate filing.

Paul S. Haas, who has worked as a reporter with KNCO talk radio, filed as a candidate in the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools race Friday. Haas will face incumbent Holly Hermansen.

Although no longer visible to the public at the KNCO website, Haas’ KNCO staff profile stated he has almost 30 years of experience as a teacher, county-regional-state program director and school principal. Although the email Haas provided to the Nevada County Elections office appears to be one that he used while at KNCO, the most recent story authored by him was posted at KNCO.com on Dec. 31, 2013.

Haas could not be reached for comment Friday.

Despite pulling papers in consideration of running against Nevada County Treasurer-Tax Collector Tina Vernon a second time, Dai Meagher announced Friday morning he has decided against filing as candidate.

“After careful deliberation, I determined I could not fulfill commitments to my clients, to the several community organizations I serve or to my wife and son, were I to pursue this office at this time,” Meagher wrote in a letter to supporters that he provided to The Union.

“Over the past few years I have come to know Mrs. Vernon, and I can personally attest that she is among the nicest persons I’ve met — and so the impact of another contentious and close election on both our families is something I’m glad to avoid,” Meagher said.

Vernon beat Meagher 19,000 to 18,454 in the November general elections in 2010.

Meagher, 52, is a CPA, fiduciary and financial consultant for his own accounting firm. He also serves as treasurer for Nevada County Television and for Sierra Commons.

“As a CPA and auditor, there are changes that I would like made for the benefit of the office of treasurer and the citizens it serves,” Meagher stated in the letter.

Among the proposed changes Meagher listed in his letter were re-establishing a “Treasury Oversight Committee” to enhance public accountability; prohibiting further use of the personal name of the treasurer as the payee for tax payments — a practice long abandoned by most other counties; enhancing treasury investment reports with additional details and analysis and with improved readability; and the adoption of conflict-of- interest policies that prohibit an elected treasurer from unfairly or inappropriately helping to elect a successor.

“These proposed changes are effectively changes to the policies that Mrs. Vernon inherited from her predecessor,” Meagher stated.

“So I’ve determined I just need to be a little more patient in allowing our current treasurer to implement these changes herself.”

According to the Nevada County Elections Office “unofficial list of candidates,” the following county races will be contested:

Nevada County Supervisor, District 3 — Terry Lamphier (incumbent) and Dan Miller.

Nevada County Supervisor, District 4 — Hank Weston (incumbent), Jedidiah Biagi and Fran Cole.

Nevada County District Attorney — Cliff Newell (incumbent) and David Alkire.

Nevada County Superior Court Judge (Seat 1) — Angela L. Bradrick, Anna Ferguson, Jeff Ingram, Jeffrey A. Lake and Robert Tice-Raskin.

Also filing for a contested race is Heidi Hall, a Grass Valley candidate for U.S. House of Representatives, who will face incumbent Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale).

Running unopposed as of Friday’s deadline are Auditor-Controller Marcia L. Salter, Assessor Sue Horne, Clerk-Recorder/Registrar Gregory J. Diaz, Sheriff Keith W. Royal and Superior Court Judge Linda Sloven (Seat 2).

In Nevada City, incumbent city councilman Duane Strawser filed his campaign papers on Friday morning, according to city staff.

The field of candidates for Nevada City Council also includes Jonathan Valdman and Evan Phelps — but due to Mayor Sally Harris’s decision to step down, the filing deadline has been extended to 5 p.m. Wednesday, March 12.

Staff Writers Ivan V. Natividad and Dave Brooksher contributed to this report.


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The Union Updated Mar 8, 2014 12:47PM Published Mar 10, 2014 06:27PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.