Nevada County Executive Officer Haffey discusses recent resignations  |

Nevada County Executive Officer Haffey discusses recent resignations 

Matthew Renda
Staff Writer

Nevada County Executive Officer Rick Haffey said he is loath to lose two of his most productive employees but also does not want to stand in the way of career development.

Last week, Haffey announced that Wesley Nicks, director of environmental health, was occupying the same position in neighboring Placer County. The resignation represented the second in as many weeks, as Dr. Karen Milman announced she was taking a job as the prevention division director at the Seattle and King County Public Health Department in Washington state.

"I'm disappointed with the two resignations, as they are two young people who are on their way up," Haffey said. "They are two of our top performers, but they are mid-career, and it makes sense for them."

Placer County is two and a half times the size of Nevada County, Haffey said, which makes it attractive for people looking to further their careers.

Despite losing Milman and Nicks, Haffey said he is not unduly worried about attracting good people to the positions.

"We've gone through these cycles before," he said.

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Nicole Pollack, the new director of the Nevada County Social Services Department, was serving as a deputy director of the Human Services Agency in Merced County when she began interviewing for the job, so Nevada County is no stranger to gathering employees from smaller counties, Haffey said.

Underground tank

clean-up complete

The county completed cleanup operations relating to leakage from five underground Nevada City storage tanks.

In November 1993, five underground storage tanks were removed from the old corner gas station at 436 Broad St. in downtown Nevada City, according to the weekly County Memo distributed by Haffey. The building is now a successful real estate office.

Gas, diesel and other petroleum hydrocarbons were discovered to have leaked into the soil and ground water at that time, the memo states. During over-excavation activities, one additional 200-gallon storage tank was discovered and removed.

Between June 1997 and May 2010, six monitoring wells were installed at the site (four onsite and two offsite) along with the performance of 10 soil borings and 12 soil vapor borings. Geocon Consultants Inc. conducted oxygen injection into MW-2 and MW-4 from July 2006 until January 2009. Oxygen injection was suspended to evaluate the effectiveness of the treatment and determine if additional action was necessary.

All domestic wells within a 2,000-foot radius were evaluated to ensure that there no public health threat remains from this release, the memo states.

Additional recent groundwater and human health risk assessments data clearly indicated that the site was a candidate for a low-risk closure as prescribed by the State Water Resources Control Board.

To contact Staff Writer Matthew Renda, email or call (530) 477-4239.

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