Keri Brenner

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August 19, 2014
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Chaplin files to run for seat on Nevada County Consolidated fire board

A second candidate has filed to run to fill a two-year term on the Nevada County Consolidated Fire District board.

Linda Chaplin, 59, of Nevada City, a longtime civic volunteer, filed last week for the position, setting up a contest with former fire engineer Spencer Garrett Jr.

Both Chaplin and Garrett are seeking to fill the unexpired term of board member Ron Pennington, who is scheduled to officially announce his resignation at the board meeting later this week.

According to Nevada County elections law, the resignation of an incumbent affords new potential candidates an extra week past the initial filing deadline — this year it was Friday, Aug. 8 — in which they may file.

The meeting is 7 p.m. Thursday at Station 84, 10135 Coyote St., Nevada City.

“I’d like to see a little more diversity on the board,” said Chaplin, who previously ran for a fire board seat in 2012, but who lost to Bob Rhodes. After Rhodes later resigned, Pennington, who initially had received more votes than Chaplin, was appointed to fill the unexpired portion of his four-year term.

“Some of the same people have been on there for a long time,” Chaplin said. “We need some new energy, new ideas.”

Chaplin, who, if elected, would be the first woman on the board in recent memory, said she has been attending fire board meetings since about 2006 or 2007.

“I believe people should be involved in the community and in local government,” said Chaplin, a former president of the nonprofit Sequoia Challenge, overseeing the development of the Independence Trail near the Yuba River. “I’m particularly interested in the special districts, because for voters and taxpayers, they are the only oversight without multiple layers of bureaucracy.”

Chaplin, the mother of three grown daughters and a Nevada County resident since 1984, is also involved in historical research. She is particularly interested in the Emigrant Trail corridor in south Nevada County.

The corridor, which contains an easement where the county is planning to construct a recreation trail, is scheduled to come before the board of supervisors next week.

“I have lived in other countries, so I have a global perspective,” said Chaplin. “I have a long tradition of community service, and I can provide an independent voice.”

Consolidated’s board was embroiled in controversy in 2012 and 2013 following voter approval of a tax package in March 2012. In 2014, the uproar appears to have settled down somewhat and the board appears to be looking toward a more stable future with the shared services plan announced last week with Grass Valley and Nevada City.

To contact Staff Writer Keri Brenner, email or call 530-477-4239.

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The Union Updated Aug 19, 2014 11:20AM Published Aug 20, 2014 07:50PM Copyright 2014 The Union. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.