Former Nevada City mayor and distinguished civic leader Paul Matson has been selected as the 2013 recipient of the Col. William H. “Bill” Lambert Award.
The Lambert Award award is presented annually by the Famous Marching Presidents of Nevada City to recognize outstanding contributions to Nevada City and the Nevada City way of life. The award is named in honor of the late Col. William H. Lambert, founder of Nevada City’s annual Constitution Day Parade.
The Marching Presidents announce the award each year on the eve of the annual parade, in which the organization participates. This year’s 47th Annual Constitution Day Parade rolls through the downtown historic district beginning at 2 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 8.
Matson will serve as official parade announcer as he has for several years and will be honored after the event at the Marching Presidents’ annual post-parade awards banquet at Miners Foundry.
“Many of us remember Bob Paine, who was known as ‘Mr. Nevada City,’” said Marching Presidents founder David Parker, who will present the award. “To me, Paul Matson is also a ‘Mr. Nevada City.’ ... Nevada City is a much better place, thanks to him.”
Matson, a Nevada City resident since 1974, is a former four-term mayor who served five elected terms (1978-98) on the Nevada City Council, becoming the longest-serving councilman in city history.
In 1998 he served as co-chair of Measure S, a sales tax measure that was supported by 80 percent of city voters and raised $7 million for city streets and sidewalks. In 2012, he served as chair and campaign manager for Measure L, a second sales tax increase which won 72 percent voter approval for law enforcement funding and limited water rate increases.
Matson is currently chairing the Nevada City Courthouse Committee, which aims to keep the county courthouse downtown and restore its original architecture. He also serves as president of the Miners Foundry board of directors.
He’s a U.S. Army veteran who served in Vietnam as a scout dog handler.
“I love the Constitution Day Parade, what it stands for and what it says about Nevada City,” said Matson. “I knew and respected Bill Lambert, and I’m absolutely thrilled to receive the Bill Lambert Award.”
Past recipients of the Lambert Award are retired City Manager Beryl P. Robinson Jr., former Mayor and City Clerk Cathy Wilcox-Barnes, former parade organizers George and Pat Harper, city councilman and former Mayor Pat Dyer, the late real estate broker Jim Mackey, local writer Dave Carter, Chamber of Commerce Executive Manager Cathy Whittlesey, former Mayor Steve Cottrell, businessman Bob Buhlis, retired Nevada County General Services Director Dennis Cassella, John Christensen, a leader of community efforts to establish the Nevada County Narrow Gauge Railroad Museum; cartoonist R.L. “Crabman” Crabb, business owners Lee and Susan Thurston, Nevada City Public Works Director Verne Taylor, the late historian Edwin Tyson, the late folksinger/activist U Utah Phillips, city engineer Bill Falconi, Marching Presidents organizer Patti Foster, retired school administrator Karen Chizek, musician Mikail Graham, retired county librarian Madelyn Helling and local builder Gary Tintle. Marching Presidents founder David Parker was presented the award in 2007 to mark the group’s 20th anniversary.
For reliable information on U.S. Presidents, see http://americanpresident.org.
“I love the Constitution Day Parade, what it stands for, and what it says about Nevada City. I knew and respected Bill Lambert and I’m absolutely thrilled to receive the Bill Lambert Award.”
— Paul Matson