Grass Valley Mayor Dan Miller announced his candidacy Thursday for the Nevada County board of supervisors.
As a Grass Valley resident, Miller intends to run for District 3, a seat currently occupied by Terry Lamphier.
Lamphier told The Union that he will run to keep his seat in 2014.
The race began on a contentious note, with both candidates exchanging pointed criticism.
“The main reason (I am running) is because I don’t feel District 3 has been represented well at the county level,” Miller said. “I know from working at the city level there could be better communication, which would be beneficial to District 3.”
Miller said Lamphier does not take time to communicate with members of the Grass Valley City Council in order to understand how the decisions of the intertwined public entities affect each other.
“He never supported Dorsey Drive, and that was frustrating for us,” Miller said.
Miller said he can foster a better and more collaborative relationship between the county and the city.
Lamphier said he was “disappointed that … (Miller) never contacted me to ask for help on any Grass Valley area issues while I’ve … been working to enhance city/county relationships.
“I take pride in successfully assisting Grass Valley district constituents with personal and neighborhood issues,” Lamphier said. “I will continue fighting for job creation that is compatible with our community and that is economically and environmentally sustainable.”
Miller also differentiated himself from Lamphier on the issue of the medical marijuana cultivation ordinance.
Lamphier was the lone dissenting vote when the ordinance was passed in May 2012 and has consistently questioned elements of the ordinance.
“I agree with the ordinance the way it’s written,” Miller said.
Miller, 65, has a year and a half left on his council term, which will expire in 2014. He vowed to honor his commitment to the council, along with his full-time job as an insurance agent. Miller pointed to his 25 years of public service as a qualification for a seat on the board of supervisors, which oversees an annual budget of about $183 million.
“I would have to learn their management style, but I think I could hit the ground running,” he said.
He is serving his third term as a member of the Grass Valley City Council. He was previously elected for two terms from 1989-1996. He served as mayor from 1991-1993.
Miller will make attracting tourism, economic development and fiscal conservatism three of the major planks of his platform, he said. Former Grass Valley Councilwoman Yolanda Cookson will serve as Miller’s campaign manager, he said.
Lamphier painted Miller as someone who favors development over the retention of the small-town quality of life unique to western Nevada County.
“Miller fought for, and supported approval of, a potentially unsafe housing development near our airport,” Lamphier said, referring to the Loma Rica development. “(He) supported the use of $4-plus million of taxpayer bond money — issued to repair the city’s chronic street, water and sewer problems — to be used instead for the new Dorsey interchange. (He) apparently supports the city’s efforts to bring more big box stores to Grass Valley, all arguably ‘Roseville’ type ideas.”
Lamphier said he will make job creation that reflects small-town values, a reduction in crime and environmentally friendly development the key points of his bid for reelection.
Miller and his wife have two daughters, a son and four grandchildren. In addition to the city council, Miller was appointed to the Grass Valley Planning Commission from 1997-2001, according to the city’s website. In 2001 he was elected to the Nevada Joint High School District board of trustees and served as its president from 2003-2005.
Lamphier served on Grass Valley’s Planning Commission in 2005 and was elected to the board of supervisors in 2010.
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