Three strikes: Vote them out
August 16, 2014
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors conservative majority is consistently making decisions at odds with conservative principles of limited government, individual freedom, and fiscal responsibility. Three recent examples of "big-government" overreach will suffice to illustrate.
The first instance is the proposed outdoor events ordinance. This proposed new regulation was put in motion to suppress nuisances, but it is so overreaching that it will impact the livelihoods of many local businesses to the tune of $15 million dollars or more, according to the Nevada City Chamber of Commerce.
Rather than make rules that address specific problems like loud noises, fire safety or late gatherings, the board is forcing another big government ordinance onto small venues as a first reaction.
Little thought was given to financial impacts on local entrepreneurs, possibly because most of the supervisors making this decision live mainly on career salaries and retirements paid for by taxpayers.
Only a popular revolt by local business leaders delayed a final vote long enough for supervisors ponder the effect on the private sector.
The second instance of government excess is the so-called "emergency" medical marijuana ordinance that the county acknowledged was flawed when they passed the measure two years ago.
In this case, the board's reasoning is that their ordinance promotes law and order, when in fact the reverse is the case.
Harassing small medical marijuana growers with impossible conditions makes room for large illegal growers to flourish. It has taken 11,000 registered voters signing a petition to place Measure S on the ballot to redress for this counterproductive overreach.
The third instance contrary to conservative principles is an attack on property rights. The county's dismissive attitude toward the concerns of two Penn Valley homeowners about having to live next to a large new cellular tower has resulted in another costly lawsuit.
Judge Sean Dowling found the board's actions "as troubling as they are improper." Another aspect of this legal aggression caused the same judge to state that county requirements are "unconstitutionally vague and impossible to enforce."
It appears from these three examples that conservative principle is exactly what is missing with the current board majority, which is backed by the local Republican Party. Evidently, the concepts of limited government, individual freedom, and fiscal responsibility are less important to local party leaders than supporting the "bully boys" they helped put in office.
It is time for rank-and-file Nevada County Republicans (not to mention Tea Party and Libertarian forces) to "vote the rascals out" and replace them with more genuinely conservative candidates.
The current supervisors stand squarely for intrusive, nanny-state government.
It's time to elect people who actually believe — and practice — the idea of limited government.
Don Nelson lives in Grass Valley.
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