County Supervisor, District 4 (Penn Valley Area) | TheUnion.com
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County Supervisor, District 4 (Penn Valley Area)

Rene Antonson

Age: 60



Occupation: Business-man

Residence: Grass Valley




Family: wife Janet

Local Affiliations: Director, Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce

What’s the biggest, most important issue facing the county and how will you address it if elected?

The biggest issue facing Nevada County is Natural Heritage 2020 and what it is doing to our county – it is dividing this county like no other issue ever has. In my 22 years in Nevada County, I cannot think of any Board of Supervisors that has shown such a total disregard for the opinions or concerns of the citizens of Nevada County. NH 2020 is being pushed by a small group of extremists with total disregard for property rights. I do not support more government regulations that will hinder development of private property. I will work to bring all the stakeholders together to solve planning issues just like I did when I was a supervisor.

What leadership quality can you bring to county government that separates you from the other candidates?

A supervisor is the voice of the people , not a social engineer. I have been in management positions most of my life. The one thing I learned a long time ago is that in order to be a good leader, you have to listen and respect opinions of others and work as a team, whether in the private sector or government.

Why should the citizens of Nevada County vote for you?

Experience in county government, knowing the issues and having the skills to solve them, is what separates me from the other candidates. More than any other candidate, I have taken the time to attend meetings at the Board of Supervisors and have taken part in discussions on issues like NH 2020, Wild and Scenic, the budget and other important issues facing Nevada County. We have major issues and decisions to make in the next few years. Either we work together to solve these difficult issues or we will continue to waste time and resources. Vote for common sense. Vote for Rene Antonson for District 4 Supervisor.

Michael Harris

Age: 46

Occupation: Wholesale florist/broker

Residence: Lake Wildwood

Immediate family: Wife and children ages 16, 14 and 8

Local Affiliations: American Legion, Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce, Channel 44, FCAT.

What’s the biggest, most important issue facing the county and how will you address it if elected?

District 4 has become a destination for my generation to find a permanent and beautiful area where children may live free from the calamity affecting a great majority of this state. As more families, retirees and others move in, services which once were adequate are now barely passing the test, and more importantly, are failing; i.e., emergency response, road capacity, medical facilities, education and recreation/ entertainment. District 4 needs a full service hospital and a high school associated with a new school district. District 4 needs economic development. District 4 needs the rodeo to return and needs someone to protect our natural resources and property rights, not from over development, but from government acquisition.

What leadership quality can you bring to county government that separates you from the other candidates?

When America needed soldiers, I became a soldier. That was in 1972 at age 17. Here I am in 2002 and America needs compassionate, yet strong, honest leaders. Come November it will be 30 years almost to the date I enlisted in the Army, and here again I offer my enlistment for 4 years as an elected “leader” to pursue and accomplish the task of bringing District 4 to a more prosperous plateau. Married 18 years, raising three children, running two businesses – I was stopped at 140 units of college due to a medical problem, which along with raising those children, building business, volunteering time, fighting political battles, I had to learn to walk all over again. These are traits of a die-hard and a potential great supervisor.

Why should the citizens of Nevada County vote for you?

How often has the person you voted for misrepresented their real position on common issues affecting your life? Can you really elect the right person if only rhetoric and crib-notes depicts that person’s platform? I think not! I am Mike Harris and can honestly say that my only objective for this win is to bring District 4 to a better place; one of harmony and prosperity. Both the left and right will find refuge by electing me to my first term in office. I place no importance on party affiliation, only that which benefits the people as a whole, not a segment or slice. I ask District 4 to give me my first opportunity to access government for we the people instead of they of the “agendas.” Thank you.

Elizabeth Martin

Age: 44

Occupation: County Supervisor/farmer

Residence: Penn Valley

Family: Husband, Mike Pasner, 49; son, Jake Martin Pasner, 11; and daughter Yara Martin Pasner, 6.

Local Affiliations: Penn Valley Community Association, Ready Springs Parent Teacher Club, Rough and Ready Chamber of Commerce, and the Community Alliance with Family Farmers.

Professional Affiliations: Nevada County Farm Bureau and certified organic by the California Certified Organic Farmers.

What’s the biggest, most important issue facing the county and how will you address it if re-elected?

The biggest challenge facing Nevada County is the economy, and threatened budget cuts from the state that could threaten basic services. We need a supervisor experienced in advocating for the people of our county at the state level. I helped secure $400,000 for mental health programs and supported additional money for emergency heating and power assistance during the energy crisis last winter. Fortunately, our prudent planning over the last several years leaves us with budget reserves exceeding $12 million. By reforming county government we’re delivering better services for less money.

What leadership quality can you bring to county government that separates you from the other candidates?

Some talk about polarization, but I would rather celebrate our county’s accomplishments. Working with public agencies, nonprofits and businesses in a new set of partnerships forged by this Board of Supervisors, we have begun addressing vital concerns about the airport, long-term care, affordable housing, agriculture, mental health and more. I take the job of listening to the people very seriously. My commitment to listening to and working with our citizens began in 1991, when I was appointed to the Planning Commission, and I have been active in the civic life of our county ever since.

Why should the citizens of Nevada County vote for you?

I was elected in 1998 vowing to protect our quality of life, reform county government, save taxpayers money, and improve county services. We’ve made progress on all fronts. Nevada County made public safety a priority, gave a 28 percent pay raise to our deputy sheriffs, and saw crime drop 34 percent. We cut red tape to support economic development, secured $1 million for new health programs, and adopted the county’s first affordable housing plan. We must continue to plan for the next 50,000 people we know are coming. I hope to continue to serve as your advocate.

Bill Steele

Age: 80 plus

Occupation: Entrepreneur

Residence: North San Juan

Family: Wife Toki, son 55, daughter 50, and nine grandchildren

Local Affiliations: Veterans of Foreign Wars

What’s the biggest, most important issue facing the county and how will you address it if elected?

Nevada County is cursed with corrupt and felonious leaders that are steeped in drugs, greed and money. Should I win this election I will be seated at the same level as our Superior Court judges and I can demand an in-depth audit on four departments and ferret out the problem people, who will in turn be brought before the courts for punitive decisions leading to possible jail time. Charges could range from fraud to murder. We can then set up a system that will not allow this to happen in the future.

What leadership quality can you bring to county government that separates you from the other candidates?

I was born with the power of extrapolation – the ability to plan ahead. I see this county growing in the next 20 years and it is up to those who work in the people’s best interests to ensure this growth will have a planned infrastructure in place to facilitate this growth. This would range from treated water and a regional processed sewage plant. Also, we should have roadways plus easements, all answering to an engineered feasibility study for the entire south half of Nevada County. We should seek joint studies with our neighboring counties so as to meld with their plans. We should privatize several of our “service functions” such as the county airport, the building department and the transportation and sanitation departments, and get down to the business of administering to make this county truly functional. Our job is not to make more money, it is to spend it more wisely.

Why should the citizens of Nevada County vote for you?

The people need someone like me to lead the way and to “remind” the bureaucracy they are working in the best interests of the people. The paid vacation is over – it’s time to go back to work for the people.

Robin Sutherland

Age: 39

Occupation: Business owner

Residence: Grass Valley

Family: Husband, Patrick; and stepdaughter, Julie, 13

Local Affiliations: Nevada County Republican Womens Federated, CABPRO, IRWA, Coalition for Adequate School Housing

What’s the biggest, most important issue facing the county and how will you address it if elected?

We need to put the focus back on our community by fixing our roads and infrastructure, providing workforce and senior housing, and ensuring public safety, and that local services are available to those who can’t help themselves. I am endorsed by state Sen. Rico Oller, the Deputy Sheriffs Association and the local CDF firefighters.

What leadership quality can you bring to county government that separates you from the other candidates?

As we have seen with NH 2020, our elected officials have not listened to the people. Environmental studies were already completed for the 1995 General Plan, zoning regulations were set in place at that time. Many people worked hard in the NH 2020 working groups. However, elected officials must recognize that most people just don’t want NH 2020. I respect the wishes of the people. Citizens need to know that their elected officials are fully accountable to them and that the highest level of fiduciary responsibility to the public is seriously, sincerely enforced.

Our elected officials/administrators recently declared that Nevada County is a “large corporation.” In truth, government is operated off the taxpayer’s hard earned dollar. I will strive to ensure that every time an expenditure is approved, the public is assured that it is the most cost-effective alternative and a “necessity” to the community. I’ll also adamantly defend our “local control” of government operations and our natural resources including forests, rivers and streams.

Why should the citizens of Nevada County vote for you?

I bring over 17 years of solid government and general business experience to the table in the fields of accounting, auditing, computer science and public real estate. I’ve worked with various state departments, counties, cities, school districts and nonprofits. As the state public school facilities program’s staff real estate officer, I was responsible for millions of dollars of site acquisition funding each year. My experience and hard work will be an invaluable asset to the county. Please vote for me on March 5. I will work for you.


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