Retired Nevada County firefighter takes Consolidated board spot |

Retired Nevada County firefighter takes Consolidated board spot

A retired firefighter-engineer for Nevada County Consolidated Fire District appeared to be elected to the district board over a long-time fire station neighbor who vowed to present a “fresh perspective” and more diversity in district leadership, according to unofficial returns.

Also, two of four candidates appeared to be heading for victory in the Penn Valley Fire Protection District board race.

In unofficial results of the Consolidated race, with 84 of 84 precincts reporting, Spencer Garrett Jr., 59, who was on staff at Consolidated for 21 years before retiring in January 2013, was leading by 4,581 votes, or 76.70 percent, over opponent Linda Chaplin, 59, who has lived next to Station 86 on Banner Mountain for several decades, with 1,392 votes, or 23.30 percent.

Election officials said there were still more than 10,000 vote-by-mail ballots to be counted.

Garrett will serve the remaining two years of the unexpired term of former board member Ron Pennington, who resigned.

Meanwhile, in the race for two seats on the Penn Valley Fire Protection District board, the top two vote-getters of four candidates appeared to be John Pelonio, with 1,175 votes, or 26.35 percent, and Bruce Stephenson, with 1,716 votes, or 38.48 percent, according to unofficial results. Rick Nolle had 1,130 votes, or 25.34 percent, and William Adam Grizzell had 438 votes, or 9.82 percent.

Both candidates in the Consolidated fire board race, in a recent interview, had voiced strong opinions on some of the current staffing and budget decisions facing the district.

The race was affected in recent days by a technological glitch in ballots for 139 people in one of the Consolidated Fire District voting areas. The ballots for those 139 people did not include the Garrett-Chaplin contested race.

Elections office staff, working on overtime over the weekend, notified each affected voter and offered them alternative ballot options.

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

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