Lisa Swarthout announces bid for Nevada County Board of Supervisors
Lisa Swarthout, a former Grass Valley council member and mayor, on Thursday declared her candidacy for the District 3 seat on the Board of Supervisors.
Swarthout emphasized her long record of public service and concerns residents expressed to her as reasons to seek this office.
“I want to help the people of District 3,” said Swarthout. “Yet we all must work for the greater good of the county.”
Swarthout left the Grass Valley City Council in December after serving 25 years in public service — nine of them as a planning commissioner, then as a City Council member starting in 2004, serving twice as mayor. She declined to run for council again in August.
Swarthout declined to comment on current District 3 Supervisor Dan Miller, who hasn’t yet publicly stated whether he’ll run for reelection. Miller declined to comment about Swarthout’s candidacy when contacted Thursday.
According to Swarthout, it’s not too early to declare her candidacy because there are only 10 months before the election. She wants to meet with as many District 3 residents as possible in that time.
Even though she is the only declared candidate, Swarthout noted she believed other candidates will shortly come forward.
The major issues for Swarthout are the prospective reopening of the Idaho-Maryland Mine and cannabis. She noted that she served on the council when Emgold Mining of Vancouver, British Columbia, wanted to reopen the mine, adding she has a lot of experience reviewing environmental documents.
She also recalled the county spent a lot of time to craft an ordinance that allows some cannabis businesses.
“Now is the time to look at the issues and process to see what is working and what is not,” said Swarthout. “As elected officials we are expected to listen to the concerns of the people and figure out how to fix it so that it is working for all concerned.”
Another area needing attention is affordable housing, said Swarthout. She worked with the previous council to expedite the Brunswick Commons apartment complex.
“Affordable housing is extremely complicated,” she said. “Market conditions, costs of labor and building materials go into it. Grass Valley has a long and positive record of providing affordable housing, and I’ve been a part of that for 25 years.”
Regarding the homeless situation, she said every community in California has issues with homelessness.
“We’re lucky we got Hospitality House. I’ll be working with them, getting housing first.” she said. “I’ve also done a lot of work in this area with Continuum of Care as part of the City Council.”
And Swarthout noted she plans to spend plenty of time on road conditions, traffic congestion and waste management issues.
Swarthout is a graduate of Nevada Union High School. She learned the retail trade from her parents, who operated Stucki Jewelers. Swarthout spent more than two decades in the clothing business running the Mill Street Clothing Co. in downtown Grass Valley, and while on the Planning Commission served as a city liaison to the Grass Valley Downtown Association.
She stressed the need to do outreach to residents.
“I want to go to the next level,” she said. “But, of course, we’re all part of the team.”
William Roller is a staff writer for The Union. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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