Bedwell wants signs removed
Nevada County District 3 supervisor-elect Drew Bedwell says it’s time to take down the anti-Natural Heritage 2020 signs.
But he also said Wednesday the NH2020 controversy will survive if the supervisor he recently beat, Bruce Conklin, calls for an election recount.
Founder of a grass-roots property rights movement formed in opposition to the county’s embattled and defunct land-use planning program, Bedwell said his first request as supervisor-elect is that all owners of the signs remove them “in the interest of community civility.”
The remnants of the property rights struggle that divided the county and led to the downfall of two incumbent supervisor began sprouting along county roadways in the fall of 2000.
Those opposed to Bedwell’s cause called the signs a blight on the community while land owners behind the Protect Your Property Rights movement said they were simply exercising their right to free speech by planting the signs on their land.
Bedwell stressed that the signs belong to the property owners who bought and had them erected and it’s their decision to keep or remove them.
“It’s their call,” Bedwell said …. “Since ol’ Drew started the deal, the least I could do is ask (that they) come down.”
Bedwell requests that property owners with the signs call sign chairman Bill Forcum at 477-0630.
“He will arrange to have the work done and the signs disposed of if necessary,” Bedwell said. “We don’t want anyone getting hurt.”
Forcum said there’s about 30 of the 4-by-8-foot signs throughout the county. Some can be seen along highways 49, 20 and 174.
“Those signs are the people’s signs and it’s their responsibility to take them down,” Forcum said. “If they can’t take them down, then we’ll help them.”
The Protect Your Property Rights and Citizens for Property Rights In Nevada County groups also sold about 250, two-by-two foot signs.
“Most of the two-by-twos are gone, but if there’s any left, we’ll take them down too,” Forcum said.
While Bedwell anticipates that most property owners will comply with his request, he said the plan’s only glitch is the possibility of a recount.
Final election results posted by the county Elections Office Tuesday tabbed Bedwell as winner by 19 votes over incumbent Bruce Conklin.
“I would venture to guess that most people will agree to take them down,” Bedwell said. “But if Conklin calls for a recount, then everything’s up in the air and they may be reluctant” to do so.
Conklin declined to say Wednesday whether he’ll call for a recount or not. He has until Monday to submit such a request with the county Elections Office.
While the Board of Supervisors voted to end the county’s controversial land-use planning program in July, Bedwell still asks the question, “is NH2020 really dead?”
“Only if Bruce Conklin concedes and yours truly becomes the Supervisor for District 3,” Bedwell said. “Otherwise, NH2020 is very much alive and well.”
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