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Candidates agree: growth, traffic big issues

Growth and traffic problems are among the main issues the Grass Valley City Council will face during the next several years, the five candidates running for a pair of four-year terms on the City Council said at a forum Friday.

Present were Patti Ingram, vice mayor and a senior escrow officer; Thomas Reagan, a member of the Parks and Recreation Commission and an emergency medical technician; Lisa Swarthout, the chairwoman of the Planning Commission and the owner of a clothing store on Mill Street; Gerard Tassone, city councilman and a consultant; and Newell Taylor, a plumber and concerned citizen.

Ingram is running for a second term and Tassone for a fifth term.



City officials have discussed annexing four large properties and the Glenbrook Basin.

Reagan said no one can stop growth. The challenge during the next two years, he said, will be moving traffic through the city and addressing the shortage of parking.




Public safety needs to grow along with the city, he said. Firefighters should be trained as paramedics to provide advanced life support more quickly, he said.

Taylor said new development proposals should be considered on a first-come, first-serve basis. The public should be more involved in the development process, he said. There are a lot of adversarial groups, he said, and conflict resolution should be part of the process.

Ingram, who said the City Council’s job is to keep the city viable financially, said the city needs to make sure public services continue to be provided for all the people who live here. The city should apply for all the grants available, she also said.

Tassone said the city can be choosy about what property it chooses to annex. The city needs to concentrate on building work force housing – not apartment complexes, he said. “We don’t need any more apartment complexes in Grass Valley, thank you.”

Swarthout said the city needs to update its zoning ordinance, the rules that govern planning in the city. She favors a roundabout for the Idaho Maryland -East Main intersection. Without that, she added, there could be a moratorium on development.

The forum, organized by the Grass Valley Nevada County Chamber of Commerce, the Nevada County Contractor’s Association and the Nevada County Business Association, drew a crowd of 30, including county, city and business representatives.

The municipal elections are Nov. 5.


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