Cookson to run for Grass Valley council |

Cookson to run for Grass Valley council

Yolanda Cookson, who applied for a spot on the Grass Valley City Council last year, will run for the office in November’s election.

The city would benefit from having the perspective of a younger person, said Cookson, who is 30. She took out papers from Grass Valley City Hall on Monday and has until Aug. 8 to gather enough signatures to run, she added.

Cookson has been attending City Council meetings regularly for 21Ú2 years, and more recently, talking with city employees and officials to learn more about how things work, she said Tuesday.

“Grass Valley is a growing city with a lot to offer, and I want to be an integral part of making sure that, when development happens, it’s done in a respectful and thoughtful manner,” Cookson said.

Cookson didn’t specify what kind of development she wants to see happen or particular concerns, but said developers would benefit from having clearer guidelines about what the city wants in new construction.

“I don’t want big-box stores,” Cookson said. “I want to keep the small-town atmosphere.”

The city also would benefit from growth that brings more high-technology jobs, she said.

Cookson was among 11 people who applied for a city council seat after Councilman Dean Williams resigned in late 2006. This year, three council seats will be up for election – those occupied by Mayor Mark Johnson, Vice Mayor Lisa Swarthout and Williams’ replacement, Councilwoman Janet Arbuckle.

She also was a candidate for the city planning commission.

Cookson works at Placer Title, in Grass Valley, and has been there since she moved to the area from San Jose in 2003.

Cookson graduated from the Nevada County Community Leadership Institute in 2007. She helped found the Nevada County Suicide Prevention Task Force, and she continues to serve as their communications coordinator.

She also is the charter president of the Rotaract Club of Nevada County, the youth arm of Rotary International. The local chapter was started last year.

The daughter of Polish immigrants, Cookson is married, and the couple recently bought their first home. She attends Sierra College, taking general education courses.

To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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