District 3 candidates speak out at forum
Anti-Natural Heritage 2020 candidate Drew Bedwell stumbled when trying to explain how the United Nations was tied to Nevada County’s controversial planning process.
Candidate Mark Johnson slipped trying to justify his curious flip-flop opposition to NH 2020.
And for the most part, incumbent Bruce Conklin didn’t trip at a League of Women Voters District 3 supervisorial election forum held at Center for the Arts in Grass Valley Thursday night.
“The devil’s in the details,” said Bedwell, when asked by the media panel about his previous claims that open-space planning program NH 2020 was a national takings-and-property-right-restrictions conspiracy administered by the federal government and beyond, i.e., the United Nations.
“Administered by the United Nations? … not directly, no,” said Bedwell, who then claimed NH 2020 was being “indirectly” governed through federal agencies such as the “Fish and Game.”
NH 2020 is all about government control and intrusion, said Bedwell, who added property owners can forget about their land if an endangered species or its supporting habitat is found.
When asked when he decided to come out against NH 2020 in light of his appointment to the county Planning Commission by Conklin in December 2000, Johnson said “when the car started sliding down the hill sideways on the ice, if you will.”
Johnson said he reversed his support of NH 2020 because he disagreed with the process the Board of Supervisors followed to promote it.
“I was hopeful it might work, but it hasn’t,” he said.
When asked if he voiced his NH 2020 opposition to Conklin as his appointed planning commissioner, Johnson said, “No, I was never asked.”
Conklin responded to some tough questions from the media regarding split votes on the Board of Supervisors, the Brown Act and retreats for county department heads.
When asked about the board’s perceived tendency to vote four to one, Conklin countered the vote has been a unanimous five to zero more often than a four-to-one split.
“All of us have been the ‘one,’ so we need to break that stereotype,” said Conklin, who touted the board’s ability to hammer out issues despite some differences of opinion.
When the media persisted and implied that too many five-to-zero votes might point to predetermined decisions made behind closed doors, Conklin quickly denied it.
“The process has always been open since I’ve been on the board,” he said.
Conklin said he did not support the county’s recent department heads’ retreat in Placer County.
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