Governor asked to fill spot soon
Three Nevada County supervisors, including outgoing Drew Bedwell, urged the governor Tuesday to quickly find a replacement for Bedwell, who is resigning because of a serious illness.
However, the need for a quick appointment expressed by the three more-conservative members was not shared by the board’s two liberal-minded voices, Peter Van Zant and Barbara Green.
Van Zant even called for the governor to appoint Bruce Conklin, the supervisor defeated by Bedwell in a 2002 recount race.
“The logical thing to do is appoint Bruce,” Van Zant said.
That went nowhere with supervisors Robin Sutherland, Sue Horne and Bedwell, nor did the notion of leaving Bedwell’s seat vacant until the November election. That vacuum could create a 2-2 deadlock on the board, stalling important decisions, Horne said.
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“There are critical issues on the plate,” said Horne, specifically pointing to the county budget and updates of the housing and general plans, which she said need to be addressed before November.
Sutherland said Bedwell is on 13 committees and the someone needs to do the work he will miss.
Bedwell announced his resignation last week after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease, a cancer that attacks the lymphatic system. He plans to undergo intensive treatment in the coming months.
The governor’s office has not yet announced whether it will appoint a temporary supervisor for the District 3 seat, which represents much of Grass Valley.
Van Zant said a newly appointed supervisor would be saddled with learning the position while having to run a campaign at the same time for the November race. That would rob the taxpayers of efficient government, Van Zant said.
County attorney Rob Shulman said Arnold Schwarzenegger does not have to make the appointment and “might decide to wait on the election.” Bedwell hinted that an appointment was likely in the works.
“The governor will do what he will do,” Bedwell said. “They are working as quickly as possible, I assure you that.”
Political figures who have said they are considering seeking the appointment are John Spencer, Bedwell’s appointment to the planning commission, and Grass Valley City Councilwoman Linda Stevens.
Former Supervisor Fran Freedle had expressed interest in the spot to the county’s Republican Central Committee, but she was named interim county clerk-recorder on Monday to fulfill the 21Ú2 years left in Lorraine Jewett-Burdick’s term .
Those who wish to run for Bedwell’s seat on Nov. 2 can file with the county clerk’s office beginning Friday.
That is when potential candidates can get petitions to collect in-lieu signatures that would get them out of paying part or all of the $371 filing fee. Those signatures are due July 22.
The period for nomination documents and an optional candidate’s statement of qualifications for the voter information pamphlet is July 12 through Aug. 6, according to Jewett-Burdick’s office.
The elections office at 10433 Willow Valley Road, Suite E, at the county HEW Complex in Nevada City has candidate handbooks, which explain the election process.
Candidates for special districts for the Nov. 2 ballot can file from July 12 through Aug. 6. There are no filing fees for those posts.
For more information, call the elections office at 265-1298.
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