Jim Firth files for Grass Valley City Council race | TheUnion.com

Jim Firth files for Grass Valley City Council race

Jim Firth, who earlier this year announced his intention to run for the Grass Valley City Council, made it official today by filing the necessary nomination papers with the city clerk. The election will be held Nov. 4, at which time several city, county, state and federal offices will be decided.

“The city council should reflect the community it serves,” he said. “In that regard, I believe my voice at the council table will help create a better balance of political diversity –– a commonsense voice that will help lead to decisions benefiting the greatest number of citizens.”

Firth, who six years ago retired to Grass Valley from the Bay Area, said he is concerned about the possibility of additional shopping centers and national chain stores squeezing local merchants even more than they’ve been squeezed in recent years.

“The national chains employ local residents, and that’s good,” Firth said, “but they do it at the expense of negatively impacting merchants on Mill Street, Main Street and elsewhere. I believe the city council must do everything possible to help local merchants grow their businesses and place less emphasis on recruiting or encouraging additional shopping center sprawl.”

Firth notes that money spent with local merchants circulates more thoroughly through the community than does money spent at chain stores –– money that is quickly exported to corporate headquarters, often not even in California.

“We need to keep local dollars local,” he explained, “and the best way to do that is for all of us –– the city council included –– to create and maintain an environment that supports our local merchants. When downtown shop owners watch public officials bend over backwards trying to entice more chain stores to locate here, it’s no wonder they get discouraged.”

Firth said he understands the evolving demographic of Grass Valley and Western Nevada County and is not troubled that some have labeled him a San Francisco transplant who doesn’t understand how things are done in a small town.

“If I am able to capture the votes of all Grass Valley residents who were born and raised elsewhere and later moved here, I should win in a landslide,” he joked. “A lot of us are from somewhere else, but it’s not important where we are from,” he said. “What’s important is what we do individually and collectively to help keep Grass Valley the envy of other small towns in this state.”

With his nomination papers filed and election campaign underway, Firth said he looks forward to the next three months.

“This is the beginning of an exciting time,” he noted. “I will be knocking on doors, meeting the men and women I hope to represent for the next four years, and better understanding concerns of citizens who are looking for a fresh, new voice at the council table.”

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