Martin: ‘NH 2020 move not meant to sway voters’
Fallout from Supervisor Elizabeth Martin’s call to disband the Community Advisory Committee and finish the Natural Heritage 2020 process by July has some shaking their puzzled heads and others saying “I told you so.”
But while some try to decipher the motivation behind Martin’s move and others gloat, Martin said her desire to end NH 2020 is in no way an act of desperation to sway voters opposed to the controversial planning process in the November general election.
“I really want to emphasize that my whole entire motivation here is to respond to the CAC,” Martin said Thursday. “They made it clear when we asked them to join on that it was just a two-year commitment.”
Martin said she came to the conclusion that NH 2020 should be finished upon completion of the recreation, forestry and agriculture recommendations following last month’s CAC meeting.
CAC members said the program was so far behind that the NH 2020 work plan time line would have to be extended by “many, many months and many tens of thousands of dollars,” Martin said.
“I didn’t buy into that. We agreed to a certain time limit and a certain amount of money, and I’m just not going to agree to another cent,” she said. “So basically that means we’re going to honor our original time line and get it done. We’re just going to do a few things and do them well.”
Calvin Clark said Martin’s explanation for wanting to stop NH 2020 sounds a lot like the grounds for his recall effort against the District 4 supervisor, which fizzled for lack of signatures last summer.
Clark based his campaign to oust Martin in part on her vote “to spend constituents’ tax dollars on fiscally open-ended resolutions and measures without researching and presenting a financial impact report to the public.”
Now the Rough and Ready resident is saying “I told you so.”
“It’s real ironic what’s going on with Izzy Martin,” Clark said Friday. “I think it’s a political ploy for her campaign because now she can say she’s balancing the budget. But where’s the $200,000 Martin threw into the wind?” Clark asked.
Clark said it’s nice that Martin wants to disband what he refers to as the “Community Advisory Cover-up Committee” and stop NH 2020.
“But they should terminate all resolutions regarding NH 2020 immediately, including the landowners’ bill of rights, and she should resign, in that order,” Clark said. “She’s an embarrassment to all the constituents in District 4 and this proves it. She headed up the biggest land plunder scam Nevada County has ever known.”
Unfortunately, other important issues have been neglected while so much money has been wasted on NH 2020, said Martin’s political opponent, Robin Sutherland.
“After ignoring a petition signed by 8,700 residents and denying the county a right to vote on NH 2020, now Supervisor Martin has unilaterally decided to stop the process,” Sutherland said. “In my opinion, this is nothing more than an orchestrated attempt by her campaign managers to distance NH 2020 from her campaign trail, and more importantly, to quickly pass the restrictive habitat mapping of private property while she still controls the process.”
Sutherland said she’s not convinced that Martin wants to kill the NH 2020 process, which she said Martin has strongly supported since day one.
“I believe that the public should be provided with full disclosure from all parties involved in NH 2020,” Sutherland said. “Since the public has repeatedly heard there is nothing to hide, I would assume that the Sierra Business Council would be more than willing to open their doors and books. I am also curious about the location of the database, the maps and identity of those involved with the collection and analysis of that information.”
“I don’t get it,” said Nevada City resident Mark Hall. “The opposition was screaming to stop the NH 2020 process and now that Martin is stopping it, they’re screaming something else.”
But Hall said Martin is simply responding to the public’s jaded perception of the program and the controversy surrounding it, which he said was created and fueled by the opposition.
“It’s been more of a battle of perception instead of reality,” said Hall, who’s kept an ear to the progress of the NH 2020 planning process since it began in summer 2000. “I don’t think NH 2020 has ever been part of a United Nations conspiracy and that perception has ruined an opportunity for the local community to make recommendations and decisions for themselves.”
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