Nevada County supervisors appoint hearing officer over objections |

Nevada County supervisors appoint hearing officer over objections

Nevada County supervisors appointed a new marijuana ordinance hearing officer after a brief back-and-forth with a grow supporter.

Tom Naramore, information systems manager with the county, became the newest hearing officer Tuesday after a unanimous vote of the board. The county now has three such officers to hear appeals about violations of its marijuana cultivation ordinance.

Mark Schaefer, with the No on W Committee, questioned the ability of Naramore to remain impartial and unbiased, citing statements Schaefer claimed he saw Naramore make on social media.

“Appointing hearing officers that cannot be impartial and unbiased would continue to be problematic,” Schaefer said.

Both Supervisor Hank Weston and County Counsel Alison Barratt-Green said Naramore has a First Amendment right to make statements online. Barratt-Green added that hearing officers are selected because of their analytical abilities and work performance.

Supervisor Ed Scofield said he believes Naramore would be impartial before motioning to make the appointment. The vote then passed 5 to zero.

In other matters the board:

• Entered a closed-door session to discuss the case of Soga v. County of Nevada.

Kathleen Soga, a former sheriff’s office employee, claims harassment in her civil suit against the county and Rolf Kleinhans, the chief fiscal and administrative officer with the Nevada County Sheriff’s Office.

The board took no action after returning to open session.

• Unanimously approved a resolution that calls for the appointment of candidates to vacancies on four special district boards.

Four districts failed to garner candidates for the Nov. 8 election — Chicago Park School, Peardale-Chicago Park Fire, San Juan Ridge County Water and Union Ridge School districts.

It’s the supervisors’ responsibility to appoint people to vacancies when they occur. Supervisors have until Nov. 8 to make the appointments.

To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email or call 530-477-4239.

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