New appointments may signal subtle shift
One of the first tasks for the incoming Board of Supervisors will be to pick people who can help decide the fate of growth and planning in Nevada County.
While there are no new planning commissioners yet, a subtle shift may be taking place behind the scenes.
One of the applicants will likely be retired Nevada Irrigation District Manager Jim Chatigny. The 72-year-old Chatigny headed the powerful water agency for 23 years before retiring last year. After his retirement he stayed on as a paid consultant to the agency, assisting the new manager.
Chatigny, who worked on Supervisor-elect Robin Sutherland’s campaign, said Sutherland asked him to submit an application several weeks ago.
Sharon Boivin, who was outgoing Supervisor Bruce Conklin’s appointment, said she plans to resign from her post because she doesn’t want to be Supervisor-elect Drew Bedwell’s representative. Bedwell didn’t expect Boivin to re-apply for the job since she opposed him in a radio campaign ad.
On Monday, Sutherland and Bedwell take office.
By county ordinance, the terms of Planning Commission appointees end when their appointing supervisor leaves office. And the terms of two previous supervisors’ planning commissioner picks – Boivin and Marshall Goldberg – will come to an end unless they are re-appointed.
Outgoing Fourth District Supervisor Elizabeth Martin appointed Goldberg.
Goldberg, one of three professional planners on the commission, said he is willing to stay on and plans to apply. He said any perceptions that the current commission is “liberal” or “anti-development” are wrong.
In fact, Goldberg said the commission in the past two years has voted against only one project – a school bus barn.
Appointments for the county Planning Commission may be the most important – and most closely watched – of the supervisorial appointments, because the commission has control over general plan changes and development proposals. The five-person commission decides whether projects fit with the county’s general plan, or whether they have to be sent back to the drawing board.
The county is still taking applications for supervisorial districts three and four appointments on the Planning Commission. The deadline to apply is Jan. 13.
Bedwell said three people have told him they’re interested in the job. Bedwell declined to name any of them, and said he has not yet received any formal applications.
Bedwell, a proponent of less government interference, said he would like his pick to have a slow-growth attitude, along with reason and common sense. He said people shouldn’t expect any radical moves.
“We’re going to follow the general plan,” said Bedwell.
Besides the Planning Commission, the county is also taking applications for the Airport Commission, the Building Standards Board of Appeals, Historical Landmarks Commission, and Sewage Disposal Technical Advisory Group.
Reporter Tim Omarzu contributed to this story.
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