New board sits Horne in driver’s seat |

New board sits Horne in driver’s seat

ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Like a velvet glove of parliamentary procedure enclosing the fist of power, the new majority on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors Tuesday made sure Sue Horne was elected chair, the person in charge of running the meetings.

The first action taken by Horne and the two new conservatives on the board was to cast aside a decision taken a year ago when board members voted to rotate the chair by district number. Following that strategy would have meant Supervisor Peter Van Zant, of District 1, would be chair this year, replacing District 5’s Barbara Green.

Instead, Horne and newly elected conservatives Drew Bedwell and Robin Sutherland voted together to change it to majority vote, with Van Zant and Green abstaining. Bedwell, who requested the vote, said deciding the chair by majority follows state law.

Green then moved that Van Zant be elected chair, “if he would accept it,” whereupon Van Zant shrugged and said, “I don’t think you have a second.”

She did not. Instead, it was moved and seconded by the conservatives that Horne, of District 2, be chair and Sutherland be vice chair. Van Zant and Green joined in to make the votes unanimous.

The position had been rotated sequentially since 2000 when it skipped over then-Supervisor Karen Knecht, a conservative, in favor of then-Supervisor Bruce Conklin, a liberal, according to county records.

After the vote, Horne promised that everyone’s voice will be heard, and that public meetings will be fair and open. Sutherland agreed, saying, “I’d like to put the focus back on the people.”

Bedwell, in his introductory remarks, said he looked forward to making the best of an awkward situation by having a productive board.

During the meeting, the supervisors split on one issue, voting 3-2 to reject a bid by the Yuba Watershed Council to gain a seat on an expanded sewage disposal advisory group.

Two seats for real estate agents and contractors will be added to the group rather than four, which would have included the council and a representative from the health department.

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