Race shapes up for NID board | TheUnion.com

Race shapes up for NID board

Five people have submitted letters to the Nevada Irrigation District’s board of directors in a bid for the Division 5 seat vacated recently by George Leipzig, who served on the board for 16 years.

The four remaining directors will interview and choose an interim director at the Aug. 13 board meeting.

Division 5 stretches from west of Grass Valley to the Yuba County line and includes Penn Valley and Lake Wildwood.

After serving as director since 1992, Leipzig left his post early to move to Oregon. Voters will chose a permanent successor this fall during the November elections.

Nick Wilcox, of Penn Valley, who ran against Leipzig in 2004 and lost by 36 votes, has submitted his name for consideration by the board and plans to run in the November election for the four-year seat.

Wilcox has more than 25 years experience with water quality and water rights issues for a local engineering firm and the state’s water resources control board. He also helped implement standards for water used for drinking and by fish and wildlife in the Delta.

Jack Meeks, of Penn Valley, said his 14 years on the Nevada County Governing Board of Education have given him the leadership needed to fill the board seat. Meeks plans to run in the November election.

John Norton, of Penn Valley, said he would like to serve as director only for the interim. Norton served 28 years with the state’s water resources control board.

Since his retirement in 2005, Norton has sat on the Lake Wildwood Lake Committee and Friends of Deer Creek board. He also is a representative to the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Nevada County Sanitation District.

Martin Harmon, a Penn Valley rancher who claims to have the largest cattle ranch in Nevada County, also threw his hat into the ring.

“I’ve been working with NID my entire life,” Harmon said.

As an agricultural water user and contractor, Harmon said he has an understanding of pipeline projects and has worked with water agencies in the public sector. He would like to see upgrades to canal systems and said he plans to seek election in November.

Retired computer applications programmer Glenn Orren said his community service, coupled with a business and technology background with companies such as Pacific Bell and AT&T, make him a good fit for the board.

Brad Fowler also showed interest but has yet to submit his letter. Fowler sells livestock fencing and is the owner of Goat Works, a business that uses herds of goats to remove brush and vegetation from properties including several owned by NID.

“I do have an honest interest,” Fowler said.

In other NID news:

• The board voted unanimously to elect Division 2 director John Drew of Chicago Park as board president, a title Leipzig carried. Division 4 Director Paul Williams of Lincoln was named vice president.

• The board voted to initiate eminent domain procedures for the acquisition of two easements for a pipeline replacement project in the area of Brunswick and Greenhorn roads.

•Also, the board approved documents for the transfer of employee health care coverage to the California Public Employees Retirement System and to adjust existing plans from 2 percent per year of service at age 55 to 2.5 percent. An employee vote will be held Thursday. If approved, the change will occur in January.

To contact Staff Writer Laura Brown, e-mail lbrown@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

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