State of Jefferson supporters will deliver signatures this week to elections officials
Supporters of the State of Jefferson on Tuesday told the Nevada County Board of Supervisors they would deliver some 5,500 signatures to the elections office this week — an essential step in getting the issue on the ballot.
Eddie Garcia held a thick stack of papers containing the signatures, saying he’ll bring them to the elections office at 10 a.m. Thursday. Elections officials will then verify the signatures before the Board of Supervisors votes to place it on the ballot.
Garcia wants the issue before voters in the June primary election. However, a tight timeline could easily push it to November.
“It has been very obvious to me for quite some time that this board does not support the idea of forming a new state with Nevada County a part of it,” Garcia said. “From public statements and my personal conversations with all my friend supervisors, that fact has been made abundantly clear.”
The State of Jefferson ballot question would have no effect if it passed at the ballot box. Instead, Garcia and others hope it would persuade the Board of Supervisors to pass a resolution stating they favor joining the new state.
Several others spoke in favor of the new state at the board meeting, including Garcia’s wife. Nancy Garcia, who is served as president of the Nevada County Tea Party Patriots, disagreed with some claims that the new state would fail financially. She argued that California’s finances already are in trouble and is burdened with hundreds of government agencies.
“We will be able to preserve and grow our industries and small businesses and create jobs for the next generation,” she said.
Margaret Joehnck, Nevada County coordinator with Keep It California, urged supervisors to request studies before allowing the Jefferson question to reach voters. She asked for reports on the new state’s fiscal impact, ability to meet housing needs, impact on infrastructure funding, ability to draw and keep businesses and jobs, as well as its impact on agriculture, open spaces and traffic.
Joehnck asked for the studies to begin immediately, allowing enough time for voters to examine them before casting their votes.
In other matters, the board:
• Entered a closed-door session for about 30 minutes to review its position and instruct its labor negotiator; to discuss its exposure to a lawsuit; and to examine the possibility of filing suit.
• Honored 83 county employees who reached service milestones.
• Heard an update about a state-mandated organic recycling program. According to Steven Castleberry, the county’s Public Works director, the county will identify businesses and multi-family homes affected by the new law, educate them about their new requirements and discover new opportunities for organic recycling.
“Based on what we see today, we think we’re going to be in compliance,” Castleberry said.
• Unanimously voted to apply for federal funds that, if granted, will enable the county to secure a reduced interest rate on $10.5 million in bonds for a solar panel project.
• Unanimously approved the rezoning of eight Business Park districts into Light Industrial zones.
Many of the rezonings are in the Grass Valley or Rough and Ready areas. Other former Business Park areas are near Highway 49 and Combie Road, Penn Valley and along Bitney Springs Road.
The rezonings came after the Planning Commission last year recommended the change for some 850 acres across the county.
To contact Staff Writer Alan Riquelmy, email email@example.com or call 530-477-4239.
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