Swarthout wears 2 hats in dealing with public | TheUnion.com
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Swarthout wears 2 hats in dealing with public

As a downtown business owner, Grass Valley Councilwoman Lisa Swarthout finds it impossible to hide from the public – but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

For nearly 30 years, Swarthout either has owned a downtown business or helped and watched her parents run theirs.

Her parents owned Stucki Jewelers for 28 years starting in 1977, and Swarthout has owned Mill Street Clothing Co. for nearly 18 years.



“I love the downtown,” said Swarthout, 44. “It keeps you in touch.”

Every week, someone walks into her store to voice an opinion, said Swarthout, who was elected to her first term on the council three years ago.




She also carries her business owner acumen into her role as councilwoman.

“That’s not to say government should run like a business,” Swarthout said. “But we need to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and get the most bang for our buck.”

With numerous proposed housing projects and a tight budget, Swarthout has a lot to worry about.

Swarthout and Mayor Mark Johnson sit on the council’s budget subcommittee.

The council’s first budget hearing is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday in the City Council chambers at 125 East Main St.

She said she doesn’t have an agenda or pet project. “I have a responsibility to look at all sides of the issue,” Swarthout said.

The longtime resident was on the city planning commission for nine years before her 2004 election.

Swarthout’s tenure on the planning commission was more formative for her role as an elected official than her time as a downtown business owner, she said.

“It taught me what people can and can’t do with their property,” Swarthout said of the commission. “It was a good education.”

Swarthout graduated from Chico State University with a bachelor’s degree in communications. She is married to Chris Therrien.

The councilwoman said she keeps too busy as an elected official and downtown business owner to have time for a hobby.

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To contact Staff Writer Greg Moberly, e-mail gregm@theunion .com or call 477-4234.


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