Voters must now decide |

Voters must now decide

Control of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors and the county’s future policy toward development are the two high-stakes issues that could be decided in today’s general election.

Voters will also be asked to decide the makeup of more than a dozen fire district and school boards, seats on the Truckee Town Council and Grass Valley City Council, and three slots on the Nevada Irrigation District board.

Extension of the current library sales tax and approval of seven new fire district revenue measures are also on the ballot.

In all, 94 different ballots will be presented to the county’s voters. County Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick made her usual prediction Monday of a 100 percent turnout.

Statewide, the turnout is expected to be in the range of 58 percent.

Measure D, the property rights claims initiative, has attracted attention nationally and generated heated debate locally. Neither side is ready to claim victory.

Margaret Urke, executive director of the California Association of Business, Property and Resource Owners, a major backer of the issue, said the race may be too close to call.

“I never predict anything,” she said Monday. “I think we could have done a better job of getting the word out. From the very beginning of this campaign, we needed more time.”

Urke said Measure D supporters raised $43,000 to promote the initiative, which would set up a reimbursement process for property owners whose land is devalued because of county regulations.

Supervisor Peter Van Zant, one of the leading opponents of the measure, said Monday he is confident voters will defeat it.

“I continue to find that the more people know about Measure D, the more the opposition mounts,” he said. “When people understand it’s a law they’ll have to pay for, they’re against it.”

Still, Van Zant added, “I’m biting my fingernails.”

Pro-growth forces are also taking aim at two incumbent supervisors, Bruce Conklin in District 3 and Elizabeth Martin in District 4.

Conklin is being challenged by Drew Bedwell, who narrowly defeated the incumbent in the primary – 2,251 to 2,116 – but didn’t get the 50 percent plus one vote needed to avoid a runoff.

Conklin said Monday he feels good about his chances, while Bedwell characterized his chance as “better than even.”

The incumbent was still walking neighborhoods and knocking on doors Monday, while Bedwell said he’ll work the phones today and drive his well-known pickup truck from precinct to precinct.

“All indications are that it’s going to be a close race,” Bedwell said. “If we win, we expect the results to be contested, and we’re prepared for that.”

In District 4, Martin faces Robin Sutherland and former supervisor Rene Antonson, a write-in candidate.

Martin said she plans to vote early today then join a “get out the vote” sign-waving effort at the corner of Spenceville Road and Penn Valley Drive.

Sutherland plans an early breakfast and then some last-minute campaigning at businesses in Penn Valley and Rough and Ready before she votes.

Antonson doesn’t plan an campaign activities after voting today, figuring voters have made up their minds. But he did order some radio ads during the last few days of the campaign to generate votes.

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