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New faces, a moment of nostalgia, then back to business for Nevada City Council

New Nevada City Chief of Police Dan Foss comes from the Central Valley and will begin his tenure Monday. He was introduced to the City Council and community Thursday evening.
Photo: Elias Funez

Lou Ceci fell in love with Nevada City in 1995.

He walked the length of Alexander Street and back, looking at the homes before stopping at a restaurant.

“It was fall and the leaves were turning,” he said.

It took him 20 years to move here, and another seven to become a member of the Nevada City Council.

Ceci and Adam Kline on Thursday were sworn in as the council’s two newest members, joining Daniela Fernandez, Doug Fleming, and Gary Petersen.

New Nevada City Council members Adam Kline (left) and Lou Ceci were sworn in by City Clerk Niel Locke during Thursday’s council meeting.
Photo: Elias Funez

“There’s been a lot leading up to today,” Kline said moments before he took the oath of office. “I ran for a reason, multiple reasons, and I’m excited to work with this council.”

Long-time City Clerk Niel Locke became choked up after administering the oath.

“These are the last two people elected I will swear into office,” he said.

Nevada City voters at the polls decided to change the structure of the city treasurer and city clerk positions. As of July 1, the treasurer is no longer an elected position. As of June 30, 2024, when Locke’s term ends, the city clerk position will also become appointed.

New Nevada City Council members Adam Kline and Lou Ceci draw loud applause at the swearing-in ceremony.
Photo: Elias Funez

The newly sworn members spoke briefly to a crowded council chambers before their first meeting began, thanking their families and supporters.

“I hope to be worthy of the trust you have put in me,” Ceci said.

Kline joked, saying he’d deliver the words the crowd had been waiting to hear.

“You don’t have to stay for the meeting if you don’t want,” he said.

Minutes later, the meeting began.

Both new members pointed to fire as their main priority. Ceci feared that, with different winds, the Rice’s Fire could have threatened Nevada City.

Lou Ceci addresses the crowd after he is sworn in Thursday as a new council member.
Photo: Elias Funez

“This is a beautiful town, but it’s right on the edge of a forest interface,” Ceci said.

Kline said that though he’s one of five voices, he feels like the council is well positioned.

“This council should be able to hit the ground running and get the job done,” he added.

Kline also hopes to help revitalize downtown. He wants to work with the Chamber of Commerce and talk to businesses.

Adam Kline thanked family and friends after being sworn in Thursday.
Photo: Elias Funez

Ceci and Kline were the top-two vote getters in a four-person race for the council. Kline won 863 votes and Ceci took 743. Incumbent Erin Minett took 673 votes, and Ken Merdinger had 140.

Former Mayor Duane Strawser, who opted against running again, spoke briefly during public comment. He thanked interim Police Chief Ted Stec, who’s leaving his position. Strawser said he’s disappointed he won’t have the chance to work with new Police Chief Dan Foss, who starts Monday.

Speaking for about a half minute, Strawser — who served for 12 years — then appeared to take Kline at his word, and left.

Interim Nevada City Chief of Police Ted Stec was honored for his time serving the city and help in hiring new Chief Dan Foss.
Photo: Elias Funez

Alan Riquelmy is the managing editor of The Union. He can be reached at ariquelmy@theunion.com or 530-477-4247

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