Consider a ‘Volunteering’ Opportunity for 2020
Well a whole new year is upon us and what an exciting year that it is going to be. I want to thank all the community members who came out to the 2020 Penn Valley Town Hall Meeting last month to help kick off the new year.
The Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce sponsors and hosts the event every January providing a wonderful opportunity to get important updates and learn about issues that our community will be facing in the upcoming year.
The event was well attended and included speakers Sheriff Shannan Moon, Superintendent of Penn Valley Union Elementary School District Dr. Torie England, Lake Wildwood President Mark Bailey, Penn Valley Chamber of Commerce President Mike Mastrodonato, and myself. It was a wonderful event, with attendees getting some terrific updates for our area.
To help kick-off the year, the Nevada County Board of Supervisors also holds its annual workshop in January to discuss the most pressing issues facing the County and identify the highest priority issues for action. The priority objectives are then adopted by the Board in early February to provide the County direction on those issues that may not be considered core services the County already provides. In 2019, some of the priority objectives included prevention and response to wildfire, homelessness, and housing – to name a few.
As many have you have seen, the County launched an initiative called Ready Nevada County that included sending out the Ready Set Go Guide top every home in Nevada County, as well as holding a series of forums and events to help get the word out on how to prepare and respond to a wildfire emergency. In fact, the County launched a website called ReadyNevadaCounty.org with these and more resources.
This is a direct example of how resources are allocated to the Board’s priority objectives. Another terrific example is the implementation of the HOME Team to help address homelessness – a 2019 Priority Objective. In fact, early this year Governor Newsom came to Nevada County and met with folks from Hospitality House, Nevada County Health and Human Services Agency, and members of the County’s Homeless Outreach and Medical Engagement (HOME) team.
The HOME Team directly addresses the physical health needs and housing barriers for homeless individuals by going out in the field and meeting folks in need where they are at. HOME Team members can build direct relationship and trust to help bring homeless individuals into services, medical, social and of course identify and get them housed. Particularly important, the HOME Team has a certified nurse who is able to work to help address the physical and medical issues that many face on the streets.
The County launched the HOME Team in partnership with Hospitality House, Turning Point Community Programs and AMI Housing in June 2019 after the Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission (MHSOAC) approved Nevada County Behavioral Health’s Innovation proposal in March. Again – this is how the County’s Priority Objectives are addressed – through innovative and creative ways that may not be apart of our regular every-day services.
This year, the Board identified eight priority objectives listed below. I look forward to working with County staff and the community to help address the challenges that face our community in the coming year.
— Maintain the County’s financial stability and core services.
— Reduce the loss of life during a wildfire by improving evacuation routes and early warning systems; creating more defensible space around private properties and driveways, building a network of maintained fuel breaks, engaging residents in emergency preparedness and fire-safe stewardship, and enhancing critical infrastructure.
— Provide community leadership to prepare for and minimize the impacts of Public Safety Power Shutoff (PSPS) events on residents and local businesses by providing timely and accurate public information, prioritizing and advocating for the hardening of critical public safety and telecommunications infrastructure, and assisting medically vulnerable populations.
— Promote Community Resiliency by implementing policies, cost-saving programs and best practices supported by the County’s Energy Action Plan.
— In partnership with community providers and other jurisdictions, utilize housing first and continue efforts to prevent homelessness, provide emergency shelter, expand supportive services, secure housing and enhance coordination to address the need of the homeless population and to mitigate impacts on the community.
— Coordinate with local jurisdictions, developers and other partners to facilitate development of, and access to, affordable and workforce housing development.
— Maintain and continue to improve the cannabis permitting and enforcement program to promote permitted cannabis activities while investigating options for additional supply chain license types and a compassionate use program.
— Proactively support job-enhancing economic development by implementing business friendly data-driven policies, investing in broadband and infrastructure projects that enhance the quality of life for all Nevada County residents, and partner with private sector, non-profit, Grass Valley, Nevada City and Truckee leaders to collaboratively support local businesses and promote tourism.
Last but not least, I would like to note how important community involvement is. I would like to encourage you to consider a volunteer opportunity for 2020. Choose something that you are passionate about and care deeply for.
I have no doubt that you can make a difference in our community and will discover how rewarding it can be. A terrific resource to check out is the Center for Nonprofit Leadership (CNL) at cnlsierra.org. Additionally, the County has over 30 committees and commissions that members of the community can serve in more official capacities. You can find information on available vacancies that need to be filled and how to apply at MyNevadaCounty.com underneath the Board of Supervisors website. I would like to highlight that the Nevada County Sanitation District No. 1 Advisory Committee is looking to fill several vacancies from folks in our area. As many of you know with the new installation of the Penn Valley Sewer line how important critical infrastructure is. Members of the advisory committee provide assistance and information to the Board of Directors of the Sanitation District (myself and the rest of the Board of Supervisors) on matters relating to sewage collection and treatment facilities, including annual budget preparation. In fact, the committee is going to begin working with County staff to look at potential rate changes – so this is a perfect time to get involved. For further information, please contact Public Works at 530-265-1411.
Take a risk this year and volunteer – the community needs you.
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