New District IV Supervisor — ‘Honored and Blessed to have the Opportunity’
For those of you that know me and those of you that do not, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the folks of Supervisorial District IV for electing me as your new County Supervisor. I am honored and blessed to have the opportunity to represent you and am excited to serve you for the next four years. This is a particularly exciting, yet challenging, time for our community, District IV and the County overall with various priorities, goals to meet the challenges that we are faced, whether wildfire, homelessness or affordable housing.
In fact, every year, the Board of Supervisors holds its annual two-day workshop at the end of January. At the workshop, the Board has the opportunity to be briefed on the County’s priorities for the previous year and receive updates on a vast array of issues that include the County’s fiscal health (which I am excited to report is in excellent condition), economic development, housing element, health and human services, homelessness, community development, cannabis, wildfire and disaster preparedness, and law enforcement – just to name a few. Notably, incoming Sheriff Shannan Moon provided an update to the Board of Supervisors on her priorities as the new Sheriff. CalFire Chief Brian Estes also provided a sobering assessment on the major risk of wildfire in our area. What many people are not aware of is how well coordinated all of our Fire Districts are with CalFIRE – this is not the case everywhere.
At the end of the workshop, the Board discusses all of the various issues and sets priority objectives for the coming year. The Board identified nine top priorities, with 5 Priority A Objectives, 1 Priority B Objective and 3 Priority C Objectives. The Priority A Objectives include fiscal sustainability, wildfire preparedness and response, homelessness, affordable housing and cannabis. The Board will be adopting its 2019 Priority Objectives at its February 12th meeting which you can find on MyNevadaCounty.com. I look forward to working with staff and the community on all of the important priorities in the coming year.
In other news, the County is moving full steam ahead on developing the new Penn Valley Area Plan. For those of you that are not aware, the Planning Department works closely with the community on developing area plans for communities in the unincorporated areas of the County that can help drive changes to the County’s General Plan, as well as help identify economic development opportunities over time. The last Penn valley Area Plan was adopted back in 2000 and is now almost 20 years old. Planning staff has held two community workshops thus far where community members were tasked with identifying what they would like to see in their community in the next 10-15 years. I want to also emphasize that these meetings are for everyone, including our youth and teenagers. This will be their community in the coming years, so it is important to embed the ideas of the next generation into the Penn Valley Area Plan. Moreover, Planning Staff is looking closely at the scope of the plan to include other commercial areas of the community near Lake Wildwood, which have not traditionally been a part of the area plan, and how the plan can address those areas as well. The third workshop is set for March 28th; however, the details are still forthcoming. Please go to http://www.mynevadacounty.com/2592/Penn-Valley-Area-Plan for more details and to sign up for event notifications. Last but not least, as your new Supervisor, I assure you that wildfire safety is not only a top priority of the County, but for myself. I will be working in the coming months to spread the message and assist with ensuring the communities of District IV remain or become fire wise communities if they aren’t already. An important component in battling wildfire is the role of property owners and individual responsibility to maintain compliance with fire safety setback standards. The County will be updating its Hazardous Vegetation Ordnance this year, which highlights the role and responsibility of each individual on mitigating the hazardous of overgrown and dead vegetation that is currently threatening all of us in Nevada County. I want to encourage you to view the Fire Safe Council of Nevada County’s website at http://www.areyoufiresafe.com to learn more about what you can do as an individual and community to help prevent and respond to wildfire. — By Susan Hoek, District 4 Supervisor
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