Hilary Hodge: Thomas J. Ivy for Grass Valley City Council | TheUnion.com
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Hilary Hodge: Thomas J. Ivy for Grass Valley City Council

I have served on the Grass Valley City Council for just short of two years. As of this writing, your Grass Valley City Council is comprised of five individuals who are very different people.

Since my election, we have ranged in ages from 30-something to 70-something. We collectively hold titles such as: artist, nonprofit leader, small business owner, contractor, retired law-enforcement, parent, grandparent and more. We range in a vast diversity on the political spectrum and have supported different candidates from local elections to the presidency.

The Grass Valley City Council is proof that different people can come together to agree on a good direction for the community. In the two years we have served together on City Council, only three votes we’ve taken in that time have been contested. Nearly every vote we have ever taken has been a 5-0 unanimity.



In 2017, I watched Tom Ivy unload two large, recently-uprooted and carefully-potted Japanese Maple Trees from the back of his dented truck. It was littered with piping supplies and tool boxes. I tried to assist but wasn’t much help. He was doing the heavy-lifting. I found the trees by responding to an online ad that labeled the trees as “free.” He drove them to my house.

“These are healthy trees,” I said off-handedly, almost in disbelief that someone would give them away. He smiled widely and replied enthusiastically, “We bought a house and we are putting in a garden.”



I think that was the first time I met Thomas Ivy. I can’t be certain because we’ve since discovered that I’ve known his wife Katie for several years. She’s serves as a local co-op board member and is a teacher in Grass Valley. It’s entirely likely that Tom and I had met earlier, volunteering for the Yuba River Clean Up or at several other community events where we’ve come together to support this community.

After my election to the Grass Valley City Council, I interviewed several people for the appointment to the Grass Valley Planning Commission. It was an appointment I took very seriously. I decided on a set of standards that would help our community to expand our economy while keeping its rural charm. Tom, being a local contractor, approached me and asked for an interview.

Tom Ivy was the evident choice to be my Planning Commissioner after several interviews and for several reasons. He is not just a thoughtful man with a clear sense for problem-solving, but also he approaches problems with simple and clear analysis. He can simplify pages and pages of documents into a no-nonsense answer. When he can’t find a no-nonsense solution, he asks questions until it makes simple sense.

“He won’t always agree with you,” warned an advisor. I thought about this for a minute and finally responded with, “That’s why we need him.”

This is both my whole-hearted endorsement for Tom Ivy for City Council and my whole-hearted endorsement for local politics as a whole. We, as humans, won’t always agree on everything (in my household, we struggle with finding agreement on how the dishwasher should be loaded). But, for the good things that matter for our community, we can find common ground.

Your Grass Valley City Council, and, for the most part, your other elected jurisdictions, have been made up of wildly different people from different perspectives who want to do good in this community.

As you mark your ballot this November, as you cast your votes, ask yourself these questions: Will this person work with the whole community to come up with a reasonable solution? Will this person work with the future of our community in mind? With Tom Ivy, the answer is “yes” to both. Please join me in voting for Thomas J. Ivy for Grass Valley City Council.

Hilary Hodge currently serves on the Grass Valley City Council.


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