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Paul Berger: Time for new leadership

Thanks to Ed Thomas for his well-written and researched piece in The Union (Oct. 31, “Is it time for Board of Supervisors to say Uncle?”).

I haven’t spent the amount of time Ed has on this never-ending saga of the Penn Valley couple who ran into a bureaucratic nightmare when they applied for a building permit, but I am a retired Court of Appeal staff attorney who has been following the case in The Union, and I still don’t get it.

The board has already spent half a million dollars in taxpayer money battling Erickson/Lockyer over this ridiculous issue. If it loses, the county could be on the hook for a million or more if it is ordered to pay the couple’s attorney fees.



Isn’t this a region where government overreach is viewed upon with suspicion and individual property rights treasured? Why can’t this case be mediated? Alternatively, why can’t the board just swallow its pride and issue the permit? It is outrageous that the board is spending such enormous sums on a matter so inconsequential in a small county with limited resources.

This wretched episode demonstrates that it’s time for new leadership on the Board of Supervisors.




Paul S. Berger

Nevada City


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