Looking for a few good men, women
We’ve just finished celebrating the Fourth of July holiday, and Nevada County’s political junkies know what that means: The filing period for candidates begins July 12 – next Monday – and continues through Friday, Aug. 6.
The big races in the county, for supervisor, already have been staked out. Olivia Diaz and Nate Beason are in a runoff after neither one could get 50 percent of the vote in a three-way race in District 1. In District 3, to fill the seat vacated by the ailing Drew Bedwell, three names are being prominently mentioned: former supervisor Bruce Conklin, Grass Valley City Council member Linda Stevens, and county Planning Commissioner John Spencer. In Grass Valley, a couple of council seats are up for re-election, too.
These contests will get all the attention, but what about all the other elected positions in Nevada County that desperately need candidates who can provide collaborative, constructive leadership to guide us through the tough decisions that will have to be made at the neighborhood level? We’re talking about governing boards for elementary and high schools, Sierra College’s local campus, irrigation districts, fire protection districts.
These public service positions, despite featuring low (or no) pay for a lot of hours, are among the most crucial for our county. They require people who not only are smart, but are able to work well with others to achieve common goals offering a win-win outcome for everyone.
We’ve seen what can happen in districts where they are not as fortunate to have these kinds of board members. Unfortunately, that may be deterring well-qualified citizens from running, too.
But in the spirit of Nevada County going back to the 1850s, when a lawless frontier became a civil society, this is the time for leaders to stand up and say, “I’ll help.” There is a wealth of talent in our community, and – as the support of our non-profit organizations has shown – no dearth of causes that need such help.
There are no causes more worthy that our public governing boards. As July 12 approaches, we encourage the best and brightest among us to look where help is needed in their areas of expertise, and to step forward and run for public office.
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