‘My vision for Nevada County’s future…’ Search for common ground | TheUnion.com

‘My vision for Nevada County’s future…’ Search for common ground

The Union StaffBedwell
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Over 12 months ago, I made a commitment to the electorate of District 3 to seek the office of county supervisor for one fundamental purpose: To provide true representation of the majority opinion. To do so, I’ve walked the district twice and I have listened and I have learned, not only to those I may agree with, but to dissenting opinions, as well. We are all tired of ugly politics, recognize our common love of our area, and are concerned about our state/local economy. The search for common ground is the grand vision and is the common thread. It will be difficult, but I believe achievable.

My campaign’s platform, i.e. political civility, protecting the community and the environment, and fiscal responsibility addresses our common vision.

Politics in our county, not unlike the nation as a whole, is about control. It’s a fundamental part of the fabric of civilized man and profit motives, egos, agendas, and political spectators have set the public stage. As the actors have competed for attention, character assassination has become Act I. Sadly, so it is in Nevada County. Civility is on vacation.

Most recognize the “mail mill” letters to the editor and have come to discount them. A sudden surge of negative information about an opponent never comes as a surprise to the readers, either.

Until Rural Quality Coalition (RQC) and its friends adjust their behavior, we will not know political civility. As the largest, best-funded, and most organized political group, they must accept this part of the vision. My vision of cooperation rests on the hope that their leadership will seize the moment as an opportunity.

“Drew will pave over Nevada County.” Really? I believe that no one in our county wishes to violate the “environment.” Our environment is not just about the trees; rather, it’s more about the lives of individuals and their families. Unfortunately, government demands impact both “environments” daily.

“Beauty is to the beholder” and a “habitat wilderness” may not be what our community imagines. Crowding more people in less space with resultant increases in traffic seems illogical and destructive to some, yet there are those who would do just that to pursue the “pristine environment.” Further, there are those in power who would exploit the good intentions of many for end objectives only they fully understand. It’s unlikely they will change, but my vision is that the community, as a whole, will come to recognize the truth and dismiss them in the interest of our county’s health. Public education and information will be the key.

Our county is losing its technically skilled. Young families are leaving for lack of opportunity only to be replaced by many who depend on government services to survive. Our school enrollments are dropping and more people are commuting out of our county, adding to the traffic problems. Our community cannot survive with a two-tier society, of haves and have-nots, yet without encouragement from our county government, fewer and fewer businesses that employ and promote will be found. We need to offer incentives. My vision is to eagerly support the Economic Resource Council (ERC) with more than words, and engage our elected state and federal leadership for guidance as well.

Regulations are strangling the life out of rural America. Often they come with funding incentives. County dependency on external funding has taken control. It has become our local governments’ drug of choice. I envision a team of leaders in our community who are willing to say “no.” We need to question authority, push back and stop saying “yes” to every demand, seek independence, and regain local control.

Fiscal responsibility in government? Imagine running the county as a business, not running the business out of the county. A business should budget by setting the goals and objectives from the top down. Anticipated fiscal requirements are based on projected “earnings” and marketing projections. For us, that’s property and sales tax revenues.

We must learn to avoid budgeting on self-defeating mitigation fee revenues. Regulatory property takings and mitigation fees only cost the consumers.

These costs are seen in our lack of affordable housing and the cost of goods and services. We need to put planning back into county planning.

Promoting political civility, protecting our community as well as the habitat, and pursuing responsible fiscal planning are achievable tasks, but the solutions begin with the first step, finding a common vision. We can do that. I will help you.

Drew Bedwell

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