Our View: A fresh look at the new year
New year, new view.
And some new hope for Nevada County to go along with them.
It’s the time of year when many people look into the new year with hopes, plans and dreams. The Union Editorial Board is no different.
Our community faces its share of problems and challenges this year, fire prevention chief among them.
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Fire is everyone’s concern, and our community must approach it uniformly. We all have a part to play, and we need to be using the same playbook when we act.
Key elements of this plan include the thinning and clearing of our forests and roadways. Learn the evacuation routes from your neighborhood. Drive them.
Locals must clear their own property and ensure their government continues and expands on projects like the Ponderosa West Grass Valley Defense Zone. In turn, our local governments should lobby Caltrans to maintain vegetation along highways.
Our elected leaders also should examine what bureaucracy, if any, is hampering their ability to achieve these goals. Can our professional relationships with state and federal agencies be improved? Can the communication lines get better?
Let’s learn from the mistakes of 2019 and make 2020 that much better.
Housing is another big issue that looms over Nevada County. People love living here, but plenty of them can’t afford it. The cost of building a new home is enormous, partly because of the onerous regulations that bump up the price.
We need our governments to create and maintain public/private partnerships that lead to more housing and reduce the number of homeless people in our community.
Like with fire, our elected leaders must push back on Sacramento constantly imposing new rules that persistently raise home building costs. We also need more apartments with affordable rent, not just market rate.
Identify the problems, work toward solutions, implement the plan. It’s a view we all should have.
Fire and homelessness dwarf many other issues we face, but they shouldn’t blind us to other needs we should address this year.
There’s no question we need broadband here. Again, this is a matter for our governments and private business to work together to achieve a goal. We can see that with Race Communications taking over the Bright Fiber project.
We need more partnerships like this. We need the Economic Resource Council to step up and show leadership in this venue.
We also need the Nevada County Courthouse to get necessary state funding for much needed repairs. It appears like we’re close to obtaining it.
This money is essential to keeping the courthouse downtown, and with it jobs in the core of historic Nevada City.
As far as schools, we need to raise math scores countywide. We want our children to become the next generation of adults to choose to make Nevada County their home. For that, they need a good education, good jobs and places to live.
And don’t forget about the quality of life issues. We need a senior center. Our residents tend to be older. They deserve a gathering place that serves as a center for activities and programs they want.
Jobs, housing, education and quality of life — they’re all connected, leading us to the same set of goals: Building and maintaining a vibrant, healthy community.
These are just a few things we’d like our community leaders, elected or otherwise, to focus on this year.
It’s Our View. What’s yours?
The weekly Our View editorial represents the consensus opinion of The Union Editorial Board, a group of editors and writers from The Union, as well as informed community members. Contact the board at EditBoard@TheUnion.com.
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