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Our View: Starting the conversation

One supervisor, pushing the reopen Nevada County resolution, said it wasn’t about us “going rogue.” It was meant to start a conversation.

Well, the resolution might not have passed, but it sure did start us talking.

The resolution — titled “Resolution Supporting Reopening Nevada County Safely in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic in Coordination with Nevada County Public Health Authorities” — isn’t really about reopening the county in spite of state protocols. But that’s how some people made it out to be.



Instead, it was a call for the state to give clear guidance and proper resources to reopen schools, provide for the transparent allocation of vaccines and get federal relief dollars directly to counties instead of through the state.

Can’t really find fault with those goals.




Of course, being a resolution, it has no teeth. It could have passed unanimously, and the state would have just sniffed at it.

As it turned out, it didn’t pass at Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting. Instead, it was tabled — in a 3-to-2 vote — with Supervisors Sue Hoek and Dan Miller, the ones who floated the resolution, opposing.

That means the resolution will come back. We just don’t know the date yet.

And, despite your take on the resolution, that’s not a bad thing.

Vaccines are coming, as is warmer weather. We’ve been dealing with the pandemic for a year. If nothing else, our local government is acknowledging that people are restless, and is trying to get ahead of the curve.

Let’s face it: Other states are handling the vaccine rollout much better than we are. Alaska, with a remoteness few states can compete with, is proving adept at distributing vaccines. We’ve just gotten to the point where it’s possible to register online for a shot once certain criteria are met.

Who can blame a couple of supervisors for wanting to push the state a bit, and get people talking? We’re already doing it behind the supervisors’ backs. Might as well do it during one of their meetings.

Arguably, this is exactly how it was supposed to play out.

People are anxious, there’s a perception by some that the state government isn’t functioning properly and our local, elected representatives tried to do something about it.

And, to top it off, we’re all included in the process.

Putting the resolution on the agenda opened the door to public discussion with our supervisors, and ultimately to a decision. That decision happened to be tabling the resolution, but that might have been the right move. People have had their say, the issue will lay still for a bit, then it’ll return for more discussion.

The resolution also gave public health folks the chance to lay out science-based information about the virus and vaccine, as well as what negative consequences they’ve seen, or not seen.

Here’s an example of our democracy working. If it’s creaky, slow and most everyone is unhappy, it’s probably operating properly.

Of course, none of this fixes the problem. Half the population still wants to follow the state rules, and the other half is poised to open the doors. Time will continue inching forward, and more people will get vaccinated.

It’s easy to surmise that by the time this resolution returns to the board, the state will have relaxed its COVID-19 rules and the world will resemble something normal. And then the whole discussion will have become something to casually toss aside.

But that’s not entirely accurate. The elected officials who supported this resolution made some good points, as did the ones who opposed it. This document didn’t just get the public talking, it informed voters of where their public leaders stand on vital issues.

And, for better or worse, voters tend to remember things like that.

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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