I was reading the article by George Boardman in the Union Newspaper this morning and I am in agreement with his view on Nevada City and their Fire Department issues. I live in the Consolidated District (Formerly 49er) up on Banner Mountain. We pay a fee on our taxes to help fund the District. I am sure there are mutual response MOU's and rightly so. We are all in the same forest. But the issue of Consolidated and Grass Valley carrying the load for Nevada City is truly amazing.
HERE is the Boardman article today.
My experience in political decision making is quite simple. The job of governance means you provide for the safety of the people first then the rest follows if there is any money left. So police and fire are at the top in my opinion. Nevada City politicians don't seem to have that urgency in the protection of their citizens it appears. With the purchase of "Sugar Loaf" mountain above the city, we see the priorities of the town. Sure the acreage is undeveloped now but over time it will be a recreation area needing protection. That costs money but we see this one act as the town's priority for its limited money.
We see empty store fronts in the tourist town and we see a turnover of businesses that is very troubling. Long ago Nevada City decided to be a tourist destination and it implemented a General Plan and Zoning ordinance that discourages business and innovation in my view. Later, the town leaders convinced the County that anything proposed within their "sphere of influence" be ordained by them and that policy (1.15 ) is contained within the County's General Plan. If you want to paint your house, put in new windows or cut down a tree on your own property you are required to beg the city for permission and pay a fee for the privilege.
Many people like this amount of control and so it goes. But for those wishing to visit (and spend their money and go home) the streets of the City are sometimes a real problem. Homeless people sleeping in doorways, defecating in them too, trashing the streets and bothering the tourists doe not seem like a real good strategy for the City. People smoking marijuana yet rousted for smoking a tobacco cigarette seems over the top. Taxing the business owners on top of their property taxes and the sales tax they generate seems onerous to me. My goodness, the business owners are risking their money to try and make a business survive in the town and are taxed again!
So the town does not want to pay for their share of the fire protection involving Consolidated and Grass Valley eh? It looks to me like they need to prioritize their money. Keep the fire and police funded properly and the potholes fixed. Stop passing laws that keep a B and B from opening and other businesses as well. If you want to survive as a viable town you better get your act together or you may have to de-charter. If you want the Courthouse to stay within the City limits you better ensure decent fire protection. Overall, you must "get real" about these things or become nonviable.
Thanks to the Union Newspaper for getting this story out.