Given the shenanigans of the Nevada City Council over the last year, people were expecting a spirited race for the three council seats being contested this year, a real opportunity for a wide-ranging discussion of the quaint tourist trap’s future.
People should be upset with a council that took a pass on its responsibility to provide fire service for three months, got in a heated public debate over paying for one of the town’s top tourist draws, and managed to insult each other in person and the media.
Alas, residents apparently aren’t all that upset. The three incumbents–Jennifer Ray, Terri Andersen and Robert Bergman–decided not to seek reelection, and just three candidates stepped up to run for the seats. For the fourth straight election cycle, there will be no competition.
The three candidates who qualified–a fourth candidate, graphic designer Shawn Mathews, couldn’t get his paperwork in on time–are well-know in the community: Artist David “Sparky” Parker, Broad Street Inn owner Valerie Moberg, and former council member and mayor Reinette Senum.
Parker refused to discuss any aspect of his campaign when contacted by a reporter from The Union when he filed his paperwork, an indication he didn’t put much planning into the decision.
Moberg was ready to play to two constituencies when she said: “I am concerned about the vibrancy of the business atmosphere of Nevada City, but I also want to preserve the historical integrity at the same time.”
Senum, probably the best known of the three candidates, has become a partner in a restaurant and apparently expanded her portfolio of conspiracy theories since leaving the council. You can expect to hear plenty from her.
The town will be spared the cost of paying for an election, but there will be little discussion of the town’s future before the candidates take office. But if they can perform the basic functions of a council, like funding year-around fire protection services, that will be an improvement over the current bunch in city hall.