The quaint little tourist trap of Nevada City received some unflattering attention last year thanks to the zany behavior of the City Council. Among other things, it managed to leave the town with reduced fire protection for three months.
Three of the five people responsible for this and other nonsense will be leaving the council this year, but that doesn’t mean the Queen of the Northern Mines is guaranteed to be well run.
We learned last week that Shawn Mathews was denied an opportunity to run for City Council because city Clerk Niel Locke gave him incorrect information about when two state forms had to be filed. “I had my time confused,” Locke explained.
He could have left well enough alone–nobody’s perfect, and anybody can make an honest mistake. But no, Locke had to add “…this is what happens when you wait till the last moment.” Very classy.
Then it was revealed Saturday that a facility to provide services to the homeless in Nevada City doesn’t need a state license or use permit to operate, as city officials previously claimed.
The facility, Streicher House, is owned by Pauli Halstead. She wrote an “Other Voices” essay in The Union explaining why such permits aren’t needed, but that didn’t sway city planner Amy Wolfson: “(Halstead) is interpreting something in a way I did not intend for her to interpret. My plan is to reach out to her, and try to explain to her a bit more.”
It turns out Wolfson should have been listening to Halstead. The state license doesn’t exist–in other words, whoever wrote the original city ordinance didn’t bother to test its validity. “The (Nevada City) code refers to a process that doesn’t exist, but we didn’t know that until we looked into it,” said city Manager Mark Prestwich.
Your tax dollars at work.