What we have here is a failure to communicate

When Dan Miller first ran for the county Board of Supervisors six years ago, he pledged to improve communications between Grass Valley and the folks at the Rood Center.

After all, he’s supposed to represent Grass Valley’s interests before the board; that’s why each supervisor represents a specific district. But a recent dustup between the supervisors and city officials suggests he hasn’t been keeping his promise.

The occasion was the supervisors approving purchase of the Coach N Four motel in Grass Valley for $1.75 million. The property will be converted into affordable housing.

The money comes from the state’s Homekey program, which uses federal coronavirus aid money to buy hotels and other buildings throughout the state for conversion into permanent supportive housing, but all of the money has to be spent by the end of the year.

County Housing Director Mike Dent said the tight deadline resulted in a lack of community outreach. But apparently this is nothing new, and city officials are not pleased.

Outgoing city Councilman Howard Levine said the lack of cooperation between the county, the lead agency in this matter, and Grass Valley has become common, pointing to a sales tax dispute and the Brighton Greens project.

“There’s an institutional deficit that comes about because there is not collaboration and communication,” said Levine. “These are things that should be talked about for months.”

Outgoing Mayor Lisa Swarthout pointed out the project will cost the city about $20,000 a year in transient occupancy tax.

“This leads me to believe time and again that we do not have a reciprocal relationship,” Levine said. “Somebody has to stand up and say, ‘County, pay attention.’”

If Miller or anybody from the county said anything, it wasn’t reported by The Union. If he has done anything in the last six years to improve communications between Grass Valley and the county, it clearly hasn’t been enough.

What we have here is your basic failure to communicate.

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