The City of Grass Valley has an ideal opportunity to embrace the future and wipe out perceptions of its “old guard” politics, but is it dropping the ball?
I have learned that Apple Center executive director and Nevada City Farmer’s market manager Mali Dyck, among others, has applied for the vacant planning commission post. Grass Valley Council member Yolanda Cookson, among others, encouraged Mali to apply.
Instead of jumping at the opportunity, the council is seeking more applicants before it makes a final decision.
Mali would help diversify the commission, whose members such as Patti Ingram and Daniel Swartzendgruber are more closely identified with the “old guard,” including the leadership of the Nevada County Contractor’s Association.
I didn’t contact Mali for this blog item, because I want to be clear this is nothing more than my own commentary (though many others would agree with me and be equally skeptical at drawing out the decision).
“Think globally act locally, is the message that twenty-nine year old Mali Dyck, Executive Director of the APPLE Center for Sustainable Living, wants community members and tourists to take away from a visit to the newly opened resource center in downtown Nevada City, CA,” as SeeJaneDo wrote last year. The rest of the profile is here.
“At just 800-sq ft this little building is poised to have a big impact in the community. Not only is it a model for energy-efficient workspace, but a hub and an incubator for ideas on how to live green.”
Mali has pragmatic, needed skills too that others don’t: She wrote the application that landed a $40,000 grant from the Butte County Private Industry Council to open the center, a highly competitive process. (As we all know, some efforts fail, including the county-wide broadband grant application).
Our family has gotten to know Mali from our sponsorship of the Nevada City Farmer’s Market, one of the most successful ventures in our community. She is professional, energetic and an innovative thinker.
Mali is the kind of person that Grass Valley needs to help think about diversifying its own economy. She will compliment, not replace, the current mindset.
I’m worried, however, that some “powers that be” are concerned because of APPLE’s advocacy that includes some member’s opposition to reopening the Idaho-Maryland Mine, as well as public opposition to Prop. 23 (in contrast to the old guard view).
Mali is professional enough to be just as objective than any other standing members of the commission, who have their own obvious biases.
The counter perspective seems to represent the majority who sit on the planning commission and council anyway. (Longtimer Dan Miller was named vice charman instead of Yolanda Cookson, the youngest female elected to the council, by a 4-1 vote).
In the New Year, I’m waiting to see if Grass Valley will shed its past – or merely cling to it.
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