Russ Steele’s blog provides some insight why the ERC is dysfunctional — an inability to get past political stereotyping.
Here’s what a former executive director of the ERC posted on Russ’ website: “My reference to growth was principally directed towards population growth, although there is a direct correlation to growth in business. Real estate development would follow, as needed, but that was not my thrust.
“When I first came aboard in 2005 it was made perfectly clear to me that Nevada City was pleased to remain at about 3,000 in population and would not welcome additional people into their community. There is an inherent problem with this mentality, and it relates to employment. The birth rate in Nevada City specifically does not equal the death rate — therefore, without an infusion of population from the outside, the town will eventually die. And so will business.
“The experience over the past few years has clearly demonstrated that businesses do fold, or downsize, or business owners retire. The paradox in Nevada City’s NIMBY philosophy is that eventually employment will suffer.
“And with the woeful economy we have experienced for the past several years, this problem has been exacerbated. Fortunately, the other cities/towns in Nevada County did not embrace this same philosophy.”
This is the same criticism that Nevada City gets from the political conservatives and developers who don’t get their way — as they do in Grass Valley.
But it’s an exaggeration. Case in point: Nevada City’s settlement agreement with Deer Creek Park II developers (Lance Amaral, Ken Baker) in 2007. It is here.
“It was an enormous victory to reach an agreement with the developers of Deer Creek Park II, benefiting not only Boulder Street but our entire city,” as City Councilwoman Sally Harris said in 2008. “The project was reduced from 193 to 62 new home sites, our Little Deer Creek watershed and water source was protected and a total of $249,000 will be provided to our general fund for impacts to our city.
“These tasks were accomplished with the help of all levels of city government.”
That’s not a no-growth posture. It’s a smart growth posture, and it’s a compromise. What’s wrong with that?
Wed. Jun 1, 2011
Thursday Nights Marketplace, Downtown Grass Valley:
Visit us during June and July 2011.
Wed. Aug 10, 2011
Nevada County Fair, Nevada County Fairgrounds:
Visit us from August 10th to August 14th, 2011.
Sat. Aug 27, 2011
Miners’ Picnic: Join us at the Empire Mine State Park
I wonder if this is one of the “facts” you might hear: “The project has strong public support,” according to the mine’s website. “The City of Grass Valley completed an independent survey where 72 percent of residents supported the project, 16 percent were undecided and 12 percent opposed it.”
It’s going to be a tough row to hoe coming to the “truth” about the proposed project with unqualified statements like that. I wonder if “truth serum” is handed out at the booth.