Supes stand up to CABPRO activism masquerading as “citizens” — what The Union didn’t report

I was glad to read in The Union that the County supervisors voted 4-0 on Tuesday to dissolve a citizens’ committee to “review” Nevada County planning and building fees.

Why? Because the committee of “citizens” included some self-serving, property-rights activists. It is a growing problem in our community: activists and political ideologues sitting on “citizens committees,” civil grand juries and the like and trying to steer the outcome to extreme positions to suit themselves.

“It’s a further disenfranchisement of taxpayers,” The Union quoted realtor Kirk Pharis as stating.

No it’s not. What The Union didn’t report (and should have) is that Pharis has been a longtime member and supporter of CABPRO, the property-rights activist group.

“Kirk (Pharis), Kim (Janousek) and I would like to thank all of the members who showed up at the March 17th Special Membership meeting to support us,” as CABPRO told its members in a recent newsletter. “Well over a quorum came out and voted to continue with CABPRO as an organization, and voted unanimously to have Kirk, Kim and I continue our leadership as the Board of Directors.”

Why didn’t The Union disclose Pharis’ obvious bias? It is glaring.

“According to DeCamp (director of the county’s Community Development Planning Agency), the committee had included one representative each from: architects, civil engineers, county supervisors, county planning department, Nevada County Contractors Association, Nevada County Board of Realtors and general contracting,” The Union reported.

‘“You didn’t have a member representing the public at large?” asked Supervisor Terry Lamphier, who had served in that post in a Grass Valley fee committee some years back.”

Good point! Another supervisor referred to some of the committee’s actions as a “witch hunt,” and I couldn’t agree more.

I’m reminded of the one-sided flap in The Union titled ““Nevada County church told to take down ‘Support Our Troops’ sign.”

Contrary to the incomplete reporting, the County Planning Department worked with the church to address the concerns of noncompliant signs, and the sign is back up with a sincere “Support Our Troops” message. Imagine that.

We have to stop letting the self-serving political ideologues in our community lead the rest of us around by the nose, just because we’re too busy to fill all the vacant positions on boards and commissions throughout the county. It could only get worse too. Details here.

Author: jeffpelline

Jeff Pelline is a veteran editor and award-winning journalist - in print and online. He is publisher of Sierra FoodWineArt magazine and its website Jeff covered business and technology for The San Francisco Chronicle for 12 years, and he was a founding editor and Editor of CNET News for eight years, among other positions. Jeff has a bachelor's degree from UC Berkeley and a master's from Northwestern University. His hobbies include sailing, swimming, and trout fishing in the Sierra.

10 thoughts on “Supes stand up to CABPRO activism masquerading as “citizens” — what The Union didn’t report”

  1. Kudos to the BOS!

    I know with the plastic bag ban our group would identify themselves as being part of the group Bag Busters of Nevada County when addressing city councils and BOS, at least the first few times they addressed the elected officials. Grass Valley didn’t get on board with Truckee and Nevada City so we couldn’t get an effective county wide ban. Grass Valley still has a couple months to act and we are still trying to get them on board. There is over 110 local/ regional ordinances in CA that are banning single use plastic bags of some sort. The state saw the writing on the wall and are going to put through a law that charges $0.10 per plastic bag and defeats the entire purpose of the ban of getting these all around bad for our health bags (processing to polluting) out of circulation.

  2. “Why didn’t The Union disclose Pharis’ obvious bias? It is glaring.” – Glaring “good ol’ boy” tactics, glaring incompetence, glaring naïveté, or ? The Union refers to Pharis as a realtor, but why only publish a comment by a random realtor? Thanks for pointing out the connection.

  3. For what it’s worth, CABPRO has toned down some of its rhetoric recently and appears to be looking for common ground at times…

    1. It has? I found this statement rather ridiculous: “It’s a further disenfranchisement of taxpayers,” The Union quoted realtor Kirk Pharis as stating.

      1. The current CABPRO newsletter offers more nonsense: stirring up fervor for our County to join the State of Jefferson:
        “I must ask myself, where is Nevada County which is home to Tahoe National Forest in this mix?

        “Common Core and the nationalization of education would be thrown out of the public schools along with the propagandized federal curriculum. This step would bring back the necessary independency that is required when it comes to the educational sector which is meant to teach the children, not raise them in a federalized, collective nanny state. It is a win-win arrangement where excessive federal and California state mandates would no longer be in effect and taxation without representation would be left to those unfortunate people who will be victims of the present and coming Golden State tyrannical meltdown.”

      2. Right, and is proven by the amazing growth lately, with Jerry in charge, that makes it higher than the long cited 8th biggest economy in the entire world. Only in Nevada County, Texas and the south do the nutcases have a real impact.

  4. The hard-right blogosphere is having a cow because CABPRO board member Kirk Pharis is not on the committee, which somehow should negate the theme being discussed here, at least in their minds. What they didn’t mention is that Pharis went to the meeting, stood up and admonished the board to vote “no.” In fact, he came back to speak again and repeat himself. But the board voted “yes” — unanimously. Weston called the meetings “not productive,” a “witch hunt” and a lot of “negativity.” Listen to it for yourself: BTW, same thing goes for the hazardous vegetation abatement ordinance:

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