Editor’s note: We watched this exchange on videotape last night, and Pascale Fusshoeller — the preeminent reporter of our Board of Supervisors — nailed what happened in her commentary, summarized and hyperlinked below. It was disappointing to watch, reminding me of this episode. Nothing signaled our local politics “going blue” more than this exchange.
“Every once in a while some members of Nevada County’s Board of Supervisors fall prey to the ‘sitting on the dais’ syndrome and forget they are not the only elected officials in the room,” YubaNet is reporting.
“Today, Chair Ed Scofield (elected with 4,959 votes in 2016,) Hank Weston (elected with 3,467 votes in 2014) and Dan Miller (elected in 2014 with 2,580 votes) declined a budget amendment request by Clerk-Recorder/Registrar of Voters Greg Diaz (elected in 2014 with 20,635 votes.) California Secretary of State Alex Padilla (elected statewide with 1,217,371 votes and 4,463 in Nevada County), on a rare visit to Nevada County, barely got the courtesy of a thank you for his presentation and time spent sitting through a BOS’ power play.
“Padilla gave a presentation on SB 450, the California Voters Choice Act (VCA). VCA permits counties to conduct elections in which every voter is mailed a ballot and vote centers and ballot drop-off locations are made available prior to and on Election Day. This model would replace operating polling places only on the day of the election and Vote By Mail (VBM) ballots that are only sent to voters where no polling place is available or upon request. The objective of the VCA? Increase voter participation.
“After a 3-2 vote denying the request, Weston suggested Greg Diaz meet with the budget subcommittee ‘with all the figures.’ As Diaz attempted to point out his office had, in fact, met with the county’s Chief Financial Officer, he was interrupted by Scofield with a curt ‘You have directions, Greg.’
“The tone struck by the Chair of the Board during these two items appeared combative and contrary to the BOS’ own Order and Decorum.
“Could it be that the current polarized national political climate is affecting local politics? Was this a calculated move by Republican BOS members to show contempt for the Clerk-Recorder and, by extension, for Democratic Secretary of State Alex Padilla’s attempts at increasing voter participation?
“As a reminder, Nevada County ‘turned blue’ in the 2016 General Election.”
The rest of “What’s wrong with this picture?” is here: