By District 2 Supervisor and Board Chair Ed Scofield
To start the year, we faced the now familiar challenge of the winter storm, responding to widespread impacts and now, recovery. Although areas like Alta Sierra did not experience the same severe damage of last year’s storm, I can’t say the same for much of our County, with over 17,500 PG&E customers experiencing power outages and millions reported in damages.
Having been born and raised in Grass Valley, I’ve experienced my share of snow, but this storm was epic not only in the volume of snow but especially in the weight of the snow and the damage it created to homes and commercial businesses. Like last year, we saw neighbors helping neighbors and our government agencies leaning in to serve our community during the disaster. As my colleague Sue Hoek said, “2023 is the year of the heart.”
2023 also marked my appointment as Board Chair, my fourth opportunity to serve in this role. One of the opportunities for the Chair and Vice-Chair is serving on the Budget sub-committee, where our Vice Chair, Hardy Bullock, and I will have a very intimate view of the budgeting process that will result in a final budget that will be brought to the Board in late June.
During our annual three-day planning workshop in January, our Board set eight priorities. That said, my top priority is always to maintain the County’s financial stability and core services. With strong reserves, I’m confident in our ability to continue to do so despite the discussion of a possible recession.
Since the workshop and even with the storms, we’ve already seen significant progress on the priorities we set – particularly some exciting strides in broadband, housing, and economic development.
Nevada County is one of the most aggressive rural counties in the State in its effort to provide broadband availability. Although the County is not an Internet Service Provider, we have focused on impactful strategies that prioritize actions within the County’s control. In March, we approved a Countywide Broadband Environmental Impact Report, putting Nevada County in the position to have more shovel-ready projects and be first in line for competitive state and federal broadband dollars.
We celebrated the opening of Cashin’s Field – a 51-unit affordable housing project in Nevada City for local working families. It’s our first project completed through our regional housing trust fund partnership with the City of Nevada City and the City of Grass Valley and is an example of how we can work together to help increase housing in our region.
Also in March, we adopted the Greater Higgins Area Plan to guide the area’s future economic development, housing, community character, and recreation. Residents who made up the South County Area Municipal Advisory Council helped engage the Higgins Corner/Lake of the Pines community over a two-year process and were instrumental in ensuring the final Plan promoted the community’s vision for future residential and commercial development.
I have tremendous pride in the accomplishments of our County team and feel confident in saying we are one of the best rural counties in the State of California. I look forward to serving as Board Chair this year and seeing what we can accomplish in the rest of 2023.
Edward C. Scofield, Chair
Board of Supervisors
Download a PDF of the January-March 2023 Board Objectives Report
The Nevada County Board of Supervisors unanimously adopted their 2023 Objectives at the February 7, 2023 board meeting. The Board's objectives for 2023 include fiscal stability and core services, emergency preparedness, economic development, broadband, climate resilience, housing, homelessness, and recreation. Learn more about this year's objectives and on the Board of Supervisors' website.