TRUCKEE, Calif. — While Truckee resident Michael Rogers originally filed papers in March to run for the soon-to-be-open Seat No. 5 on the Nevada County Board of Supervisors, he withdrew from the race in April, leaving resident and current Truckee Town Councilman Richard Anderson as the sole candidate.The following Q-and-A with Anderson were first published in The Union, the Sierra Sun’s sister paper serving the western portion of Nevada County.Why are you running for this seat in 2012?I am running for District 5 Supervisor so that Truckee and our unincorporated neighbors will retain effective representation at the Nevada County Board of Supervisors. My goals are threefold: 1) protect the natural, historical, and scenic resources that form the foundation of our economy, 2) improve our lives through growth in employment opportunities and through the cost-effective provision of County services, and 3) ensure County government listens to the public and operates in a manner that is collaborative, transparent, ethical, and fair.How does your background and experience make you a strong candidate for this seat?My more than seven years of service on Truckee’s Town Council has given me invaluable experience in working collaboratively and effectively to advance the public’s interests, in making the tradeoffs necessary to balance governmental budgets (and balance, too, the competing interests that are embodied within them), in trying to ensure that the concerns of all stakeholders are heard, and in making votes the might prove unpopular. I also have a background in land-use planning and real estate economics, and, having worked for a contractor and for a county, I understand both the importance of local government and its dysfunctions.What do you see as the top issue in this race?Of highest priority is the continuing effect of the economic recession on business activity and job formation, which has depressed local employment opportunities in both the private and public sectors and has also caused the value of retirement investments to fall, jeopardizing the long-term financial security of many households. These problems in turn lead to stress as families and individuals try to cope with loss of income, loss of homes, and loss of dignity and confidence, and this stress increases demand for County-provided social services at a time when public revenue has yet to recover to pre-recession levels.As a County supervisor, how would you help spur economic growth in both eastern and western Nevada County?I would work with my colleagues to identify and address impediments to local business formation, retention, and expansion; realistically evaluate the county’s attributes that could attract businesses and entrepreneurs, then build upon our strengths (these vary between east county and west county); examine the experience of other jurisdictions for lessons we might apply; and develop a framework, like “Truckee Tomorrow,” that brings governmental representatives and businesspeople together to achieve mutual goals for improving business opportunity and success. That said, a fundamental approach to spurring economic growth is to implement programs and projects that enhance our quality of life.What should be done to foster cooperative relationships between the county and the three municipalities?Although steps have already been taken to foster cooperation between the county and the cities (examples include city-manager/ mayor breakfasts and joint county/ cities meetings that focus on issues of mutual concern), collaboration between electeds can always be improved. Perhaps the most useful steps would be for each council member and supervisor to try to understand the other's perspective and to follow a “no surprises” ethic that helps ensure we do not work at cross purposes to each other. A little humility can go a long way in establishing productive relationships and advancing the common interests of the public we serve.
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