NEVADA CITY, Calif. July 19, 2018 – Nevada County District 3 Supervisor Dan Miller’s individual board member item on Tuesday requested special benefits to be given to a project within Grass Valley city limits. For the nearly completed construction project on Brunswick Road, Miller proposed to waive the easement abandonment fee, pay for the developer’s LAFCo and BOE fees, have Public Works remove pavement from 5,736 sq ft of county right of way on Town Talk Road and add the land at no cost to the existing parcel.
What Miller did not disclose from the dais – for the benefit of his four fellow supervisors and the public – were the campaign contributions he received from people and corporations directly involved with the project.
To be very clear, Dan Miller’s campaign reported all these contributions in a timely manner on the required campaign finance reports. Miller’s FPPC 460 filings are where YubaNet obtained the campaign contribution information below.
Michael Vasquez, prior to his retirement in 2017, was a Senior Vice President and Nevada County Regional Manager for River Valley Community Bank. On June 26, 2018, the bank announced it “re-hired Mike Vasquez as its Senior Vice President, Special Projects Officer. In this capacity Mr. Vasquez will assist with many aspects of the Bank’s relocation of its existing Grass Valley branch into its new facility currently under construction at 580 Brunswick Road, Grass Valley. The completion of construction and move into the new office is scheduled to occur this fall.” [source: RVCB press release] Mr. Vasquez donated to the Committee to reelect Dan Miller on June 26, 2017 and again on May 8, 2018.
Dale Creighton, the owner of SCO Planning and Engineering, donated to Miller’s campaign on September 28, 2017. SCO Planning and Engineering is providing planning and engineering services for the project. Mr. Creighton is a Director of the Nevada County Contractors Association.
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Keoni Allen is the owner of Sierra Foothills Construction, the project builder. He is also the President of the Nevada County Contractors PAC. The Contractors PAC donated a total of $5,995 to the Miller campaign. $2,000 on November 18, 2017, then $3,000 on April 24, 2018 and $995 on May 31, 2018.
Sunlight is the best disinfectant
At the time the agenda item was discussed, Supervisor Miller did not inform his colleagues of the contributions. Given the unusual nature of his request, disclosing the contributions would have added a layer of transparency.
The Order and Decorum of Board Business for 2018 was adopted by a unanimous vote earlier this year. The documents contains general guidelines for supervisors and staff, including the following:
EXPECTATIONS OF BOARD MEMBERS
Be sensitive to your public image and conduct at all times.
No Surprises. Keep each other informed with each other or staff.
Supervisor Miller did not reply to a request for comment by publication time.