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January 12, 2021 – Editor’s note: This morning, Dan Miller was elected unanimously as the Chair of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors for 2021. Sue Hoek was elected unanimously as the Vice Chair. As is customary, the outgoing Chair provided closing comments on her term.

First I’d like to thank my Colleagues for their kind comments. Its been a tough year for all of us, and their support here has been essential.

Taking on the role of Chair is quite a bit more work than it looks like from the outside, and certainly not something I fully appreciated my first year. What you see from the dais is only the tip of the iceberg of the work that goes on days and evenings, and weekends, to address issues in advance, strategize for success, and most importantly, build relationships throughout the community. Doing this work on top of the Covid challenges has made this job truly enormous. And while it was a challenge for me, I know it was an equal if not greater challenge for the staff who really make everything work around her.

I want to thank the Team of people who helped us get connected from home, create an entirely new protocol with new equipment and large staff requirements to make our Zoom meetings here at the Rood Center functional and accessible to the public. It has been a rocky road, and I know it still remains awkward to provide public comment, but I know staff have put their full efforts into making it work. And by doing so we are protecting ourselves, each other, and staff. Jeff, Julie, Steve Monaghan’s team, you all know who you are.

I want to thank the Public Health staff who have had to adapt to our distance meetings while also meeting the enormous challenges brought by Covid to our entire community, and to the staff who are working with this community. Dr’s Cutler, and Johnson and now D.r Kellerman in advance, and Dr. Trochet who has stuck through it all, Ryan, Jill, and your team – Amy Irani and yours – you are rock stars all of you.

Thanks to Taylor and Sheila, our Public Information Officers who have been kept very busy. Thanks to Alison and Kit who have offered exceptional support, been incredibly responsive, and provided me with wise counsel. We were a great team.

And thank you to the community who has kept me informed, thoroughly and constantly, not just through my County email and phone, but also through Facebook, FB messenger, personal cell, County messenger, personal messenger, and letter. Sometimes, it was a bit much, but I was always glad to be informed.

One of the more difficult parts of the job of Chair, is keeping unity on the Board so that staff has clear direction and confidence in the work they are doing, and our constituents are getting the policies and activities implemented that they elected us to do, without the distraction of conflict among us electeds. That is not to say we don’t disagree, but we are lucky to have a Board that has been committed to working, for the most part, in a unified way to get the work of the County done, first and foremost. Nevada County, you deserve that.

The Chair must ensure that the voices of all of us are heard and included. It was fortuitous that with Dan as my Vice Chair, we represented a breadth of political background, and could be sure to have a full airing of concerns as a leadership team. The vast majority of the issues we have dealt with have been resolved with 5-0 votes, as we worked hard to put the County first. The balance I sought, however, meant that when it came to facts and science, that had to be the bottom line. All opinions matter and should be heard, but in a time of dangerous disinformation, it is critical to ensure that underlying all of our decisions are non-partisan, evidence-based facts, and non-partisan, evidence-based science. Those are things that should not be negated or watered down by opinion. I did my best to keep this value at the forefront and as a bottom line. I hope the next Board will do the same.

I am truly honored to have had the opportunity to be the Chair in 2020. I want to thank my colleagues for their patience as I learned the ropes, made mistakes, forgot to unmute, and may have forgotten a name or a nuance as I had to become a ninja technical multi tasker from the isolation of my office. You have been gracious in your tolerance, and understanding as I worked to ensure that everyone got a chance to speak, making lists and checking them off as I simultaneously spoke to the issue, answered the chat distractions, asked Julie for the tenth time if there was another caller, tried to find my place on the agenda and cheat sheet, greeted our speakers and guests, and grabbed a sip of water under the hot lights I was told to keep on my face all meeting. I guess I am ready to step down from this and wish the best of luck to my successor, Dan.

Thank you all, even those I probably forgot to thank.

Take it away, Dan and Sue!