Nevada City, CA November 14, 2018 – After the Nevada Irrigation District’s (NID) Special Board Meeting October 9, 2018, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) was concerned about NID’s blatant disregard for public process. SYRCL addressed these concerns in the form of a Brown Act cure and correct letter, sent to NID last week.
SYRCL alleges NID broke specific provisions in their own Board Policy and violated the Brown Act, a California law designed to guarantee the public’s right to meaningful participation in agency meetings. Specifically, NID arbitrarily cut off public comment at the Special NID Board Meeting October 9, 2018. Hundreds attended the meeting in the Grass Valley Veterans Memorial Building, where they waved blue papers in support of SYRCL’s request to stop work on Centennial Dam while updating the Raw Water Master Plan (RWMP). When the NID facilitator stopped the meeting at 8:30 p.m., many were left standing in line waiting to give public comment.
According to SYRCL’s letter, NID also violated the Brown Act by not distributing Director Miller’s resolution to the public simultaneously with the Board. The public did not have access to the new resolution language until two days later, in a Yubanet.com article. That evening, Miller’s resolution was approved unanimously by the Board, without public review and limited public comment.
SYRCL’s Executive Director Melinda Booth commented, “NID fundamentally deprived our community of a fair public process on an important issue on October 9th, and as a community organization we feel obligated to bring these violations to NID’s attention.”
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In order to “cure” these violations, SYRCL has requested NID hold another hearing on Miller’s resolution, allowing for adequate public comment, review and discussion of work and spending on Centennial Dam. In light of the Raw Water Master Plan endeavor, SYRCL believes NID must hold another hearing as an act of good faith to the community and to comply with California law.
NID has 30 days to respond and will be reviewing SYRCL’s letter in closed session at their Board Meeting.
The South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) is the leading voice for the protection and restoration of the Yuba River watershed. Founded in 1983 through a rural, grassroots campaign to defend the South Yuba River from proposed hydropower dams, SYRCL has developed into a vibrant community organization with more than 3,500 members and volunteers. See: www.yubariver.org.