COVID-19 response tops government stories of 2020 – The Union of Grass Valley

In a year that at times seemed to span a decade, The Union looks back at the top government stories of 2020.


With the brunt of enforcing public health mandates falling to local governments, Nevada County has seen both public pushback and the community coming together in response.

In March, Nevada County governments facilities closed in-person services, marking the first notable response to the pandemic locally. Since then the government response has led to the resignation of former Nevada City Mayor Reinette Senum, protests against the county, an abandoned effort to create an up to $10,000 fine for noncomplaint businesses, and a lawsuit against the state and county.


Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital’s Dr. Dawn Harris smiles from under her mask as she gets the first COVID-19 vaccination Tuesday evening in Grass Valley, one of the first to receive the inoculation in Nevada County.
Elias Funez

“The economic, physiological, psychological and emotional damage we’re enduring completely outweighs any benefits we’re seeing,” Senum said of state mandates at the time.

But the response was also marked by community resilience, reflected in the efforts of local nonprofits and through the Nevada County Relief Fund, which raised close to $1 million for small businesses and nonprofits with county matching funds.

2. ELECTION 2020

Last year Nevada County voters cast their ballots four times to fill two state seats, but fatigue did not set in as the county set records for the presidential election turnout.


People walk up to the drive-thru ballot drop box at the Eric Rood Administrative Center in Nevada City.
Elias Funez

In Grass Valley, the election brought two new members to the City Council, along with the reelection of Councilwoman Jan Arbuckle. Nevada City reelected Senum and added two new members in March, before

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