As my year as chair of the Nevada County Board of Supervisors has come to an end, I want to start this message with a heartfelt expression of gratitude.
I am grateful to our county staff, our public health team, and community partners who stepped up with great courage and determination to serve our community during this unprecedented public health emergency. Working together, we’ve faced the pandemic head on. As we begin to administer the vaccine, we have reason for hope.
It’s not over yet, but armed with the facts, we know what we need to do to protect the health and safety of our families, friends, and neighbors: wear face masks, wash our hands, and maintain social distance. By taking these common-sense precautions now, we can return to a strong economy, open schools, and normal day-to-day activities.
These are trying times, but the generosity of our community won the day. One highlight is the Nevada County Relief Fund, which leveraged public dollars with personal donations to the tune of more than $1 million — helping small businesses across the county and many of our most vulnerable residents.
With our kids distance learning, our parents accessing telemedicine, and so many of us working remotely, 2020 will be remembered as the year when reliable internet access moved from a nice-to-have to a must-have. I commend the board for allocating $1 million to expedite broadband access to 800 residents, which wouldn’t otherwise have happened for another year. The board also funded the Distance Learning Center and Youth Hub, which connects students to the internet — an innovative solution developed by Bright Futures, the fairgrounds and county staff. Next, we must expand service countywide so everyone can connect to the internet.
New innovations are making our community safer. A