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County Awards $125 K in Economic Development

The Nevada County Board of Supervisors yesterday approved spending $125 thousand dollars for economic development activities in the current fiscal year.  $40 thousand dollars will go to the Economic Resource council of Nevada County to attract, retain, and grow business and jobs in the county; a $10 thousand dollar contract goes to support Truckee Tomorrow, to focus on economic development for the Eastern County; and a $50 thousand dollar contract goes to the Nevada County Chambers of Commerce to continue activities to promote and market countywide tourism.

Awarding of the Fourth contract for $20 thousand dollars for maintenance of the County’s new tourism website, Go Nevada County dot com., proved to be more contentious.  Nine companies submitted bids and of the top four, a Budget subcommittee recommended Shannon Pelline, editor of Sierra Food Wine Art Magazine.  The controversy arose during public comment when Nevada City resident Judi Caler stated that Shannon Pelline is married to is Jeff Pelline, a local blogger with some controversial views, and “how will the county insure his opinions will not filter into the county website?”

Supervisor Ted Owens said he has been the subject of Pelline’s blog but believes the contract is going to the best choice.

“In the past, has Mr. Pelline been my friend? No. He’s hacked my ass a couple of times. I was not appreciative of that. But that’s life. I don’t like it when the Dallas Cowboys win the Superbowl either, but sometimes it happens.”

Supervisor Owens says he stands by his recommendation as a member of the budget subcommittee to award the contract to Shannon Pelline.

“Well then I’m going to stick with integrity and I’m going to go with what the recommendation was on the budget sub-committee because it was the superior response to the RFP. We didn’t put in an RFP anything that said, ‘if you’re not a friend of the board, you need not apply.”

Supervisor Owens added that the County would have the ability to ax the contract if there were improprieties in the future.

Shannon Pelline says her husband is part of the team that will be working on maintaining the county website, but she does not see that as a conflict. Also on the team is Blue Cat Studio, a marketing firm from Auburn.

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