The Nevada County Consolidated Fire District Board admits they may have inadvertently missed a step in the appointment process when they appointed a new director to fill the vacancy left by Bob Rhodes.
Rhodes, who won election just last year submitted his resignation effective on August 14th. The Consolidated Board had a board meeting August 15th but no action was taken. At the Board’s September 19th meeting, last week, the Board passed a resolution accepting Rhodes resignation and then the Board decided to appoint Ronald Pennington to fill the vacancy. Pennington had run for a position on the Nevada County Consolidated Board in the November election but failed to receive enough votes. Nevada County Elections Office Senior clerk, Elise Strickler explains Government Code that Special Districts must follow to fill vacant seats.
click here to listen to Elise Strickler
It appears Nevada County Consolidated Fire District did not comply with at least two California Government codes, first by not notifying the elections office of the vacancy, and second by not posting notices at least 15 days in advance of appointing someone to the vacant seat. Nevada County Clerk Recorder Greg Diaz says last Friday, (September 20) “Nevada County Elections was notified by former Nevada County Consolidated employee Lisa LaBarbera of non-compliance by NCCFD of established codified procedures relating to a resignation of a NCCFD Board Member. The relevant statutory code sections are California Government Code Sections 1780 (b) and 1780 (d)(1).
According to the California Government Code, the Nevada County Elections Office has no affirmative duty to act because of a District’s non-compliance with California Government Code Sections 1780 (b) and 1780 (d)(1). The Elections Office has given all information received to the Nevada County Counsel, Alison Barratt-Green.”