After two hours of presentations and public comment, both for and against continuation of the Commercial Street Boardwalk in Nevada City, the City Council was split 2 for and 2 against. The deciding vote rested in the hands of Nevada City Mayor Duane Strawser. Mayor Stawser referenced a number of contacts he had with Commercial Street business owners and other Nevada City residents as well as his own experiences on the Boardwalk and additional research as he cast the third and deciding vote for continuing the Boardwalk for another year.
The “Parent” of the Boardwalk, Reinette Senum, was overwhelmed with the support of the public after the vote passed 3-2.
In a presentation provided by Senum earlier in the evening, she referenced community involvement is the key to the Boardwalks success. Involving social positives will help make the Boardwalk more successful.
A major concern expressed by those opposed to continuation of the Boardwalk stated the undesirable element the Boardwalk attracted including security issues. An increase in police presence was requested. Police Chief Jim Wickham responded to the Council’s vote of approval.
The Boardwalk was referred to as a “social experiment” that needed to continue- even supporters agreed it wasn’t perfect. The problems with teens, smokers, unleashed dogs, and rowdy behavior existed before the Boardwalk was installed. Mayor Strawser stated that if the Boardwalk was removed the problems would return to the sidewalks of Commercial Street or relocate to another spot downtown.
Opponents to the Boardwalk included several business owners stating lost business as a result of lost parking and bad social elements. the Historical Society also strongly opposed the Boardwalk stating it potentially violated the Historical District designation.