While Nevada City continues to wrestle with the issue of violence from Sunday, city council decided to not accept CARES Act funding to support law enforcement activities related to COVID-19. The funding is worth approximately 125 thousand dollars, which is the cost of a full time officer with benefits for one year, and flows from the state through the County Office to city police departments. Police Chief Chad Ellis says Nevada City propsed to use the funding to extend education efforts and not use it to hire a new officer. The chief says hiring isn’t economically feasible.
Mayor Erin Minnet, and council members Doug Fleming and Daniela Fernandez would like to take the money, but would rather use it for other covid-related expenses and not on the police department. Fernandez refers to the current social climate of the city.
During the public comment for the agenda item, several references were made saying the county threatened the city to take the money, or they would make things difficult in the future. Police Chief Chad Ellis and Vice Mayor Duane Strawser confirmed it was not true.
City Council directed city staff to not sign a memorandum of understanding and to make one more request, to the county, for alternate uses of the funding.