Nevada City City Council has removed a planning commissioner from her post on the commission following over two hours of public comment.; and the decision wasn’t unanimous. Passion and emotions ran high as the council made the tough personnel decision at Wednesday evening’s meeting.
In a split decision 3-2 vote, long time city advocate, planning commissioner, and former city council member, Laurie Oberholzer was effectively relieved of her duties on the commission.
Public comment both for and against her removal were heard as well as a final statement from Oberholzer regarding her contributions to the city over the last four decades.
Prior to the vote, each council member stated their position on Oberholzer’s performance.
Vice Mayor Doug Fleming, who most recently appointed Oberholzer to the planning commission supported keeping her onboard.
Council member Gary Petersen also supporting Oberholzer says the city is in enough turmoil from COVID and other personnel shifts; and firing a planning commissioner should not be a priority.
Council member Daniela Fernandez, who made the motion to dismiss Oberholzer, said she honored Laurie’s contributions and respect for the past- but was voting for Nevada City’s future and voted no.
Former mayor Erin Minett also supported the removal Oberholzer. Mayor Duane Strawser, who originally brought the issue to the council, also voted no saying the reason for the action was not a surprise for anyone at the table.
Though council eluded to more than one issue, the most recent upheaval regarding Oberholzer was the inability for the planning commission to move forward with a cottage unit ordinance that would increase affordable housing in Nevada City.