Friday Memo, County of Nevada
Photo of Alison Lehman

Alison Lehman Named Next CEO of Nevada County

After Tuesday’s Board of Supervisors meeting, the Board named Alison Lehman, currently Nevada County’s Assistant County Executive Officer, as Rick Haffey’s successor for County Executive Officer of Nevada County.

With a B.A. in Political Science from the University of California, Berkley, and a Masters of Public Administration from California State University, Northridge, Alison Lehman has more than twenty years of experience in government and community non-profit settings. She started her career with Nevada County in 2001, and has held several leadership positions including Director of Social Services, Interim Human Resources Director, Interim Public Health Director, Program Manager for the Health and Human Services Agency in the Truckee Satellite Office, as well as Program Manager for the Department of Social Services.

Alison has a commitment to administering strong programs that enhance the quality of life for families and continues to focus on meeting the challenges of service delivery in a rural community. She looks forward to stepping into her new role in the fall and continuing to address Nevada County’s most challenging issues, from mitigating wildfire risk to economic development and affordable housing. Nevada County looks forward to a smooth transition in leadership following Rick Haffey’s retirement. 

Alison currently resides with her husband Larry and their two young sons, Jason and Carson, in Grass Valley, California.

Photo of participants during the LOP Table Top exercise

Lake Wildwood Emergency Evacuation and Alert Tabletop Exercise

Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services (OES) is partnering with Lake of the Pines, Lake Wildwood, and their Homeowners Associations (HOA's) to host two table-top exercises. The exercises are designed to share and gather strategies between local emergency response agencies and do not require public participation. Participating agencies and organizations will work together during a simulated emergency event on alert and warnings such as CodeRed emergency alerts, operational coordination of evacuations between first responders and HOA’s, and re-population of evacuated communities.

Earlier this week, Nevada County OES hosted their first table top exercise for the Lake of the Pines and Alta Sierra area. The exercise was successful in bringing in multiple, local public safety agencies together to work on a simulated wildfire event in Alta Sierra.

District 3 Supervisor and Board Chair, Ed Scofield, said, "Preparedness exercises such as these are extremely important to the preparedness of our local public safety agencies and their ability to address an emergency situation in specific, local neighborhoods effectively and quickly. Not only do they provide a space for these local agencies to connect, but it also helps our first responders to start thinking of evacuation routes, road closures, and possible obstacles in the area."

The second table-top exercise will be held at Lake Wildwood on May 16th and will again focus on a wildfire incident occurring in the area.

For more information or any questions, please call Nevada County’s Office of Emergency Services at (530) 265-1515.

Week 2: Advancing Resilient Communities through Science & Technology logo

Building Safety Month: Advancing Resilient Communities through Science & Technology

Week two of Building Safety Month (May) is dedicated to outreach and information regarding "Advancing Resilient Communities through Science & Technology."  Science and technology are leading the way for designing and constructing safe, efficient and resilient homes and buildings. Up-to-date building safety codes and standards enable technology to be incorporated into buildings while ensuring safety for lives, properties and investments.

Drones are no longer novelties, but are increasingly being used to maintain construction site security and also offer a way to inspect difficult-to-reach areas, reducing the opportunity for accidents and injuries. Someday, robotics may be used on construction sites, overseen by skilled technicians, to handle tasks such as painting or laying masonry.

The California Building Standards Codes, developed by the International Code Council and California Building Standards Commission, use the latest technology for energy and water savings for homeowners and businesses. They remain committed to working with member jurisdictions and industry partners to bring the right building products and practices to market, labeling new homes and structures as more efficient, and spreading the word about the need for wiser resource usage and building resilient structures.

Resilience starts with strong, regularly updated, and properly implemented building codes. So, whether you're considering renovating, remodeling or building from the ground up, look for the latest technology and make sure it is based on the codes and standards that put safety and efficiency first.

For complete information regarding resilient construction practices and evolving construction technology you can visit International Code Council’s web page for Building Safety Month or Alliance for National & Community Resilience’s website.

The Nevada County Building Department is also hosting their third annual Building Fair from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, June 1st, at the Eric Rood Administrative Center to kick off Nevada County’s building season. The Building Fair is a free event that includes over forty vendors such as licensed contractors in multiple fields, architects, utility companies, building material suppliers, industry representatives, construction lenders, multiple city/county agencies and more.

For building questions about Building Safety Month, a current project, or Nevada County’s Building Fair, contact the Nevada County Building Department at (530) 265-1222 or

Photo of wildfire burning brush

Wildfire Awareness Week

This week, local public safety and wildfire preparedness agencies celebrated Wildfire Awareness Week with community Wildfire Preparedness Day, table top preparedness exercises, and more.

Preparing for wildfire is more important than ever. California’s wet winter created a sizable crop of new growth grass, but don’t let the wet weather fool you. The abundant grass dries into fuel-ripe tinder. Now is the time to act to prevent wildfires. Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. declared May 6th through 12th "Wildfire Awareness Week" to urge homeowners that fire defense is self-defense. Get ready – we are!

Already this year, CAL FIRE has responded to more than 950 wildfires that have burned over 5,800 acres. Californians need to accept fire as part of our natural landscape, understand the potential fire risk, and take action before a wildfire starts in order to minimize harm to residents, homes, businesses, and community assets. Home and property safety preparation should include creating a defensible space by clearing brush at least 100-feet or more away from your home, and using fire resistant landscaping to help stop the spread of wildfire.

Damage to the state’s forests from the extended drought will continue to intensify wildfire conditions this year. An estimated 129 million trees have died across the state due to drought conditions and the effects of the bark beetle infestation. These dead and dying trees make forests more susceptible to destructive wildfires and pose public safety risks from falling trees. No amount of rain will bring these dead trees back and it will take several years of continued rain to get back to normal levels of moisture.

Find wildfire preparedness checklists in CAL FIRE’s "Ready for Wildfire" app to help with year-round preparation. Residents can also visit to learn to learn how to create defensible space around their home.

While preparing for wildfire season, don't forget to sign-up for Nevada County's CodeRed Emergency Alerts. Registering with CodeRed is the only way to receive an emergency alert for your residence when you are away, and is a good way to keep track of emergency events that occur at a family member's residence as well. Sign-up today on Nevada County's Office of Emergency Services website.

Road Closure: Fay Road from May 9th - June 30th

Fay Road, between Janet Way and Clover Valley Road, will be closed to traffic May 9th through June 30th.  The delays will take place between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (weather permitting). C&D Contractors is performing construction work on behalf of NID to provide treated water service for area residents. Limited access for local residents will be maintained by the contractor, however traffic is encouraged to use Brewer Road as an alternate entry and exit route to avoid delays.

Please observe all traffic control signs and the instructions of onsite personnel.  Nevada County Public Works apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your patience.  For more information on the project please contact C&D Project Manager David Petty at or the Nevada County Department of Public Works at (530) 265-1411.

Community Recovery Resources logo

CoRR Recovery and Wellness Series with Dr. Cutler

Community Recovery Resources (CoRR) and Coalition for a Drug Free Nevada County (CDFNC) are hosting a Recovery and Wellness Series, with the next topic on Marijuana and Mental Health being presented by Nevada County Health Officer, Dr. Ken Cutler, on Thursday, May 17th, from 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.

Learn the history on cannabis use in the U.S., why our knowledge of it is somewhat "underdeveloped", and learn about known therapeutic effects, promising therapeutic avenues, and known concerns like cannabis and psychosis.  Dr. Cutler will also discuss reasons to be cautious, and focus on youth use prevention and consequences.

Space is limited; please RSVP to Serenity Madison at (530) 273-9541 ext. 217 or Find more information about the event on the event flyer.

Nevada County Community Library: Create. Connect. Inspire. logo

Upcoming Events at the Nevada County Library

Stop by your local Nevada County Library branch for fun activities for all ages! All Nevada County Library events can be found online on the Nevada County Library’s event calendar.

Tea Time Movie Screening: Tuesday, May 15th
Join the Nevada County Library for a free screening of Tea Time on Tuesday, May 15th, at 1:00 p.m. at the Madelyn Helling Library in the Community Room. This event is in collaboration with Point-Of-View, the award-winning independent nonfiction film series on PBS. Guests will enjoy tea and pastries during the documentary! For more information or to register for this event go to the Nevada County Library’s event calendar.

Color Theory: Friday, May 18th
Learn the fundamentals of color theory and become acquainted with the color wheel in “Color: The Basics and Beyond,” a presentation by Christine Barnes, on Friday, May 18th, at 10:00 a.m. at the Madelyn Helling Library. Christine is a local designer and the author of fourteen books, including Color for Your Home, by Sunset Magazine, and The Quilter’s Color Club. Space is limited; register on Nevada County Library’s event calendar. All registered attendees will receive their own color wheel designed by Christine Barnes!

Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District logo

Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District Workshop

Join the Nevada County Arts Council for a free workshop on Creative Placemaking for California Cultural Districts on Monday, May 21st, at 9 a.m. at the Miners Foundry in Nevada City. This workshop is part of phase one of creating a Community Arts Plan, in which the Nevada County Arts Council will look at key areas of focus for Grass Valley-Nevada City's state designated California Cultural District. It is sponsored by the Grass Valley-Nevada City Cultural District, via the Cities of Grass Valley and Nevada City, the Greater Grass Valley and Nevada City Chambers of Commerce, and Nevada County Arts Council.

The workshop will be led by Beth Macmillan, Executive Director of Artown Reno. This is an unparalleled opportunity to learn and give input in an active, participatory environment alongside other community leaders in the fields of arts, business, hospitality, health, education and local government.

Register for the event online, and learn more about the event from the Nevada County Arts Council at

Disaster-Proof Your Business Workshop

Like most of Nevada County, Grass Valley is a "severe wildfire risk" community, Cal Fire's highest-risk category. Learn how to "Disaster-Proof Your Business" at a free, half-day workshop on Thursday, May 17th, from 8:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at the Foothill Events Center in Grass Valley.

Wildfire season is lengthening, and wildfires are becoming increasingly destructive and fast-moving. The 2013 Rim Fire hit hard and close to home, burning more than 255,000 acres. Just in late 2017, the Tubbs Fire in Santa Rosa destroyed 5,500 structures, and the other Northern California fires burned $1.045 billion in property. The Thomas Fire in Santa Barbara County became the 3rd largest in state history, followed by destructive mudslides on the ravaged landscape.  Locally, last year the Wind Complex caused multiple fires in the greater Grass Valley area, including the McCourtney and Lobo fires, which together burned 60 structures in the area.

The Disaster Proof Your Business workshop is in partnership with PG&E, Sierra Business Council, Valley Vision, SBDC California, and the Grass Valley Chamber of Commerce.  RSVP is required; sign-up online.

United Way of Nevada County logo

United Way Food Access Saturday on May 12th

On Saturday, May 12th, United Way, in partnership with Interfaith Food Ministry, will distribute food for Food Access Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at 440 Henderson Street in Grass Valley.

The program, Food Access Saturday: Uniting to Support Working Families, happens the 2nd Saturday of the month and is specifically designed for working individuals and families who need supplemental groceries. The program encourages those who have been struggling with food insecurity, but due to working traditional hours have never received supplemental food support from Interfaith Food Ministry to participate in Food Access Saturday.

Any working individuals and families who need food can participate. Current Interfaith Food Ministry clients who are working and find it difficult or sometimes impossible to come during the weekly distribution are also welcome to participate on Saturday. New clients will need to provide a picture ID, proof of residency in Nevada County, and Social Security numbers for all those in the family.

For more information, contact United Way at (530) 274-8111 or

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