When the candidates for District 5 Supervisor and other offices were introduced last week, Mimi Garner was dealing with a family emergency and unable to respond. Her brief biographical information, as well as her answers to questions posed by Plumas News are printed below.
Garner is challenging incumbent Supervisor Jeff Engel in the June 7 Primary to represent the Mohawk Valley area, as well as portions of East Quincy.
Age: 70 years young and going strong!
Occupation: Active, licensed CA Real Estate Broker (DRE#0061616
Professional Pet Sitter – Where Happy Hounds Hang Out!
Motto: The High Sierra’s Await You!
Family: I dedicate my run for office to my sister Marcia Galuski who passed away in December, 2019. When I ran for District 5 Board of Supervisors in 2018, Marcia was my greatest supporter. She was an 8 year resident of Plumas County. She lived and made family of the friends she met living at the Eastern Plumas Hospital skilled nursing home and attending the New Life Christian Church with me near Maybe on Hwy 70. She lived half her life as a quadriplegic and despite her debilitating physical handicaps, she was always laser focused, smiling and a joy to be around. She was a wonderful person who is deeply missed by me. She would be proud that I am running for Supervisor again.
Why are you running to represent District 5 on the Plumas County Board of Supervisors?
I am running for District 5 Supervisor because there are so many issues facing the county that need to get done. Without a doubt, I am the most qualified candidate running. My entrepreneurial spirit is my biggest asset. I enjoy solving problems. I am in good health. I think out of the box. I can get the big engine of small business going again. I did it at Gold Mountain and I can do it again. It’s time for NEW DIRECTIONS.
What pertinent experience do you bring to the position?
I have a proven track record of accomplishments. Have you been to Gold Mountain? Played golf at the Dragon? Eaten or had drinks at the Frank Lloyd Wright Nakoma clubhouse? It was my project. I built it in 1995. Nakoma continues to provide good paying jobs and fills the county coffers every year with $750,000 in property tax revenues, PLUS, untold revenues in bed taxes and sales taxes. Go up to Nakoma and see what I created for our community. The legacy that I left. Then come June 7th vote for me.
As the original developer of the 1,280 acre Gold Mountain subdivision, I constructed over 60,000 square feet of homes, vacation timeshares and the 24,000 sf Nakoma clubhouse, as well as, an 18-hole championship golf course, 18 water wells and 15 miles of roads and underground. The project required the formation of the Gold Mountain homeowner association and community services district which I ran for over 5 years. I worked directly with many Plumas County departments to get that project built.
As an active Realtor, I continue to work with Plumas County departments to close real estate sales which involves investigating properties and working with the county to research and resolve real property issues. I am a self starter and a proven leader. I get things done. Or I don’t get paid. I believe Leadership is about Action. Not the Position.
Name the three most significant challenges that this county is facing and what would you do to address them?
There are so many important issues facing the county that need to be addressed but I would consider the most serious challenge is centered on wildfires including prevention, safety, evacuation, forest cleanup and programs to get the burned timber directly into hands of local residents in the form of firewood and timber. The timber can easily be turned into lumber for local housing. I would support working with the State of California and authorities to release the burned timber to locals for immediate use. Fire insurance coverage needs to be addressed as well. I have the background to find solutions to these problems. My development at Gold Mountain had to address fire issues in the environmental impact report and once built, fire safety was top of mind on a daily basis.
Another major challenge surrounds reviving tourism and small businesses which is the backbone of District 5’s economy and creates many good paying jobs. The county collects million in bed taxes annually but puts it all directly into the general fund. I believe that the bed tax should be used to market the county to increase tourism and help finance our special districts who respond to visitor’s safety during their stays including the fire departments, hospitals, EMTs, Sheriffs, etc. I support using bed taxes to revive the local tourist industry and help subsidize special districts.
Plumas county is facing housing shortages, increased sales prices and increasing rents, not to mention rising interest rates. First, we need to rebuild the homes lost to wildfires to stabilize those families. We need to reassess our senior housing and affordable housing programs for first time buyers. I am already working with a modular home company to fill the housing gap. As an active real estate broker, my expertise in these areas and my connections with lenders and builders could be very helpful. When tourism, small businesses and housing are on solid footing, property and sales tax revenues will increase substantially for the county and will replace the bed tax used for tourism. It’s time to use bed taxes to invest in our community.
What are your constituents listing as their primary concerns and how would you address them?
- The number one thing constituents ask about is when will we get our printed local newspaper back. They say that “online” news just isn’t the same. Seniors do not have computers and do not know how to operate them. They suffer the most from not having a printed newspaper. A printed paper connects us all.
- Constituents want the Feather River Inn reopened and opened to the public. This item always comes up in any conversation I have with folks. They want fried chicken and prime rib weekends, 9-hole golf and a comfy chair on the porch. With my development background I can evaluate their proposals and help them get the Inn open.
- I volunteer weekly at the Mohawk Community Resource Center andI find this facility to be inadequate to meet the needs of District 5. It’s too small, under staffed, has to pay rent, and is only open a couple days a week. It should be opened daily. Our seniors depend on the center for their social connections to the community. We need a conference center and community park. I want to build a Civic Center and Senior Center that meets District 5’s needs.
- I also volunteer on two Special Districts boards which puts me in direct contact with the 350 board members that oversee the 65 CSDs in the county. They need help in many areas including grant writing. The county should invest in our special districts by establishing a grant writing department so they can secure state and federal funds. Our animal shelter and sheriff’s department could benefit from grants too.
- As a long time small business woman, I talk to the owners ofsmall business everywhere I go. They always tell me they want to know and have some say in what Plumas County government is doing. I would suggest that the BOS establish a weekly online/printed newsletter and form an independent advisory councils made up of local stakeholders to help guide the board in understanding the immediate needs of the community.
- Many people, especially seniors, have been telling me they are in the need of transportation to and from Reno to go to the doctors and shop. With soaring inflation and gas prices, it’s time to start planning for daily runs to and from Reno. I have been investigating and envisioning transportation hubs at Chilcoot, downtown Portola, Feather River Inn and Greenhorn Ranch. The hubs would include EV charging stations, sheriff and CHP stations, park setting and safe bus stops and long term future train depots.
A vote for Mimi Garner is a vote for Action, Action, Action! I will listen to you, work hard for you and communicate with you often.