Besides the seasons changing, I’m getting a little change of pace at my newspaper as I cover Nevada City, Calif., during the summer because a colleague is out on medical leave.
So instead of investing most of my time in Little League and digging up sports features, I’ll be digging into the Nevada City budget and working on the metro side of the paper four days a week and continuing to handle sports duties one day a week.
All while still wearing my online community manager hat.
It’s not too big of a change for me except the hours. I’m scrambling to adjust to the 9-to-5 grind after doing the 3-to-midnight. (That’s still messing with my body clock.) I had a great opportunity to help cover the city of Oakland a few years back when I was with the Tribune, doing mostly crime and general assignment work. So I’m a bit prepared for this kind of duty. (It was between multiple bouts of sports writing for various newspapers.)
This time around, the stakes are a little higher. (When I was in Oakland, I was helping cover the mayoral election in which Ron Dellums was seated.) With the ongoing state budget issues, municipals like Nevada City — and even Grass Valley — have to worry about the particulars of where its money is going and how the books are balanced. Nevada City passed its budget Wednesday night to little fanfare after increasing its water rate 8 percent. I wrote about that for today’s paper.
Looking ahead, the city will have to account for Gov. Arnold Schwarzennegger’s plan to take $120,000 in local funds in his proposed budget. It’ll be an ongoing issue which probably won’t be resolved during my tenure covering the city as the state legislature has not passed a budget on time (June 30 deadline) in many years.
Otherwise, it should be fun to work in the A section for a bit. I’m looking forward to making more connections in the city and this will give me a great opportunity to do that.