Supervisor Sue Novasel District V Newsletter

August 29, 2019                                                                                     Edition #25

Supervisor Novasel

El Dorado County

District V Supervisor, Sue Novasel Updates and Input Newsletter 


Public Meetings Scheduled for U.S. Highway 50 Echo Summit Project

Full Highway Closure Anticipated in Late September

Caltrans is hosting two public meetings next month to discuss details of a potential full closure of U.S. Highway 50 over Echo Summit to accommodate bridge construction.

The $14.1 million Highway 50 Echo Summit Sidehill Viaduct project is replacing the existing bridge, which was built in 1939, with a structure that meets current seismic and safety standards. Construction started in May and will be completed either this fall or next spring.

Two meetings have been scheduled to inform the public of a potential full closure of Highway 50 for up to 14 days beginning in late September. The closure is necessary in order for the contractor to install new girders and demolition work on the existing structure.

Town Hall
549 Main Street, Placerville
Wednesday, Sept. 4
5:30-6:30 p.m.

California Conservation Corps Tahoe Center
1949 Apache Ave, Meyers
Thursday, Sept. 5
5:30-6:30 p.m.

 A signed detour will be in place during the closure (see map for details). Local residents and businesses will be issued passes to use Johnson Pass Road as a detour during the closure. More information on that will be provided at the meetings.

 This project includes $5.2 million in funding from Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act of 2017, was signed into law on April 28, 2017. This legislative package invests $54 billion over the next decade to fix roads, freeways and bridges in communities across California and puts more dollars toward transit and safety. For more information on SB 1, visit

Weather or other unexpected events may delay or prolong the work. For more information on the project, visit on Twitter @way2Tahoe or on Facebook/Way2Tahoe.


Joint Meeting on El Dorado County Homelessness Issue Scheduled

First time El Dorado County, Cities of South Lake Tahoe and Placerville officials hold joint meeting

Elected officials from El Dorado County, the City of South Lake Tahoe and the City of Placerville are scheduled to hold a public meeting Friday, September 6th regarding the issue of homelessness. It is the first time the three jurisdictions have held a joint meeting on any issue.

"This is a pervasive and increasingly challenge in all areas of our County and if we, as government bodies, are to make meaningful progress, we must take a holistic, collective approach to addressing this issue," said El Dorado County Chief Administrative Officer, Don Ashton.

The purpose of the Sept 6th meeting will be to introduce the upcoming five-year homeless strategic planning process in El Dorado County.  

The meeting will include review of local data on homelessness to ensure the City Councils and Board of Supervisors have a common understanding of County-wide data on local homelessness, a review of upcoming funding streams through the State of California, and an overview of what to expect over the coming weeks and months as the strategic planning process kicks off and is implemented. 

Presentations will be made by representatives from HomeBase, a nationally recognized non-profit public interest law firm dedicated to providing technical assistance to county-regions in their efforts to impact homelessness and which currently provides such assistance to El Dorado County Opportunity Knocks Continuum of Care; the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency about implementing the upcoming Homeless Housing Assistance Program; and Daniel Del Monte, El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency deputy director regarding the overall state of homelessness in the County.

"The meeting will conclude with a brief presentation from Catholic Charities of Sonoma County, providing a sort of "show and tell" on an evidence based program that is highly successful in Santa Rosa, CA," said El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency director, Don Semon. "Their program has impacted homelessness, reduced local costs to jurisdictions, hospitals, and businesses, and will be informative for all stakeholders and the public."  

The meeting will be held in Placerville at the El Dorado County Fairgrounds, Organ Room at 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public.


Supervisors Meet with State Insurance Commissioner to Discuss Efforts to Help Residents Find, Keep Fire Insurance

California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara met with El Dorado County officials yesterday to discuss his efforts to help residents facing homeowner policy cancelation, nonrenewal notices and premium increases. Acknowledging the recent rash of El Dorado County residents experiencing this challenge, Lara laid out a plan to help homeowners have access to affordable policies they need in times of disaster.

“This meeting was a positive first step in helping Commissioner Lara understand the challenges in El Dorado County and establish a relationship with him and his staff to help meet our residents’ needs,” said District III Supervisor Brian Veerkamp. “We also explained how our recently-enacted vegetation management ordinance dovetails into his belief that pre-disaster prevention and mitigation is a key component to this issue and the impact unavailable coverage has not only on homeowners but also our economy and our government’s ability to provide needed services to our residents.”

The visit comes in response to a letter sent to the Commissioner by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors on July 25th seeking assistance with the lack of available and affordable fire insurance for residents living in fire-prone areas. “We’re pleased that Commissioner Lara understands our County’s issue and heard our suggestions for legislative and regulatory solutions that will bring parity to how insurance carriers assess risk and that they take into account vegetation management and defensible space efforts made by homeowners,” said District I Supervisor John Hidahl.

Lara shared his outline for a comprehensive outreach program that included forming a task force to help define community-wide fire mitigation efforts, committed to sending strike teams to El Dorado County to help affected residents connect to available resources and assist local government with assessing and responding to insurance issues and holding a series of town hall meetings to directly communicate with residents.

He also encouraged residents to call the California Department of Insurance’s toll-free hotline at 800-927-4357 with any questions and for help with investigation into nonrenewals for compliance with laws, noting that it is a live, staff-supported service rather than a recorded line.

Lara told El Dorado County officials he is advocating for new legislation that would require insurance carriers to renew policies for homes that have been hardened against wildfire and are located within a “wildfire mitigated” community. The broader concern for wildfire mitigation efforts on public lands was also a point of discussion, since so much of El Dorado County land owned by state and federal government is adjacent to private landowners.

Lara also informed meeting attendees that he is advocating for an increase to policy limits under the California FAIR Plan and is seeking to require insurers to provide a 180-day notification period prior to cancelation or nonrenewal in addition to the currently-required 45 days and that he has already issued notices to insurers to make sure claims are handled fairly and in a timely manner.

“We will work with the Commissioner’s staff to schedule town hall meetings and provide that information to residents as soon as possible,” said Veerkamp. “In the meantime, we encourage everyone to visit our homepage at for more information about homeowners insurance and for information about our vegetation management ordinance and defensible space.”

Free Aging and Caregiver Educational Series Coming to South Lake Tahoe

The El Dorado County Health and Human Services Agency, Family Caregiver Support Program (FCSP) is pleased to present a free Aging and Caregiver educational series in South Lake Tahoe. The series provides tools and strategies to help family caregivers of older adults handle the unique challenges they face.

The five-week series will be held on Mondays, beginning October 7, 2019, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel located at 4130 Lake Tahoe Blvd in South Lake Tahoe. Series dates and topics include:

• October 7, 2019 - Disaster Preparedness Planning: Learn about emergencies and how to prepare for them, including how to create a Personal Support Network, make a ‘Stay Healthy’ kit, plan for an evacuation and more.

• October 14, 2019 - Effective Communication Strategies: Learn to decode verbal and behavioral communication with people who have a cognitive functioning loss. Leave with strategies for meaningful connection with people in early, middle and late stage dementia.

• October 21, 2019 – What is Dementia? Symptoms, Types & Diagnosis: Learn more about dementia. While dementia is common (up to half of those aged 85 or older may have a form of dementia), it isn’t a normal part of aging.

• October 28, 2019 – Caring for the Caregiver: Mindful Self Care: Learn how to "take time" for self-care, and explore resources for solace and respite from caregiving.

• November 4, 2019 – What is Elder Abuse and How to Prevent It?: Learn about different types of elder abuse (physical, emotional, financial, criminal vs. civil, etc.), how to prevent abuse and how to protect yourself and loved ones.

Participants of the educational series may attend one or all of the classes. The classes are free of charge, although donations are accepted. The classes are given by local subject matter experts as an educational opportunity only; no solicitation of services is presented. Advanced registration is requested, but not required. Call (530) 621-6151 to register or for questions.
The educational series is provided by the El Dorado County FCSP, and In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) Public Authority, in partnership with El Dorado County Income Support, Senior Legal Services, and the Northern California and Northern Nevada Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association.
For information about additional services for older adults and caregivers in El Dorado County, please visit  


  • Echo Summit Project Meetings
  • Joint Meeting on Homelessness
  • State Insurance Commissioner
  • Aging and Caregiver Series


Prostate Cancer Awareness Month


At the August 27th Board of Supervisors meeting, I presented prostate cancer survivor, Richard Montgomery, with a proclamation declaring September 2019 as Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.




In the year ahead, your El Dorado County Board of Supervisors will be moving forward on our strategic planning for capital improvements, investing in communities and balancing the budget, while improving roads and county services.

My goals for 2018:

  • Maintain an environment of respectful conversation and positive change.
  • Protect Tahoe’s fair share funding.
  • Continue to strengthen Tahoe’s voice in County affairs.
  • Reduce traffic congestion on local roads and in neighborhoods. 
  •  Improve recreation access and opportunities. 
  • Protect and expand services for our most vulnerable population, including children, families, veterans and seniors.

For current information on road conditions countywide follow the
El Dorado County link:



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Child Support Awareness Month



Vikingsholm Castle's 90th Birthday


On August 6th I presented Proclamations for Child Support Awareness Month and in honor of the 90th birthday of Vikingsholm Castle.