When we exercise our right to vote, we are casting a vote for the future of education, property values, safety, economy and the very fabric of our community. As individuals we conduct our research and check the boxes for the candidates we believe will honor the collective vision and greater good of our entire community. We trust that the candidates won't arrive with a personal or political agenda that colors their decision-making. When we choose well, we get officials who have the capacity to review issues from all perspectives, enabling them to cast their votes from a place of enlightened integrity in alignment with the aforementioned community vision.
Soon those we've already elected will be faced with the thankless task of casting our votes for us. On Tuesday, our City Council will hopefully appoint a fifth council member to fill an 18-month term. It is my belief that council must make this appointment no matter how difficult. The alternative of holding an election needlessly exposes our community to the potential of council deadlocking in 2-2 votes creating a moratorium on our progress, not to mention the economic strain of an election.
Sacramento officials will be making two appointments in the coming months that greatly affect our community. The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board is comprised of local jurisdiction representatives in addition to State of California and Nevada appointments. At the December board meeting, Byron Sher, California Senate Rules Committee appointee, resigned, and this week Mara Bresnick, California Assembly Speaker appointee, annouced her resignation.
The appointed city and TRPA officials alongside their peers will be faced with making community altering decisions impacting the economic, aesthetic and environmental future of the South Shore. Over the next 18 months, these two boards will vote on the Tahoe Valley Community Plan, the South Shore Tourism Core Community Plan and the Highway 50 Revitalization Project. Additionally, the TRPA board will vote on area plans from around the basin, including Douglas County's Stateline Community Plan aligned with the South Shore Tourism Core Plan. Given the lasting impacts these plans will have on residents and visitors, it is extremely important that the appointees are open-minded and possess the ability to evaluate these items on their merits to improve the future economic vitality of the South Shore.
I am urging city and state officials to use the utmost integrity and judgment in their process. Consider that some of these applicants are first-timers. There are others on the sidelines watching and considering whether they, too, might enter a future race. Please recall the courage it took each of you to enter this competitive and combative arena, and do all you can to ensure the process is transparent and professional. Let us use this as a teaching moment for our youth and as encouragement for future leaders.
And finally, I thank each of our public service officials for their commitment and dedication. It is a personal and family sacrifice not sufficiently appreciated and recognized.
- Betty "B" Gorman, J.D., B.S., A.C.E., is the president and CEO of TahoeChamber.