My view: Notes from the front row
December 21, 2012
Finally done. Years ago I was invited to be on the Pathway 2007 Forum Group to develop a new regional plan. Who would have thought it would finally be done five years later? It’s been a long road of endless meetings with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency board voting to approve the Regional Plan Update. The new plan signifies a break between the old environment at all costs over everything else and embraces a new direction that recognizes the relationship between the environment, the community, the local economy and working to improve the total package. It’s a progressive approach that has been long supported by many in the local community. Getting the Regional Plan Update across the finish line was no small accomplishment and I believe Nevada’s enactment of SB271 was a key factor; without it I still think there would be meetings and meetings.
Speaking of Nevada SB271, what many are forgetting is that the bill not only called for the adoption of the Regional Plan Update without lawsuit, but the part that no one is talking about is the part that called for getting rid of the current board voting structure that requires a super majority for new projects. California has indicated it’s a non-starter but it will be interesting to see how Nevada will react to that part of SB271. While there has already been a move to repeal SB271 in the Nevada Legislature, it will be interesting to see if a bill can be passed and whether it can evade the governor’s veto pen.
Last month I wrote about the issue of paid parking and, as expected, the reaction against it has been pretty loud – that’s to be expected. But this issue is much bigger in that it is changing the status quo. I often hear that the city needs to change and we can’t do things the way we used to. But change is funny. It’s my observation that we all want change, but too often we want change for the other guy. We are going to have many more tough decisions. How do we move forward? South Shore will never be what it once was. We have big, serious challenges and we need an approach and leadership to deal with that change. Get ready.
I had a chance to go to the Lake Tahoe Adventure Film Festival several weeks ago and it’s a great event, a chance to see outdoor adventure in a way that pays tribute to the individuals who are doing it and those who are filming it. But one of the constant messages throughout the evening that impeccable host Todd Offenbacher exhorts his tribe of attendees to do is make Tahoe better. So simple but so profound; simple in that it’s something that everyone understands and gets, but profound in that it challenges everyone and the community to consistently improve. The status quo won’t do, it’s a statement that should frame all that we do. Make Tahoe better.
Sandy Hook. What can I or anyone say? What an incredible tragedy, but we have seen it before. Now we will start the finger pointing about what is to blame. We do need to have a real discussion and pass legislation if appropriate for a wide range of issue including semi-automatic weapons, tighter licensing and background checks, ammunition, etc. But any legislation needs to be part of a solution not just make people feel better. (For the record I do own a shotgun I use for trap shooting but I also recognize something is not working.) But for my money we need to increase the emphasis on mental health resources, especially for teens. Mental health is constantly underfunded with outdated laws. Parents need more and better options for their kids. If this issue is completely overshadowed by gun control because it’s trendy on someone’s political agenda, I believe we will have truly missed it. Want to raise my taxes Gov. Jerry Brown or President Barack Obama? OK. But put mine toward increased mental health funding.
Can’t miss the Robert Randolph and the Family Band show at Harrahs Dec. 28. Robert Randolph is one incredible pedal steel player. Also, I am going to check out SnowGlobe. After much controversy last year, it’s back; looking forward to checking it out.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. Thanks to everyone who reads this column. I get many comments from those who agree with me and some who don’t, I appreciate them all.
– Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at email@example.com.