Bruce Grego: In response to Carl Ribaudo’s column (opinion)
I really don’t know what Carl Ribaudo does for a living, but it’s not the practice of law.
The issue concerning the Loop Road initiative turned out to be an issue of standing, the right to participate in litigation. In the first stages of this litigation, Laurel Ames, Billy Crawford and I, as initiative signatories, were named as “real parties of interest” in the lawsuit brought by Jason Collin to defeat the initiative.
After the “real parties in interest” beat Jason Collin and the city of South Lake Tahoe in a court proceeding where they intended to prevent this matter from being placed on the ballot, Collin’s attorney dismissed us from the case … a smart tactical move.
If you can’t beat the arguments of the opponents, get rid of the opponents.
Let’s not forget that the city of South Lake Tahoe, under the prior council through City Attorney Tom Watson collaborated with Mr. Collin to defeat this initiative. No one was left to represent the voters!
The last evidence of this collaboration was when Austin Sass, after being soundly defeated in the last election, used the city’s position at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to vote for the EIR and in favor of Loop Road.
I took this matter all the way State Supreme Court, not being concerned about risk of defeat, or “defeated four times” as Carl alleges, but to fulfill the commitment of the real parties in the interest and all those who circulated the petition and those who signed the petition, to seek an election on the Loop Road.
If given the opportunity, I would do it again. We are not finished with this fight. I believe that the odds that the Loop Road will never be built are greater than the odds it will be built.
The proponents called the Loop Road the “U.S. 50 South Shore Community Revitalization Project.” Great propaganda. The better name for this Loop Road should be the “US 50 Special Interest, Residential Housing Destruction and Socio-Economic Displacement Project.”
We should always be suspicious of those that seek to limit democracy. This is a project where the major collateral impact is located within the city of South Lake Tahoe and the people should decide whether this road should be built within their community.
Personally, I feel the personal attacks by Carl are complementary. The proponents know that their project is in trouble and are now reducing their arguments to personal attacks.
Thanks, Carl, for this insight.
Bruce Grego is a local attorney and former member of South Lake Tahoe City Council.