Commission meets today
The argument could be made moot today over whether it is a conflict of interest to ask Douglas County businesses to pay for a planning position at the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Douglas County commissioners could agree to pay for all of the county’s share of the costs, said Don Miner, Douglas County commissioner and member of the TRPA governing board.
“That’s probably what we’ll be moving on (this Thursday),” Miner said. “I want us to have a Douglas County planner at TRPA. I’m willing to pay for it.”
Commissioners debated last week whether to put a planner at TRPA for a two-week trial period, but there was a split vote. Commissioner Steve Weissinger, out of town last Thursday, should break the 2-2 tie at this week’s meeting.
If approved, the project is expected to be a big step in streamlining the basin’s permit process, where one planner will handle all of the permits for TRPA and Douglas County for that portion of Lake Tahoe. Douglas County is planning to provide the planner while TRPA provides the facilities in which he or she can work. Douglas County was pursuing the option of raising part – about $15,000 – of the money to pay for it from local businesses.
The question was raised, however, whether that created a conflict of interest for businesses. Douglas County District Attorney Scott Doyle had planned to ask the Nevada Commission on Ethics for a recommendation of what to do.
However, all of that could take months, Miner said, and proponents want to move forward on this as quickly as possible. He wants the county to pay for all of its share, about $40,000.
“That would bypass a lot of bureaucratic debate and deliberation on something that is vitally needed for projects in the basin,” he said.
Miner believes the planner will lessen the burden on other jurisdictions, expediting more projects throughout the basin. If the pilot program is successful, Miner says, other basin government agencies could follow Douglas County’s example.
Not all of the Douglas board sees it that way.
While Commission Chair Jacques Etchegoyhen sided with Miner, Commissioners Kelly Kite and Bernie Curtis – both frequent critics of TRPA – voted against the proposal at last Thursday’s meeting.
“My objections are deeper-seated. It goes back to a lack of efficiency and the level of obstructionism at the TRPA,” Curtis said at the meeting.
In further commission business today:
–Discussion and possible ordinance imposing the local sales and use tax for libraries, airports, facilities and services for senior citizens and parks and recreational programs.
–Discussion and possible action on the Stateline storm water project.
–Discussion and possible action on draft of Memorandum of Understanding with TRPA for Douglas County to operate a land coverage bank in the Tahoe Basin.
–Discussion of the NOMADS child support program.
–Update on Tahoe Metropolitan Planning Organization.
–Update on Coordinated Transit System.
–Presentation on Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority Marketing plan.
What: Douglas County Commission meeting
When:Today, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Douglas County Administration Building, 750 U.S. Highway 50, Stateline
– Tribune News Service reporter Sheila Gardner and staff writer Sarah Gonser contributed to this report
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