Incline’s Delanoy resigns from TRPA board |

Incline’s Delanoy resigns from TRPA board

Andrew Pridgen

KINGS BEACH – After 16 years, Incline Village attorney Drake Delanoy stepped down from his post as member of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board at its meeting Wednesday.

Delanoy, 77, took a few parting shots as he went out the door.

The board’s longest-serving statesman was appointed by then Nevada Gov. Bob Miller in 1989 and spoke candidly to fellow board members as well as TRPA staff before informally passing his seat along to Chuck Ruthe, 71, a Las Vegas-based attorney.

During his final comments, Delanoy, described by other board members as a “sometimes-cantankerous Democrat,” expressed some concern about the current overall direction of the agency.

“I’ve noticed a turnover with TRPA staff in recent years,” Delanoy said. “I know there’s a new philosophy here. A ‘change in culture’ they call it. This may have caused the turnover. It may be good overall, but we’ve lost a lot of valuable, dedicated staff over the last couple of years.”

Delanoy was also quick to remind fellow board members of their true mission and, in some cases, how they may be coming up short.

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“We are the go-betweens between the public and the executive director and staff,” Delanoy said, noting a “fair amount” of public concern that the agency currently serves too few around the basin.

“It shows me there may be a lack of facts, of science, of laws or, in some cases – thought and direction. There may be a way to look at this and analyze what (you are) going to do.”

One such plan in need of analyzing, Delanoy said, was the agency’s involvement creating a basin-wide wildfire plan, both to responsibly clear areas of dense vegetation that is a fire hazard as well as come up with an evacuation system.

“Four years ago we started on this,” Delanoy said. “We have no evacuation plan, time has gone on, money has been spent.”

Delanoy was also curious about the direction of future projects like Pathway 2007, a multi-agency plan for the overall make-up of the basin over the next two decades, which he estimated would cost in the neighborhood of $22 million – money he hoped would be spent wisely.

His final request was that the agency hire an outside consultant to make sure both management and staff are evaluated.

Other board members expressed their gratitude for Delanoy’s service and honesty until the very end.

“With the passing of Drake, the greatest generation this board has ever seen is depleted by half,” said boardmember Jerry Waldie. “He is really such a close friend. I admire his honesty, passion and humor.”

When reminded by the rest of the board that Delanoy’s “passing” has in fact not yet occurred, Waldie smiled and amended his comment.

“Let’s just call it his ‘unforeseen departure’.”

TRPA spokeswoman Julie Regan said the agency will miss Delanoy’s dedication and service, noting “I’m sure we haven’t heard the last from him.”

“He continues to stay active locally, in Incline Village,” Regan said. “He’s always been engaged in local as well as state-wide issues. His role, the way he’s defined himself for a long time, is to represent the state of Nevada. He took it seriously and looked out for citizens of the state of Nevada.”