Irvin: ‘City does not condone, support, or authorize Lake2O event’ (Opinion)
The safety of our community is my highest priority. As the Lake2O event was recently announced to take place on Oct. 19-23, residents and business owners understandably have shared concerns that promoters and participants of this event in 2020 failed to respect our community.
While the promoters claim they are doing everything they can to ensure 2020 is not repeated, I want to make the City’s position very clear. The City does not condone, support, or authorize the Lake2O event within our jurisdiction. The City is not a good fit, or the appropriate venue for this type of event. As a matter of first amendment rights, however, the City cannot prevent the gathering of people or violate anyone’s constitutional rights in our process and response.
Due to traffic, parking, and public safety issues, this event does not just negatively impact the City, but also places a significant burden on our neighboring jurisdictions, including El Dorado and Douglas counties, California Highway Patrol and Nevada Highway Patrol. South Lake Tahoe Police Department is working closely with these neighboring law enforcement agencies for a well-coordinated and increased traffic enforcement during the event dates in and around the City and neighboring communities. At a minimum, law enforcement activities will include the following:
— Vehicle code violations including, but not limited to, speed contests, reckless driving, speeding, exhibition of speed, modified exhaust, and any other violations will be strictly enforced.
— In addition to citations, vehicles will be towed when allowable by law. Additional tow truck resources will be called in to assist with this effort.
— We are planning coordinated traffic enforcement on all routes into Tahoe and working with private property owners to close large parking lots to prohibit congregation in those areas, and requesting extra motor patrols from additional municipal law enforcement agencies.
— All SLTPD officer resources will be deployed during this time.
In addition to law enforcement activities, we are working with private property owners along the US Highway 50 corridor on whether they would like to allow congregating events in their private parking lots. We will work with private property owners who choose not to allow such congregations.
Finally, it is important to note that conducting roadblocks or “paper checks” for locals only is unconstitutional outside of declared emergencies and will not be utilized for traffic control during this event period.
To reiterate, the safety of our community – including residents, businesses, visitors, and wildlife – is my highest priority and all available law enforcement tools will be deployed to ensure the safety of all.
If you have any questions, I am available at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-542-6043.
Joe Irvin is the city manager of South Lake Tahoe
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