Editor’s note: The following letter is addressed to Councilman Bill Crawford and appears here at the author’s request.
Mayor asks Crawford to act respectably
To Mr. Crawford:
I am sorry that you refused to meet with our City Attorney Catherine DiCamillo and myself. There were two issues that I wanted to address, so I will address them in writing to you. I also wanted to get your side of the story.
The first issue is your behavior at the Parks and Recreation Commission meeting on March 27. The following is my personal conclusion as well as that of the majority of the people who attended the meeting. You acted very unprofessionally as the council liaison to the Parks and Recreation Commission and to John Upton. Name-calling, derogatory remarks, interrupting others – and what disturbs me the most, an act that could be characterized as an act of violence, knocking papers out of Mr. Upton’s hands – is unacceptable behavior for an elected official.
In a democracy, we all have the right to disagree. I have always been a watchdog for abuse by government officials toward its citizens; that is one of the reasons why I became involved as an elected official. I might also note that the commissioners are volunteers doing what they feel is the best for our recreation needs of our community and should be treated with respect by all elected officials.
Please do not engage in this unacceptable behavior again. I would strongly suggest a letter of apology be sent to the Parks and Recreation Commission, Dan McLaughlin and John Upton. You have every right to express your personal views; you have no right to abuse your authority.
The second issue is your letter to the editor where you stated your opposition to the S.T.A.R. proposal and signed the letter as Bill Crawford, city councilman. Again,I have no problem with you expressing your personal opinions. As you know, the council has not taken a position on S.T.A.R. yet. It looks like we will have the opportunity to debate and vote on the S.T.A.R. proposal in May or June. I have been asked by citizens after they read your letter why the city does not support S.T.A.R. My response was that’s Bill’s view, and we will debate S.T.A.R. in May or June.
My suggestion to you is that perhaps you should note in future letters that this is your personal opinion and may or may not be the majority opinion of the council. Also, in a democracy we rule by a majority vote. That’s what makes our great country work. I have always supported the majority vote even if I was not part of the majority. I don’t try to undermine the effort of my fellow council members or the city staff in carrying out the council mandates.
In regard to you not wanting to continue as the council liaison to the commission, only the council who appointed the council member can make that decision. At your request I will be happy to put the issue on the agenda for discussion and action.
I hope this letter finds you well, and I look forward to working with you and our other city council members in solving the issues facing our city.
Tom Davis, Mayor, South Lake Tahoe
Crawford responds by again apologizing
To the editor:
On “Councilman Crawford gets heat from S.T.A.R.” (published April 14) causes me to remember what my mother taught me. She said, “Never argue with a fool because he or she may be doing the same thing.” However, to help clear the air, I list the following:
– At the City Council’s pleasure, I have served as the liaison to the Recreation Commission for 16 months. If the council wishes to remove me from the position, fine. I have offered to step aside.
– On April 4, at the council meeting, I apologized to the council for my role in the happenings at the commission meeting of March 27. My apology was televised and it’s in the minutes.
– Gail Taylor’s letter was also signed by the chamber of commerce director, Duane Wallace. Why his name was not published, I do not know. Perhaps the editors of the Tahoe Daily Tribune know. I have a copy of the letter. If the editors need to see it, it’s available.
– I look forward to the S.T.A.R. election. It will be an interesting contest.
Bill Crawford, South Lake Tahoe
Other solutions for local transportation
Editor’s note: The following letter is addressed to Mr. John Upton et al, and appears here at the author’s request.
To the editor:
It was suggested a letter to follow up my comments at the U.S. 50 meeting at the Council Chambers would be timely. In lieu of lengthy prose, I’ll list proposals in A, B, C, D form.
A. Aviation: In-basin radar to help expedite traffic and improve scheduled arrivals and departures. Airport terminal and adjacent improvements – a visitor gateway with appropriate creature comforts and surface transportation amenities like the “Nut Tree” of yore – a destination in itself, with connection to everywhere.
B. Boats: Waterborne transportation; big, fast, two of them, possibly jointly operated by Hornblower and M.S. Dixie firms, or transportation district. Rail and bus shuttles both ends of the lake.
C. Cars: Judicious improvement to facilitate traffic in normal as well as extreme evacuation scenarios. Do the legwork for Meyers to Twin Bridges tunnel including long-range cost/benefit studies, economic impact and environmental pros and cons. Include metering capability, smart car lane, and rail access. Begin with a formal application to Caltrans for comprehensive engineering study including test borings and approach engineering, with rail corridor.
D. Diesel trains: Amtrak at Truckee. Start with the obvious. Bus lane at trackside with covered length of track for passenger loading. Follow up with Amtrak-Union Pacific partnership to look at rail service direct to lakeside at Tahoe City.
Important: Assure U.S. Forest Service Tahoe City transit facility at 64-acre tract includes waterborne interface.
It is unfortunate that the Visitors Authority and the various chambers of commerce have not figured what not having the above items in place costs us in dollars lost and market slippage.
When we start on the above, progress will take place.
Gunnar L. Henrioulle, South Lake Tahoe
Memory of two girls changes one life
To the editor:
Driving down U.S. Highway 50 the other day, I was moved as I drove past the Safeway in Round Hill and again when I passed a turnout a few miles shy of Carson City. On the side of the road at Safeway is a memorial to Kindra Bonner – a high school student. She saw a group of friends, jumped out of a car and ran across the street to meet them, only to be met by an oncoming car. That was the end of her life.
On a turnout on the right, almost to Carson City, is another memorial – for Krystal Steadman. She was only 9 years old. Those two sites somehow touch something deep inside me like nothing else has for a long time.
I didn’t know either girl or their families, but somehow I felt I was brought close to their deaths.
You see, one night I had to go to Safeway for something I forgot, but couldn’t live without. As I approached the stop light at Elk Point Road, there were police cars and paramedics.
When I pulled into the Safeway parking lot, there were teen-agers running around saying, “a girl had gotten hit by a car.” I remember asking one of the kids if she was OK – they didn’t answer. When I read the paper the following day, I felt a wrench in my gut.
With Krystal, I had “accidentally” met and spoken with the teen-ager arrested for the crime almost every day for two weeks prior to the incident. I run on Nevada Beach; one day, I felt dizzy and a guy named “TJ,” who was at the beach with a bunch of Boys and Girls Club kids, had some Girl Scout cookies. He could tell I wasn’t doing too well and gave me some cookies. I saw him every day after that until that Sunday.
I always said “hi,” and we had a short conversation – once I even told him he “saved my life with those Girl Scout cookies.” I had never seen him before, and thought he was a nice kid.
My dog thought he was a nice kid – he threw the stick in the lake. When he was arrested and I saw his picture, I cannot describe how I felt – only that it was an intense feeling deep inside me of sadness, shock, disbelief, and feelings I don’t yet know how to name.
Before Krystal’s death, I had become very good at building walls around me and pushing feelings way back inside me so I wouldn’t have to deal with them. I did that with Kindra.
For a lot of years, alcohol was the answer to not feeling, but that changed about five years ago.
Since then, I’ve managed to stay somewhat numb by never getting close or involved.
I have felt all the stuff since that day that I always refused to feel in the past – compassion for others; being happy for someone else; being sad for someone else; putting someone’s needs before mine; noticing that someone was smiling who had not smiled for a long time; wanting to help someone.
To put it briefly, Krystal made people become important to me. Her death gave me permission to feel. It even made me remember Kindra and feel the pain that I denied feeling that night at Safeway.
I believe God works in mysterious ways. I don’t think I went to Safeway one night or met “TJ” on the beach by accident. Those girls gave me a gift beyond what anyone or anything has been able to.
I truly wish that both were still alive, but they’re not. I believe that they are both happier now and that they achieved their purpose in this lifetime.
I would like to say thank you to Kindra and Krystal, and that I love you both. I think of you both often. Kindra, when I go to Safeway and Krystal, when I jog on Nevada Beach; and also when I go to Carson City.
In your short lives, you touched this stranger more than you will ever know and I am eternally grateful. God bless.
Jerri Hilmen, Stateline
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