My View (Carl Ribaudo): Why the Loop Road matters (opinion)
Tribune Opinion Columnist
There has been much debate on the issue of the proposed Loop Road, and many reasons have been put forward about the benefits — all good.
The debate so far has failed to focus on the reason that I believe is most important. From where I sit, this is the most important and potentially beneficial project this community can do. Why? Because it gives the community options for the future that we don’t have now.
The way to strengthen the local economy and provide opportunity for residents starts with infrastructure projects — and rebuilding a tired and worn out public and private infrastructure. It is the best and perhaps only way this destination can remain vibrant and vital.
The real opportunity is the Loop Road opens the future to new options that we don’t have, and don’t even know exist. Why would we want to limit our future options? Look at the success Heavenly Village is now having, providing employment and options for residents that did not exist before. We had no idea how the success of the Village would happen, but it did. We could not have predicted how many people we took off the road with the Gondola, nor could we have imagined the imagination and creativity we have seen with restaurants and retail. Every time I drive by I remember the sad Tally Ho motel and how people were walking in the streets to get to the casinos. Can you imagine if we would have listened to the naysayers who said it wouldn’t work or it would benefit the Nevada side. Sound familiar?
The truth of the matter is exactly the opposite. Those that oppose the Loop Road offer no credible solutions to improve the local economy or employment options today or in the future. They offer fear of the unknown versus the excitement of the possibility for our community. The naysayers have always made this issue California vs. Nevada, but that thinking is too limited to view the choice in front of us. Rather we should be asking how do we take advantage of every opportunity to gain the most benefit for our community. The Loop Road matters because we are at a fork in road; we can limit our options or expand them. Some people fear the choice; we shouldn’t.
With regards to the city council election, the only person seeking re-election is JoAnn Conner. I agree with some of her positions, but I have also been extremely critical of her. I felt for the good of the community she should have resigned. She has been a distraction to pressing issues.
When an incumbent seeks re-election there is a simple criteria that I use. I don’t expect to agree with them on every issue, but are they better at their job today than when they started? Are they open-minded? Are they able to step back and make the best, long-term decisions for the good of the whole community? JoAnn Conner has just not gotten better at the job.
Are we, in the community, well-served with someone who is not a loyal opposition; but has alienated the council, staff and many in the community? We deserve vigorous and respectful debate. We are not well-served with this dysfunction. For these reasons I would not support her. Anyone else deserves the opportunity.
Cubs versus Indians World Series; need I say more?
IT’S A WRAP
No matter your issue or political party — get out and vote. It’s this simple act of filling out a ballot that makes this country great. Don’t believe the cynics, your vote does count; don’t miss out on your most important duty.
Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at email@example.com.