My view: Notes from the front row
Tribune Opinion Columnist
I recently watched the City Council meeting and the discussion on marijuana. While I take no position right now on whether we should have pot shops or not, I do have a big concern with the way the city of South Lake Tahoe stage managed the presentations.
Yes, stage managed. The public presentations put forward at the council meeting were all one-sided with no opposing view. This is no way to deal with issues of public policy. The city must have greater respect for the community when dealing with complex public policy. Did the city think the community couldn’t handle a topic this emotional? Or were they just trying to jam down a decision?
What the city did was simply unacceptable. In every policy decision there are two sides. Regarding this decision, the police chief is against pot shops but there are people in this community who support them. The approach used by the city was a mistake and hopefully will be fixed moving forward.
Before the year slips away, I just wanted to remember a few high points:
The national election. I can’t recall little old South Shore attracting a sitting president and a president elect as we did when President Barack Obama and Donald Trump came to South Shore. Heady stuff.
Local elections produced a nice change. The composition of the new City Council, one hopes, will produce strong change to improve both the local economy and the quality of life for residents. The community sent a strong message that the status quo and dysfunction are unacceptable. The community is changing in a positive direction.
Moving to the new Tahoe Mountain Lab. The Mountain Lab has become a hub of new ideas and approaches to solving problems and making the community better. Best move I have made in a long time.
The Peter Gabriel/Sting concert was the best show I have ever seen at Harvey’s. I have been a Peter Gabriel fan since his early days in Genesis and had never seen him in concert. It was great to see these two share the stage — my favorite show for sure.
While it didn’t get much play in the press, it was great to see the end of the litigation regarding the TRPA regional plan. Many in the community had been involved with the regional plan since Pathway 2007 was implemented almost 10 years ago, and to finally see the Sierra Club lawsuit lose so significantly in federal court was gratifying. Time to move on.
The Big Picture
On a national level, the Trump win was stunning. You awake one day and the Republican Party is in charge in a big way, and while some may bemoan this fact, I think it forces the Democrats to improve their game. The winners are the American people who benefit from the competition of ideas.
I have never believed we will be a unified country; we just swing slightly in one direction or another. This election illustrates the need to have ideas and polices that matter to all parts of the country.
If you are looking for a really good pizza, check out Vinnys Pizza. The place is putting out some really good pies.
It’s a Wrap
Thanks to Hal Cole for the years he gave to this city. He cared, he gave and he has done enough — more than most.
Finally, I am so grateful to you the readers. I have worked hard to give you another view of South Shore issues; one you might not always agree with. Your readership, your notes and comments mean more to me than you may ever know. I want to thank you all and wish you a great New Year.
Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Lake Tahoe. He can be reached at email@example.com