Publisher’s Perspective: Changes at South Lake Tahoe City Hall (opinion)
The new City Council members are all sworn in. Measure T results are (finally) final. What can we expect in the coming year? What should we expect in the coming year?
Let’s start with Measure T.
We all know the controversy surrounding this. Having passed by less than 100 votes, there are contingents of people on both sides who are now sitting and wondering what this will mean moving forward. What does moving forward actually mean?
At its core, it’s the elimination of vacation home rentals in neighborhoods in three years. There has been talk of a “compromise” ballot measure being put forward during that three-year period, but it’s unclear what (if even possible) that would look like.
I think we’d be foolish to believe that there will be no legal recourse by homeowners who don’t believe this is just — regardless of whether you support or oppose T. How many cases will be filed? How much time will it take to sort those out? Will it (can it) impact the measure moving forward?
And, maybe most importantly, how much will this cost the city?
Time will tell with Measure T. But time, in this case, has to be used in the most efficient and effective way possible.
How about the new City Council?
By way of the vote, it’s obvious that the voters wanted a change. Electing three, first-time members showed us as much.
With their first meeting under their belt, what can we distinguish that is different from past councils? TBD.
Much like in the NFL where you can’t base a career on a rookie year, you can’t fully know how it all will shake out from the first meeting. You learn, you grow, you get better as you get a better feel for the game. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t evaluate what you’ve seen to date.
One of the issues brought to light from the previous council was that they did not get along well at times. The new council, while not in unanimous agreement on all issues, seemed to get along in this first meeting, despite the unusual situation of having a council member, Cody Bass, recuse himself from the cannabis discussion, only to sit among the public for comment as he would if he were not on council.
Awkward? A little.
Can the new council actually move the ball forward? Much like Measure T, time will tell.
Measure T, CalPERS, roads, marijuana, the Loop Road — they’re all lined up one after another in the coming year. It’s evident with all of these on the horizon, this council needs to pull together and get sh*t done.
At that first meeting we also had a new mayor and mayor pro tem selected. Brooke Laine and Jason Collin were named to each position respectively. Council member Collin, who has come under fire for missing council meetings, stated that he has essentially rededicated himself to the position.
I sure hope that we can take him at his word — I mean more of his word now than the word he gave when he was first sworn in — because the city will certainly need him with all that’s coming down the pike.
We need our council members to be stellar. We need them to work together.
Can they achieve this? We won’t know for certain until things heat up. But along with the rest of the community, we’ll be watching.
Publisher Rob Galloway can be reached at email@example.com or 530-542-8046.