Letters to the editor for July 11
July 11, 2009
In a July 10 letter to the editor, South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Bill Crawford feels that current and past city managers have contempt for the City Council. As a former South Lake Tahoe city manager, and speaking just for myself, I had (and have) no contempt for the City Council or for him individually.
What I deeply hope is that in their very visible role as local leaders, the City Council will set a positive example by working to create a more civil discourse in our community. Disagreement on the issues is always a certainty (and is actually of great value in creating superior solutions to complex problems), but maintaining a civil discourse as we discuss those differences does not occur without an intentional effort to make it happen. The members of the City Council, both individually and as a group, have an opportunity to lead by example in that regard.
This is truly a magnificent place, and we all need to work together to create a “community culture” and a “built environment” that matches our beautiful natural environment. That should be our vision for this community. It costs nothing to be kind to one another, and it costs nothing for each of us to keep our little part of the community clean. Each of us should pledge to personally take these two “first steps” starting today.
South Lake Tahoe resident
and former South Lake Tahoe city manager
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South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Bill Crawford brings hatred to a new level with comments he’s made to the media regarding City Manager David Jinkens. It is obvious to this reader and others that it is a personal attack. It does not matter what issues are on the table: This type of attack of our city manager is not called for. At the end of the day, Mr. Crawford, it is three votes that count, and by my tally, 90 percent of the time you have been on the short side.
Mr. Jinkens’ job is not an easy one, but in hard times this city manager has stepped up to the plate each and every time. Let’s take a look at the very last time this city had a major issue and it was with the Angora fire. Our city manager and his staff worked around the clock for the people of this city. The list goes on. Hundreds of other cities would love to have $8 million in reserves. Today it is time again for Mr. Jinkens to make tough calls and, like them or not, it is a process that we all must look at. The formula does not call for a comment like “In a nutshell, I’m ready to fire his ass.” As if you’re the answer.
The city manager’s office has a number of responsibilities in order to assist the City Council in achieving the city’s mission. In order to accomplish this mission, he or she must lead city staff to:
– Support and maintain the highest ethical standards.
– Provide the necessary support to City Council to assist them in making sound policy decisions.
– Be sensitive and responsive to the rights and needs of the public.
– Be effective and efficient stewards of the public’s money.
– Provide for the free exchange of ideas to allow for effective communication, not only with the public, but between the various city departments and bureaus.
– Promote the principles of continuous improvement.
– Effectively tap into and utilize the vast knowledge of city staff members.
– Emphasize team work and employee involvement.
– Effectively utilize the financial base to provide adequate economic resources.
To the voters, Mr. Crawford has just about failed in all of the above. Job well done, Mr. Jinkens.
South Lake Tahoe
To City Councilman Bill Crawford: Boo hoo, boo hoo. Stop crying and do your job. Where were you when I tried to get fair rent for the seniors at Tahoe Verde? Where were you when I worked to get a van for the local vets to get to the VA medical center in Reno? And, as the people’s champ, where were you when I fought the trash rate increases? You were too busy whining, that’s where. Mr. Crawford has yet to champion any program or advance any issue other than the “poor me” statement.
Like I said in my July 4 guest column, meet with the city manager, talk, ask questions and you will not be surprised. One of the great things about this country is that people can disagree. When you disagree, it helps to have an alternative idea, at least an idea. I guess there just are those who would rather complain.
Former City Council member
South Lake Tahoe
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