RIBAUDO: Will new director bring new approach from League to Save Lake Tahoe? | TahoeDailyTribune.com

RIBAUDO: Will new director bring new approach from League to Save Lake Tahoe?

After the departure of Rochelle Nason, the League to Save Lake Tahoe as hired Executive Director Darcie Goodman-Collins. It interesting to note the league board hired someone who was almost the exact opposite as Nason. The new director has a science background not a legal background. She has a local connection to the area having been raised here as opposed to someone who lived in the Bay Area and tried to implement league policy from afar.

Goodman-Collins indicated she was bringing two things to the job, including the importance of collaboration both inside and outside the organization and that sound science must play a role in decision making. Fair enough. The league has long been so out of touch with the community which has shifted more and more to sustainability as a model for improving the protection of the lake while the league and their old guard have continued to rely on increased regulation and lawsuits to impose their will on the local community. It will be interesting to see if Goodman-Collins can reshape league policy. She might want to start by working with the community by dropping the Sierra Colinas appeal. You will recall last August the league lawsuit to stop the much reviewed and approved Sierra Colinas development was dismissed by a U.S. District Court Judge yet the league chose to file an appeal with the Ninth Circuit.

A federal court judge dismissed the league’s lawsuit against the city of South Lake Tahoe to stop the adoption of its general plan update. Maybe the league will learn to help shape sustainable projects that benefit the environment, the community and the local economy instead of trying to impose its will through intimidation and lawsuits. We have seen this before. Watch what the league does not what they say. Their hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Much has been written about the city and the SnowGlobe Festival. Last month I went on record as supporting the city’s effort to bring SnowGlobe to South Shore, and I still support it. What needs to happen is the city needs to take the input it received from the community, both those supportive of the event and those that were not, and use it to revise future events. What is clear is the community needs to give a bit on all sides. In listening to the discussion it seems like each side has a take-no-prisoner position. On the one side its good for business on the other side it’s “don’t disturb me at all.” This is symptomatic of almost every issue that comes up. The community needs to come to the middle and compromise on issues otherwise we can all get our battle gear and get nothing done.

You will recall the Lahontan Water Control Board (which I consider to me the most poorly run environmental agency in the basin) last month voted to approve a stormwater-urban runoff permit system for South Lake Tahoe and El Dorado and Placer counties. This despite the pleas from local government to delay the process to get better answers to open questions and to figure out ways to fund it. According to County Supervisor Norma Santiago, no foe to environmental causes and the chair of the TRPA, “What has been created in the TMDL Management System are tools that lack scientific backing, that are not integrated, are duplicative and/or inefficient and will require tremendous administrative staff time to analyze and implement.” The board exhibited its typical arrogance and refused to extend the process. Bad move. Now the local governments have joined forces to take legal action. When was the last time local governments have ever stood up to an agency?

Are more taxes coming in California? That is the proposal the governor has set up. As part of the way to balance the budget deficit the governor has proposed sales and income tax increase of more than $4 billion or else schools would lose that amount. Can you believe a liberal democrat governor who holds kids as hostages over prisons government employee pay and benefit packages? Pathetic.

– Carl Ribaudo is a contributing columnist to the Tahoe Daily Tribune. He is also a consultant, speaker and writer who lives in South Shore. He can be reached at carl@smgonline.net

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