TRPA leader will resign |

TRPA leader will resign

Andy Bourelle

One of the leaders in the battle to save Lake Tahoe’s clarity plans to leave his position as executive director of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency early next year.

However, Jim Baetge says he is not going to entirely leave the fight.

Baetge said Wednesday that he would be leaving the position likely sometime in January 2000 for medical reasons.

“I don’t want to leave the job at all. I love it,” he said.

In February, Baetge had surgery to remove a kidney and, with the many demands of the position, has been unable to fully recover.

“The job is very, very demanding. I haven’t been able to get my strength back to appropriately perform the job,” Baetge said. “If I can’t do it 100 percent, I’m not the appropriate person.”

He has served in TRPA’s top position since May 1994 and has served in that capacity longer than any of his predecessors. He was involved during the 1997 Lake Tahoe Presidential Forum and played a major role in TRPA’s development of the Environmental Improvement Program, which outlines $900 million worth of projects that need to be implemented by 2007 in order to save Tahoe’s declining clarity.

“We’re very sad to hear it. He’s provided outstanding leadership and will be missed,” said Rochelle Nason, executive director of the League to Save Lake Tahoe. “The EIP is really an extended legacy of his tenure. It’s helped everyone focus on getting things done.”

Baetge said he would concentrate on getting EIP-identified projects under way and trying to generate revenue for the work. After leaving the position, he will continue to live at his South Shore residence and stay involved in Tahoe issues.

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