Appointment shows bad judgment
At their Jan. 19 meeting, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners voted 3-2 to reject Jim Slade to serve a full term on the Douglas County Planning Commission.
That action demonstrated profoundly bad judgement.
Slade had been appointed to the Planning Commission by the BOCC only last April to fill a vacancy.
A 24-year Douglas County resident, Jim Slade is a longtime slow growth advocate with over 20 years of engagement with Douglas County planning issues. He’s been a regular attendee and commenter at BOCC and Planning Commission meetings.
Jim has an extensive knowledge of the Master Plan and it’s updates in 2006, 2011, 2020, County Code Title 20, and the Growth Management Ordinance.
He was involved in passing the 2002 Sustainable Growth Initiative.
Jim Slade is superbly qualified to serve on the Planning Commission and would do so from the perspective of preserving the rural character of our community, which Douglas County residents overwhelmingly support.
The rejection of Slade’s re-appointment was based on an expressed false premise.
In the board discussion, two commissioners stated it was “past due” time for a Lake Tahoe resident to serve on the Planning Commission.
In fact, these statements were false. Recent Planning Commission Chair and five-year planning commission member Kirk Walder is a longtime Zephyr Cove resident.
Walder has been an active, informed and skilled leader on the planning commission.
Construction attorney Paul Bruno, a three-year Douglas County resident living at the Tahoe Beach Club at Stateline, was appointed instead of Slade.
Jim Slade would provide diversity and balance to the Planning Commission. The Planning Commission now has a developer, a construction industry member, and a construction attorney. It’s over- represented with likely pro-development members.
The Douglas County Board of Commissioners should rethink their poor decision to reject Jim Slade’s appointment to a full term on the Planning Commission.
Appointment process ‘disturbing’
Planning commission appointments were made at the Jan. 17, 2023, BOCC meeting.
Legitimate concerns are being raised as a result of the actions of the BOCC Chair and other commissioners.
Jim Slade was one of the incumbents up for appointment. Envision a man pushing a large boulder up Jobs Peak and you will understand Slade’s involvement in efforts to protect and preserve Valley water resources, balance development and community planning for the last 22 years. Furthermore, his public comments are professionally presented with relevance, knowledge and civility.
Slade was not re-appointed to the planning commission. As I watched the disturbing process play out, my expectations for fair and ethical response to public advocacy were put on hold.
But watch the meeting yourself and then judge the actions of the Chair and other commissioners. Go to the Douglas County home page and click on “watch board meetings”, then click on “LIVE”, then click on the January 17, 2023 meeting. Forward the time to 4:07 PM. After applicants’ comments and discussion, actual voting is at 4:54 PM.
Only after the final vote, the Chairman makes a statement to the effect that a couple of commissioners mentioned that we need to have a planning commissioner from Tahoe and he would be remiss if he didn’t mention that commissioner Walder is from Tahoe and so now we have two.
Slade’s letter (R-C 1-25-23) concludes “...to have the Chairman not correct the record before the votes are taken, is deeply troubling. The public expects and deserves better.” I absolutely concur.
Save the wild horses
Our Valley is a unique place to live. While the major cities in our country suffer from unbelievably incompetent leadership, and all the numerous quality of life problems that are a result of this, our Valley continues to be an “Oasis in the current American Storm,”
where our fellow citizens seem to always step up when help need-ed. This was never more evident than just last year when we were faced with massive Forest Fires which threatened to uproot fami-lies from their homes. Our leaders and resident volunteers immedi-ately came together to provide food, shelter and moral support not only for these dislocated families, but also for their beloved pets, be they dogs, cats, horses or even exotics. Our Community Center pro-vided shelter for families. Our citizens brought huge amounts of food for the pets, and monitored their well being around the clock, until the danger had passed. Likewise with the annual food drive, our citizens dug down, and donated more food than both Carson City and Reno, not once, but for several years in a row. Recently, during our heavy snowstorms, you could see neighbors all over the valley helping their neighborhoods dig out of their homes. This is a place where our residents really care, and always seem to be ready to help, any way they can.
We are at a point, once again, where we need the help and support of our Carson Valley community. This time it is to stop the assault on our beautiful, native wild horses. It is very apparent we have a faction of residents, who move into the Valley, build their homes on land our horses have been calling home for decades, and then complain loudly about the wild horses “trespassing” on their lawns and shrubs. They subsequently wind up calling the Bureau of Land Management to come out and round up these “irritating beasts” and take them away to an uncertain fate. Many times these horses are separated from their individual “bands”, and their offspring in an unbelievably confusing and frightening “round up,” using heli-copters and ATV’s, where they are run to exhaustion, captured and trucked to holding pens north of Reno, and subjected to unfamiliar, crowded and confined holding pens.
These residents, who seem to be “hell bent” on eradicating our beautiful, wild and free horses, so they don’t tramp on their “lawns,” need to remember that the horses have been there dec-ades longer and should show some understanding and compassion for these much put upon treasures.
We citizens of the Carson Valley can help, by contacting our elected representatives, and protesting this cruel treatment of our “Mus-tangs” during round ups, and demand the BLM, who by the way, work for “We the People”, stop the secretive traps, and helicopter round ups, which do so much damage. Every one of us can help the horses, by demanding action of them to stop this as-sault.
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