County objects to Lake-Valley split study request
Tahoe Citizens Committee Chairman Mike Jabara’s request of county commissioners to prepare an in-depth analysis of the impacts on the Valley should the Lake portion of Douglas County split away was met with objections from the county commissioners.
In order to prepare the in-depth study, Holler said it would take more time than he is willing to commit to the subject. Besides the time constraints, Holler said the analysis would be difficult to complete accurately because there are Douglas County employees who work both at the Lake and in the Valley.
“How can I count half a person?” asked Holler of Jabara.
Holler said he would be willing to spend a few hours preparing a general overview of the impact to the Valley portion of Douglas County should the Lake split . Such a document would take about four hours of staff time, but a line item budget analysis of every impact would take days.
Jabara told the commission that the TCC has completed the most recent revision of their plan, and he plans to present it to the state Legislature during the current session.
“We’re talking about mitigation for something I don’t believe is going to happen,” said commissioner Kelly Kite. “We don’t owe our citizens a line-item budget. The money is better spent addressing what issues we know about and representing people.”
Commission chairman Jacques Etchegoyhen referred to a legislator he had recently spoken with who told him that if the Legislature allowed the Lake-Valley split to occur, the United States Constitution would have to be rewritten.
“This would only trade bureaucracies and force three times the cost,” said Etchegoyhen. “If we don’t begin consolidating Douglas County then we’ll always be tearing it apart.”
Jabara then asked for specifics on this plan, but his request was denied.
“We need to be driving our own defense, not reacting,” said Kite.
“I don’t believe we should be the instruments of our own destruction,” said commissioner Bernie Curtis, who said he’s been outspoken against the split since the first whispers of the possibility. “I will do everything I can to stop that from happening. You (Jabara) are asking us to show you how to break our county up.”
Etchegoyhen said, and the commission agreed, that the split would not likely come to fruition.
Jabara asked the commission why they were pursuing a lobbyist for the Legislature without taking an official stance on the proposed split.
Holler said the lobbyist wouldn’t be just for this issue but for others that are coming up in the Legislature that will effect Douglas County and its citizens.
“What we’re trying to do is get the facts on the table so logical decisions can be made,” said Jabara. “The decision will be made in Carson City, not here or in Tahoe. There are serious problems in Tahoe and the Legislature said they’re going to try to fix it.”
“Today, there’s not much appetite for this,” said commissioner Don Miner.
“Don, I can assure you there will be a bill. Do you want to deal with it now or then?” said Jabara.
“We owe it to the citizens to spend a few hours on this, but that’s it,” said Kite.
“Let’s get four hours of money on the table here,” said Curtis.