Council votes 4-1 to oppose Measure M |

Council votes 4-1 to oppose Measure M

The Truckee Town Council voted 4-1 to oppose the Measure M initiative on the November ballot.

At the Oct. 2 meeting, councilmembers were given the option to take a stand on the issue and they took it, listening to public comment and adding their own.

Although the controversial measure ballot involving the development of Planned Community 2 near the intersection of Interstate 80 and Highway 89 did not have to be agendized, councilmembers said they thought it appropriate in light of public comments made by Councilmember Josh Susman, who voiced his opinion as a resident during a summer meeting on Tahoe’s North Shore.

Susman represented the vote in favor of Measure M, proposed by the Mountain Area Preservation Foundation. He is a former president of the group.

Mayor Bob Drake said, “We can only issue our opinion and then it ends there.”

Public comment

Before the council commented, Truckee residents voiced their opinions to the council.

“The town shouldn’t have to be facing this controversy,” said Breeze Cross. “It took hundreds of hours of research and public comment to come up with this plan. I feel we dealt with the problems of PC-2 when I was part of the process.”

Breeze said he thought planning by initiative was dangerous to the system.

“The only goal of this initiative is to win,” he said. “That’s not good.”

Resident Jerry Wood disagreed.

“We can’t vote by referendum because it would be too costly,” Wood said. “An initiative would get something done right away.”

Bob Tamietti, also opposed to the initiative, said he was glad that Susman opened up the dialogue on the initiative, but said MAPF’s initiative is a poison to the community.

“This fight should never have happened,” he said. “This issue has metastasized (through) the community. We have to

stop this.

“This isn’t leadership, but demagoguery.”

Resident Tom Grossman said MAPF had done great things in the past, but he was concerned with today’s leadership and how it has changed.

“This is a smoke screen to protect downtown rents,” he claimed. “Let’s not lose everything good in this town for the sake of M.”

Councilman Steve Carpenter led the comments for the council and called Measure M “just crazy.”

“As a council, we represent everyone,” he said. “We need to ask people to trust the process.

Councilman Susman followed and advised the council to be cautious in making decisions that influenced the “balance” of the community.

“We have an obligation to the community to keep the balance,” he said. “M is a chance to step back and take a look back. There are many options before us.”

Councilman Ron Florian said he learned more about public process in this last year as a councilmember and said he wants people to make educated decisions about the initiative in November.

“M short-circuits the process,” he said. “Initiative is the right of the people, but not this.

“I urge everyone to vote no (on) M.”

Councilman Don McCormack added to the opposition by saying the general plan process safeguarded all of the town’s balance with its philosophies.

“This land is perfect for what is planned,” he said. “Judgments cannot be made about PC2 without MAPF having definitive plans.”

Drake concluded and said he was “totally against Measure M.”

“We can’t control private property without lawsuits,” he said. “There has been compromise and adjustments and the town could become liable if the measure goes through.”

In response to MAPF proponents’ claims of PC-2’s negative financial impact to the downtown, Drake said, “That’s just not going to happen.”

He also said there was misinformation pertaining to the probability of an additional road from Tahoe Donner.

“Some people think that road is going to happen with or without PC-2,” he said. “The town has no money for this road and the only way it’s going to happen is with the PC-2 development.

“It would be insane not to build a hotel that would bring 800+ jobs to the area. I remain opposed.”

With Drake’s conclusion, the council voted on its position.

With the 4-1 decision, Town Attorney J. Dennis Crabb drafted a resolution completing the process of taking a position on the Measure M initiative.

Drake said, “I hope in the next few weeks residents get the correct information to make the best decision-against the initiative.”

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