Election 2010: Park/rec candidates give unanimous support for potential bond measure
TRUCKEE, Calif. andamp;#8212; Tahoe-Donner Recreation andamp; Parks District board candidates struggled Tuesday night to differentiate themselves on issues, often taking similar stances on many topics, including support of a potential bond measure for new trails, an aquatics center and a performing arts center.Four candidates andamp;#8212; Peter Werbel, Cindy Smith, Richard Valentine and Brent Ferrera andamp;#8212; took the stand at Truckee Town Council Chambers; Werbel was the lone incumbent to show.Incumbent Kevin Murphy and challengers Ann Folsom and Kristin York were absent, with Murphy and York having opening and closing statements read in their behalf.Many questions throughout the night revolved around the potential joint venture between the recreation and parks district and town to seek funding for, among other things, completion of trails between Truckee and the Glenshire neighborhood.Asked where they stood, candidates all gave their nod of support for the measure in different ways.andamp;#8220;I absolutely support the suggestion for many different reasons,andamp;#8221; said Werbel. andamp;#8220;Those three amenities would cost the average person $31 a year; and to have those things far exceeds the sacrifice of $31.andamp;#8221;He said he arrived at that number because the average house in the district is appraised for about $300,000, and if $13 per $100,000 of assessed home value was charged the total would come to $39, minus the current pool tax of $8 per year.Valentine pointed to the townandamp;#8217;s current needs as his primary drive to support the measure.andamp;#8220;The pool has not met the needs of community for quite some time,andamp;#8221; said Valentine.Adding to his point, Valentine said trails and a performing arts center are desperately needed, adding that the current lack of connecting Glenshire trails is dangerous for cyclists who ride on Glenshire Road.Smith and Ferrera, while voicing agreement with fellow candidates, took a more conservative approach to the matter, saying they would make their final decision based upon their constituency.andamp;#8220;I support the concept of a pool, arts, trails …andamp;#8221; said Ferrera. andamp;#8220;But really it comes down to what the public wants.andamp;#8221;Smith added: andamp;#8220;I want to get feedback from the entire community and I encourage everyone to get involved,andamp;#8221; she said.
When asked how more money could be sought under the weight of the recession, candidates unanimously pointed to benefits and programs of facilities and trails helping families with financial shortfalls.When asked if a mail-in ballot for the potential measure is appropriate, candidates recommended a mail-in ballot as it would most likely see the most voter participation, as residents would only be tasked with one issue and extra time for submission.When asked about maintenance funding, candidates said the aquatics center and arts center would have revenue-generating programs to offset costs and current allocated funding could accommodate the rest andamp;#8212; funding for trail maintenance, however, would have to be investigated, all candidates said.With exception of incumbents Murphy and Werbel andamp;#8212; who supported each other in their closing statements and listed past accolades for their qualifications such as construction of the new park and recreation facility, acquiring the ponderosa gulf course and being voted the best recreation district in the state during their tenure andamp;#8212; the challengers listed similar qualifications such as time in Truckee, being parents involved in park and recreation programs and that they were financially responsible business owners.
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