Election race for airport district board taking off
Staff reportsThe Truckee-based Community Airport Restoration Effort will support three candidates who announced Monday they will run for the Truckee Tahoe Airport Board. In a release, Kathleen Eagan, Mary Hetherington and Paul Vatistas said they envision an airport that meets the basic needs of emergency services and aviators while minimizing long-term negative impacts to the region. CARE members have voiced the need for Truckee, which deals with the noise of the airport, to be represented on the board. Currently the five-member board has only one director from Truckee.”We live in a special place,” said Vatistas, a North Tahoe businessman. “The airport district’s growth and development plans threaten the very qualities that make this such an attractive place to live, work and conduct business. Truckee and the Martis Valley suffer the negative impacts of the airport’s growth. It is only fair that the community has a strong voice on the airport board.”The candidates said they disagree with sections of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Master Plan that could promote increased traffic at the airport and expansion of current facilities.”These goals are clearly inconsistent with the character of our region and the rural quality of life we enjoy,” said Eagan. “These goals give us an airport that dominates, rather than complements, the surrounding community.” All three say they plan to bring a community-wide perspective to airport policies. “We need to put ‘community’ back into our airport’s decisions,” said Hetherington, a civil engineer, mother of three and volunteer in local youth programs. “An airport board member told me to move to Sierraville when I complained about the jet plane noise. That’s wrong. I am running to give hope to the community that their voice and interests will be heard.”The candidates said they are committed to an inclusive approach aimed at reducing noise, decreasing safety risks and curbing growth-inducing expansion. “Working together, we can help shift the focus to having an airport that is sized, scaled and operated as a local community,” said Eagan.Eight candidates have filed for the three available seats on the airport board. Board members Ken Foster and Constance Stevens will run for re-election. Al Turner, Joseph Ferrarra and Adrian Howes will also run. The filing period cutoff for the November airport election is Wednesday, Aug. 11 at 5 p.m.Read Friday’s Sierra Sun for complete coverage of the final field of candidates for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District board elections.
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