Letter to the editor: Placer Supervisors and democracy
October 24, 2008
On July 22, 2008, the Placer County Board of Supervisors recalled District 5 Supervisor Bruce Kranz from the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board and replaced him with a local citizen. Why did this happen?
The TRPA Compact specifies that the Governing Board shall have a delegate representing Placer County. The delegate represents the People of Placer County acting through the Board of Supervisors as the appointing authority.
The policies of the appointing authority bind a delegate; the delegate does not have free-wheeling authority to vote their own personal view. This is an important point as it transmits the will of the people through their elected officials to the TRPA delegate. Refusal of a delegate to implement the will of the people subverts democracy.
The Board of Supervisors, acting on behalf of the People of Placer County, determined they would support at TRPA a specific alternative for the Kings Beach Commercial Core Improvement Project. Kranz refused to comply. In order to preserve democracy and insure adherence to the will of the people, the Supervisors removed Kranz from the TRPA Board. While Kranz is entitled to his personal views, he is not empowered as a TRPA delegate to overrule arbitrarily the People of Placer County.
If you see irony and hypocrisy here, you would be right. Here we have Supervisor Kranz, a vocal and vehement critic of the lack of democratic values at TRPA, attempting to subvert democratic action at TRPA by following his own agenda.
As we go to the polls this November, we should keep in mind that we are exercising our most fundamental democratic right. We should elect officials who share our democratic values and respect the principle that the power to govern comes from the consent of the governed, not personal ideology.