My Turn: Can’t we just all ‘move on?’
August 5, 2008
In his My Turn guest column in the Sierra Sun (“Making a stand against future gridlock in Kings Beach” July 29), Supervisor Bruce Kranz suggested that “the important part is that we move on.”
If that were what was truly important to him, his best course would have been to move on, as many of us were prepared to do, rather than once again trying to justify a vote that was unjustifiable by any reasonable representative standard.
Let’s look at the record. Throughout the process, Mr. Kranz on many an occasion said that he was not going to make up his mind until the process had run its course and a “consensus” of those he represents had emerged.
The implicit, although unstated, representation to the voters who heard those comments was that he would support whatever consensus emerged. Now he states that no consensus ever did emerge, even in the face of the assessment by another of the supervisors that as many as 80 percent of the residents favored the three-lane hybrid alternative.
So, Kranz now argues about the meaning of the word “consensus” and asserts that none exists. Instead, he should admit that he was hoping all along that the consensus would have been for four lanes, allowing him to claim that he followed the will of the people.
That not having occurred, Bruce Kranz now claims to be trying to save us (and, by the way, the entire nation) from our self-made “boutique traffic jams.” He describes traffic queuing that might occur 20 years from now as “gridlock,” even though the final environmental assessment/impact report/statement (Vol. 5, Table U.2-2.) forecasts only that on some Saturdays in August of 2028, the worst eastbound traffic may back up ” not completely stop, i.e. queue ” for four hours. Going west on some Sundays in August, queues may form for 2.8 hours. And, Mr. Kranz states that “the three-lane option could divert thousands of cars to the back-street grid” without revealing that there are already that many doing so, mostly we locals.
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In sum, he resorts to the tactics of the demagogue ” appealing to the fears and anxieties of the fearful and the anxious while dismissing the optimistic and the hopeful ” as justification for attempting to thwart the consensus achieved.
But in reality he must admit that consensus was irrelevant to his decision, because the inescapable fact is that if he was going to be guided solely by his own assessment of traffic consequences, the alternative favored by the majority of the people, no matter how defined, didn’t matter. The shame of it is that he 1) allowed countless taxpayer dollars to be spent (and countless volunteer hours to be applied) on a process that he was clearly prepared to ignore; 2) slickly engineered the order of which public board (Supervisors versus TRPA) voted first in an effort to take advantage of the super-majority rules of the TRPA to torpedo the three-lane project; 3) now asserts that he should be regarded as the protector of what’s “right” and the only one capable of “making difficult decisions”; 4) justifies his conduct on the basis of concern for a population of “our families and children” in the Kings
Beach grid that he has essentially ignored throughout his tenure, and 5) labels up to 80 percent of his constituents the “group who speak the loudest and longest.”
In contrast, to me it appears that for some reason, some smaller constituency to which he’s constrained to listen whispers in his ear.
Mr. Kranz, please take your own advice and move on. The “consensus” here is that you should.