My Turn: Out with Kranz; in with Montgomery
October 22, 2008
Electing leaders, something we do every November, is not something to be taken lightly. Good leaders offer the possibility of progress, responsible development, and balanced budgets. Poor leaders can lead constituencies to huge deficits, uncertainty in our public processes, and be detrimental to our communities. While Supervisor Kranz has managed to not deter Placer County in balancing its budget, his very narrow political agenda has proven detrimental to our local communities and Lake Tahoe.
Perhaps you heard Supervisor Kranz talk about his accomplishments; but the reality is there are few. More often he is divisive, preferring to obstruct than to work with others. His recent statements about the Angora Fire and his “fight for improved fire protection often against TRPA regulations” (Sierra Sun 10/13/08), illustrates his inability to work within the decision making system. While we all know there are problems with the TRPA, one way to solve these problems is not with a fight, it is with cooperation, listening and providing direction to correct the perceived problems. Supervisor Kranz would rather berate others and talk about all that is wrong, than provide solutions and work as a leader to implement those solutions.
One definition of leadership “is the art of motivating a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal.” Supervisor Kranz has done anything but help people achieve a common goal. Let’s use Kings Beach as the example. We all know and can agree that Kings Beach needs redevelopment. The biggest infrastructure project in this community has been in the planning stages for 10 years and many thought an outcome would be determined under Supervisor Kranz’s leadership. Instead, he is the single reason the Kings Beach community remains divided. Now he is deepening that divide even more with recent actions. For the past four years, Supervisor Kranz repeated his mantra that the community should decide whether North Lake Boulevard should be three or five lanes. He trusted his own Department of Public Works to hold numerous public meetings and gauge the community’s opinion. Supervisor Kranz NEVER attended a single one of these meetings. In July 2008, Supervisor Kranz was the lone dissenting vote on the Board of Supervisors to support the three-lane alternative. During that time, community members were meeting with the Supervisors to discuss the project and the views of the community. I requested numerous meetings with Supervisor Kranz and not only did he refuse my requests, but he declined to meet with any community members prior to that meeting. In contrast, Supervisor Holmes, representing the Auburn area, thought this project was so important he spent an entire day in Kings Beach meeting with individuals and groups.
Supervisor Uhler, representing the Roseville area, opened his doors to us and others and listened attentively to our points. Supervisor Kranz would not even return our calls. In addition, Supervisor Kranz lacks an understanding of how the public process works. He now claims the CHP and Placer County Sheriffs deem the five-lane solution safer. But in the 10-year process and during numerous public comment periods, these agencies did not submit a single comment on the EIR and when interviewed in 2007 neither the CHP nor the Placer County Sheriffs had a preferred alternative and indeed they said they could serve either alternative with no threat to public safety.
Not until after the Placer County Board of Supervisors voted and Supervisor Kranz had their endorsement for his re-election campaign, did those two agencies chime in with their “opinions” on the project. Without having a single opinion for 10 years, it is hard to believe that these public agencies swung around to Mr. Kranz’s side without some political pressure. When asked about this, Supervisor Kranz had one comment; “It’s not over til it’s over” ” his only comment when I met with him last month. Now, instead of leading a community into a future of economic prosperity, pedestrian safety, and efficient transportation planning, Supervisor Kranz would rather fight with the community he purports to represent and continue to lobby against the desires of the majority.
I vote for who I think will be the best leader and who has the skills to make the hard decisions that our communities and our environment face. I believe Jennifer Montgomery will do a better job as District 5 Supervisor of Placer County and deserves our vote on Nov. 4!