Some ‘Placer County residents’ live Truckee lives
February 5, 2003
Although he lives one-quarter of a mile from the Truckee town boundary, Placer County resident Patrick Flora can’t vote for Truckee Town Council or for town referendums.
Instead he votes on Tahoe City issues via absentee ballot. His property taxes, although he and his family impact Truckee more than anywhere in Placer County, go to Auburn.
“Our home mail delivery says ‘Truckee, 96161,’ just like everyone else,” Flora said.
Flora’s business, Summit Valley Construction, is within the town’s boundaries, and for most purposes, Flora considers himself a Truckee resident.
“The rest of the world thinks we live in Truckee,” he said.
But when it comes to town issues, Flora feels disenfranchised.
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“We’re wholly impacted by the town yet we have no say with the town.”
Voting on Tahoe City issues, he said, makes no sense.
“Really, the North Shore and Truckee are two entirely separate entities,” Flora said.
“Auburn, besides getting our taxes, they really don’t know we exist.”
Newly elected councilwoman Beth Ingalls lived in the Placer County portion of Sierra Meadows when she first moved to Truckee.
She was appointed to the town’s Solid Waste Committee, but realized her involvement in town politics was extremely limited because she lived right outside the town boundaries.
“That’s one of the reasons I moved up to Tahoe Donner,” Ingalls said. “A lot of people feel disenfranchised.”
Mayor Ted Owens also lived in Placer County, and was also frustrated with the setup. He’s been working with Placer County officials to get the boundaries readjusted for about a year now.
“It really bothered me,” he said. “I was voting on sidewalk deals in Tahoe City. I didn’t care.”
County lines that were drawn 150 years ago – as well as development that has spread over county lines – now seem ridiculous to both local residents and the government officials that preside over them.
Nevada County Supervisor Barbara Green said there’s a running joke about the Donner Creek Mobile Home Park on West River Street – that the county line runs through three of the homes.
“You sleep in one county and eat in the other,” she said with a laugh. Green was also a resident of the Placer County side of Truckee when the town first incorporated.
Whether the line goes through homes or not, from a county service perspective, the boundary adjustment may make a whole lot more sense.
Flora said snowplows in his neighborhood – Martis Woods – have to come all the way from Tahoe City.
Placer County Supervisor Rex Bloomfield and Truckee officials have been working together on a minor boundary adjustment that would incorporate Sierra Meadows, the mobile home park, and the tiny portion of Donner Lake into Truckee’s boundaries.
The boundary adjustment, because it’s such a small portion of Placer County land, would only take a majority vote from both county boards of supervisors.