Truckee Council openings leave room for new direction
New Truckee Town Council candidates have plenty of homework to do between now and November.
With Mayor Beth Ingalls and Councilman Craig Threshie on the way out, incoming council members have more than a few big issues coming up in Truckee’s future.
“They’re going to need endurance and they’re going to need resolve,” Ingalls said. “If you’re going to step up, you can’t just start here, you have to go back and get yourself up to speed.”
Ingalls, Threshie, and the rest of the Town Council have been working diligently on the Truckee’s General Plan update for the past four years. It is nearly complete and ready for the hand-off, Threshie said, meaning that the implementation of the plan’s projects and regulations might be thrust into the hands of a council with at least two newbies.
There are three seats open for the Town Council and four candidates to fill them. If Vice Mayor Richard Anderson is not re-elected, then Josh Susman and Barbara Green will be the only members with council experience.
“Certainly with Josh and Barbara, and potentially Richard, as a team of experienced council members, they will continue to function well as a team with a lot of institutional knowledge that is crucial,” Threshie said. “They’ve got their challenges, but I think they are going to do just fine.”
Some of the major decisions that will come before the next council are Planned Communities 1 and 3 ” Coldstream and Joerger Ranch respectively, the 214-lot Canyon Springs subdivision near Glenshire and the Truckee Railyard.
Three other major tasks will be the update of the Downtown Specific Plan, the update of the town’s development code and the update of the town’s facilities impact fee, according to Anderson.
“All of these are requiring a lot of energy by the community as a whole,” Threshie said. “They demand a lot of attention.”
Also confronting the council is the daunting task of developing a broader transportation infrastructure, a need that has been vexing the town for quite a while, Ingalls said.
“It seems like almost an insurmountable problem here because of the lay of the land, everyone’s reliance on cars and the fact that work is in outlying areas,” Ingalls said. “To me that is one of the biggest challenges: How are we going to get people out of their cars?”
Ingalls is stepping down from the council after four years of service in order to devote time to other needs in her life, she said.
“It was a really hard decision for me to make. I did go back and forth with it because it’s not an easy thing to let go of,” Ingalls said. “But I think my heart wasn’t there anymore and I think without that it wouldn’t have been fair.”
Ingalls first joined the Council in response to the development of Old Greenwood, a plan she said she strongly opposed. She has since been pivotal in promoting sustainable development in the area.
“I see her as having been the most effective of all council members over the last four years. That Truckee is now moving in a green direction is due almost entirely to Beth’s vision,” Anderson said.
Threshie too said that four years on the Truckee Planning Commission followed by four years on the council caused other important aspects of his life to fall to the wayside.
“I’m really pleased with the work that I did. I’m thrilled quite frankly that I was able to participate and help guide [the council]. I feel good about the work that has been done and the planning that has been put in place for the future.”
Carolyn Wallace Dee
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