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Truckee Tahoe Airport District talks appointment process

Rebecca O’Neil
Special to the Sierra Sun

The four remaining members of the Truckee Tahoe Airport Special District Board convened via Zoom this week to flesh out how they will replace a fifth member, who stepped down in late August.

Five people have applied for the open spot: John Jones Jr., Lisa Krueger, Bill Quesnel, Kathryn Rohlf and Andrew Terry, according to the district’s website.

They’ve applied for a spot vacated by Jim Morrison, who stepped down in late August after moving to Telluride, Colorado.

The board originally determined in a Sept. 4 meeting that its current members — President Teresa O’Dette, Rick Stephens, Lisa Wallace and Mary Heatherington — would conduct private, individual interviews with board applicants before deciding on an appointee together in a meeting Oct. 13, a decision that’s since been changed.

The Monday special board meeting was called to review and finesse the selection process, Heatherington explained. She said two pieces published by The Union, both on the appointment process, were an invitation to include the public more directly in the process.

The district’s legal counsel Josh Nelson on Monday summarized the directors’ decision to pose questions during a question-and-answer session, instead of sending the written questions individually and in advance.

Nelson said the public comment period at the beginning of the Oct. 13 meeting will provide an opportunity for the board to take note of the public’s priorities and later include their concerns in pointed questions.

The questions will ultimately be determined by the board’s directors, Nelson said.

All five of the applicants attended the Monday meeting and heard the interview questions Stephens, the Sierra Sun and Moonshine Ink put forth for consideration by the board — which ranged from budget topics to outdoor activities.

After Nelson read the litany of hypotheticals, O’Dette said applicants will not be walking in to Oct. 13’s session completely blind.

“After public comment, each candidate will be given three minutes to make a presentation,” Nelson said. “After, that’s when the Q&A will begin, and then start over for each applicant.”

Once the process is complete, the directors will express their ranked choice on each applicant, Stephens suggested. If the board is unable to determine an appropriate fit for Morrison’s vacated position, they may call for a special election in the spring or can defer to the Placer County Supervisors to make the decision for them.

Stephen’s pointed out the incurred cost of a special election — around $170,000 — but said he would prefer that to Placer County officials making the decision.

Rebecca O’Neil is a staff writer for The Union, a sister publication of the Sierra Sun. She can be reached at roneil@theunion.com.


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