Update: Rec/park district bond measure tabled | SierraSun.com

Update: Rec/park district bond measure tabled

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; and#8220;Deflating.and#8221;

That was the word used by Truckee Donner Recreation and Park District board member Kevin Murphy to describe survey results this week that conclude residents do not support the idea of taxpayers paying off a 30-year bond for a performing arts center, aquatics facility and enhanced trails.

and#8220;For all the good economics it represents and for kids and seniors (needing recreational outlets), the survey results are painful,and#8221; Murphy said Wednesday.

Murphy joined the board at a special meeting Tuesday to decide whether the bond and#8212; initially proposed at $20 million and then reduced to roughly $14 million and#8212; would pass voter approval in November. If implemented, the bond would be paid off annually over 30 years by the district’s 8,300-plus parcel holders.

Despite high hopes by both the board and stakeholders representing trails, aquatics and the arts, Bryan Godbe, president of TBWB Strategies and Godbe Research and#8212; the firm that coordinated the phone survey and#8212; said its results indicated otherwise.

and#8220;This year is a non-starter for me,and#8221; Godbe said. and#8220;It’s difficult in a three-month time frame (between now and a November vote) to convince people to pay more.and#8221;

In order for the appropriate amount of work to be done for the bond measure to make the November ballot, officials said it would have needed approval Tuesday night.

However, after weighing survey results, the board voted unanimously and#8212; absent board member Peter Werbel, who recused himself due to his financial holdings in the area and#8212; to table the bond for now, but to work with stakeholders in the future for a vote later.

The decision came hard for Murphy, who said the survey, in part, led to his decision later that night to resign as the board’s vice-chair.

and#8220;At this point I will be more of a silent board member than an active one,and#8221; Murphy said.

Explaining, he said he will be fully involved in the board’s affairs, yet will take a back seat, dedicating himself more to his business and family as the district moves forward on the bond and other major projects.

Board members John Monson and Kristin York both acknowledged the survey indicated a delay for approval, but agreed a strong campaign and more planning could only help the eventual passage of the bond.

and#8220;This will give time to educate community but also help to co-create some of these facilities with the community,and#8221; York said Tuesday night.

Monson said his experience as marketing director at Sugar Bowl Ski Resort helped him make the decision to take a step back in order to move forward.

and#8220;It all adds up,and#8221; Monson said.

Board member Janet Brady echoed Murphy’s comments, labeling the survey’s recommendations the and#8220;biggest disappointment.and#8221;

and#8220;I’m just nervous with the survey results being strong in some areas but weak in other areas,and#8221; Brady said. and#8220;My feeling right now would be to wait.and#8221;