Editorial: An old demon rears its head in Truckee
Consolidation, an old demon lurking just below the water line, has resurfaced in Truckee.
For many, the monster had been banished four years ago when incorporation proponents made the savvy decision to exclude special district consolidation from the effort to create a town government. Indeed, consolidation opponents fervently point to those promises of not so long ago.
Times, the Sierra weather and town councils change, however.
Ironically, the lone remaining charter town council member is viewed by some as a main instigator of current consolidation discussion.
Although council claims it is following the Nevada County Local Agency Formation Commission’s recommendation, rather than initiating consolidation study on its own, the town is clearly on the hot seat with this issue. Special district representatives express dismay and claim the town has betrayed earlier agreements to leave consolidation off the table as the town’s Sphere of Influence process moves ahead.
The special districts have called for a meeting next Tuesday at town hall to discuss consolidation. Historically, the districts have been staunchly opposed to consolidation efforts, and we gather that’s the thrust of the get-together. At some point, however, an independent study of consolidation feasibility should be seriously considered because of the possibility area taxpayers will benefit.
One suggestion calls for an advisory vote (similar to one a few years ago on a new rec center) asking residents if they want to fund a consolidation study. With special districts threatening to spend potentially hundreds of thousands of tax dollars for legal expenses to fight consolidation, a relatively inexpensive advisory vote ($15,000 or so) may prove the most viable option to settle this acrimonious affair.
After all, the people, not town council nor special district officials, should have the final say on putting this demon to rest.
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