Letter to the Editor: Eagan, Hetherington and Van Berkem | SierraSun.com

Letter to the Editor: Eagan, Hetherington and Van Berkem

I intend to vote for the Eagan, Hetherington and Van Berkem combination for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board. In my judgment, it is the clearest decision in our local races. Let me explain my reasoning.

Not long ago the airport district board had its hands full with a public that felt unheard, irrelevant and upset with seemingly increasing airport noise. Some felt the airport to be a community wrapped in a community and never shall the needs of each meet. What a difference four years and three folks can make. Kathleen Eagan, Mary Hetherington and Paul Vatistas were elected and, with determination and new energy, began the work of bringing communities together. Mr. Vatistas, thank you for your efforts. I know Mr. Van Berkem will continue the work you started.

While much success can be measured through public outreach, pilot/citizen committees on noise, and noise reductions, the airport has really become more than a regional asset; it has become a respected member of the Truckee Tahoe community. Saving the Ponderosa Golf Course and playing a major role in the acquisition of the Waddle Ranch demonstrated not just public benefit but, more importantly, recognition of the airport’s impact on these lands if they were to be developed … “stepping up” if you will.

If you spend a little time on the Internet you’ll find web pages where pilots post comments relating their experience at our community airport. The majority of comments I found were strikingly positive and reflect sensitivity to noise and curfews. One pilot advised taking care as the airport was “too much of a gem to risk losing.” This tells me that the board cares for the needs of pilots as well.

This change has been healthy, yet there is much more to do. I urge you to support the team that will finish the job already begun. Vote “Eagan, Hetherington and Van Berkem” for the Truckee Tahoe Airport District Board.

Ted Owens

Nevada County Supervisor-District 5

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