Letters to the Editor for Oct. 28 (Opinion) | SierraSun.com

Letters to the Editor for Oct. 28 (Opinion)

Friends of Truckee airport mistakenly add Truckee Dirt Union to mailer

To the Editor:

Truckee Dirt Union is a dynamic and thriving community organization established in April 2020 and dedicated to creating positive outcomes for mountain biking. You may already know TDU’s impact from our work on the Donkey Town Trail network (formerly known as Jackass Ridge). To help us achieve our goals, TDU obtained federal charitable nonprofit status.

Recently, Friends of the Tahoe Truckee Airport mistakenly mailed a postcard suggesting that TDU supports certain candidates in the Truckee Airport Board election. That mailer was incorrect and was sent without notice to or approval from TDU. As a nonprofit, TDU cannot and does not endorse any political candidate or campaign, and takes no position on any candidates in the Airport Board election or any other election. We regret any public misunderstanding to the contrary, and issued this press release to correct the public record.

What does TDU stand for? Singletrack Radness, buffed trail, perfect take-offs, high fives, diverse trail and riding opportunities, big smiles, beautiful bermed turns, bathing in Sierra sunshine, and promoting positive outdoor experiences on bikes for everyone. 

Please join Truckee Dirt Union in our mission to promote mountain biking throughout the greater Truckee area. We look forward to your support, http://www.truckeedirtunion.org.

Matt Chappell, Truckee

Choices for airport board are clear

To the Editor:

I support Mary Hetherington and Chris Henderson for Truckee Airport Board to ensure issues are researched that support both airport district residents and users. As Truckee and North Tahoe residents we all contribute to the airport directly through our taxes (or our landlord’s taxes). It comes off the top at the county level so we don’t see it on our property tax bill but more than $7 million (over $8 million expected in 2023) is collected in annual taxes from our community.

Both candidates support finding solutions that focus on the best interests of everyone in the North Tahoe and Truckee communities by addressing the increasing community impact from growing flight operations and not using our tax dollars to subsidize the aviation community. 

Linda Russon, Truckee

Henderson right choice for airport board

To the Editor:

Truckee Tahoe voters, our regional airport is a valuable business and recreational asset to our community. In addition to the commerce it brings to the North Tahoe region, the airport provides a base for aerial wildfire fighting, search and rescue, flight training, public meeting space, etc. 

As aviation electrifies in the next 10 years, flights will be vastly quieter while also producing minimal greenhouse gas emissions. This climate-driven evolution will require the airport to transform accordingly in maintenance and services provided. The airport is funded by our property taxes and other sources as well, such as annual FAA allocations, hanger rental and fueling fees, etc. Its operation must attend to flight safety, supporting services, and community impact. Our airport operation is a complex business, requiring wise management of both revenues and expenses; with good management, surplus revenue can contribute to meeting many other needs in our community. 

That is why we need highly-qualified financial management representation on the Truckee Tahoe Airport District board. Candidate Chris Henderson’s background in corporate governance, investment strategy, and philanthropic management uniquely qualifies him to fulfill that role, and it is why we highly recommend that you vote to elect Chris to the airport board on Nov. 8.

Sue and John Sorensen, Truckee

I trust in Henderson for airport board

To the Editor:

I feel I’m an average Truckee resident, and in terms of the airport, I only use it once in a while to attend community meetings there. I appreciate the nice airport facilities and the safety it provides by housing Care Flight and providing a staging area for emergency and fire response. 

Airport board candidate Chris Henderson appreciates these things too. He will help to keep the airport in good shape, and he understands where the airport can and should be doing better. 

Chris is direct when he speaks and is not going to back down to interests that want to keep using our tax money for aviation subsidies. Chris Henderson will also uphold safety and address concerns about noise because he is a solutions-minded person. I trust that he will do what’s best for Truckee residents in terms of safety and using our tax dollars wisely.

Janet Atkinson, Truckee

Political hit pieces should not influence election

To the Editor:

The airport board race has become ugly. While the candidates treat one another with respect, other community members demonize candidates Heatherington and Henderson. The two candidates are falsely described as wanting to destroy the airport and imperil public safety. Harshly divisive language is being used to accuse them of being divisive. Politically potent fear-mongering that we decry elsewhere has reached Truckee.

The list of people endorsing Hetherington and Henderson betrays the accusations hurled at them. Their endorsers are community leaders and activists who care deeply about our community. Their support cannot be easily dismissed. This public support reflects a widely held belief that Henderson and Hetherington are better prepared to serve the best interests of the airport and our broader community. If people want to compare the candidates free of vicious rhetoric, watch the candidate forum on Tahoe Truckee Media.

A basic failing of fear-mongering is how it distracts us from the issues defining the candidates. A very real issue is whether there is a public benefit that justifies the use of our property taxes to subsidize hanger leases and various commercial leases, like the skydiving operation. Another issue is whether the airport should explore the development of another runway to direct airplane traffic away from our neighborhoods. These are legitimate issues that are being buried by character assassination. No candidate is bent on destroying the airport or imperiling public safety. 

A deeper failing is the damage that fear-mongering does to our self-image as a civil and mutually respectful community. Political hit pieces do not belong here. We should not tolerate them or allow them to shape our local elections. When you vote, consider the message you will send to those seeking to sway our elections with their personal attacks.

Jan Zabriskie, Truckee

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