Letters to the editor: Tahoe Donner resident concerned about board, staff | SierraSun.com

Letters to the editor: Tahoe Donner resident concerned about board, staff

Your article about the staff and board politics in Tahoe Donner (Sierra Sun, May 24) rang true for me and my neighbors on Viking Way. Some (but not all) of us received a notice last week that the association plans to pave 17,000 additional square feet to expand the parking lot for the downhill ski area.

A petition with signatures of all surrounding property owners opposing the expansion will be presented to the Association office and the board Tuesday, May 29.

Aside from questioning the necessity of expansion (if this parking lot is ever full, it happens only three or four days a year), we oppose the destruction of 17,000 feet of green space and trees. If expansion is necessary, it can be achieved by moderating the existing parking, adding front-end-in spaces along the entry roads, adding footage to the existing parking strips to allow parking in the middle of these strips. More efficient management of cars in the lots in itself would allow much more parking.

Tahoe Donner has a tremendous number of winter parking spaces at other facilities, notably at Trout Creek and the Northwoods Clubhouse, the pool areas, which stand empty all winter. Shuttles could easily be run to the ski hill. Shuttles might also create business for other sites, such as the two restaurants. Creative cross marketing could offer meal discounts to shuttle riders to encourage ridership. At a minimum, a realistic test of such a shuttle system should be made for a season.

We have been told that this expansion “concept” was never raised at the board. There has never been a word in the monthly association newsletter about it. Staff apparently made and executed the plan with no resident or board input. E-mails with questions to the facilities manager and the general manager have thus far been unanswered.

Many of us opposing this expansion are long-term residents, full-time and part-time homeowners who have been paying increasing Tahoe Donner dues with the understanding that we belong to an association of members whose views count for something.

Last week’s Sierra Sun article makes it clear where the problems lie, and the election of new board members offers hope for change.

Sarah Patterson


Tahoe Donner board candidates deserve equal time

To the editor:

We were very disappointed that the Sierra Sun chose to enter into the politics of Tahoe Donner (“Tahoe Donner residents seek reform,” May 24).

That you gave H.R Halpin and Ronald E. Wulff a chance to explain their opinion of Tahoe Donner’s dirty laundry is very unfair to the other candidates. It is my opinion that you give the other candidates the same front page space as he did these two to explain their side of the election. It is only fair that they be given equal space.

You were very impressed by the fact that Mr. Halpin was a former operations manager for Continental Can. Unfortunately, I had the displeasure of working in one of their plants. It was one of most miserable places to work I’ve ever seen. I hope he doesn’t plan to do the same to Tahoe Donner. Halpin was upset that Tahoe Donner didn’t do the budget the same way he did. I am sure there is more than one way to do a budget.

I believe they should face more important issues such as changing the board to seven members, this way every four years the majority would not change and the work of the last four years go down the drain. If they had a competent general manager they would only have to meet four times this year. As it is the board has to run general day-to-day operations.

I hope you can see your way to giving the other candidates a chance to explain their positions.

George Long

Tahoe Donner

(Editor’s Note: Any and all candidates for the Tahoe Donner Board of Directors are invited to submit letters to the editor to the Sun, provided they meet our submission and space requirements as listed on page 7A.)

More facts on Prosser sewer costs

To the editor:

This letter is in follow up to my May 4 letter regarding your May 3 article on a sanitary system for Prosser. The following facts were obtained from professionals at the Truckee Sanitary District and Nevada County Environmental Health Department:

— Septic System Failure Rate in Prosser: The reported failure rate is about 0.2 percent per year since 1990. There have been 15 failures documented in that period, and the majority of the homes in which systems failed were rentals. The failure rate percentage is based on about 720 homes in Prosser.

— Cause of Septic System Failure: Most failures were caused by exceeding design and other forms of abuse. For example, the homeowner that wants a sewer system in Prosser operated a daycare center at one time from the home, and it is the opinion of a civil sanitary engineer in the Nevada County Environmental Health Department that flows to the septic system exceeded the design of the system over an extended period of time.

Other forms of abuse include putting heavy greases and other hard to biologically digest materials into the system. One would also expect more abuse of property (including what goes down the drain) by renters than by homeowners, and this is consistent with the data.

— There are no groundwater contamination problems nor any health hazards due to septic systems in Prosser, according to the Nevada County Environmental Health Dept.

— Costs of a Sanitary Sewer (for each property owner) follow:

Cost (in the form of an assessment) for construction of sanitary sewer lines in Prosser and connection to the existing Truckee Sanitary District System would be $12,000 to $20,000 for each property owner.

Connection fee: $4,750

Annual maintenance fees: $294

I will appreciate your printing the above facts in your “letters” section of the paper. Verification of the above data with appropriate authorities is invited.

If installation of a sewer system in Prosser ever comes to a vote, property owners need to know all the facts.

Jerry Young


Straight-talking Drake will be missed

To the editor:

I felt a twinge of sadness when I read that Bob Drake is resigning from Truckee Town Council.

Although I understand his reasons, I know that his straight-shooting style and ability to cut through the fat to the heart of an issue will be sorely missed.

I was a reporter at the Sierra Sun when Truckee incorporated and Bob campaigned for his council seat. As a reporter, I appreciated his honesty and his forthright manner. He told me what he really thought and did not use smokescreens to hide or distort his views on the issues. That is a rare and admirable quality and Truckee is the richer for it.

Thank you, Bob, for your hard work on behalf of this town. No one could have ever done it with your heartfelt style and your honest grace. You helped direct a young town along a healthy path and its success is your success, too.

Catherine Gibbs Gedney

Cleveland, Georgia

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