Opinion: Who speaks for Lake Tahoe? We must incorporate

Two contentious mega projects — Martis Valley West and Squaw Valley — just got approved by the Placer County Supervisors despite raucous public outcry, objections by all area conservation groups and the California Attorney General.

In the case of Martis Valley West, even objections by the County Planning Commission couldn’t stop the money train. Any kindergartner would know that the Squaw developer’s claims of reducing traffic by 10% makes no sense.

Projects of this complexity are the devil’s playground, and even with huge groups of local citizens objecting, the governance structure in place for Tahoe doesn’t represent local interest.

What’s really insulting is the California Attorney got bought off for the mere price of $440,000. The AG’s office backed off its criticism on impacts to Lake Tahoe if TRPA got the money. What a joke. Is this the new version of pay to play?

How does this pittance mitigate any of the valid concerns regarding traffic, wildfires and environmental stewardship? There is no specificity about what exactly the monies are supposed to pay for, and all we know is that the money will be sucked into the TRPA black hole. Sadly, it will probably fund more TRPA public relations personnel.

All of this is a pathetic reminder of how out of control our train wreck local government has become. No one is willing to make the tough decisions, and the decision-makers don’t even live in the basin.

Aspen, Colo., has awoken and instituted a moratorium on building in areas of town until a master plan can be brought forth. The public can’t trust anyone except for ourselves. We must build a local framework. North Lake Tahoe must incorporate. Contact if you want to help.

Ann Nichols

North Tahoe Preservation Alliance

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