It is my belief that we need to provide more recreational opportunities for our community, and especially our youth. I am so pleased that during my term in office we have been able to complete two new parks for our area. Both Lakeview Commons and Bonanza Street Park are now in full service to our community and are very popular. We need more variety in the activities offered at Lakeview Commons. I like the idea of a family night, directly offering a venue for children. I would like to see more neighborhood parks for our residents, (including dog parks) as well as additional recreational opportunities for our youth.
It was obvious to me that the city was in desperate need of sidewalks. To watch our citizens try to walk down the highway was frightening at best. I am pleased to say that we have been working through all the red tape to see that we have sidewalks down the main highway. I also believe that there needs to be a system of sidewalk snow removal during the winter. In addition, there are other areas of our community that would be well served by sidewalks.
While the "hole" has been victim of the economy, we all know that the proper guarantees were not required of the developer. Unfortunately the City does not own the property, and is not able to develop it. At this point, the City is only able to respond to proposals.
The good news is that the City was asked by the developer to allow the sale of $25 Million in City Bonds, with not one cent of the money going to construct a thing, but only pay off debt. At my urgency, the Council voted not to award the developers request. Had those bonds been approved, that would have been a disservice to our community. Basically we stopped a broke developer from being bailed out with City bonds.
There were many reasons why our roads are in such poor shape, but we have been able to make two changes that should make a drastic improvement to the condition of our roads. First we readjusted the way the city deals with snow removal staff, so that during the summer we would have staff available to work on the roads. The second big change included of course money. When you are only spending $50,000 a year on road improvements, you don't get very far. So the city has developed a financial plan so that we will be able to restore our road system, starting with the streets most used. You have seen only the beginning of this new strategy with the improvements on Glenwood, the Highland Woods area, and the area around Barton Hospital. Much more is planned, and will be accomplished based on need, other construction schedules and the limited time of good paving weather.
I do not support the condemnation of homes and business in our community. This process has been badly used in the past and hurts our town. Where the Loop Road is concerned I see no sense in removing our businesses, residences and economic opportunities in favor of entities outside of our city limits. I believe that other options could have the same effect with much less cost and displacement of our community.
Four years ago everyone thought I was crazy in trying to change the balance of power with TRPA. In fact both City Councils refused to entertain any such motion. Not until I unilaterally worked with our Nevada neighbors and testified in their Senate hearings, did I receive any support from fellow council members. Just because something is difficult, it is no reason to give up. I am willing to stand alone if necessary in protecting our community.
I championed the installation of additional bus shelters at our bus stops. While we still do not have all of the shelters that I would like, additional shelters would continue to be a goal of my second term.
As an owner of a small business I understand the difficulty of over regulation, and I will continue to fight against regulations that creates mandates. I will also be sensitive to the many other issues that face small business.
Four cities in California are filing bankruptcy and many more in trouble. The City of South Lake Tahoe has an operating reserve and we have right sized the city by reducing the number of employees. During these difficult times more may be required, but I will only make those decisions based on the needs of our entire community, not special interest groups.