The use of nonmedical or recreational marijuana was legalized in the November 2016 election through the passage of Proposition 64, otherwise known as the Adult Use of Marijuana Act (AUMA). The Act authorized the use of nonmedical marijuana by persons 21 years or older and the personal cultivation of up to six marijuana plants per household. As a result of this ballot measure, the Town of Truckee will be embarking on a public outreach process to discuss how the community wishes to address regulating cannabis usage in the town... Continue
Citizens often perceive government goal setting, prioritizing and budgeting as unrelated and irrelevant activities. Honestly, the process at the state and national level appears to be so driven by politics and special interests that even for an experienced government administrator this perception is valid. However, I am a strong believer that at the local government level (city, town, special district and school district) this process can, and usually does, make sense. Let’s take a look at how the Town of Truckee approaches the process...
The Town of Truckee was honored to provide an update about what is happening in our community at last week’s Good Morning Truckee meeting.
Since an overflow crowd showed up for the program there is obviously strong interest in knowing what is happening in Truckee. For those that didn’t get a chance to attend or that did attend but wanted to get their hands on the information we presented I am attaching the slide show that was presented by me along with Public Works Director Dan Wilkins and Community Development Director John McLaughlin. You can access the presentation by clicking here. If you see something that perks your interest, feel free to contact me at 530-582-2901 or firstname.lastname@example.org
I kicked off the New Year by cleaning up my desk and office so that I can think more clearly about the coming year. While 2013 was a banner year for the Town of Truckee, 2014 has the potential to be even better (as I write this my optimism is tempered by the lack of snow). Our economy has more than stabilized- transient occupancy tax collections are at a record pace, sales tax, while not back to pre-recession levels is growing at a healthy clip, and property tax (the stalwart of the Town budget) is headed in a positive direction.
Sometimes the operation of government seems like a black box to “outsiders” and Truckee is no exception. In truth, the critical elements of Truckee’s governance process are relatively simple. In Truckee, the Town Council consists of five elected Council members. Each year, the Town Council internally decides which member will serve as Mayor. The Town Council is responsible for the critical GOVERNANCE of the Town including setting policies, adopting laws, establishing priorities and adopting a budget. The staff, led by the Town Manager, is responsible for MANAGING the activities of the Town in accordance with the governance direction provided by the Town Council. This process in Truckee follows a simple progression each year.
The Town of Truckee is actively pursuing public input in consideration of banning plastic shopping bags in our community. This effort was kicked off with an informal poll in Truckee that showed substantial support for such a ban but also identified legitimate questions and concerns.
The future of the Veteran’s Hall (Vet’s Hall) on High Street in downtown Truckee has been the subject of significant community interest of late. There are three independent governmental entities involved in the decision making process related to the Vet’s Hall. So who does what and when do they do it?
The Town has received several requests both directly and indirectly (via letters to the editor) to conduct public meetings related to the proposed Canyon Springs development in Glenshire instead of at Town Hall. I believe a Town response could help shed some light on this issue.
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Feburary 19, 2013 - Martis Creek Dam
In early December, the Town of Truckee staff and the Town Council participated in a public meeting about the future of the Martis Creek Dam. The dam is located just east of the Truckee Airport and backs up to the Waddle Ranch Preserve, near but outside the Town boundary. Martis Valley is one of our area’s great scenic recreation areas. Residents, visitors (and their dogs) enjoy hiking the valley in the summer and cross-country skiing or snowshoeing in the winter. The dam was built in 1974 to help reduce flood risks in the Truckee River watershed; however, the dam is now considered high risk. Should a maximum flood event occur and water either overtops the dam or the dam fails, Reno could face severe flooding.
November 16, 2011 - Public Service Center Open House
Last month the Community was invited to participate in the grand opening of Truckee’s Public Service Center. It was a perfect fall day and 1000 Truckee residents showed up to visit our new facility. I was thrilled that so many young families brought their children to climb all over the large trucks and equipment that are utilized by the Town and our partner agencies to provide critical services to our community.
The New Corporation Yard is by far the most significant project the Town has constructed. Although the books are not closed, the finished product came in on time and on budget- something to be very proud of. Most importantly the new facility reflects the importance our community places on road maintenance and snow removal. Arguably, these services, or more correctly the lack of these services, was a primary driver in the community’s vote to incorporate the Town of Truckee in 1992.
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March 21, 2011 - New Small Business Loan Program
The Town of Truckee has initiated a small business loan program to help fill vacant commercial spaces in the Truckee Redevelopment Project Area with new or expanding businesses. Loans will be for a maximum of $50,000 with extremely favorable terms. The funds can be used for the design and construction of tenant improvements, façade improvements, and signage. A total of $300,000 of redevelopment funds were allocated to this program and will be distributed on a first come, first served basis. The project area includes all of downtown, most of Donner Pass Road in the Gateway area, West River Street, and the Pioneer Commerce Center.
Along with this loan program, the Town has prepared a new “how to” brochure on starting a business that will be distributed in a paper mode along with an electronic format that will be available on the web and for email distribution. The Town has also fine-tuned its tenant improvement plan checking process and is committed to completing plan reviews within three working days following the submission of tenant improvement plans. Our goal here is to do what we can to get vacant commercial space filled with new or expanded businesses. We expect a formal press release of this information next week.
All around Town the status of our economy is on everyone’s mind. Times are tough for local businesses, particularly those involved in the construction industry. Construction activity within Truckee has dropped over 80 % from what we had become accustomed to during most of the last decade. This drop in construction activity is unprecedented during the last 35 years in Truckee. It’s not just the constructed related businesses that feel the impact- the reduction of construction related economic activity has reduced the purchasing power of a major segment of our community. This reduces expenditures in our retail stores, eating and drinking establishments and to local service providers ranging from hair stylists to attorneys. It also reduces resources available for entertainment, investment and charitable giving. Looking to the future of this traditional economic engine, there continues to be substantial inventory of residential and commercial real estate, often for sale at less than the cost of construction. Unfortunately this means there will be no quick resurgence in our construction economy.
The real question is, What is being done to address our economic situation? I say plenty! Although it may not be obvious to the casual observer. The Town has initiated several programs over the last year targeted at providing local economic stimulus while improving our community.
Established a local contractor preference for public works projects that provides an edge to local contractors competing for projects. The most recent successful application of this preference was Advanced Asphalt winning the contract to reconstruct Donner Pass Road through the middle of Town.
As I enter my 30th year of public service I have made a personal commitment to embrace available technology to expand my efforts to regularly communicate with Truckee residents, business owners and property owners. This blog launches this effort. For the uninitiated Wikipedia provides a description of a blog- Blogs are usually maintained by an individual with regular entries of commentary, descriptions of events, or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are commonly displayed in reverse-chronological order. That describes my plan. Although I don’t feel that old, when I began my career personal computers did not exist and fax machines were considered cutting edge! Times have changed and I’m diving in. I plan to maintain my focus on issues of interest to the community that relate to the Town of Truckee. I welcome your input and feedback.
This blog will discuss a big topic- PAID PARKING. My goal is to lay the ground work for an informed public dialogue on this issue. The paid parking program has been in effect for five years and the Town Council has decided that now is the time to take a fresh look at how the system is working and to pursue improvements. They deserve significant credit for re-opening the public dialogue on this topic. From my seat, paid parking has been the single most complained about program that the Town has implemented in my 16 years here. The upcoming public discussion is not likely to quiet the complainers and will probably increase the fervor on the topic.