I Run With Maud (BLM): City Candidate Questions


It has been said that to be a good scientist, one must be a great skeptic.  I am a SKEPTIC!

1. What are your thoughts on the national movement for racial justice (such as BLM) and how do you see that applying locally to South Lake Tahoe?  

Since I am running for city council and not a federal office, I do not believe that what is being reported on a national scale is necessarily any where near what is the reality here.  I stated my position clearly, I believe, in a recent letter to the editor.  I want to know about the truth of what is happeing here! Not Portland!  My duty as a City councilman is to investigate the reality here, before forming policy.

2. Do you think there is racial bias in policing in South Lake Tahoe?  If so, what kinds of programs would make South Lake Tahoe safer for everyone?  Explain your rationale.

At present, I know of no proven true evidence that law enforcememt is biased.  This does not mean that there may not be some truthful evidence.  I'm unaware of any.

3.  What would you ask of the South Lake Tahoe Police Department to ensure more equitable outcomes for people of color?

I cannot ask for policy changes without verifying the extent and validity of a problem.

4.  What is your understanding of the health disparities faced by people of color in South Lake Tahoe?  And what do you see as the city's role in addressing the social deteminants of health?

We already have a type of socialized medicine in place.  My understanding is the ER cannot turn anybody away.  The Hospital receives donations for the needy from various sources and most persons are aware that those paying the asking amount, through whatever means, are also subsidizing the "less fortunate".  A recent mailer by Barton showed a few million dollars in an account for the less advantaged.  What is the jurisdiction of personal physical "health" in relation to the City Government?  We used to have County Hospitals.  Is this a county issue?  If it is an issue?  It appears that many believe that this issue is a Federal issue.  I'm not sure the founders were thinking of Government subsidized health plans when they wrote the constitution.  

5.  Do you see inequitable access to education in South Lake Tahoe?  How would you address these issues on a community level?

Is the City Council going to duplicate the issues that the school board is supposed to handle by jurisdiction?  I think not.  the community is to effect the educational system through the school system in various avenues provided.  City Council is not one of those that I am aware of.

6. Community of evironmental justice is one in which both cultural and biological diversity are respected, and where there is equal access to institutions and ample resources to grow and prosper.  Please discuss environmental justice issues facing south Lake tahoe such as; homelessness, littering, tourism, lake clarity, polution, cars and public transportation, global warming.

Justice is a big word, in that Justice depends on what rubric or rule one uses for ethical moral decisions.  What is equitable about making one man pay for a house, and the next is given a house free?  I maintain you have created an inequity, not equity.  Merely by requiring one man to barter with his goods (money) for the house and the other gives no goods (free) to obtain a house is unethical.  This duplicitous scheme has sown the seeds of a morally, disastrous society.  What I hear when I hear the word “equity” is another program, at tax payers’ expense, to give resources (property) to those who want it.  Those who have good character, and have a genuine desire to be productive, usually succeed.  Those without good ethics, those who are inappropriate, squander their resources, are no better off.  The modern proverb comes to mind.  “The fool and his money are soon departed.” The problem is, government does not seem to be able to make the hard decisions in the face of hard evidence when their program is reaping negative (wicked) results.  Maybe they fear losing votes!

Littering is a personal ethical Issue that has social consequences.  It will be solved by education, and practical  means such as strategic placement of garbage cans.  I look forward to tackling this problem.

Tourism and the direction it is going, is to me, probably the most important topic for the City.  Should we continue tourist expansion, and how is that process going to look for years to come, or do we discourage tourism.  What is the motivation for one’s position on the matter.  Stateline is building a convention center.  They have voted with their actions.  Can we stop tourist growth in an equitable way?  May sound minds and wisdom prevail!  I do not think we can stop tourist growth in the short term.  But processes need to be put in place to manage future populations within our city.  In the last sixty years the population around the lake has at least tripled (my guess) and I think the population will at least try to double in the next thirty years.  We are coming to an end in approximately ten years with buildable lots.  These facts and others are dictating a growing problem that demands attention!  May the answers be wise and ethical.  

Lake clarity, pollution, and  global warming are in the camp of empirical science.  The problem is that too much emotional subjective science has crept into many persons’ thinking and some science is driven more by money than it is by honest science.  Do I hear bias from the god scientists?  Again, wisdom and good science will prevail in the end.  I love looking into the science and approaching the details of these issues.  Consensus does not guarantee truth!

Cars and public transportation has been inconsistent in the past.  There is a point in the growth of a city when public transportation makes sense.  Have we hit that point?  All the details must be considered from a rational point and not emotion.  I’m for public transportation if we have reached that appropriate point in city growth.

I believe this question is concerned with “equal access”?  The leaders of different socio economic groups, however they are defined, need to communicate with their people what is out there.  In talking to some of my friends of a different race, I find that, for whatever reason, they are unaware of what is in South Lake.  Therefore they do not access its  resources.  For instance, the College puts out a class schedule every quarter to entice more students.  I find the class schedule in my mail and all over town.  I would think that every H.S. graduate would be aware of the community college and if a person had any interest, it would be logical to enquire in person or by phone.  At what point has the college done it’s due diligence to all in the community and it is now left up to the person to inquire for further information. Yet with all this advertisement, some say they had no knowledge.  At what point does a person no longer have a valid complaint that the community did not make the information available?   I do not know of one councilperson who is not open to having a discussion with anyone.  

7. How can you support a sustainable tourist economy while balancing our reliance on tourist dollars, personal safety (COVID) and our marginalized communities who are over represented in tourism and service?

First, Covid is a semi dead issue.  Due to viruses historically timing out, there is no need for problem solving where the problem will soon cease to exist.  If another pandemic comes on the scene or if there are some residual issues from this pandemic, when I am on council, I will be glad to handle those issues at that time.  Covid, however, has created an economic upheaval!  Some talented groups/individuals have been working on economic diversification when Covid developed an alternate industry in long distance virtual workers.  I think it noteworthy that plain old economic conditions spontaneously brought in this new wealth.  This in turn created a sharp rise in home prices.  There is the good and bad in any sharp economic growth.  Not all prosper to the same degree.  But new opportunities do come about due to the economic growth.  This may upset some individuals comfort level.  More traffic, more noise in the neighborhood, new ideas that may be good or bad and  a sense of possible lost opportunity.  That’s life!  Make hay while the sun shines!  In America we believe in personal initiative!

I do not understand what this phrase means, “marginalized communities who are overrepresented in tourism”.

8. Do you see Tahoe as a segregated community? If so, how are you going to engage Tahoe's marginalized (i.e. fillipino, latinx, indigenous, and Black) communities to ensure that they have a seat at the table in decision making? if not, why?

 I know of no person that has ever said that any person is disqualified from joining a committee or running for an office due to their heritage.  I thought the election of Obama pretty much put to rest this misconception, which I believe is very true in Tahoe.  Do people segregate themselves?  Often by ethnicity.  But are different ethnicities open to dialogue between each other and form close friendships with others?  I believe so. Most Tahoans are open to all.  I don’t think we have said that the table seating is closed to any particular group.  

I plan, if elected, to have 20 hours per week, posted and available to talk, in person, to anybody who wants to.

Leonard Carter


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