The inside report of how the Town of Truckee is using the CODEBOOK to Harass Local Businesses, Dismantle Local Homes, Upheave Local Livelihoods, andPINCH TRUCKEE LOCALS OUT OF TOWN.
Have you noticed the buzz of aggravated locals around town? In the hardware store, at the market, in the bars, and in the gyms. The buzz is everywhere, you’re probably even apart of it. What’s the buzz, you ask? Truckee locals are feeling under attack, and we’re trying to figure out what to do about it. Read on to find out what’s going on. Highlights are for quick scanning, because there is a lot of important information to find out. Para nuestra gran comunidad latina, traduzca al español aquí:
In the following accounts you will hear how local workers are living in their cars while rental units that have been around for decades are being Shut Down for suddenly being “non-compliant”.
You’ll hear how local businesses have collapsed under the weight of compliance requirements, while businesses who have resisted have been delivered “cease and desist” threats at 3am by Truckee code enforcement thugs dressed all in black.
You’ll also hear how local business owners are drowning in red tape, and paying big fines for bizarre “code violations” just to keep their doors open and their crews working…. Meanwhile the $293k salary + benefits package of the top Town Official responsible for enforcing these new codes has a been curiously increasing as much as $25,000 per year, year over year over year.
Read on to find out WHAT codes these are, WHO put them here and WHY… then sign this Petition to stand up for Truckee’s locals and demand a stop to this Hometown Hijack.
Meet Pete a local Truckee builder and iconic Squaw skier for over 40 years. A true Truckee citizen, he learned of the local housing crisis and put his guest room up for rent on Craigslist. Within the hour, Caitlin the Code Compliance Officer responded to his ad. She said: update the unit to comply with THE CODE, or rip it out. Meeting “the code” was not possible in his older house, so he ripped his guest room out. She then insisted he sign a deed restriction that he would never rent his extra room out again, as she browsed his property and threatened him with even more “code violations”. He refused, so she scheduled him a court date. All he was trying to do was help, as hundreds of Truckee locals were being pushed out of housing.
Meet Jim a good-natured Truckee ski-coach with a modest lifestyle. He’s been a full-time Truckee resident for over 30 years, and has always relied on room-rental income to help pay his bills, while also making it possible for him to eventually retire. His last renter paid no rent for many months, so Jim pressured him to leave so he could rent it to someone who could. Kid finally leaves. In retaliation (and with advice from his lawyer dad), kid called Caitlin the Code Compliance Officer and reported the “illegal” room. While Jim was away, kid and dad come back to (illegally) usher Caitlin around the house using the kid’s old key. Jim returned to his house with a CONDEMNED notice taped to his front door. He refuses to acknowledge the threat (not to mention, his house is meticulously kept). His lawyer says the Town of Truckee could be sued based on the unlawful entry of the Compliance Officer as seen on his security camera footage.
Meet Sam a happy guy who works long hard doubles in the restaurants downtown. Like hundreds of other working Locals, he recently lost his housing when the homeowners sold his rental house. He couldn’t find any place reliable to stay, so he moved into his car with his two elderly dogs. One dog fell into such panic from the upheaval, Sam had to put her down. Sam is still looking for a stable place to stay.
Meet Dan a local homeowner who is tired of working long hard hours to meet ends meet. He decides to sell his house and move along. After finding a interested buyer and securing a job in another state, the sale of his home falls through at the last minute…. because it suddenly can’t be sold because it doesn’t meet CODE. He forfeited his new job and moved back to figure out a way to resolve it. Meanwhile…. reports have surfaced that Caitlin and Kerry the code enforcement officers scour the MLS daily looking for houses that mention features and upgrades but have no “permit” on file… and when they find one (a so-called “code-case”) they gleefully jump around the Town Hall office. “Got another one!” Another hefty fine to be collected. Tisk tisk.
Meet Ted a local business owner just trying to run his business. Ted was harassed by Code Enforcement for putting a sign up in his storefront window. “Enrolling now!” the sign said. “Take it down now, or be fined!” Said the code enforcement agent. “Plus, you need to apply for permission to put a sign up. It’s $800 and there is no refund if we deny your request.” Ted then suffered weak enrollment. Ted is one of dozens of business owners being harassed for “inappropriate” signage. One store has already shut its doors because the new wave of Truckee residents had no idea he was there.
Meet Jill another local business owner who had a great little artisan shop downtown. Suffering a similar scenario to the men above, she actually shut down her shop and moved her business because one code enforcement agent in particular kept stealing her “non-compliant” signs.
Meet Jeff a downtown Truckee business owner just getting by. He had a creative idea to bring more customers to his shop. Great idea, awesome for the downtown experience. Code Compliance stops by and issues a violation: the particular snack he was selling required more parking spaces out front than he had (but isn’t Town Council pushing a walkable downtown? Not to mention, there’s also the town’s major parking lot directly across the street). Tired of all the endless no-you-cant’s, he shuts his business down for good.
Meet Linda a local country store owner for over 30 years. She outgrew her small space in a 100 year old structure, and decided to build her own shop. But a new wood structure just wouldn’t do! Code Compliance forced her to engineer her modest new shop with 24″ deep steel moment frames (while the 100 year old shop still stands just fine). Then they forced her to take down her native trees and replant with aspens.. with a required irrigation system. If she doesn’t comply within 3 years, they threatened to revoke her temporary occupancy permit and close her shop down. In utter fear for her survival, she ends up in the hands of a cardiologist for heart palpitations and shortness of breath.
Meet Alex a successful local who just bought property and is looking to build a house on a sloped lot in Tahoe Donner. He wants to add an ADU to provide good quality housing stock for Truckee’s working community. Low and behold, a new height-restrictive Code gets passed, effective immediately, and with absolutely no exception. Alex had plans to build a simple and efficient two story + loft cabin, just like hundreds of others in TD, where he could easily tuck in an ADU. This new code, however, now forces him to tier his house with the hill, (all for looks), adding nearly 100k to the cost of construction by doubling the excavation, foundation, and roof, as the house sprawls. He chooses to forgo the ADU, and wonders if he can build at all now.
Meet Jack a local Truckee Builder for more than 40 years. Jack loves to build. At almost 100 houses, everyone can clearly see. He runs his crew from foundation to framing at a remarkable pace: Four houses in 9 months, with winters off. During the winter, he hand-draws four more projects for the next build season. Truly larger than life, this old-school Truckee local has mastered practically every skill in his trade, and still swings a hammer with his guys out in the field. When you mention his name around Town, people smile. Everyone, that is, except the Town of Truckee.
Today, Jack is saddled with hundreds of thousands of dollars in Code Compliance costs, fines, and stalled projects as he fought tirelessly on behalf of his working-class clients to get their modest homes built amidst extreme covid delays and difficulties. When Truckee’s Permit Department was backed up 8 months (offices closed, phones, emails unanswered) Jack chose to break ground without a permit (just another modest house in a 30-year old subdivision) or he would be out of work for the entire season… and lose the team he’d trained for years. But breaking ground without permission is bad, even if Permit Staff is on Covid Vacation! Jack is about to pay.
Soon after, Truckee compliance officers red-tag his two major projects due to obscure Code violations, while insisting authority over the Title Company (after 3 parcel sales already), the Nevada County Registrar, the Licensed Surveyor, Tahoe Donner’s own parcel maps, and the neighbors themselves… while leaving him waiting “any minute” on their verdict for 6 months, effectively shutting both projects down for the whole year and forcing a redesign of one. $40k in extra costs to each homeowner. Much, much more losses for Jack. Appeals were rejected, only reinforced with more stipulation.
Which codes have strangled this builder? These codes are new… Jack has never seen these curious Codes in all of his 40 years in Truckee. This strangulation is enough to cripple a new builder. But Jack? He’ll probably just quit and go build elsewhere. The fun here is gone. Truckee once was a wild and free mountain town, a rip-roaring good time. The soul of Truckee is now dead. Thank you, Town of Truckee! Now we stand to lose another Badass Local.
So what’s your verdict? Should these Locals STAY? Or is it time to GO.
LOCALS ARE ANGRY
COMPLIANCE COMPLIANCE COMPLIANCE DAMNIT!!
Truckee has always been a town of wild and free, resilient and hard-working, honest local men and women who do the absolute best they can to work a job they love, take care of their home and raise a family. The assault by the Town of Truckee… the endless fees and fines demanded of us for not complying with their arbitrary and ever-growing code book… is stealing countless livelihoods, instilling a terrible fear for survival, and bringing so many of us to desperation, sadness and defeat.
Meanwhile our Code Agents are giddy as they aggressively hunt down and cite Truckee Locals with obscure Codes, insisting absolute authority, offering no exceptions, inflicting thousands of dollars in compliance damage and putting local livelihoods at risk. If we argue, they have been known to cite more codes to burden us even more as they force us to apply for Permit (ie their permission), or they will send us to court.
The overwhelming majority of locals who have been assaulted by code enforcement have a real fear of retaliation by Town of Truckee Code Enforcement if they speak out. In other words, our neighbors are scared to have their homes and businesses attacked if they push back. This is an alarming reality.
This used to be a community of fun-loving neighbors who built this Town together (we had our own Town Code). But now Truckee is overrun with a heinous new City Culture…. where neighbors (Karens and Karls) now monitor and complain about every move we make. They sign themselves up for HOA boards to bully us around, while at the same time voting in miserable, self-righteous Town Officials to assume an even greater (false) power to punish us for all the things that bother them (more on this here).
And hence, the CODEBOOK is now being used against us by our own Town Agents, in their forceful bid to transform Truckee into one of the most wealthy, prestigious and fashionable enclaves in the US… while pushing the original LOCALS out in the process. THIS is a Hometown Hijack.
Would you like to help us push back? We need your great ideas and spirited action… even if you’re a Truckee Local living in Reno. Click for our election strategy.
If you want to share your code violation experience, click here to make a report. Documentation of misconduct will help us build our case. HOA complaints welcome also, to be compiled in our next report.
If you are currently a big fan of our Town Council, click here to see the better way of accomplishing our shared Truckee goals. As you will discover below, the current Town Council is operating on false promises. It’s all about them, not us.
Don’t want to commit to voting yet, but you still want updates? Sign up here. Don’t forget to ask around town to see what peoples’ experiences have been. Between HOAs and local CODES, you will be shocked.
KNOW THE CODES
#1: TRUCKEE DEVELOPMENT CODE
This is our Hometown Code, Truckee locals are supposed to write it. This is the Codebook that executes the Truckee General Plan, which is this town’s Long Term Development Plan. Who knows what’s in this 500 page document. It gets updated every 15 years, the latest update (2040 Plan) was just ratified by Truckee Town Council this May, despite plenty of pushback from Truckee Locals.
Why the pushback? The Town of Truckee strangely brags of 115 community meetings involved in this new 2040 general plan, but if you ask around town, hardly anyone knew they were going on. Even the town’s own hospital district wasn’t informed of important dates and deadlines. Not to mention, nearly all Truckee Development Plan meetings were VIRTUAL , with NO dates regularly listed on the official Town Hall Calendar (months of empty calendar screenshots available as proof). One has to wonder: why didn’t we have regular, real life Town Hall meetings with our own Truckee General Plan Committee?? Real Truckee Locals don’t do ZOOM. What is going on in these virtual meetings, anyway??
On closer investigation, in this year’s General Plan process, the town took community input via a measly 12 person volunteer panel called the GPAC. Our General Plan process 15 years ago, in contrast, was entirely open to the community. Why the change? The “excuse” was that the General Plan process is too cumbersome and complex for hundreds of people to weigh in, which unfortunately is now true (yes, planners make even the simplest of things extraordinarily complicated). So locals took comfort in the idea that 12 of their neighbors are representing them. This sounds fine, except a twelve-person panel of volunteer armchair planners is nowhere close to being an accurate representation of what Truckee Locals want and don’t want. In reality, hundreds of local homeowners, workers and business ownerswant FEWER Truckeecodes, but they are working so hard jumping through Truckee’s “code hoops”, they dont have time to volunteer or fight back.
Well… turns out, while our locals were haplessly entangled in code,Town of Truckee pushed through 325 more policies and action items (325 NEW CODES!), including some very burdensome Reach Codes (see below). Moreover, the General Plan mentions no metrics or measurable benchmarks. Without metrics and benchmarks, there are no goals… there are only BURDENS. For example: the entire state of California produces less than 1% of the worlds carbon footprint*, yet Truckee is dead-nuts on MORE punishing restrictions. When do we get to stop?? We don’t! Because we don’t have benchmarks! * CA 370 million tons greenhouse gasses per year / WORLD 50 billion tons per year = 0.74%
A number of local homeowners protested these Reach Codes at the May ratification meeting with the Council, saying these codes would ultimately push them out of town. In reply, Council used the gavel to quiet the crowd’s applause for those who spoke up against the codes. “We don’t allow clapping because we don’t want those commentors who don’t get claps to feel bad” said Vice Chairmen Linsday Romack with the gavel, naively pacifying a room full of dissenters (but otherwise, a cunning trick). Needless to say, the concerns of Truckee Locals fell on deaf ears and blank stares by the Truckee Councilmen and Planners as the Council passed the Plan anyway, claiming it’s all or nothing, now or never.
An important note: The Town Council passed the 2040 plan ALSO against the recommendation of the Planning Commissioners (who voted NO to passing the plan, and provided recommendations). According to our own Truckee by-laws, the Council and Planning Commission must be in alignment before the Council can approve the plan. The Council, of course, ignored the Commissioners recommendations.
The disrespect goes even further: as the Council railroaded the dissenting Truckee Locals and the Planning Commission, a number of Hospital District representatives in attendance were also quite upset that the Town never included them in the General Plan either (they somehow missed some obscure deadlines?! So much for “open” meetings). Tahoe Forest Hospital CEO Harry Weis wrote a reasonable public statement showing his understandable disappointment with the Council, and our Council member Anna Klovstad retorted with this snide reply, as documented in Moonshine Ink’s April 17, 2023 article:
“I was terribly disappointed in Harry Weis’ op-ed,” Klovstad continued. “… I do not expect this to be the way that we create partnership in the future. I hope that the board will hold Harry accountable for the disintegration of that partnership, at least for the time period that it took me to calm down.” Hmpf! In other words…. Talk to The Hand, Harry.
California’s Open Meeting Law Meetings of public bodies must be “open and public,” actions may not be secret, and action taken in violation of open meetings laws may be voided. The Brown Act (§§54953(a), 54953(c), 54960, 54960.1)
#2: CA GOVERNMENT CODE
This Outsider Rulebook is responsible for many of the obscure codes which Local residents, contractors and business owners have recently experienced. This CA Government Code is in addition to, and claims authority over, our own Town Code. At many thousands of pages, it is impossible to know what is actually in it, and when you get hit with one of these codes, it is typically a giant, multi-page paragraph of small-print legalese which is so convoluted it’s practically written in another language. For some odd reason, our Council Members are suddenly quite happy to throw this thousand-page book at us.
Up until the past few years, this California Government Code was only reasonably enforced by our Council members and their officers. However, it suddenly has been the root of many curious and highly-controversial code conflicts this year. CA Govt Code has proven itself to be arbitrary, with no recognizable benefits, goes against common sense, wastes loads of time and money, restricts our community’s ability to grow uniquely and naturally, and most importantly, it has crippled local businesses and put locals on the streets. Truckee Code Enforcement has suddenly been all over these Codes, putting locals’ time, money, housing and livelihood at jeopardy. The question is… why?
Despite California historically being a Home Rule State (localities are free to govern themselves on local matters), and Truckee being a Charter City (we have our own constitution aka “charter” (read it here) which further guarantees our power to determine local matters)… despite all this, Truckee Town Council has, in multiple instances over recent years, adopted fat sections of the California Government Code in exchange for big chunks of money, the latest money “deal” funded the Artist Loft scam…. which instead of fulfilling its promise for critically needed Truckee workforce housing (over 200 Truckee families lost their housing due to Covid, and moved out of town), The Loft Application included a checkbox for “Begging” in the employment section, and many of the units were given to vagrants. Meanwhile, the real hard-working local restaurant workers who still remain here, need late-night police escort to their cars because of the Loft’s new indigent crime problem. Ironic.
#3: CA REACH CODES
In 2022, on a 4-1 vote, Truckee Council established Truckee as a “flagship town” for Reach Codes … Truckee is now included in a small group of the most elite (ie most expensive) municipalities in California… who now force tens of thousands of dollars of extra expenses on each local home owner in the name of being fashionably green. Again, California is the 4th largest economy in world yet produces less than 1% of the planet’s greenhouse gasses…. but somehow Truckee’s earnest conservation efforts are still not enough. Damn us! We must now sacrifice more! Our valiant Town Council leads the charge.
The adoption of Reach Codes in Truckee means we will soon be banned from Natural Gas in new construction. No more gas cooking, gas fireplaces, fire pits. Oh the joy. These Reach Codes also expect us (absurdly) to use solar panels to charge our cars, heat our hot water, and heat our house all at the same time, on 15 degree days in a power outage with solar panels buried under snow. Want to know how much a solar system that big will cost? “But we will still be attached to the grid!”, you say. Well, since electric companies will now have a monopoly over our energy, you can bet you’ll be paying even more for electric than you ever did. Check out this massive CA electric bill hike planned for 2024.
Reach Codes are fashionable requirements that a CA Town may choose to inflict upon itself, in the name of “doing your part” to fight climate change. They claim to be cost-effective (read: pay $$$ upfront, get payback over lifetime… except CA re-negged on their solar panel savings promise already, so…. that’s a lie), plus it would add $$ tens of thousands more to already sky-high construction costs (A tiny 750 sqft ADU already costs $400k to build). These Codes are so lofty, pre-code houses can’t be renovated without $$$ code compliance upgrades, if they can even be renovated at all. When you can’t renovate, your home becomes obsolete, and worth less. These codes make it even more expensive to live in Truckee, and when locals try to sell their house and leave, they will take a big hit on their house value… because it needs big $$$ to be renovated to meet code… if it can even be renovated at all! PINCH.
Reach Codes are expensive and downright risky. Understand this: codes always increase costs, otherwise they wouldn’t have to be forced on people. California’s current “safety” and “green” codes have doubled the cost of construction already. Now, these additional Reach Codes aim to move CA to a 100% electric state… which funnels everyone onto one single energy source (utility monopoly) that is hinged on a hostile nation (china) which has a (monopoly) on our batteries and grid components. We will be pushed onto a power grid that hasn’t been built yet (dream), while our current grid blacks out and sparks fires (reality). This is resilience?? Meanwhile, our biggest Forest Fires so far were caused by down Power Lines and manic (radical-left) College Professors. (ie arson. Oct 22 Moonshine Ink).
Why are we insisting on going 100% electric if the globe is critically warming? Electric devices need to stay cool or they shut down. If Truckee desperately needs affordable housing, why does Truckee enforce the CA Govt Code which is already proven responsible for the largest homeless crisis in modern US history? And our “safety” codes are now so extreme, it is now impossibly expensive to addon to pre-code homes. (God forbid a tiny crack in your sheetrock!) In some cases, the compliance gap is technically unbridgeable (already local engineers are declining add-on projects for this reason). Housing is now harder to find, twice as expensive to build and impossibly compliant. To fix the mess they made themselves (Reno is building just fine, btw), Council now wants to subsidize “workers housing”… for anyone who… works! What a racket.
AT WHAT POINT DO WE STOP allowing these OUTSIDER AGENTS to dictate how we live in our own Local Community? At what expense to our time, money and precious enjoyment? We’re the ones who ultimately pay the price. And for what, the prestige our Town Council women receive for leading a “flagship” town to a Safe (risky) and Fashionable (fake) existence?? No thanks! Truckee Locals don’t buy this nonsense. Town of Truckee’s prideful mission to be a Flagship Do-Gooder comes with a price tag that pushes the Real Locals out. Pay to Play, Truckee! Pay to play.
HOW WE GOT LIKE THIS
If you ask anyone around town, they’ll admit: “we are overrun by the Bay Area”…. and they are correct. In the ultimate contrast to Truckee’s fun-loving, hard-working, wild-and-free mountain community, Truckee now has a deluge of new “neighbors” who snoop, whine and report (rat) on everyone around them in the righteous name of their own personal safety…. or even better… their own personal aesthetics. Instead of respectfully moving to our town to enjoy our friendly culture and modest lifestyle, these “neighbors” immediately vote in their so-called highly-educated Bay Area cohorts in a bid to rectify what bothers them so, effectively changing our culture to their liking. There are very few things on earth more disrespectful than this.
A question to our new bay area neighbors: do you always barge into someone’s house, rearrange all their furniture, have yourself a little tea party, then push the owners out? Because that’s exactly what you’re doing when you’re a new Bay Area voter in Truckee. Do us a favor and show some respect: DON’T VOTE for our local or county positions until you’ve put in decent time here as a working local taxpayer.
As for this current Town Lineup who was voted in by this Bay Area wave: your days in charge are surely numbered, because the following report will explain a lot about exactly who you are, what you have been doing, what motivates you, and why it is in this communities best interest to remove you from your position of power.
WHY THESE CODES ARE HERE
We didn’t vote for these laws, and who are these Truckee Town Council code enforcement stooges anyway? Truckee didn’t used to be like this. It’s starting to seem like a gang of professional CA Code Agents took over Truckee, paid themselves nicely with “state money” acquired from sell-out deals, then hired their own henchmen to push us around and make life painfully difficult and expensive…. then pinch us out. BUT WHY???
Well… think about this: Besides Truckee Residents being an endless gold mine of fines and fees revenue…… there is a bigger reason: If you’re a long time local you probably bought your house for something like $200k. If you become disgruntled enough by the obscenely high cost and high stress of living and running your business in Truckee, you’re likely to just give up, sell your house and leave (pinch!). Once you leave, your house will sell for about $800k (avg cost of 3bd/2ba house in Truckee today)…. which means the new owner will pay FOUR TIMES the property tax. Luckily for our town leaders, land in Truckee is a limited, ultra-valuable resource (we’re “built up” already) so clearly, our high-yielding turnover is what they are interested in. In other words: If you follow the money, there is a benefit to harassing Locals out in exchange for a higher paying tax base (wealthier residents and businesses) that can afford the taxes, fines, and fees which fund Town of Truckee’s pet projects and employee benefit packages.All the while, our town “leaders” achieve the particular ego-stroking status of being “in charge” of one of the most beautiful places on earth.Basically, its an elitist RACKET. A land grab. Think about it. When was the last time YOU got paid $293k in one year (salary + fat benefits) to do nothing besides point fingers and push people out?
KNOW WHO IS RESPONSIBLE
Let’s take a look at the current Town of Truckee Lineup to explain why Locals have been hit over the head with COMPLIANCE the past few years. In this snapshot, we can see some interesting talent, leadership and experiences in this “highly educated” bunch, but we also can see an insiders group with questionable transparency, potential red-flag associations and possibly more outside $ deals in exchange for…. enforcing our compliance, perhaps? There are also reports of various members side-stepping the very rules they enforce on others. In other words, their rules don’t apply to them, just us. Typical. This group should be removed.
TRUCKEE’S PLANNING DEPARTMENT
Led by top-dog “Director of Community Development” Denyelle Nishimori ($293k salary+benefits, UC Santa Barbara / CalPoly), this notorious all-female planning department has the highest administrative authority in all of Truckee. Denyelle was not elected, she was appointed in 2017 by the Town Council, and her tenure remains somewhat untouchable for this reason: she has been camping out in her position longer than any of our elected Council Members. Today, the planning department gang that Denyelle has assembled insists on absolute authority with absolutely no appeal, while simultaneously being absolved of any responsibility for the damage they cause. Their ruthless enforcement of the outsider CA GOVT CODE has angered countless local residents and big-time business owners who have suffered greatly (hundreds of thousands of dollars in some cases) from costly code compliance damages.
Nishimori and her department believes it is THEY who know better, and so THEY should be responsible for planning all aspects of OUR life in Truckee… from what we get to do with your own property, to what color and what kind of signs we can put up in our own business storefront (or else!), to what kind of public art we are forced to pay for (rusty ants?), to updating the General Plan 2040 on our behalf during closed-session zoom “workshops”.
Nearly every single angry local resident with grievances against the Town of Truckee cites Denyelle Nishimori as the aggressor. Curiously, Denyelle also has the highest benefits package of anyone employed by the town, by as much as $40k in some cases. Also curiously, Denyelle’s salary + benefits have been increasing by as much as $25,ooo year over year. (see link).
Denyelle was also somehow elected to the TTUSD School Board in November 2022, where locals are also reporting misbehavior over there also (submit a report). Somehow means this: reports indicate she instructed Keri Tabber and Caitlin Safford to harass all her political opponents and threaten them with fines and fees because their political signs were “non-compliant”. Who knows what else she was up to.
Judging by the sheer number of locals enraged by Denyelle Nishimori’s aggressive actions, palpable arrogance, and heafty salary and benefits increases, she should not only be removed from office for abuse of power, but she should also be investigated for potential fraud.
It should be noted also, that only 25 of the most elite towns in California have “Community Development Directors”, which means it’s hardly an essential community role. In fact, Urban Planning is a robust 3rd party consulting market, for three essential reasons: Firms are hired based on their proven track record of successful public planning decisions, they are detached from insiders benefits, and they’re only called on to recommend policy (codes) as needed. In contrast, Denyelle has no proven track record with her policy decisions (she only has a 2-year masters in urban planning, not even an undergrad in any related field, and some years prior as a Truckee planner), she has no means of accountability (not elected, not term limited), she stands to personally benefit from the codes she installs…. and since Denyelle (and the little dog she trots around Town Hall) have been in Town of Truckee longer than any single council member, no one dares to check her. Because of all this, there is NO END to the new codes she gets to hit us with. Bad deal for Truckee residents, at the tune of her $293k salary package per year. Is this what we signed up for?
Unsurprisingly, seven years after Denyelle’s appointment, its clear how abusive this tenured, unelected, non-term-limited position can be. Truckee locals must remove Denyelle, and the Truckee Community Development Director office all together. While we’re at it, lets change the “Planning Department” to “Review Department”. They shouldn’t be “planning” anything anymore. With 329 new codes so far this year…. and still counting…. we’ve had it with planners.
Planning Manager Jenna Gatto ($201k salary+benefits) oversees Sr. Planners Yumie Dahn ($154k salary + benefits) Jaime LaChance ($71k part-time salary + benefits), Associate Planners Chantal Birnberg, Laura Dabe, Lucas Kandall (between $101k and $150k salary + benefits). Below them are Plan Checkers for new construction (aka code enforcers, also new to town since 2020): Christy Lyle ($79k pay + benefits) and Heather Benson (stepped down as of 10/23). It should be noted: In 2019 there were only 3 planners in the Planning department, not Nishimori’s army of eight. (CA Govt Code Money = CA Govt Code Stooges). Not to mention, the entire Planning Department is totally out of reach of public visitation… you can only talk to whichever associate Planner is on call for the day, and they will only meet you at the building department counter (they’re on the princess schedule: 8-12 M-Th, Fridays off). If you have a valid complaint… the Senior Planners (the ones responsible for the nonsense) are not available to meet, ever, and they will also “forget” to answer emails. Cowards.
TRUCKEE TOWN COUNCIL
This elected panel consists of 5 members, all new since 2018, who receive $10k per year for their community service: 3 are far-left public sector lifers (Courtney Henderson, Anna Klovstad, Jan Zabriskie ), 2 others prefer the safety of the band wagon and easily sway left (Lindsay Romack, David Polivoy). Polivoy and Klovstad were elected new in 2018, Henderson, Zabriskie and Romack were elected new in Nov 2020 (7 months after covid begins, just after Truckee locals lost their housing by the hundreds). Unfortunately, in the 2022 election, three of the five seats were up… yet only faced one (far-left) contestant! All three council seats remained! Boy was Truckee was sleeping /gutted by covid.
Two members joined Council within just a few short years of moving to Truckee. Courtney Henderson is a Berkeley PhD and Anna Klovstad is a PUD utility contractor, both with a climate agenda. Then we have Jan Zabriskie , a retired so-cal CA Deputy Attorney General who prosecuted fraud against the government (nevermind government fraud against you).
Jan’s former boss, Attorney General Rob Bonta, actively “calls on attorneys and special agents from all sectors to help defend California’s policies“… in other words, Big Brother Zabriskie, a “special agent” of The State, is sitting inside our very own Town Council, with the moral authority to report us if we don’t comply with The State Codebook. Meanwhile Romack and Polivoy are the only two members with actual private sector jobs in Truckee.
A special note should also be made on Anna Klovstad, the public utility contractor with a climate agenda (CalPoly). She is a self-described “politically savvy council member” whose “dream is to help the Town of Truckee achieve its 100 percent renewable and carbon reduction goals!” (TOT bio).
Anna is in the position of negotiating with major power infrastructure contractors on our behalf. This is a powerful role, soarewe absolutely confident she will make sound decisions in our best interest? As recent news reports, major car manufacturers all around the country can’t move their EVs, meanwhile the Net-Zero Movement worldwide is unravelling itself as an international fraud that even Macron admits. Not to mention, communist China has stated its intention to forcefully take Taiwan, the largest micro-chip producer on earth. So, in light of how irrational, draconian and damaging these extreme net-zero alternative energy policies can potentially be for Truckee locals… will Anna still keep pushing us over the Net Zero edge?
As the net-zero craze is proving itself more crazy by the day, it’s a good bet Anna’s position will not budge: according to her demeanor, her elite leadership and celebrity career seem more important to her than the real burden on Truckee locals…. the people who will ultimately pay the price for her uncompromising “prestige”. According to her actions, aside from railroading dissenters in the Truckee Town Council, Anna also posts articles that promote California’s indoctrination of youth toward aggressive environmental activism (paramilitary brainwashing…. Red Guard anyone?), which gives us insight into Anna’s ‘NO is not an option” attitude toward getting her way. Is this the kind of person we want in charge of our critical public utility infrastructure? Resilient she is not.
It’s funny. With all these high-powered, ultra-passionate climate activists in the ranks of our Town Council, one has to wonder why they are wasting their ultra-valuable skillsets here, with us. California produces less than 1% of the world’s greenhouse gasses, and Truckee hardly a drop of it…. if they wanted to make an actual impact to save the Earth, shouldn’t they be beating their drum in China or India? They really should! Unless, of course, they want all the glory for doing none of the actual work.
(not elected) Nominated from within Council to be their Figurehead (note: no checks and balances here in this commonly used council-manager form of local government). Courtney Henderson is a young, “well educated” PhD (Brown, Columbia, Berkeley), degrees in climate + public safety (agenda), advocates for (rubs elbows with) Alternative Energy Companies in exchange for….? According to her own resume, she “leverages behavioral science to effect change” (ie pure manipulation). Courtney is a Berkley / Bay Area transplant with flashy red flags, a very impressive NGO and public policy resume, and 1500 followers on linked-in … yet the only private sector job she mentions is a downhill mountain bike instructor (talk about an alternate reality). At council meetings, she sashays into the chamber in her black patent-leather stiletto pumps, then sits in her seat smiling around the room as if she were in a beauty pageant. Attire and composure completely inappropriate for the Council chambers.
(Not elected) Appointed by the Town Council from within the community. Commission’s duty is to make policy recommendations to the Council, and pre-accept / decline development applications. Three of the five commissioners (a slight but critical majority) are long-time Truckee Locals with successful private-sector careers in this town: Mitch Clarin (chairman, and local Contractor appointed by Councilmen Dave Polivoy), Dave Gove (vise-chair, local Realtor appointed by Councilmen Lindsay Romack), and Daniel Fraiman (local Contractor, appointed by Councilmen Courtney Henderson).
The other two newest commissioners are Policy Administrators, new to the Commission in 2023: Sami Taylor, a public policy writer / sustainability planner currently working remotely from Truckee at her high-brow Environmental Policy Firm with locations in prestigious Berkley and Downtown LA (she was appointed by Councilmen Anna Klovsted, of course). Then there is Coral Cavanaugh, an environmental planning, policy and engineering document writer / editor with special experience in Water policy (she actually lives and works in Truckee, at least), who was appointed by Councilmen Jan Zabriskie, no surprise. In other words….. these two public sector virtuosos actually write and implement the book of Outside CA Codes! Feeling under attack yet? People generally work for jobs they believe in, right? Well, one more big-government appointment by one of our hometown Councilmen, and this lot is owned by, and answers to, the State of California (ie, not us).
Together, the Town Council , Planning Department and their Planning Commission Friends combine to make all decisions for the Town. This powerful posse is responsible for the direction of the Truckee General Plan, which dictates the Truckee Development Code, which their code agents enforce on us. This consortium got its only community input via a 12-member volunteer community panel called the General Plan Action Committee (GPAC), …… via ZOOM. Unfortunately for Locals who want to know where their tax money is going: NO meetings were listed on the Town Hall Calendar either. Jenna Gattooversaw the GPAC.
TRUCKEE TOWN MANAGER
After a state-wide search, interview, and selection process, this Council hired Jen Calloway in Nov. 2020 as the new Town Manager ($296k salary + benefits). She arrived in Town with the Bay Area covid wave. She executes and enforces the wishes of today’s council (as their direct agent). Admin background. Hires all the staff, with Council oversight. Department Heads (Denyelle Nishimori, Jenna Gatto) also help Jen Callaway oversee the execution + enforcement tone according to Council’s wishes ( Nishimori really runs the show though). The Town Attorney, Andrew Morris ($294k salary + benefits) is at Calloway’s (ie Denyelle’s) disposal to prosecute locals and defend the actions of her agents.
TRUCKEE CODE ENFORCEMENT
Out in the field, Caitlin Safford, Kerry Tabber swoop neighborhoods to find CODE violators. Officers technically are not allowed to hunt down violators, but must wait for neighbor complaints instead. However, reports show this is not the case. The officer especially adept at hunting down violators and giving all kinds of Locals hell (major stooge, and ALSO the first one to snoop this site and comment with cheerful intimidation before it went live, of course), is Caitlin Safford (click for mugshot). Caitlin has a degree in criminal psychology (thus trained to see the criminal in us all). She has had various minor league enforcement roles throughout her career in Truckee (incl. police records department, from which she was let go for her _____ attitude). Aside from many aggravated reports from locals, Caitlin is most importantly on video unlawfully abusing her power while on the hunt for “code violators”. As for Kerry Taber, angry local business owners are compiling a lawsuit with criminal charges against Kerry, for her foul actions in code enforcement also.
Besides the code officers out in the field, the Planning Department agents enforces their development codes, and Nishimori herself roams around town picking out local business signs she doesn’t like to look at (humpf), at which point she or her henchmen either steal you signs, or she gives the property owner a call and threatens them with consequences until they have their renter take their signs down. If she doesn’t like you as a person, you can bet she’s not going to like your business sign either…….. and there goes your business. Pinch!
Speaking of prosecuting locals for non compliance… let’s not forget council member Jan Zabriskie, our very own state-approved “special agent” deputy DA morally committed to defending (installing) California’s outsider policies… since they are setup to supersede our own hometown code with every passing day….
This is the new Truckee, folks. This post-covid Town of Truckee lineup has more than a few red flags. Coupled with their abusive code enforcement practices that have knowingly put local livelihoods at risk, they frankly should beshaken down and retired.
WHAT WE CAN DO
Over the past several years, we have been helplessly watching our own hometown being wrestled away from us by “politically-savvy” people who claim to “know better”. For so many locals, their new codes and policies have caused debilitating stress, insurmountable fear for survival, and a terrible heartache for what we stand to lose…. but we can turn this whole thing around.
THIS NOVEMBER is the time to clean out this crowd… but it’s going to take a hardball strategy and a cohesive movement of Truckee locals to remove this rogue Council and relight Truckee’s original mountain spirit. How bad do you want Truckee back? Because it’s going to take serious effort. Sign the petition to show us your commitment to vote these people out of office this November, and press charges at every opportunity. Once you sign, click HERE to learn about our current election strategy and how YOU can get in on the action. WE NEED YOU, NOW.
Just remember….. Out of 10 Councilmen and Commissioners….. exactly 5 are very high-powered, policy pushing CA government stooges whose careers are entirely dedicated to creating and installing CA Government policies that put us in our place while paying their fat salaries and bolstering their ultra-prestigious resumes. Truckee Locals are on the brink of losing everything unique and wonderful about our town. That’s one hell of a Hometown Hijack! Click HERE to pushback.
A BETTER WAY
Still quite fond of our Town Council? Well, let’s put all this another way. We know this to be true: EVERYONE in Truckee wants Green Energy and a cleaner, healthier planet. We all share this concern, this is Truckee after all. As with all issues important to Truckee (affordable housing etc): The difference is in HOW we make that happen. In other words…. instead of forcing CODE and Regulation with hefty fines and displaced locals, there is a powerful alternative we can implement instead: the incentivized free market.
For example: CA Reach Codes ultimate goal is for every home in the state to be zero-waste and “off-the-grid”. Awesome! Who doesn’t want that! Need proof? It’s trending hard (#vanlife). A state-wide public service campaign (info / hype) + tax breaks ($ incentive similar to LEED), would be far more effective than government regulation, with far more dynamic and “equitable” results. Plus, a tax break essentially means YOU get to choose the pet projects in which YOU want to participate. Good ideas get good participation. The (current) alternative is to give your tax money to local politicians to spend on whatever pet project they want….. might as well give your credit card to a bunch of drunken narcissists.
Tax incentives empower YOU to support GOOD IDEAS. Any honest politician will gladly empower you through tax incentives, while any politician with a self-serving agenda and a fat salary hinged on government kickbacks will fight tax incentives tooth and nail. Just follow the money, it’s not hard to see why.
A second alternative, is the beauty of Economy of Scale. Let’s look at Organic Foods as a wonderful example. At first, only wealthier people could afford organics, they pushed the demand. Ten years later, costs have come way down with scale, efficiency, and competition (always does). Now we see a market flush with affordable organics, available to everyone. Goal achieved (and with tax incentives, organic food manufacturers could have hit the goal even faster). The same can happen with off-the-grid housing. Pioneering a movement isn’t cheap! So when the Town of Truckee forces all residents to participate in an early, expensive movement, it only pushes out the non-wealthy. The wealthy were going to do it anyway… especially with tax incentives.
Politicians aren’t dumb (especially the savvy ones). Forcing people to comply with rules and regulations is a great strategy for a land grab (invasion), if you’re into that kind of thing (Country Club of California). Yes, we know Tahoe is pretty. No, you can’t have it. Codes are for thugs, and the other naive Town Council members (and voters!) who believe that Government policy and regulation is the answer to everything.
THE REAL TRUTH ABOUT GOVERNMENT
There is a thing about Government: it is NOT the answer to everything. In fact its structure is inherently corruptible and requires careful vigilance. Why? For one, Policy Makers (aka planners) job description is to plan life and make rules. A job well done is to make rules (policy) 40 hours a week. So of course we suffocate in code. Planners should be on-call only (sidelined), otherwise they’ll plan the socks off you. After all, it’s their job.
Secondly, there are 3 types of people attracted to Planning / Government positions: 1) eager people who feel joy performing a civic duty for their awesome community. 2) micro managers on steroids, possibly with a chip on their shoulder 3) Authoritarians and Sociopaths (statistically 1-4 in 100). We’d like to assume #1 for Truckee, but…..
Example of Eager People: When a group of talented people come together to achieve reasonable objectives. Works great with public participation and transparency (ie regular news coverage of Town Council Meetings, which we do not actually have in Truckee).
Example of Micromanagers with a Grudge: When code-compliance officers give you an inexplicably hard time, they’re either naively following orders, or they are abusing their power to punish those whom they find offensive (did you not get my permission first?? Oh no you don’t!) How many hoops can they get you to jump through, and at what cost. Oh fun! Payback time. This is also cause to question the organization’s motives… who is sitting higher up? What’s their objective? Perhaps we should ask Denyelle this question.
Example of Sociopaths: THIS IS WHY governments fail. Sociopaths FLOCK to government positions for power and prestige. They believe they know how to live your life better than you. They are usually at boss level, are highly “educated” in trending topics, and see their job as critical. They believe humans are always the problem, and must be managed. They often have training in Behavioral Science (manipulation), and use crisis as an opportunity to scare people into doing what they want. They don’t have much private sector experience (can’t hang), usually just government jobs (fat benefits little work). They fixate on pet projects, and are happy to use people as lab rats for the sake of their prideful objectives. They chant “compliance!”, virtue-signal loud and often, and are very clever hypocrites…
… You can do whatever you want, as long as you do what they tell you. They talk organic but want to masterplan every decision a person can make. They scream “Progress!” while obstructing any way to make your life easier. They talk resiliency, but build energy grids off resources sourced from hostile nations. They plug “Local” while overwriting your local culture with outside rules and expectations… if this sounds like you………. it’s time to take a seat.
Communal Narcissism (reference) is a clinical condition, and a subcategory of megalomania. This is why ALL Governments require careful vigilance (not just Truckee), because there is a very high chance there are manipulative and self-serving agents in its ranks. The higher up the Government, the more shadows, and the more corruption (Sacramento, DC, EU, UN, WEF etc). Be warned!
AT THE END OF THE DAY
One dark night at 3am, a Truckee Code Enforcement agent dressed head-to-toe in black, crept up to the door of a local Truckee business and boldly posted a “cease and desist” order. The note threatened the owner with lofty fines plus one night in jail for every day they continued operating “in violation”. The owner had too much to loose if he obeyed, since he was a fledgling new business shouldering a hefty new business debt. He consulted a lawyer.
The lawyer, after watching the security camera footage, simply made a few phone calls to the County Sheriff’s department and a few other law enforcement offices, and came back with a reply to the troubled business owner. He said: “no one is interested in enforcing this violation. Just ignore them and carry on.” So he did, and his business is alive and thriving today.
In other words… if a law is written but no one is willing to enforce it, it does not exist.
THIS is why it is so critical for citizens to not only know who we elect for Council, but we also must KNOW EXACTLY WHO our local code enforcement agents are… because they are always the last line of defense in the (inevitable) event your government goes rogue. Knowing your local law / code enforcement arm ensures, via checks and balances, that your NEIGHBORS are responsible for your safety and well being… not some hired outsider government thugs like the sell-outs in our current Town of Truckee lineup. The difference is critical.
And this is how it all ends.
Thank you kindly for reading, and please….
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