Angry Citizens Push TANC For More Answers

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by Stephen N. Cole,
President, El Macero Homeowners Association –

Since March 25, 2009, I attended two City sponsored information meetings hosting TANC and three TANC Scoping meetings. The fundamental difference between a TANC Scoping session and a City hosted information meeting is that at a Scoping meeting TANCs only employee Mr. Beck, or a TANC consultant, presents TANCs canned Power Point presentation from a prepared script.

The small amount of time remaining in a Scoping session goes to the audience to ask their questions. TANCs primary answers in response to most Scoping questions are to have the person submit their written comments as EIR/EIS CEQA responses to Mr. David Young of WAPA. At the June 1, 2009 sat anonymous Mr. Young taking copious notes. The well-managed City of Davis meeting would not have happened at all if it were not for the devoted perseverance of both Jim Provenza and Don Saylor.

TANC had ignored all of their prior written requests to attend a City of Davis hosted meeting. Both Mr. Provenza and Mr. Saylor kept the preverbal fire to TANCs feet until TANC said ouch! To ensure accuracy of content, the City of Davis videotaped and also had the meeting transcribed. Mr. Beck openly admits that TANC never records the content of any gathering where they are present.

Approximately 250 upset citizens were respectfully present nearly filling the ample theater. Many were from the City of Davis and a few had just become aware of the project. Like many before them, others from surrounding cities also had just learned of the project and attended so they could ask their questions and share their aggravation of TANC.

The TANC panel consisted of Mr. Beck, a few TANC consultants and a SMUD employee. After Mr. Saylor’s brief introduction, a TANC consultant projected their condensed Power Point presentation on the theater screen. The program then moved to audience questions where each person wanting to speak completed a card from which Don Saylor randomly selected.

To view the video of this meeting, click here

Each person had three minutes to present his or her issue to the panel. Positioned on each side of the stage were two volunteers who quickly wrote down audience questions on flipcharts and once the question period ended the volunteer then read each question to Mr. Saylor in order of sequence who then asked a panel member to respond. Also in the room was a few from local media.

One local station even stayed for a live feed at 10:00 pm. Given what the media knows about this subject they did a fine job of reporting.

However, like all the media before them they missed the real issue. We are all on the verge of losing, possibly forever. The truth is not power lines in the sky as some may think. The reality is we can soon lose our civil liberties—and they will be erased by our own apathy.

The questions varied: how/why TANC decided to run their electrical transmission lines through the City of Davis, why were TANCs electric lines needed, how/who selected the routes of the electric lines, why were elected officials ignored, how do Northern Californian’s benefit from the 600 mile electric line, how/why was this process started, what is the project cost and who pays for it.

And as one person stated to TANC: “No one ever envisioned something so scandalous”. As usual, TANCs retort arrogantly shunned the consequence of truth with their familiar self-important style.

Each person who took their opportunity to speak to the panel did so with respect and genuine concern not only for themselves but also for their, and our, communities. 

After attending five of these sessions in various formats, I have come to understand that each audience in general may be experiencing TANC for the first time. For me now the questions are eerily similar in context and TANCs often-haughty response predictable.

TANC has figured out how to respond and how/what to ignore by turn of phrase. Watching the TANC panel, I did not know until recently why TANC members always seem conceited.

I found out that TANC as a California authorized Joint Power Authority (JPA) is a duly created JPA under California law. TANC is able to function within California protected by the California Legislature and with the comforting awareness that it can function without fear of consequence.

In addition, as WAPA’s California designated “Leader” in the CEQA process, TANC is able to make the final CEQA decision that will allow TANC to select or disregard any or all CEQA comments and begin building their 600-mile project. If built the results will clearly destroy our lives and property forever. TANC knows this is a sensitive matter to us all but their project is primary and they are free from tolerance. More important to TANC is  their awareness that they can take this course. 

Additionally, TANC knows that it holds “eminent domain” authority and has publicly stated that when necessary TANC will execute that authority to access our property when it deems it necessary for its project’s survival. TANC has the absolute final say in this project and knows it can act unchallenged because our California Legislature has given TANC their stamp of approval.

Through this process over the past few months, I have come to understand what it is we are all on the verge of losing—possibly forever. The hard reality is we may soon lose our civil liberties to greed much the same as our financial industry has heaped upon us. The cold certainty of that possibility is we all will allow the rapid attrition of our civil—liberties by our own apathy.

A concerted effort is being made by the citizens, as well as local governments, to object to this proposed project. We can stop it! Please address your written comments to:

Mr. David Young
NEPA Document Manager
WAPA-Sierra Region
114 Parkshore Drive
Folsom, CA 95630
Email: TTPEIS@wapa.gov
Fax: (916) 353-4772

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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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3 thoughts on “Angry Citizens Push TANC For More Answers”

  1. Anon

    I plan to voice my concerns in an email. It is a simple thing to do. While TANC may think it is immune, legislators who allow this to happen are not. DPD, can you give us the email addresses of the appropriate legislators to contact on this matter?

  2. cv

    All this process stuff is background noise. So here is the real story. We need the additional transmission capacity because there is a bottle neck along the present system but there are two competing systems, public and private. Public are outfits like smud and private are corps like PGE. They each want their own system. The solution is for them to share one system. This will increase capacity but reduce the need for more lines. They also need to look at reconfiguring existing pathways for more capacity without a linear increase in land used. It can be done but its going to be a battle royale all the way. These guys won’t give an inch.

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