In response to Costly Airport Race Sparks Local Conversation About Campaign Fundraising

Wallace Apologizes

To the Truckee and North Shore Community,

I serve on the board of the Truckee Tahoe Airport District (TTAD) and at the board meeting of Oct. 24, 2018, I raised the issue of transparency in our board’s decision-making about a project called Hangar 2. To address my concerns, I asked the TTAD board to develop policies on transparency in board decisions that go beyond the disclosures required by the state of California.


In my discussion, I failed to make it clear that Mountain Lion Aviation, in all its participation with Hangar 2, has fully met the spirit as well as the letter of all policies and regulations. From my ambiguity, other people have criticized and personally targeted Mountain Lion Aviation, its staff and their families, as well as Jim Morrison and John Jones.

I apologize without reservation for these failures and deeply regret the resulting ad hominem attacks.

While I will pursue additional policies on transparency in board decision making, it is important for me to acknowledge that Mountain Lion Aviation (CEO Jim Wilkinson and his entire team), Jim Morrison, and John Jones all acted in accordance with all laws, regulations, and ethics, and did so willingly.

Again, I apologize without reservation for these ambiguities and the resulting attacks.

~ Lisa Wallace, director, Truckee Tahoe Airport District

Stephens Does, Too

(Editor’s note: This apology was also presented as a public comment at the TTAD Nov. 28 board meeting.)

At our last TTAD Board Meeting on Oct. 24, we had an agenda item discussing our current policy around campaign contributions and how and when do campaign contributions trigger the need to disclose an appearance of conflict. This was regarding a donation to the Morrison/Jones re-election campaign. The board directed staff to develop a policy that addresses this topic at a future meeting, perhaps in January 2019.

After the meeting, social media went crazy. Multiple people sent anonymous emails to the Wilkinson family who made the legal donation in question. These emails included comments such as, “we don’t want your children in our schools” and “we wish that you would move out of town.” These attacks are outrageous and amount to hate speech in my opinion. No one individual or family should suffer such attacks.

I realize that this is a norm in our national politics, but it should not be in our Truckee/Tahoe community. As a board, we need to ensure that the decorum and integrity are exemplary. Even if we have a difference of opinion, we must treat the other side with respect.

I publicly apologize to the Wilkinsons for the attacks on their integrity. They have done a lot for this community and do not deserve this.

~ Rick Stephens, director, Truckee Tahoe Airport District