Building projects on the California side of Lake Tahoe could suffer if a recent vacancy on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's governing board isn't filled in a timely manner, said Chairman Larry Sevison.
California governor's appointee Terry Giles left the 14-member board to tend to business at his law practice. Last Wednesday was his last meeting.
Appointed by Gov. Gray Davis, Giles was one of seven California representatives deciding on Lake Tahoe's planning issues.
Until the governor assigns a replacement, Giles' absence creates an unlevel voting field for California.
"We call it the nine-five vote for project approval, which means you have to have five votes from the state the project is in," Sevison said. "It's important that we keep the voting members there."
But speed won't be the catalyst in hiring a replacement for Giles, said Davis' chief press secretary Hilary McLean.
"The person the governor ultimately selects for a position is one he feels is best to do the job and represent the people of California," McLean said. "He generally doesn't set a timeline for himself ... the quality of the person is higher on the priority list than speed."
Sevison said the governor wasn't speedy when it came to his selection of Giles about a year and a half ago. He recalled that the process took "several months" to come to fruition.
"We hope it doesn't take the governor's office as long this time as it did last time," he said. "We just have to sit and wait."
McLean offered no relief, saying the governor has "no rule of thumb" in his timeline for selecting appointees.
The 14-member TRPA governing board is a mixture of seven Nevada appointees and seven California appointees. A 15th and non-voting board member is appointed by the U.S. president.