Kevin Brown hopes 16 years of volunteering and public service on El Dorado County’s west slope — coupled with some energetic campaign outreach in the Tahoe Basin — can propel him to a November runoff for the District 5 Supervisor seat.
Brown, 50, is one of six candidates in the June 3 primary to represent the redrawn district that now extends from South Lake Tahoe up and over Echo Summit and down to his home of 17 years in Pollock Pines.
Representing all of the district’s communities is a chief aim for Brown, who said he’s the most qualified candidate to do that.
Brown is board president of El Dorado Union High School District, a board member of the El Dorado County Chamber of Commerce and a member of the Placerville Economic Advisory Committee. He said he has a broad array of experiences and relationships on the west slope that he can leverage to help basin communities if elected.
“I feel Pollock Pines and South Tahoe can be united, and that South Tahoe can be brought back to the county on a level where they no longer feel separated. I believe I can bring both sides of the county together,” Brown said.
“Since I already have experience working with those four other (supervisor) districts, working with the elected, department heads, economic development agencies, nonprofits and the private sector down there, I have that foundation to bring to Tahoe.”
Brown said he sees many similarities between the unincorporated communities of Pollock Pines and Meyers. Residents in Pollock Pines have been trying for five years to get the county to change its designated land use from community region to rural, he said, while residents in Meyers have asserting their desire to maintain its rural feel with the new area plan being developed for it.
Throughout the district, one county challenge is the need for better communication and community engagement, Brown said. “They don’t disseminate information well. If I am elected supervisor, I will find a way to make sure that is done, to make sure word gets out.”
According to Brown, the biggest issue in District 5 and El Dorado County is the economy. “It’s the same anywhere you go, the need for job opportunities,” he said. “The question is how we create economic growth and stability without ruining our environment. Here in the basin that is the key question, growing our economy and sustaining it while enhancing and protecting the environment.”
Brown has been reaching out to the Tahoe community by knocking on doors and attending a variety of community events as he runs for what he describes as “the Tahoe district,” because that’s where the vast majority of its voters live.
Brown said that outreach is going well. One of the biggest challenges has been disappearing campaign signs. So far, 17 have gone missing. “We’ve knocked on quite a few doors and a lot of people are interested in hearing what we have to say,” he said.
As a west slope resident, Brown said he would have a supervisor office in South Lake Tahoe. He also would form an advisory committee of Tahoe-area residents and hold regular roundtable meetings with them, while focusing on building regional partnerships and relationships.
“I believe the basin has felt for years they don’t have a true voice on the board (of supervisors). That’s no fault of the elected, but a reflection of the culture and climate,” Brown said.
“If you’re sending someone from the basin to the west slope, they will have an uphill battle. Mine is reversed, because I have history, connections, trust and respond on the west slope to bring to Tahoe. So I’m saying, OK, let me earn that trust and respect here and bring Tahoe back to where they feel they are part of the county. I truly feel I have the ability to do that.”