Running for the El Dorado County District 5 Supervisor seat, Kenny Curtzwiler promises to stick up for local residents and hold accountable a slew of “alphabet-soup” government agencies and their outside consultants.
“Everybody knows where I stand on all the issues. There’s no hidden agenda with me,” said Curtzwiler, who is 57 and lives in Meyers. He has shared many of his views in the Skibum column he penned each month for the Tahoe Mountain News up until he started running for office.
Curtzwiler is one of six candidates for the District 5 Supervisor seat in the June 3 primary and has lived in El Dorado County for 37 years. He hitchhiked from the Bay Area to South Lake Tahoe on vacation in 1977. When all of his clothes burned up in a laundromat drier while he was at the beach, he decided to stay and start a life in Tahoe with nothing but the shorts he was wearing and some loose change.
Curtzwiler said he decided to run for county supervisor four years ago after the loss of his son, Kaleb.
“I decided to try to make a difference in this town, specifically toward veterans and mental health (issues). I want to bring services back up here. We’ve lost all of our services,” he said.
Curtzwiler promises to stick up for local residents and businesses and their needs. He said at a candidate forum he was asked if he supports tax breaks to attract new businesses to El Dorado County. His answer was no. Asked if he supports incentives for people already here, the answer changes to a yes.
“I know everybody in town. They’re not looking for a handout, just a hand. We built businesses from the ground up and we didn’t get any tax breaks,” Curtzwiler said. “Everybody’s hurting up here. And the City Council and the county and everybody else have these blinders on and think everything’s peachy keen, that it’s all fine, and it’s not.”
Another goal is to hold accountable outside consultants and government agencies, many of which have been questioned or criticized in his newspaper columns over the years.
For one example, Curtzwiler used the new Meyers Area Plan and the recent announcement of a $200,000 grant for a consultant to create a highway corridor plan for the community — money he argues could be better spent.
“The Meyers community has already made its decision. There’s nothing wrong with the 1993 plan, there are just certain aspects that need tweaked. Now they’re spending $200,000. The highway corridor study has already been done, the county has already done everything. Why keep reinventing the wheel?” Curtzwiler said.
“For $200,000 I could have leased the Tveeten’s property and built a community center.”
Curtzwiler said he wants better accountability from government agencies and equal enforcement of their regulations. He points to the allowed design of the new gas station in Meyers as one prominent lapse.
“I’ve got it in writing that may have gone up without the proper permits and they’re looking into it. What brain child approved that? When I built, they told me it was a scenic corridor, what height is allowed, what color is allowed. Then they allow something like that to come through. It just goes against everything the (Tahoe Regional Planning Agency) is doing to the rest of us,” Curtzwiler said.
Curtzwiler will be ramping up his campaign soon, with the launch of a website and signs going up. As other candidates’ signs have been going people, people have been asking him where his are.
“Everybody is stopping me and calling and saying, ‘Man, you have my vote.’ Whether that happens on June, we’ll see,” Curtzwiler said about his campaign. “My consultants are the residents of this community. Those are my consultants and they would be if I’m elected.”