3rd candidate enters city race | TahoeDailyTribune.com

3rd candidate enters city race

Susan Wood

Ted Long, a three-term, South Lake Tahoe planning commissioner, has a lot of time on his hands and much to do for the city.

The retired 66-year-old lawyer has filed for one of two seats to be vacated by Mayor Tom Davis and Councilwoman Judy Brown on the South Lake Tahoe City Council. Today is the deadline to file for the Nov. 2 election.

His first order of business is what has occupied the minds of city leaders for the past few years: He’d like to get the city’s budget in order and save money along the way.

He’s pledged to give up the city’s medical insurance compensation package that pays $452 a month to councilmembers.

“I don’t need it. I have Medicare and a Blue Cross supplement that I like already,” he said.

He learned while serving in the Peace Corps from 1995 to 1998 in Ukraine that money isn’t always a means to an end. His volunteerism has spanned three decades, he said.

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Long, who served on the El Dorado County grand jury in the last year, says he aims to spread goodwill among the city’s 230 employees.

“I don’t think people work for money. I think they work for satisfaction. They work for a sense of belonging,” he said. “I want the city staff inspired and excited about their work.”

As a self-described workaholic, he advocates people take pride in their work.

Long has much invested in his run. He’s owned property at Lake Tahoe since 1969. He’s now serving on his third planning commission, so he has a desire to see projects and goals come into fruition.

“I want to go back to the basics and build from that,” he said. “I’d like to restore confidence in government. People have lost confidence in government and who’s spending the money.”

He supports the idea of building a convention center near Stateline across from the Marriott-anchored complex to accommodate large groups. However, he doesn’t believe it can be done with public money. He defers to the private sector.

Along Highway 50 he’d like to aesthetically improve the town through beautification projects and programs that move the city into the future.

He’d like to see the motel conversion project a little more diversified, so the standards are “not so universal,” he said.

“These small motels are hurting. We need to take these on a case-by-case basis,” he said.

He recognizes the changing tourism market – with fewer visitors spending more dollars per tourist.

Moving them around through town is another challenge he’d like to tackle as a Bay Area transplant.

Traffic appears to be worsening. Long would like to improve the transportation system so it connects trolley to bus, and people know about it.

He views the Lake Tahoe Airport as part of the transit system.

“We either have to get the airport to work or make a drastic change,” he said. “Highway 50 is not going to get any better.”

Long is an avid boater, car enthusiast, fisherman and golfer. He enjoys spending time with wife, Natasha, daughter Masha, dog Mollie and cats, Mickey and Sweetie.

As of presstime Tuesday, Long, Stephen Reinhard and Jeff Williams have filed for candidacy.

Others who have expressed interest include: Mike Weber, Jeff Neal, Ralph Mayer and Pat Frega. Perennial candidate Gunnar Henriolle said he will not run.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at swood@tahoedailytribune.com