Brooke Laine to fill City Council vacancy
Former South Lake Tahoe City Councilwoman Brooke Laine will take over the City Council seat vacated by Claire Fortier in December.
On Tuesday, the City Council appointed Laine to serve the remainder of Fortier’s term, which lasts through December 2014.
Laine was born and raised at the South Shore and works as a customer service manager at Bank of the West.
She previously served on the council from 1998 to 2002. City Councilman Hal Cole credited her with helping make the South Lake Tahoe Ice Arena a reality. She was chosen over eight other applicants for the position, including former City Council members Kathay Lovell, Bill Crawford and Bruce Grego, as well as recent council candidate Austin Sass.
The City Council interviewed the applicants at their Tuesday meeting, asking questions about candidates’ knowledge of issues like the city budget, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and environmental sustainability.
In deciding between the applicants, several council members said they wanted someone with experience who would be able get up to speed quickly and have some knowledge of important upcoming issues like Area Plans within the city and a proposed recreation master plan.
City Councilwoman Kathay Lovell was the council’s second choice for the seat. The council voted on appointing Lovell, but she did not attract the three votes necessary for the appointment.
Laine said she applied for the seat because she is passionate about the South Lake Tahoe community and, with her two sons at school, felt like she was ready to jump back into civic life.
“I felt like it was the right time,” Laine said. “I was looking for a change.”
When asked what her priorities were for the next year and a half, Laine responded, “economy, economy, economy.” She did not offer any specifics about improving the South Shore’s business environment, but hoped to offer details soon.
Laine has vowed to run for a full term when her appointment is up, acknowledging some voters in the city felt they were disenfranchised by the appointment process.
“I owe them that opportunity,” Laine said.
She welcomed comments from people and said she looks forward to working with the community at large.
“I will do what is the best interest of the public. Always,” Laine said.
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