Candidate Reinhard wants focus on residents |

Candidate Reinhard wants focus on residents

Amanda Fehd

Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of profiles running each Monday on candidates for El Dorado County’s District 5 supervisor. The winner of the Nov. 8 election also earns a seat on the Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.

Stephen Reinhard, 38, has run for South Lake Tahoe City Council three times, is a 14-year resident, and is probably most recognized for asking critical questions at council and town hall meetings.

“I’m running because I want to make life better for the residents of the Lake Tahoe Basin,” Reinhard said, claiming too many resources go to tourists in this town. He’d like to maximize visitor taxation, minimize resident taxation, and make sure improvements are for the “benefit of residents first.”

Reinhard is a father, husband, baseball and basketball coach for Kahle Community Center, and owns a mobile notary public business. He is a former accountant and said he was once in charge of loss prevention for the seven western states for First Nation Bank, which involved resolving ATM and check kiting scams.

“I know money,” he said. His first step in office would be creating a balanced budget.

Reinhard’s long list of ideas includes creating a county wildfire fuels reduction crew, a position for a community services coordinator and building an Olympic-grade athletic arena on the site where a convention center is currently proposed.

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Those are the types of ideas which could bring more money and jobs to Tahoe, he believes.

His other ideas are listed at

What sets him apart from the other candidates, he says, is that he is against restricting any form of outdoor recreation, motorized or not.

“Tahoe is an outdoor athletic playground, and not everyone likes to do the same things,” he said.

He is against building any new piers or buoys on Lake Tahoe.

“I want to protect Lake Tahoe from piers, buoys and people that feel they can gregariously build in the name of property rights,” he said.

Whoever is elected to District 5 Supervisor also earns a coveted seat on the 15-member Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. TRPA staff are proposing to add 230 private piers and 1,862 new buoys on the shores of Lake Tahoe.

The issue may be voted on in January or February by the Governing Board.

Reinhard believes the TRPA seat is the only reason the other candidates are running.

“They don’t want to admit that’s the reason they are running,” Reinhard said.

He’s also got more ideas than his opponents, he believes.

“I’m the idea guy,” Reinhard said. “I’m a free thinker.”

The other candidates are “puppets for their political machines” without any concrete ideas for how to improve life for residents, he said.

Reinhard’s campaign slogan is: “If we never elect change into local government, then local government will never change.”

Reinhard would like to build a high-altitude training center at the spot slated for a convention center. He is in touch with the U.S. Olympic Committee, he said, who have told him they have funds for this if he can put together a governing body.

His greatest accomplishment in life – aside from convincing his wife to marry him – is recovering from a snowboarding accident which fractured four vertebrae, he said. He’s come back to play a multitude of sports, including triathlon racing, hockey, basketball and snowboarding. He has been a coach at Kahle for four years.

He opposes a business improvement district created by the city in July, which is now facing legal challenges. One of his opponents, attorney Dennis Crabb, was a legal architect of the BID.

Reinhard is accepting donations for this race, but he’d prefer supporters just tell a friend to vote for him.