Candidate wants to keep families at South Shore |

Candidate wants to keep families at South Shore

Susan Wood

Pat Frega 8/04

Hands down, Harveys Resort Casino table games supervisor Pat Frega has one underlying theme that motivates him to run for South Lake Tahoe City Council – families.

Frega, 51, is one of six candidates vying for two seats in the Nov. 2 election. He ran for one of three seats on the council in 1998 and received 9.5 percent of the vote.

“When I look at the challenges of this community, the greatest challenge is how we stem the tide of families moving out of the community. It’s getting to the point that the average worker can’t afford to live and work in the same community. We need to reverse that trend,” he said Thursday, watching his young daughter Patricia draw a picture.

He’s considering her future and his 19-year-old daughter, Anna, who’s entering Lake Tahoe Community College in the fall. At 4, his youngest child was headed to go swimming Thursday morning.

“I’m a different kind of 4. I’m 4 and a half,” she piped in during Daddy’s media interview.

Frega has lived here since 1978, serving on the city Planning Commission for 11 years.

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He admits the city can’t control the price of housing, building materials, land and utility fees. But he’d like to put incentives in place for developers that would make housing more affordable.

He’d like to push through the motel conversion plan the City Council just approved that sets standards for permanent housing in those complexes.

In the early stages of the housing element discussion, the city may create a mechanism by which owners of apartment buildings can sell off units they rent.

Another consideration would be the St. Joseph Land Trust that could be used for affordable housing ventures. He also advocates some degree of mixed development whereas commercial use is on one floor and residential on the second.

The latter has come up in meetings pertaining to the Tahoe Valley Community Plan, the framework for development at the “Y.” Frega serves on the committee, which recently released its mission statement and draft plan.

Frega also wants to build the South Shore economy. He supports maintaining a business improvement district that uses the city as a conduit for pass-through marketing dollars. He cited the loss of room nights as a city general fund issue that affects core departments like public safety units.

Frega would like to call on the Lake Tahoe Wedding Association in asking how to market the region as a premium wedding destination.

He married his wife, Patricia, in 2000 at Chapel of the Bells.

There’s many items on Frega’s wish list – such as reaching out to the Latino community and installing a right-hand turn lane at Tahoe Keys Boulevard and Highway 50.

“I believe in transportation projects that are doable,” he said.

As far as life at the lake, he believes in advancing environmental improvement projects “not only for a clean environment but a clean environment that makes money.” He would only suggest making the guidelines less cumbersome.

In a “Welcome Back Kotter” scenario, Frega grew up in New Jersey – ending up teaching at Lodi High School where he attended.

Frega is a member of the Lake Tahoe Kiwanis Club and serves on the Multicultural Advisory Committee at Lake Tahoe Community College.

– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at