City Council Candidate Profile: Brooke Laine
Editor’s note: This is the third in a nine-part series profiling candidates for City Council. The series will continue next Tuesday, Oct. 20.
Years Resident: 34
Education: Bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of California, Santa Cruz
Profession: President and general manager of Laine Photography
Platform: First, I am a supporter of redevelopment and feel that redevelopment addresses environmental amenities in addition to recycling, upgrading and enhancing our business community. I would advocate completion of a bike trail from one end of town to the other and I would promote a marketing plan that would emphasize local events that attract many of our visitors and capture millions of dollars in revenue.
Question 1: In light of the numerous times the Park Avenue Project has been postponed, should the city spend money for this project before there is a finalized Disposition and Development Agreement with the developer?
Answer: Ideally a Disposition and Development Agreement would be required before a project could go forward. I support the council’s decision in this particular case to go forward with the funding of the project despite a DDA. I feel that even if the project were dramatically altered those projects for which this funding would relate would still be necessary in the redevelopment area.
Question 2a: Should the citizens of South Lake Tahoe use their tax money to pay for grant matches which are supposed to come from the pockets of those who use commercial service at the airport?
Answer: We currently do not have commercial air service therefore passenger fees were not available to attain federal grant monies in excess of half a million dollars. I think the decision of the council certainly falls in line with their demonstrated desire to attract commercial service and the upgrades that this money would make available are significant.
Question 2b: With the success of the Reno/Tahoe International Airport, is there a point where the city must abandon the hope of finding a commercial suitor? If so, has that point been reached?
Answer: I would not say that the city should abandon hope, but I would say that perhaps if we focused our attention on the completion of redevelopment, particularly now at Park Avenue with an emphasis on completion of the convention center, that perhaps commercial airlines would consider the destination of Tahoe to be much more attractive.
Question 3: Although eminent domain is a legal process, should the city take property from residents for the good of the public (as it claimed to do in the Tahoe Meadows situation), or should the rights of those who fairly bought their properties take precedent?
Answer: I would like to commend the Tahoe Meadows home owners, for a vast majority agreed to allow the city to take parts of the properties along the highway to upgrade the drainage system and certainly the cosmetic appearance. When it can be clearly shown that a public need outweighs a private ownership and all attempts to negotiate have failed, then eminent domain is a necessary evil.
Question 4a: Even though many city residents supported the cut, because South Lake Tahoe is a tourist destination, should more money be put into the Parks and Recreation Department?
Answer: I commend the Parks and Recreation Department for making lemonade out of lemons. I would support a renewed commitment to the department in terms of funding in the future.
Question 4b: Should there be only one department head for both police and fire?
Answer: With the retirement of Fire Chief (Jim) Plake, and with the abilities of our current Chief of Police Dave Solaro, I believe the city made a wise short-term decision to combine the two. I would hope that funding would be available to restore the two positions as two separate entities.
Question 5: What should the council’s role, if any, be in the fight against MTBE?
Answer: Due to the fact that it has been determined that this community’s water source has been contaminated and is in jeopardy of further contamination, we as a community have no choice but to act aggressively. I believe all efforts should be made to determine what options exist and to work cohesively together to assure that our drinking water is safe and free of contaminants.
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