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Cole seeks third term

Susan Wood, Tahoe Daily Tribune

Feeling at his peak, South Lake Tahoe Councilman Hal Cole plans to seek re-election come November.

Cole, going for his third term, said it was a wrenching decision.

“I was just as committed to not run,” Cole said, citing his family as the reason to consider to leave the panel.

But Cole, a former drummer and current builder, is hitting his stride as far as the job’s learning curve in city government.

“I’ve learned more in eight years in government than six years in college,” he said. “Finally, I feel I have some influence.”

He thinks his experience is critical at a time when a new city manager comes on board and two other council members leave their posts. He’s referring to Mayor Brooke Laine and Councilman Bill Crawford.

The budget represents the most pressing issue, with a tax proposal –EMeasure Z — as “only part of the solution,” he said. The city is trying to deal with a $2 million shortfall.

As far as long-term solutions, Cole wants to stay the course of redevelopment, knowing this means studying the options and standing up for his convictions.

“When I look back, overall I think the city is better off today,” he said. “I think we’ve come a long way.”

He’s satisfied with upgrading the town in a pace of steady, guarded growth.

“If we didn’t have controlled growth, this place would be back-to-back box stores,” he said.

Cole also serves the city on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board, along with many subcommittee appointments like the one to adopt a proposed vacation-home ordinance. The issue has placed property managers at odds with victims of nearby obnoxious renters.

“These are the things that make it hard about being in government. I have empathy for both sides. I’ve lived next to a vacation rental, and at the same time, we can’t just tell (property managers and homeowners) they can’t do something they’ve done for 30 years,” he said, referring to a suggestion to recognize them as illegal.


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