Council appoints Fortier mayor |

Council appoints Fortier mayor

Adam Jensen
Adam Jensen / Tahoe Daily TribuneNewly appointed South Lake Tahoe Mayor Claire Fortier listens to another council member on Tuesday.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – City Councilwoman Claire Fortier took the helm as South Lake Tahoe’s mayor this week.

The City Council selected Fortier for the council’s top job during an annual reorganization Tuesday. She replaces city councilman Hal Cole as city’s top elected official and will serve a one year term as mayor.

Also on Tuesday, the council appointed councilman Tom Davis as mayor pro tem. Davis will serve as mayor in Fortier’s absence. The mayor pro tem is also typically next in line for the mayor position.

Fortier served as mayor pro tem before being appointed as mayor Tuesday. Both Davis and Fortier were appointed by unanimous votes of the council.

The system of handing off the mayoral baton to a new City Council member each year keeps the council “vibrant and engaged,” Cole said, adding the mayor plays a key role in keeping the council on track.

“The main duty of our mayor is to set the done of our meetings,” Cole said.

Fortier received a standing ovation from audience members at Lake Tahoe Airport when she approached the podium to give an opening statement following her appointment.

In her remarks, Fortier said the city needs to focus on building a strong team following contentious layoffs in October and making the South Shore an affordable vacation destination for families and groups.

With several region-wide plans in the works, this City Council is also in a unique position to help reshape the region for years to come, Fortier said.

How the city pays for a plan to restore Lake Tahoe’s clarity known as the Total Daily Maximum Load “is going to define our area for the next decade,” Fortier added.

She said was grateful toward each other City Council member and was looking forward to serving as mayor.

“Thank you for the honor of being mayor for a year,” Fortier said.

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