Council appoints members to Police Advisory Commission; establishes new committees

Staff Report

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The South Lake Tahoe City Council appointed five members to the newly created Police Advisory Commission at Tuesday’s meeting.

Business owner Claudia Andersen and South Tahoe High School Principal Justin Zunino will serve one-year terms, while former Mayor Tom Davis, Multicultural Alliance representative Erika Gonzales and Ayana Morali will serve two-year terms. All commissioners are El Dorado County residents.

The Police Advisory Commission was established by a resolution on May 18. The purpose of the commission is to enhance transparency and accountability, build trust and increase confidence in the Police Department, help manage risk, support effective policing, build bridges, and protect civil rights. The commissioners will participate in six strategic areas: police department policy, officer personnel complaints, transparency reports, hiring and recruitment, community collaboration, and open forums. The chief of Police will act as the official staff liaison to the commission.

“Following a turning point in our nation, the creation of the Police Advisory Commission will allow for increased community collaboration and will build trust between the residents and police department,” Mayor Tamara Wallace said in a press release. “The council did not take the appointments lightly and I feel those appointed to serve on the inaugural commission will faithfully represent the public’s interests.”

City Council also established the Mental Health Subcommittee on Tuesday, appointing Councilmember Cristi Creegan, who requested the subcommittee’s creation, and Mayor Pro Tem Devin Middlebrook to serve 1-year terms. The subcommittee is intended to act as an Ad Hoc Council committee serving to support the implementation of the South Tahoe Alternative Collaborative Services and other mental health service concerns in South Lake Tahoe.

City Council also created the Arts, Culture, and Tourism Commission. During the meeting, Councilmember Cody Bass raised concerns about tourism being included in the commission.

“Whatever is good for our community in terms of art and culture could be good for tourism,” said City Manager Joe Irvin during the meeting.

Middlebrook seconded that thought, saying the commission could work with the tourism industry to make sure they are upholding the culture of the community.

The council altered the proposed commission composition from five seats to five voting members from the public and one Ad Hoc, non-voting member to be appointed by the tourism/lodging industry.

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