Councilman is critical of supervisor, wants her job |

Councilman is critical of supervisor, wants her job

Susan Wood

As of Monday, El Dorado County 5th District Supervisor Norma Santiago and South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Ted Long have received applications to run for the supervisor seat to represent Lake Tahoe.

The deadline to file for the June 6 primary is Friday. Both say they plan to file by the due date.

If only two candidates enter the race, the winner will seize the seat with at least 50 percent of the vote, eliminating the need for a November runoff.

If Long wins, he said he would quit the City Council almost halfway into his four-year term and take the county office in January. From there, the council may appoint a replacement to fulfill Long’s term within 30 days. After a month, an election would need to be set.

Long didn’t waste any time campaigning. He has drafted a letter labeled “Friends of Ted Long, the Tahoe Supervisor” that he said Monday he plans to send to Santiago. The letter characterizes himself as the candidate for “strong local input and control.” He accused Santiago of favoring “regional, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency control.”

Long has expressed frustration over delays in projects. He would like to see the city’s proposed convention center break ground before he assumes the county seat, should he win. He’d also like to see Meyers turn into a gateway – with plans for an upgraded visitor center and new home for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care at the site of the old dump.

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Long challenged Santiago to a debate and suggested they “refrain from personal attacks and focus on the issues.”

Santiago said she welcomes a debate and has spent three months focusing on the issues.

“I’ve always gone for community input,” she said. Santiago for one has nailed down a civic center space requirement with LTUSD and the city

Long also suggested they both agree to a campaign spending cap – to which Santiago had no problem with.

Santiago, elected Nov. 7 to replace Dave Solaro, said she doesn’t understand Long’s characterization of her as being a candidate of regional control. She considers herself community oriented.

“I want to move now, on a joint civic center, you want to study it,” he said in the letter. He’s referring to a concept developed by South Lake Tahoe, El Dorado County and Lake Tahoe Unified School District to build a government center on school district property.

“There are processes we have to go through. I’m for building bridges between the city, county and TRPA,” Santiago said. She added a strategy for an economic plan needs to be developed and implied it doesn’t happen overnight. She has been attending a multitude of public meetings and community forums. She’s hosting an open house at South Lake Tahoe’s branch of the El Dorado County Library on Rufus Allen Boulevard on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As of Feb. 28, voter registration for the 5th district is 14,808.

County Registrar Bill Schultz said his voting machines and software have been certified.

“I’m just waiting for the machines now,” he said.

El Dorado County 5th District Supervisor Race

Candidates may file papers at the El Dorado County Government Center, at 3368 Lake Tahoe Blvd., by 4 p.m. Friday.