Councilmember running for supervisor
South Lake Tahoe City Councilmember Margo Osti wants to ensure that taxpayers’ dollars are returned to the basin.
One of the best ways to achieve that goal is running for District 5 supervisor in El Dorado County. She will submit her name to the county’s Elections Department on Friday, March 6, the last day of the filing period. Osti is excited about representing the local constituency in another fashion.
“A supervisor wears many different hats that touch every aspect of daily life,” Osti said. “I’m convinced the best interest for this county is developing a vision and then going forward.”
She said the basin has been neglected for the past eight years and if elected to office she would re-direct the focus back to the East Slope.
“There are real issues here in the basin that haven’t been addressed because the board has been overwhelmed by West Slope concerns,” she added. “It is having a detrimental effect to the Tahoe area.”
Osti wants the county to finish the land transfer of the 56 acres that includes El Dorado Beach, the county library and the campgrounds. Although the county owns the property, the city maintains and operates the facilities and receives the revenue. However, Osti said, the city is virtually paralyzed from applying for state grants because the land isn’t in the city’s name. The estimated $600,000 that would be generated from grants would fund improvements such as bathrooms, campground utilities and overlays to parking lots.
Osti also wants to see more of a return on a yearly $200,000 expenditure to the county’s water agency. She said only 15 to 20 percent is given back to the basin for water projects while the rest is used for West Slope projects.
“The money is being used improperly,” she said. “Why do we need to advance projects in Placerville when we have some demands ourselves?”
Osti will face South Lake Tahoe Police Chief David Solaro in the June election. The two public officials will vie for the seat currently held by John Upton. Some people, including Osti, believe the race will be a close one come election day.
“For the last eight years I’ve run on a platform that doesn’t represent special interests and I will continue that,” she said. “I try to work for the best of the community.”
The all-male board in El Dorado County will have two female candidates on the ballot. Along with Osti, Penny Humphreys, who lives in Rescue, will challenge incumbent Walt Shultz in the District 4 race. The last woman elected county supervisor was Pat Lowe in the early 1980s.
Osti believes there needs to be more consensus-building among a board that is divided by water and growth issues. Osti said the board may need a good woman to straighten them out.
“The board is clearly not together … just look at their voting record,” she said. “I think women somehow get training to become the great compromisers. That is the style I will continue to use.”
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