County election could be interesting |

County election could be interesting

Susan Wood

With Friday’s deadline fast approaching to file for a vacant El Dorado County supervisor seat, a few more people expressed interest while others have pulled back their intentions to represent Tahoe in the 5th district.

The county election is slated for Nov. 8.

As of Tuesday, businessman Lou Pierini is the only candidate who has submitted his papers to run. Attorney Dennis Crabb said he still intends to file. Health care worker Norma Santiago plans to throw her hat into the ring. And according to the county Elections Office, recreation advocate Stephen Reinhard has taken out papers for the seat held by former county supervisor Dave Solaro, who retired and moved to Hilton Head, S.C.

Meanwhile, South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Ted Long confirmed Monday that he will not seek the seat.

Long said he used the initial call for county candidacy – announced in July – as a catalyst to spur dialogue.

He denied this week that the latest change of heart had anything to do with the threat of a potential recall attempt from his city council seat. The recall speculation is being made by Tahoe restaurateur Evan Williams, who has charged Long with “not listening” to voters, particularly on the issue of construction of a roundabout at Highway 89 and Lake Tahoe Boulevard.

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“None of them would want to run against me. I’m the most formidable potential candidate,” Long said, referencing his experience. Long served on El Dorado’s grand jury.

“But I still don’t know who’s right about the roundabout,” he added.

Long said he decided to forgo running for county supervisor to concentrate on city business.

Dennis Crabb: Swapping staff roles for policy decisions

An active member of the region, Crabb, 58, wants to use his 34 years of legal public administration experience at a time when El Dorado County “faces critical issues over the next five years.”

Beyond being the city’s full-time attorney from 1979 to 1995, Crabb has represented governmental agencies including Truckee, Alpine County, Jackson, Sutter Creek and Mammoth Lakes. He has never run for public office.

If he’s elected, Crabb said Monday he will resign his interest as managing partner for Rollston, Henderson, Rasmussen & Crabb in Tahoe Keys.

“The most important thing I can do for Tahoe is to make sure it receives its fair share,” he said.

Crabb wants to pick up where Solaro left off, proceeding with the county animal shelter remodel and finding a new home for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care.

“It’s time to get on with this,” he said.

Lou Pierini: A crusade hitting the streets

Pierini, a longtime businessman who owns Lake Tahoe Coin & Jewelry, wants to push four major issues as county supervisor.

County roads are at the top of his agenda.

“There are funds available for this. We’re not getting our fair share,” he said of Tahoe thoroughfares.

Pierini has also pledged to “never support a countywide BID,” he said. He is one of three plaintiffs in a case challenging South Lake Tahoe’s controversial business improvement district.

He would also want to see a transportation infrastructure that supports growth coming up from the West Slope of the county.

The father of two, Pierini was a former teacher and casino worker, and has spent 23 years in Tahoe.

As for eminent domain among public agencies, Pierini said he’ll “never support the taking of private property for the economic gain of developers,” adding there are other ways to achieve the same means.

Stephen Reinhard: A familiar face switching city election runs for county

Reinhard admits he’s run for South Lake Tahoe City Council a few times and lost, but this man about town has not given up and wants to create “a new deal” for Tahoe.

For one, he’d like to see a joint utility project among agencies – including the running of a T1, high-speed internet line through town.

Reinhard, 38, seeks to focus on infrastructure and has started a coalition called the Residents First Political Cooperative, which has sparked some interest in the community.

“I’m just a guy who stands up for residents,” he said, while coaching youth softball on a Boys & Girls Club field.

The longtime advocate for recreation has also pledged to be straightforward in his decisions – not for or against development.

Norma Santiago: Health care worker concerned about well-being of Tahoe

Santiago, 50, has never run for public office, but the Tahoe Women’s Care patient advocate contends she has a strong moral ethic she would bring to the job.

Santiago wants to be an advocate for Tahoe, and feels now is the time to make the case for Tahoe issues in Placerville.

“Quite frankly, I feel the concerns of the majority of people who live in this district are not being addressed, represented or listened to,” she said.

Santiago has a keen interest in the offshoot role of county supervisor – a spot on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency board. The panel will drive Pathways 2007, the planning blueprint for Tahoe’s future.

She has a problem with the county’s own planning blueprint – its general plan.

“The general plan will choke us environmentally and economically,” she said.

The mother of two teenagers has a degree in business marketing from UC Berkeley and has worked for the local health care company for 16 of the 23 years she’s lived in Tahoe. In that time, she’s been active with Soroptimist International of Tahoe Sierra.