County supe contender is focused on economy, tourism |

County supe contender is focused on economy, tourism

Susan Wood

Editor’s note: Profiles of candidates for El Dorado County’s 5th District supervisor seat will be run in alphabetical order according to the candidates’ last names.

Longtime resident Dennis Crabb believes in good timing. After 34 years working as a government lawyer, he’s running for El Dorado County’s 5th District seat to replace retiring Dave Solaro at what he believes is a critical time for South Tahoe.

“The community is going through tremendous change,” said Crabb, 58.

So he’s prepared to place his managing partnership at Rollston, Henderson, Rasmussen & Crabb on hold to accomplish the county goals.

Signs marking his campaign will go up Oct. 8, and the first major fund-raiser is planned Oct. 14 as a Monte Carlo night at the Lake Tahoe Airport.

The 26-year South Lake Tahoe-resident has never run for public office. But the attorney plans to use his extensive experience representing Truckee, Jackson, Alpine County, Sutter Creek and Mammoth Lakes to pitch his candidacy.

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El Dorado County voters narrowly approved a general plan as the local government’s constitution of sorts.

“Now the challenge will be to go in there and implement the area plans,” he said Sunday. “The community must achieve a quality of life and economic growth.”

Crabb doesn’t fear the big job.

“This is what I’m good at,” he said.

Beyond the paid jobs, Crabb’s investments in Tahoe’s future are documented in his roles as South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce president, co-founder of Tahoe Tomorrow and board member of the Tahoe Tallac Association. He’s also a member of the Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, one organization he’d like to help in finding a suitable home. The best place appears to be at the old county dump site off Pioneer Trail.

Crabb said Sunday he’s learned several things about campaigning – he and co-campaign chairs Mayor Kathay Lovell and Councilman John Upton have set up “Coffees with Crabb” and “Desserts with Dennis.”

“It forces you outside yourself and makes you more gregarious. You tell people ‘come talk to me,'” he said.

Crabb seemed surprised that campaigning also exposes areas of the community he’s never seen while out walking the precincts.

He’s intrigued by the idea of the city and county pooling resources in a government center complex, as South Lake Tahoe tries to escape a high-priced lease at its council chambers by moving into the Lake Tahoe Airport. He’d also like to use the entity as a “capture point and visitor center complex.”

“There’s no serious debate about doing it together. But both entities are going to require more space than they’re currently using,” he said.

Crabb stressed more emphasis on moving visitors through town by marketing alternative transportation. For motorists, he’d like to secure the available grant funds to fix the county’s roads at the lake.

Getting Tahoe’s fair share of services is “going to be a battle every day” as the West Slope growth dominates the county landscape. With growth comes more than transit challenges.

He’d like to see the county implement a law enforcement retention program to keep officers in Tahoe when they’re coaxed into moving to other, more high-paying areas.

Crabb would also like to help secure grant funding for the school district to finish up the Olympic track renovation at the South Tahoe Middle School. In addition, he wants to work to get the restrooms completed at the ballfields near Lake Tahoe Community College.

Candidate’s plans

Dennis Crabb’s agenda for El Dorado County’s 5th District:

— Protect the interests of South Lake Tahoe at the El Dorado County seat

— Build a second economy

— Make the Lake Tahoe Airport a pit stop for a fun, alternative source of transportation for visitors

— Implement the county’s community plans, including Meyers being the gateway to South Lake Tahoe

— Negotiate with the U.S. Bureau of Land Management for Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care’s new home

— Create partnerships between the county and Lake Tahoe Unified School District

— Protect the environment against catastrophic fire and erosion

— Work on TRPA reform