Davis takes over as mayor
South Lake Tahoe City Councilman Tom Davis literally took the gavel from Mayor Judy Brown Tuesday in the city council’s reorganization meeting.
After the council voted to appoint Davis as mayor, Councilmember Brown presented the new mayor with a gift – a tiny gavel.
“It’s given to him as a measure of the authority he will assume next year,” Brown said.
Brown said Monday that the mayor in South Lake Tahoe has no veto power, carries no extra weight in the voting process and is paid the same as a councilmember.
But the small amount of power that the mayor holds comes as no surprise to Davis, who has served on the city council since 1991 and was mayor in 1997. He’s also been the mayor pro tem in 1996 and 1999.
“It’s mainly a ceremonial figure, a sort of chairman of the board,” he said. “The mayor runs the meetings, signs the documents and represents the city in ceremonial issues.”
But that’s not stopping Davis from gathering a list of future accomplishments.
In his opening remarks Tuesday, Mayor Davis outlined a number of issues he said he plans to work on during his term as mayor.
Availability of affordable housing, increasing community involvement with the Latino community, increasing recreational opportunities and transportation were high on his list – along with redevelopment.
“This town will forever be changed when redevelopment starts in May,” he said. “We’re going to see a brand new town and I’m proud to be a part of that.”
Davis also mentioned the beautification of U.S. Highway 50.
Davis didn’t deny that some questions have been raised concerning a possible conflict of interest because of his employment as the community marketing director with Tahoe Air. He did, however, deny the validity of the charge.
“No government has the right to tell you who you can and can’t work for – I am not going to give up my day job,” he said. “If there is a conflict you abstain (from that vote) and I have done that and the record shows that.”
Davis said he went a step further by removing himself as the City Council representative on the Airport Commission, a position he was appointed to before he took employment with Tahoe Air.
As “chairman of the board,” Davis said he’d try his best to keep the meetings under control.
“I don’t like long meetings,” he said. “There are some subjects we need to have a lot of time with but once I see that we have all expressed our opinions, I like to get to the point.”
Hal Cole was appointed to mayor pro tem and chair of the Redevelopment Agency. Councilwoman Brooke Laine will serve as the vice chair of the Redevelopment Agency.
In the vote, Cole nominated Davis for mayor and Davis nominated Cole for mayor pro tem. The motion was passed by Brown and Laine. Councilman Bill Crawford abstained from the vote.
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