Dozens fill room for ‘Coffee with the Mayor’

Laney Griffo
Community members on Wednesday took advantage of speaking one-on-one with Mayor Tamara Wallace. (Laney Griffo / Tahoe Daily Tribune)

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The meeting room at the recreation center filled up fast Wednesday morning and more chairs were needed for the three dozen or so who participated in the return of “Coffee with the Mayor” after a three-year hiatus.

Engaged community members heard from Mayor Tamara Wallace and other city officials and asked a lot of questions, both on and off topic.

Wallace and City Planning Manager John Hitchcock gave a presentation on the 56-acres project. City Manager Joe Irvin was also on hand to answer questions.

A common topic brought up by community was parking, or the lack thereof. Hitchcock said the 56-Acres Master Plan will nearly double the parking access in the area.

Irvin and Wallace also addressed perceived confusion about the relationship between the city and El Dorado County when it comes to the 56 acres.

The city owns 15 of the acres, although the specific 15 that they own is about to change with the new plan for the area, and the county owns the other 41 acres. However, the city operates all 56.

Speaking to the room, Wallace said, “Do you all live in El Dorado County? Do you all live in the city of South Lake? Then you own all of the land.”

In other words, at the end of the day, the community has a say in what happens to the property.

Lauren Thomaselli, parks and recreation director, then talked about the “Parks Make Life Better” month.

This is a statewide initiative to appreciate parks and encourage recreation. Throughout July, there are many events at the city’s various parks, including history lectures at Lakeview Commons, introduction to disc golf, bike park skills clinics and movies in the park.

To see a full list of the events, visit

Fire safety will be discussed at the next Coffee with the Mayor event at 9 a.m., Wednesday, July 28, at Fire Station 2.

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