Election season is upon us (Opinion) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Election season is upon us (Opinion)

Steve Teshara
Guest column
Steve Teshara

As we prepare to exercise our right to vote, it’s essential to get educated on the candidates and issues we will consider on our ballots.

Locally, the Tahoe Chamber can help. Our five-member Candidate Endorsement Committee has interviewed candidates for the two open seats on the South Lake Tahoe City Council. In partnership with the Tahoe Tribune, we conducted a virtual Council Candidates Forum Thursday evening, Sept. 10. If you missed it, you can view the forum by visiting our Tahoe Chamber Facebook page.

We are also weighing the pros and cons of the city’s proposed sales tax measure. It’s a general tax plan, so will require a minimum vote of 50% plus one to pass. Approval would raise the sales tax within the City from 7.25% to 8.25%.

Separately, we are reaching out to solicit information on the campaign platforms of the candidates vying for three open seats on the South Tahoe Public Utility District Board of Directors.

On the Nevada side, Tahoe Chamber is collaborating with the Business Council of Douglas County and the Carson Valley Chamber to cosponsor a virtual election forum the evening of Wednesday, Sept. 23. This event will feature the District 3 County Commission race between Mark Gardner and Charles Holt, the contest between incumbent Tod Young and challenger Caren Cafferarta-Jenkins for the Ninth Judicial District Department 1 seat, and the advisory ballot question concerning the future of Douglas County Redevelopment Area #2 in Stateline. You will soon be able to get information about how to view this Douglas County forum by visiting tahoechamber.org.

One of the fundamental criteria Tahoe Chamber looks for when considering our organization’s endorsement of candidates or issues is alignment with our Tahoe 2025: A South Shore Community Vision.

In the fall of last year, we invited local city, county and regional officials and other key community stakeholders to share their expertise and unique perspectives to answer one essential question: In the year 2025, how will you reflect over the past five years and measure success toward an improved Lake Tahoe South Shore?

The product of this outreach is our Tahoe 2025 community vision. It’s a document comprised of measurable objectives in the areas of economy, housing, infrastructure and transportation, recreation, education, arts, cultural and entertainment, health and wellness, public safety, environmental stewardship, and leadership.

Citizens, businesses and community organizations all have a role in supporting and realizing the Vision. Tahoe Chamber’s role in actively supporting the realization of this Vision is to be a catalyst for strengthening and sustaining business, a convener of leaders and influencers to execute change, and a champion for a stronger, thriving community at all levels.

You can view and download Tahoe 2025: A South Shore Community Vision at http://bit.ly/Vision2025Document.

Following our multi-faceted vetting approach, the Tahoe Chamber Board of Directors will consider and announce a focused set of candidate and ballot measure endorsements at their September meeting. The Board’s endorsements will be publicly announced immediately thereafter.

This year marks a particularly pivotal year for participating in our democratic process. Let’s all get prepared and vote.

Steve Teshara is CEO for the Tahoe Chamber.

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