Election will be critical to South Shore’s future | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Election will be critical to South Shore’s future

Susan Wood

It may sound grandiose, but when El Dorado County voters go to the polls tomorrow, they’ll be asked to make decisions that may affect at least the next 20 years in South Lake Tahoe.

That’s because one of four candidates for Tahoe’s District 5 seat on the Board of Supervisors will serve more than the evolving county. The winner between South Shore attorney Dennis Crabb, businessman Lou Pierini, health care worker Norma Santiago and mobile notary Stephen Reinhard will step into the 14-member Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Governing Board at a critical time.

The environmental regulatory agency is undergoing a transformation of its planning process that’s called Pathway 2007. The document, which in theory is designed to include input from several citizen stakeholders, will outline how the TRPA does business at the lake. Each of the candidates agree things need to change. How much can be done by the next Tahoe supervisor replacing retiring Dave Solaro is another question.

First, the election simply fulfills the last year of Solaro’s term as supervisor. Another election will be set next year.

Secondly, this supervisor is only one in five county board members, and outside forces overseeing growth on the West Slope bear down on the panel.

But the challenge hasn’t stopped the four eager candidates who have their own campaign styles. According to disclosure records, Crabb dominates the race with the most endorsements and money in the coffers – $47,242, with $10,000 of that being a loan he took out for the campaign.

Recommended Stories For You

Crabb’s involvement and experience in drafting community measures and helping with the city-spawned Tourism Promotion Business Improvement District has both elevated his credibility by some and made him a target of attacks by opponent Pierini and his sympathizers.

Pierini has pressed on as an anti-establishment candidate – campaigning on the quest to make Tahoe a place for the work force to live. Santiago has similar goals, pledging to study and cooperate with parties over the issues at hand.

Reinhard – who marches to the beat of a different drummer – will try his unconventional hand at the county level, after three unsuccessful attempts to win a seat on the South Lake Tahoe City Council.

Each candidate is a longtime resident who has shared wanting the best for Tahoe, despite very different approaches to accomplishing that.

No snow job

Beyond selecting their supervisor, more than 16,000 eligible Tahoe voters will opt whether to earmark more money to replace aging snow-removal equipment.

If two thirds of the voters within the city limits give Measure R the nod, the $20 annual parcel fee will go up to $40 with a 3 percent inflationary adjustment. In the county, those in the South Shore Snow Removal Zone will decide whether to double that fee to $40. The fee hikes would go into affect the following year on residents’ property tax bills.

Special statewide election

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

Tahoe District 5 voter registration: 16,215