Eye on supervisor job, Solaro keeps focus on safety | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Eye on supervisor job, Solaro keeps focus on safety

Greg Risling

For a minute, it looked like David Kurtzman was going to steal the spotlight away from Dave Solaro on Friday evening.

The president of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District jokingly thanked the 75 or more people at Fresh Ketch Restaurant for attending his “announcement” party. Rumored to be a candidate for the District 5 supervisorial race in El Dorado County, Kurtzman’s antics were actually a lead-in to Solaro’s short speech about his bid for the seat in the June election.

“You’ve trusted me with your public safety for many years, now I’m asking that you trust me to represent your concerns in Placerville,” Solaro said. “It is only one vote out of five and I can’t do it alone.

“My style in the police and fire department was problem-solving and building consensus. Confrontation isn’t my style.”

As most kick-off celebrations go, Solaro, 55, outlined his campaign focus for the crowd. Besides keeping a commitment to public safety and providing more youth activities, Solaro said improving road maintenance and snow removal are vital to the health of the Tahoe community.

Some of those who were in the audience said Tahoe issues have been neglected by the five-member board in recent years.

“I think issues in the basin are overlooked,” said Mary Spaulding. “Tahoe is set aside in favor of what goes on in Placerville. I would like to think Dave will do a great job, no matter who runs against him.”

Solaro said he has always been interested in politics. With the recent consolidation of the police and fire departments as well as his accruing some vacation time, Solaro’s officers probably will see less of their leader in the next several months. He has complete faith that his staff can run the department without his full-time status, he said.

“I’m not giving up all my responsibilities,” he said. “I find the timing is right. I have the ability to retire from my job and the time to devote to such a position.”

Solaro said that Kurtzman will co-chair the campaign but the police chief wouldn’t speculate who the other head would be.

“It isn’t Supervisor (John) Upton,” he added. “However, I have talked with him about the position.”

Solaro is the only candidate to test the water in what has been considered a political pressure cooker. Margo Osti, South Lake Tahoe City Council member, is considering but hasn’t made an official announcement yet.

The county board has been plagued by allegations of mismanagement, in-house bickering and not expressing the pubic’s concerns. When Solaro started asking for public support, he was greeted by one response: “Why?”

“People think I’m nuts,” he laughed. “Government can’t be all things to all people. It must establish priorities and use its limited tax dollars to fund those priorities.”

His announcement comes days prior to the start of the filing period for county positions. Prospective candidates for two supervisorial seats, District Attorney and Sheriff, have until March 6 to submit their names to the county Elections Department.

Tahoe Daily Tribune E-mail: tribune@tahoe.com

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