Fire district officials look to election | TahoeDailyTribune.com
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Fire district officials look to election

Emily Aughinbaugh, Tribune staff writer

South Lake Tahoe resident Richard Thomas may have one of the least popular jobs in the county. Thomas, chairman of the Lake Valley Fire Protection Board of Directors, is one of three board members whose four-year term is up for election.

Suzie Alessi, South Lake Tahoe’s assistant city clerk, said no one has yet filed for the three open fire department seats.

Thomas, a 23-year board member, said it has been at least eight years since an incumbent has run opposed. James Haen and Robert Attinger are the other board members whose terms on the fire board expire. The district is located in Lake Valley but goes as far west as Twin Bridges, east to Heavenly ski resort, north to Emerald Bay and south to Picketts Junction in Alpine County.



Thomas and Attinger said they weren’t surprised by the lack of interest in the fire department’s special election, since the board only makes $25 per monthly meeting.

“It’s not a highly sought-after position,” Attinger said. “It’s not a political staging area.”




Thomas agreed.

“We’re just a little unknown district that nobody knows about,” he said.

All three board members said they intend to file for another term.

“They can’t get rid of me,” Thomas said in jest. “I do it to keep Tahoe green. We have the best fire department equipment to take care of the county.”

Attinger, a New York Life insurance agent who has served the fire department for 12 years, said the board of directors is a very efficient government body.

“Everybody on the board is interested in doing a community service,” Attinger said. “(The board) is an example of government at its best.”

Haen, a civil engineer, said he really enjoyed the four years he has served on the board.

“It’s a super organization,” he said. “It’s a joy working with those kinds of people.”

There are three seats up for election in the Lake Valley Fire Protection District.

Nominations for the Nov. 7 election are due by 5 p.m. on Aug. 11.

Declaration of candidacy papers may be obtained from the El Dorado County Elections Department, located at 2850 Fairlane Court, Building C in Placerville, or from the South Lake Tahoe City Clerk’s Office at 1052 Tata Lane.


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