4 candidates vie for 3 seats on utility district board

Ashleigh Goodwin /

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. —  There are four candidates for three seats on the board for the South Tahoe Public Utility District and they all participated in a forum on Tuesday, Oct. 11, each trying to put their best foot forward.

The district, which was formed in 1950 and is the the water and sewer provider in South Lake Tahoe, is governed by a five person board.

Candidates include incumbents Nick Exline and Shane Romsos, former director Duane Wallace and newcomer Nick Haven.

Each candidate had time to give a brief introduction followed by taking questions presented by the public. To view the full forum visit the STPUD YouTube channel

Exline introduced himself as a resident since 2008 who lives in Lake Tahoe with his wife and two children. His hope is to use his expertise in land use planning to further where the city is going and help to solve some challenges water and sewer faces within the area.

Excline said, “I am inspired to run for re-election because I want to work with our community and STPUD staff to work at the state level to move forward to a much more beautiful future.”  

Incumbent Romsos, successfully elected in 2020 with two years experience on the board, said it’s been a rewarding experience. He said he would like to be re-elected to use it as an opportunity to give back to the community.

He’s been in the basin since 1972 and raised his family here.

“I want to do whatever I can to continue to support our community and this is my way of doing it. I’m an environmental scientist with an environmental research company,” Romsos said. 

Wallace said, “My top priorities are the ability to fight fires with our water system, replacing the aging infrastructure and bringing in funds from the outside to keep our rates as low as possible.” 

Wallace said his extensive experience and background is what is needed due to his contacts within the community with his long term residency and involvement in the community.

“I understand where the district has been and I understand where the district needs to go,” said Wallace, who is a self described perfect fit for the board due to his involvement in efforts to protect the basin’s water, raise funds from Washington D.C and the state for the same cause, as well as the early Tahoe Summit. 

Haven, a resident since 1998 and employee of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, said his wife Kathy has contributed to the community in terms of education and other areas and that he feels it’s time for him to step up and give back to the community. 

Capital infrastructure, funding, lobbying for funding, and transportation are of his top quoted applicable experiences he claims to bring to the table. Haven also acknowledged the backlog of infrastructure needs.

Haven said, “It’s time to strike while the iron is hot, and roll up my sleeves to help get stuff done.”

The board, Haven said, is a working board, not simply one to have people sit back and make decisions. He then gave a tip of his hat to those that came before him saying they have also “rolled up their sleeves.”

Over the 90 minutes following introductions, questions presented by the public drew the candidates through discussion of various concerns regarding the board’s abilities, duties, protection of the environment, interactions/relationship with staff, infrastructure present and future, wildfire mitigation, adapting to climate change, and challenges STPUD faces. 

The four candidates all answered questions, with each revealing their desires to better the community and the services provided by being an integral part of the STPUD board. 

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.