Introducing South Lake Tahoe’s city council candidates (8/10) | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Introducing South Lake Tahoe’s city council candidates (8/10)

Jason Collin
Provided Photo

Over the coming weeks Tahoe Daily Tribune will share Q-and-A’s from the 10 candidates vying for two available seats on the South Lake Tahoe city council. We will introduce two candidates per edition, before diving into pertinent issues in November’s local election.

JASON COLLIN

What qualifications do you have to be a South Lake Tahoe city councilor?

I am 43 years old with kids in middle school. This alone brings a completely different vantage point to the Council than what we have traditionally. As a working father of young children, I see things through the lens of the families that are in the midst of their careers, raising kids and hoping for a better Tahoe, sooner rather than later. Additionally, my Home Health & Hospice experience has given me unique insight into the struggles of our seniors as well as those living at, and below the poverty line. As a business owner and Tahoe Chamber Board Member, I understand the distinctive challenges we face as a business community.

I also know that we need to bring people together so we can move Tahoe forward. I believe my experience and success as an organizational leader will help me narrow the divide that keeps getting in the way of progress.

What is your vision for the South Lake Tahoe of the future?

Less run-down buildings

Better streets and sidewalks

Better connectivity of trails and public transportation

Improved recreation opportunities.

A strong, stable economy.

A City that reflects the natural beauty of our surroundings as well as the strength, diversity and resilience of the people who live here.

A unified community that cares about the City because the City cares about the community.

How would you address the issue of affordable housing?

Although most of the barriers to developing affordable housing are not within the City’s control, I do believe the City needs to play a significant role in facilitating local housing reform and public-private partnerships. The development of the Development Rights Working Group is a huge first step in looking at our biggest hurdle, the TRPA commodities issue.

What is your stance on the Loop Road Project?

I am in favor of the Hwy 50 Revitalization Project. The positive impacts are many: public safety, affordable housing, environmental mitigation, infrastructure improvement, architectural enhancements, and the creating of many, many, jobs. Plus, with the existing provisions in place that the project would not start until ALL funding is secured and ALL families/businesses (in the project area) have been successfully relocated, I have trouble seeing the downside to the project.

How are you currently involved in the community, and in what ways would you as a city councilor work to unite the community?

I am very engaged in the community through my kids’ school and sports activities as well as with the Tahoe Chamber. Additionally, my professional roles (Barton Health and Epic Tahoe Adventures) are intimately tied into community health and wellness.

My passion in leadership is in bringing people together and maximizing both individual and team performance. For our community to unite, we need to establish mutual purpose and focus on what it is we CAN do, rather than what we can’t do.

How would you propose the city regulate the recreational use of marijuana if it passes?

The advice and guidance of local law enforcement, as well as best practices from other communities, would be critical in developing a strategy for regulation. As a Council Member, I would make sure we took ample time to set forth, follow and enforce such recommendations.

As councilor, how would you help address our community’s mental health issues?

Unfortunately, there is no easy fix to the mental health crisis in our community. The Mental Health Collaborative has done a great job of shedding light on the mental health issues we are facing and is actively working on ways to address them. As a councilor, I would lean on the expertise of the physicians, social workers, school psychologists, etc., that are part of the collaborative to direct the most appropriate path of action.

Where would you like to see Transient Occupancy Tax dollars spent?

I support the Recreation Commission’s vision of expanding and improving recreational capacity and also the inclusion of the Boys and Girls Club in the project. If the proposed TOT measure passes, the renovations to the Recreation and Swim center will be amazing. An investment like this would do wonders for our community.

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue in South Lake Tahoe?

Apathy. Similar to the Washoe proverb (regarding land), I believe that the way we treat our City is the way we treat our people. For a long time, we did not invest in the City and thus, did not invest in our people. When people don’t feel valued, when people don’t feel respected, they give up. Our City looks, to a great degree, like we’ve given up.

Fortunately, this is changing. In the past three years there have been hundreds of millions of dollars of public and private investment into the community. Slowly, we are seeing the needle move. We are seeing that where the City invests (e.g. Lakeview Commons, Harrison Ave), businesses will follow suit and soon after that, the hearts and minds of the people.

If we start taking care of the City, we will take care of the people.

Who would you like to see fill the other open seat on the city council?

Brooke Laine

BROOKE LAINE

What qualifications do you have to be a South Lake Tahoe city councilor?

I have six years experience as a council member. I fully understand the responsibilities and the time commitment. I will listen to all sides of an issue. While I may believe strongly in my position, I am willing to compromise when necessary for the good of the residents and city.

What is your vision for the South Lake Tahoe of the future?

After years of focused investment and partnerships by the public and private sector, we can see down the road that tourism is robust and our citizens quality of life has been significantly enhanced through investment in both our recreational amenities and our built infrastructure.

How would you address the issue of affordable housing?

I will strongly promote private/public partnerships to incentivize the private sector by contributing multi-family commodities and streamlining the approval process.

What is your stance on the Loop Road Project?

The real value of this project is that new affordable housing would replace old and tired housing in the Stateline corridor where many of our residents reside and work. If the Loop Road project proceeds, it is mandatory that workforce housing must be in place prior to the start of the project. I would advocate that we should build at least two times if not three times the amount of housing that would be required under the law.

How are you currently involved in the community, and in what ways would you as a city councilor work to unite the community?

I currently serve as Chair of the Citizen’s Oversight Committee for the Lake Tahoe Community College (2015 – present). I am the Treasurer of the South Tahoe High School Alumni Foundation (2004 – present). I am also a past President and current Parliamentarian of Soroptimist Int’l of South Lake Tahoe (1990 – present).

I would like to propose a bi-annual community forum to allow our community to come together and discuss all sides of a specific issue so that we might find the common ground that would help unite us.

How would you propose the city regulate the recreational use of marijuana if it passes?

I have consistently been in favor of medicinal marijuana for medical purposes. I am concerned for the widespread adoption of legalizing marijuana because of the effect on our younger generations. However, if the State of California chooses to legalize marijuana, I would suggest we look to the States of Colorado, Oregon, and Washington to see how they manage the distribution and decriminalization issues and not reinvent the wheel.

As councilor, how would you help address our community’s mental health issues?

The county provides for our mental health services. I am prepared to advocate on behalf of those in need of mental health services that the county be held more accountable. I believe that housing should be a basic component for those residents who are receiving mental health services. The warming house is a step in the right direction. The treatment and housing while in treatment need to come together. The county should be a stronger partner with this ever growing population.

Where would you like to see Transient Occupancy Tax dollars spent?

The new proposal before our community asks for a 2% increase across the board with the new increase of 2% being dedicated to the remodel of the current Recreation Complex and thereafter being devoted to recreation. I strongly support this proposal.

In your opinion, what is the most pressing issue in South Lake Tahoe?

Hands down, the most urgent issue facing the city is housing. There are a number of contributing factors. 1. The cost of building in Tahoe is so expensive that maximizing the size of a single family residence is the only way that a project can be profitable. 2. The annual median income for a family of 4 is $36,000 making purchasing these oversized homes unrealistic. 3. 78% of our housing stock is currently owned by 2nd homeowners and the majority of these homes are not used as long-term rentals but rather vacation home rentals or they just sit vacant.

Who would you like to see fill the other open seat on the city council?

It is up to the voters to choose two candidates. If elected, I am prepared to work professionally and respectfully with whomever the community chooses to elect to the council.

Read the previously published Q-and-A’s with Tamara Wallace and Ted Long here, Robert Topel and Patrick Jarrett here, and Trey Riddle and JoAnn Conner here.