My View: Notes from the Front Row (Opinion)

Carl Ribaudo / Tribune Columnist
Carl Ribaudo

Local Musings

The election has come and gone with lots of interesting results. At the national level, the red wave failed, and there has been much commentary on why it failed. Closer to home, the elections brought some interesting results.

  • It was disappointing to see the school district Measure K fail by just a few votes. I understand the economy is tough, but these funds would have been used to impact the kids positively. Perhaps, next time around.
  • The city council elections saw 11 candidates try for three seats. The two incumbents, Cody Bass and Tamara Wallace, retained their seats, while Scotts Robbins will be the new addition. It will be interesting to see how Robbins meshes with other council members. Robbins has been steadfast in his vision of what changes need to take place. It’s one thing to get elected, but it’s another thing to form a coalition to govern. 
  • It’s good news that there was so much interest in the office, and I hope many who were not elected will stay involved, get more experienced, make their mark, and try again. 
  • The county supervisor race at this point had become predictable. Brooke Laine crushed Kenny Curtzwiler in his third attempt to get elected. In the past three county supervisory elections, Curtzwiler has lost by an average of 15 points. Clearly, the voters have rejected his candidacy at every turn, and it might be time for him to move on.
  • The one ballot measure that leaves me scratching is the proposed county transient occupancy tax increase in El Dorado County. The county split the election, and the east side approved the increase by 82% to 18%, while on the west side, the measure failed 54% to 46%. This is for a tax tourists would pay. The results boggle my mind.

Like all elections, this one is a transition, and the city council, the county supervisor, and the community face challenges and opportunities. The challenges are significant — housing, transit, traffic, and more — but there are also opportunities, including the new Tahoe Blue Center and the changes to the economy and local culture it will bring, the new city recreation center, and more. For the good of the community, it would be best for all to have a shared vision, focus, and effort.

A comprehensive first-class transit system would be the gold standard for the lake and South Shore. While the notion of a transit system has for decades focused on reducing traffic and moving tourists around the South shore and the basin, it would be a mistake not to take into account the  greater need for residents. Especially those that rely on transit for their jobs, medical appointments, trips to the grocery store, etc. For decades this focus on transportation for visitors, we may have missed seeing transportation as an integral part of building an accessible and inclusive community. 

The new Lake Link micro-transit system has been incredibly well received, and ridership has exceeded expectations. It is critical that we build on the success and extend the system to all parts of the community.

Don’t Miss

Given the holiday season, here are some presents you might want to give yourself. A day of skiing or boarding at the newly reopened Sierra at Tahoe, a couple of tacos, a margarita, a soak at Wally’s, a new e-Bike for spring, time to binge-watch some Netflix, a good cup of coffee, and a conversation. Just saying.

It is a Wrap

To everyone, no matter how you celebrate, have a happy holiday season but remember there are many in our community with less, so don’t forget them. There are plenty of opportunities to give to those with less … step up. 

Carl Ribaudo is a columnist, consultant, speaker, and writer in South Lake Tahoe. You can reach him at

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.