Council should be Lovell, Upton, Phillips |

Council should be Lovell, Upton, Phillips

Choices are always a good thing. Voters on Nov. 5 have eight people to choose from for three City Council seats.

Each candidate brings something unique to the table, but we believe it is newcomers Kathay Lovell, John Upton and Mike Phillips who should be representing the citizens of South Lake Tahoe for the next four years.

Lovell is new to politics, but as a 42-year resident of the city she is well aware of where we have been and where she wants to take us. Her business acumen will be a great asset to the five-member council. She understands budgets, working as a group, management strategies and how to juggle a variety of responsibilities.

She believes the Lake Tahoe Airport is an untouched opportunity. She wants to investigate the potential of this underused piece of real estate, saying that perhaps a visitors center or natural history museum could reside there.

Lovell has experience with grant writing, and knows that money is out there that they city should be tapping into.

She is someone with fresh ideas, who is energetic, creative and ready to bring this town into the 21st century.

It is hard to call Upton a newcomer, though he is to the council. He is a member of the chamber, former treasurer of South Lake Tahoe, former Lake Tahoe Unified School District board member and former county supervisor.

Some might be wary of him being a good old boy, but Upton does not easily fall into a clique. He is civic-minded. Plain and simple. His agenda is to make this city function better.

We believe he will be an integral key in putting the city’s financial house back in order. Upton knows it is critical for the city to find new sources of revenue. He proposes building an economic plan around the arts, citing the success the little town of Ashland, Ore. has had with its Shakespeare festival.

He proposes building an industrial park at the airport.

While increasing revenue, Upton is not afraid to also tackle delicate issues with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency. He wants to be in the driver’s seat, telling them what the city wants — not the other way around. This dovetails into the need for affordable housing and what TRPA allows to be built.

Upton has a record of getting things done and there is no reason to believe that he is slowing down in his quest to make South Lake Tahoe a first-rate city.

Phillips is not new to the community, though this will be his first time to hold an elected office. He is a native of this mountain town who wants to make sure the city is headed in a direction that is profitable and beneficial for the residents.

He sees a lot of energy being put into tourism, while every-day issues affecting residents are being dismissed.

Phillips wants to form a partnership with the casinos and Douglas County when it comes to dealing with the airport.

He knows TRPA was a necessity when it was created a couple decades ago, but questions some of its current policy decisions.

Lovell, Upton and Phillips all want what is best for the city and its residents. We believe they have the ideas and wherewithal to take us out of the rut we are in.

Though the other five candidates have ideas that need to be listened to and possibly incorporated into the framework of the city, we do not believe any of them has the total package to be leading us for the next four years.

Incumbent Hal Cole has had eight years to prove himself. With the city in debt nearly $3 million, it is hard to not place the blame on the current council. We need people with vision, who do not leave it to private coalitions to get us out of the red. We need people to lead us in a positive direction.

Gunnar Henrioulle is passionate about his cause — transportation. But that alone is not council member material. There is no doubt that alternatives need to be looked at because there are traffic jams in our town and we know this is bad for air quality and lake clarity.

Pete Mac Roberts is energetic, but he is too business-minded and not civic-minded enough for the job. His interest is the tourists and not the locals, who he is getting paid to represent.

Stephen Reinhard would bring an interesting dynamic to the council. It is good to have people who are not all on the same side so there is a better chance of an issue being aired out completely. However, Reinhard’s anti-establishment attitude would likely backfire because at some point compromise is a necessity. We do like that he is pro recreation and wants more local activities, and hope that he will continue to work for these causes as a member of the recreation commission.

Mark Cutright says he wants to bring more local events to town, but cannot be specific. He is rather vague, a guy who knows he does not like the current course of the council or its members, but has no clear plan on what he would do if elected.

It is an easy decision: Vote Lovell, Upton and Phillips on Nov. 5 for South Lake Tahoe City Council.

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