Progress for Tahoe endorses Collin and Laine for city council (opinion)
Tribune Guest Column
In looking at the field of South Lake Tahoe City Council candidates on this year’s ballot, there really only appears to be a few viable options that have the knowledge, experience and temperament for public service. Of those, we feel two stand out above the rest. Progress for Tahoe recommends a vote for Jason Collin and Brooke Laine for city council.
We like Brooke’s experience, having been on the council previously, and we especially appreciated her vote for the plastic bag ban. Brooke is positive, focused on the community, and she supports many of the issues we care about such as climate change, workforce housing, and economic and community revitalization.
We also support Jason Collin. Jason is a smart, community-focused, hard-working, charismatic individual who has already proven he has the leadership capability to serve. Everyone who knows Jason Collin likes him, and anyone who has worked with him knows he would make an excellent city council member.
Jason is a businessman on the forefront of what is now our dominant industry: recreation, as owner/manager of Epic Tahoe Adventures. His entrepreneurial spirit and sense of fun perfectly align with the new Tahoe economy. Jason knows the challenges small businesses in Tahoe face, and he knows the future of Tahoe depends on our ability to innovate. His “other job” at Barton is as director of post-acute care, which means he provides care for families in our community who are at their most vulnerable. His position as a public servant is driven by his enormous heart and love of South Lake Tahoe. We believe the balance of Brooke’s experience with Jason’s fresh, new approach is good for diversity on the City Council.
Above all else, both Jason and Brooke are very family-focused. Brooke and her parents have long been involved in this community. Brooke raised her two sons here. Jason moved to Tahoe in part so his young twin boys could be raised in this wonderful community, and they are both thriving in the schools and on local sports teams. Jason’s one hesitation to running for Council was the time it would mean away from his family while campaigning. His wife, Natalie, is also a community leader in her position at South Tahoe High School.
An issue that Jason’s opponents have pointed to is the lawsuit to stop Measure T as an indication that he does not respect the will of the voters of South Lake Tahoe. Jason’s intent was precisely the opposite: Measure T is a highly flawed and deceptive move that could be very costly to the taxpayers of South Lake Tahoe. Jason understood from the early stages that Measure T did not actually give residents a say over the Loop Road project, as the marketing around Measure T seemed to claim. He was already thinking like a city council member, and trying to avoid locals wasting time and revenue that could be used for better purposes.
Progress for Tahoe honors the democratic process and respects the voice of the community. Unfortunately, a vote for Measure T is a vote for a special election that is ultimately a waste of time and tax payer dollars. The City of South Lake Tahoe has no jurisdiction over the Loop Road project, no matter how many votes are taken by its residents, because it is a federal project. Even if you oppose the Loop Road, Measure T is a disaster and not the way to prevent it, because Measure T will not actually prevent the Loop Road. We applaud Jason Collin working to prevent a waste of taxpayer money on a second election that ultimately won’t have any effect. Progress for Tahoe seeks to represent the 80 percent of Tahoe residents who are in the middle of this issue, not with the extreme 10 percent on either side. We believe Jason’s stance on Measure T is in line with the view of that 80 percent. We believe a candidate who is willing to take a stand for what he believes is right is exactly what our community needs.
On Nov. 8, we urge voters to consider the direction of the city over the next several years. Vote positivity, innovation, optimism, leadership, and collaboration. Vote Brooke Laine and Jason Collin for South Lake Tahoe City Council.
Progress for Tahoe is a grassroots group of concerned local citizens who have gathered together to address the most pressing issues in Tahoe. We believe in forward-thinking solutions that encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in the Tahoe region, while preserving our natural resources, to grow the economy for the benefit of all Tahoe locals.