Outspoken former councilman Bill Crawford enters South Tahoe race | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Outspoken former councilman Bill Crawford enters South Tahoe race

Susan Wood

The South Lake Tahoe City Council race became more intriguing Wednesday with the announcement from former Councilman Bill Crawford that he intends to run.

The longtime city critic said he would seek one of three open seats on the five-member council in November’s election. Incumbent Kathay Lovell said she’ll run for her seat, while Mayor Hal Cole will not seek another term. It’s still unclear whether Councilman John Upton will run for re-election.

Crawford, a former school teacher who served on the City Council from 1998 to 2002, said he decided to return because he “believes in limited government.”

His first order of business would revolve around the proposed convention center project.

“I want to make sure that any amendments on the contract for the convention center favor the city, not the developer,” he said.

Crawford has been an outspoken critic of certain aspects of redevelopment. In particular, he took issue with the department’s funding requests because of cost overruns during the time the $250 million Park Avenue Redevelopment Project was being built where two Marriott timeshare hotels and Heavenly Village now sit.

“This city, with the threat of eminent domain for private purposes for the convention center, without the public having a say is a form of local tyranny,” he said, adding he wants voters to decide on any debt issues.

South Lake Tahoe Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Duane Wallace, whose viewpoints have often opposed those of Crawford, responded with: “Only in America” upon learning of Crawford’s bid for a council seat.

Wallace countered Crawford’s redevelopment concern by saying he had “never seen a safer partnership than the one the city negotiated.”

But it’s the stirrings at council meetings Wallace remembers most.

“It’s no secret of the acrimony on the City Council while he was there. One could draw his own conclusion,” he said.

Also back from a break like Crawford: Former longtime councilman Tom Davis said he intends to run.

The filing period began Monday and ends Aug. 11, unless an incumbent doesn’t run, which extends the period. The official documents may be picked up at the City Clerk’s Office at 1901 Airport Road within the Lake Tahoe Airport.

Voters will also determine the next city clerk and city treasurer during the Nov. 7 election. Incumbent City Clerk Susan Alessi plans to run. Phone calls to treasurer Steve Wysong were unreturned.

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