Reinhard first to enter council race
August 2, 2004
To Stephen Reinhard, a lot can happen in four years.
For that reason, he’s the first to file candidacy for one of two seats on the South Lake Tahoe City Council up for grabs on Nov. 2. Eight people have taken candidacy papers from the city clerk’s office.
Reinhard, 37, had unsuccessful bids of office in 2000 and 2002, getting 5 percent and 10 percent of the vote, respectively, he said.
If incumbent Mayor Tom Davis runs for his fourth four-year term, the deadline for the public to file for the election is Friday. If Davis does not file by then, the deadline will be Aug. 11.
Two-term Councilwoman Judy Brown has opted not to run.
“This is an important election. We’re far worse off, teetering on the edge. The gloom and doom I was talking about has happened. The city’s broke,” Reinhard said.
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Reinhard wants the city to emphasize the day-to-day lives of local citizens.
“The city needs to focus on its residents. It’s become a mechanism for business and marketing. You can tell that by all the cuts in the recent workshop. Public service is a sacred cow. Business has a stranglehold on this council. They own this council,” he said.
“Maybe the town will be open to my ideas now,” he said.
Reinhard, a stay-at-home father with his son Brandon, 12, would like to generate more revenue for the city by augmenting park services such as adding more hookups at Campground by the Lake.
Parks programs “pack this town,” said the former city parks and recreation commissioner.
Reinhard said the city’s strategic plan, plans for a convention center and new city hall, would be detrimental to an economic recovery for the city.
He also said he is pessimistic about hiring and appointing an economic czar and commission which councilmembers have discussed.
Instead, he’d also like to see the infrastructure of the town, such as street repair, upgraded.
“That’s what we’re supposed to be spending our money on – not ways to put money into an area that attracts them anyway,” he said.
Reinhard, who rarely misses a City Council meeting, believes his chances are better this year.
“I don’t know how competitive it will be yet, but at least I have decent name recognition,” the 14-year resident said.
Mike Weber, who sold Chase’s Restaurant at the Lake Tahoe Airport to focus on a City Council race, plans to run. Also in the hopper are City Planning Commissioner Ted Long and transportation advocate Gunnar Henriolle.
Parks Commissioner Jerome Evans said he took out papers but decided against running.
– Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org