South Shore Chamber to host council candidate forum; submit your questions now |

South Shore Chamber to host council candidate forum; submit your questions now

Claire Cudahy

South Lake Tahoe’s 10 city council candidates will be under the microscope at the Tahoe Chamber’s upcoming public forum.

The event, hosted in conjunction with the South Lake Tahoe Lodging Association and South Tahoe Association of Realtors, will be held at the Lake Tahoe Resort Hotel on Tuesday, Sept. 20 from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

“It’s an opportunity to hear from the candidates, to offer questions and give them an opportunity to respond based partly on the Tahoe Chamber’s Vision 2020 document for the future of the South Shore, partly on questions collected from members of the South Shore community,” said Evon Yakar, chair of the chamber’s Candidate Endorsement Committee.

With 10 candidates in the running, the two-hour, question-and-answer event will be strictly regulated and timed.

The forum will kick off with a two-minute opening statement from each candidate, said Yakar, followed by three rounds of candidate-specific questions composed by the chamber.

Three more rounds of questioning will follow using questions submitted by the audience at the event, as well as prior to the event through the Tahoe Chamber’s website.

More questions generated by the chamber will be asked depending on time.

“We are looking for candidates who will restore some civility and mutual respect to the relationships of the council members. I think that’s been a little lacking,” said Tahoe Chamber Interim CEO Steve Teshara.

“And people who can work more as a team for the overall benefit of the community. We’d like to see some new energy.”

The free event will be live streamed through Facebook Live at


In addition to preparing for the forum, Yakar, along with five other members of the Candidate Endorsement Committee, has been researching, evaluating and conducting interviews with the council candidates. The committee will then make a recommendation to the Tahoe Chamber Board on which two candidates they believe should be endorsed.

“Our charge is to evaluate and score the candidates based solely on the Chamber’s Vision 2020 documents. There are five pillars to that, and in each of those pillars there’s a set of mission-oriented bullet points of how the chamber and the chamber community aims to accomplish that,” explained Yakar.

“We have created a whole scoring process and a way to evaluate the candidates based on those pillars: economic vitality, infrastructure, intellectual capital, quality of life, and sustainability.”

The Candidate Endorsement Committee was created two years ago, and the vetting process was established leading up to the 2014 election. This year, the committee has added one new component to the process: electability.

“[It’s] based on what we know about a candidate’s campaign thus far, and the energy, efforts and resources that they’ve put towards their campaign. It is also looking at any media sources on the candidates and using that towards electability.”

The committee will make its recommendation to the chamber board on Sept. 23.

Another Chamber committee, the Independent Expenditure Committee, has raised funds to support the Chamber-endorsed council candidates, as well as other candidates running for positions on elected boards, like the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board.

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