Candidate Q&A: Sue Novasel for El Dorado County Supervisor
El Dorado County voters in District 5 have the choice of four candidates in the June 5.
To help inform that decision, the Tribune posed a series of questions to each candidate via email. The candidates were asked to restrain their answers to specific word counts for each question. All the answers appear as submitted by the candidates.
In order to vote in the upcoming election, those who are eligible to vote must register before midnight on Monday, May 21.
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Name: Sue Novasel
Current occupation: El Dorado County Supervisor
Area of residence: Meyers/Christmas Valley
Please list any clubs, organizations that you are a part of and would like to mention:
TRPA – governing board member
California Tahoe Conservancy – board member
Tahoe Transportation District – board member
South Lake Tahoe Solid Waste Joint Powers Authority – board member
First Five Commission – commissioner
California State Association of Counties – board member
Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care – board member and past president of the board
Soroptimist International of South Lake Tahoe-member and past President
Why are you running for supervisor?
I am committed to continue fighting for District V’s fair share of funds and services needed now and in the future. I will continue to protect the quality of life for our County and our local communities. My 15 years of public service experience, my integrity and my continued commitment make me the best candidate for the job.
Why should voters choose you over the other candidates?
The most important qualifications to this job are possessing the skills, professionalism, and experience to work with others on a board. I was recently made Vice Chair of the Board of Supervisors, which is an honor and an important job for the future of our board. I have the unique skill set needed to collaborate and successfully reach consensus with my fellow board members.
What is the largest issue facing District 5?
Affordable housing is a critical issue throughout District V. Development (and redevelopment) needs to focus on how to address the lack of housing by offering projects that give our citizens the ability to live and grow in walkable, bike-friendly communities – ones that offer plentiful recreation while meeting the infrastructure needs. Affordable housing requires the collaboration of public and private agencies. As a governing board member to the TRPA and member of the Housing Tahoe program, we are currently searching for ways to create incentives for builders of affordable housing. The Tahoe Prosperity Center is looking to begin a pilot program leading the way into a better systematic approach to affordable workforce housing.
District 5 is made up of a handful of different communities. How would you represent all those interests?
As a Supervisor that represents a large rural area, it’s important to stay connected with each community by visiting and attending meetings in each area. From Pollock Pines to Strawberry to Tahoma, I have made sure all issues and concerns have a voice in our county. I will continue to fight for our issues to make sure that District V receives its fair share of services and funding.
How should the county address the issue of vacation home rentals? Do you support the idea of a temporary moratorium?
Our County is working with our communities to find the best solution(s) to this issue. We are actively searching for ways to ensure peace and quiet in our local neighborhoods through appropriate enforcement and new policy enactment. We have not ruled out any options to changes to the VHR ordinance, including a temporary moratorium.
What role (if any) should the county play in alleviating the traffic issues in Meyers?
Meyers traffic in nothing new. What is new are the apps and smart GPS in cars that now route more and more traffic into our local neighborhoods. Our transportation department is trying new ideas to deal with the increased traffic, including signs and ordinances that warn of hazardous conditions and a new “nudge” program that diverts travelers away from North Upper Truckee by using flashing signs and traffic cones. Nudging has helped but we all know this is not a permanent solution. Our county continues to collaborate with public safety agencies to address ongoing and new issues as they arise. This is our job and our duty to our citizens.
How do you respond to the criticism that has been raised during the campaign about recusals from certain votes? How can you ensure voters that you will be able to be a voice for District 5 when it comes time to vote?
I have been and continue to be an effective representative to our district. Only once in 15 years as a public servant have I been required to recuse myself from a vote – and that was due to ownership of property within a project area, the Meyers Area Plan, which passed unanimously and without conflict last month. I am very proud of that plan – a plan that was an update to the Meyers Community Plan, and which I worked on as a team member for over 4 years. I feel that I represent my entire district very well and am a proud long-standing active member of the community.
Is there anything else you would like the voters to know about you?
I’m an avid skier in the winter, mountain biker in the summer, and love to use my kayak on Tahoe as often as possible. Many people don’t know that I was an Olympic Torch runner when it came through town in 1984 (on its way to the Summer Games in Los Angeles). The beauty and recreation of Tahoe brought my family here when I was growing up and it is still the most beautiful place in the world.