Three supervisor candidates participate in second forum

Laney Griffo

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Candidates vying for the El Dorado County Supervisor District 5 seat participated in their second forum on Thursday, hosted by the Tahoe Chamber of Commerce.

The forum was hosted by Zoom and candidate Kenny Curtzwiler was unable to attend, due to “unforeseen circumstances,” so the event featured Jeffrey Spencer, Tamara Wallace and Brooke Laine.

The first question asked what candidates were doing to prepare for the role of supervisor. Spencer said he is looking at issues not just in the district but county-wide, while also diving into the budget and looking at some of the underfunded items.

Wallace has been working once to twice a week on the West Slope and has attended or remotely viewed all the supervisor meetings over the past year.

“They’ve seen me become a fixture down there,” Wallace said.

Laine said she’s been studying up on the issues, such as homelessness on the West Slope and the hotly contested Parker Development, proposed for El Dorado Hills. She has also met with the Placerville and El Dorado chambers of commerce.

When asked about the biggest issues facing the district, all three mentioned vacation home rentals, although each candidate had a different approach to the answer.

Laine said Meyers residents aren’t strongly for or against VHRs but want a better written ordinance, while Spencer said he’s heard residents don’t want them all. Wallace said there needs to be better enforcement and transient occupancy taxes should be used to fund enforcement.

Laine also mentioned homelessness and the Parker Development in her answer, and Wallace and Spencer both mentioned road conditions and snow removal.

The Chamber asked about the Meyers Advisory Council, which has lost some, if not most of its influence, and what could be done to make it more influential.

“They need a supervisor that will listen to them and bring their concerns to the board level,” Wallace said, adding that a similar council needs to be started in all of District 5 communities.

Spencer shared that he had a similar experience when he was on the Antelope Community Council, saying that residents are being heard at the board level.

“We need the community to run the community,” Spencer said.

Laine said current supervisor Sue Novasel sat on the council for years and went on to say that when a person knows a community so well, they make assumptions about what outsiders know about the community.

The candidates were also asked about the Meyers Area Plan and how they can improve the investment environment in Meyers.

Laine started by saying she has thought of turning the old gas station in Meyers into a small, quaint hotel but would also like to see more housing developed in the area.

Wallace, who serves on the California Tahoe Conservancy board as representative of the city, said there are several lots the CTC owns in Meyers that she would like to be used for housing.

Spencer said Meyers is currently a “pass-through community” and many people don’t know what Meyers has to offer. He wants to slow down traffic and highlight areas of Meyers, such as Tahoe Paradise Park.

Spencer had his time to shine when the candidates were asked about traffic issues in Meyers. Spencer, along with others, have worked with the county and California Highway Patrol to implement turn restrictions in Meyers turning peak times.

He said the Caldor Fire last summer cut the pilot program short, so he wants to re-implement the program this summer to gather more data and possibly expand the program.

Laine said she’d like to see the pilot program expanded to the winter months as well. But both she and Wallace said they’d bring in experts like Spencer to evaluate the problem.

The forum lasted an hour and a half, with the last half-hour consisting of questions asked by attendees in the chat.

To watch the full forum, visit

Curtzwiler said that although he wasn’t able to attend, he is happy to answer any questions. He can be reached at 530-577-5678.

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