Wallace selected as new mayor for South Lake Tahoe

Tamara Wallace

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A new mayor and mayor pro tem were chosen Tuesday in a unanimous vote by the South Lake Tahoe City Council.

Tamara Wallace, who was elected in 2018 and was mayor pro tem for the past year, is the city’s new mayor. Wallace was recommended by councilors not just because of her prior role as mayor pro tem but also because of her leadership during the pandemic. Council unanimously approved Wallace who then suggested that Devin Middlebrook become mayor pro tem, a decision she knew people would be “surprised by,” she said. Middlebrook accepted the position and the council approved. The positions will last for a year. 

“It is an honor to be selected by my colleagues to be the next mayor of the city of South Lake Tahoe,” Wallace said., “Our city is facing unprecedented challenges and tough decisions in the coming months. I know we can all work together to continue to keep Tahoe strong.”

With the addition of newly elected council members, Cristi Creegan and John Friedrich, who were sworn in at the beginning of the meeting, the council needs to decide who will serve on which committees. Recommendations will be sent to City Clerk Sue Blankenship and will be voted on next meeting. 

Friedrich recommended two new subcommittees, one which would give more representation to the latino and filipino communities in South Lake and another that would give youth more representation. 

The youth committee will be explored in the future and Friedrich said he will be reaching out to residents to see how the subcommittee can best represent the community. 

In other news:

— Council voted to change the meeting schedule to include five in the evening to allow more people to attend. The second meetings in March, May, June, September and November will start at 5:30 p.m. and will have a 10 p.m. cut off unless the council unanimously approves an extension. 

— Council approved a rate increase for South Tahoe Refuse services of 9.04% or $2.77 per month for residential unlimited service, effective Jan. 1. Part of the reason for the increase was because STR will be taking waste to the Carson City landfill rather than the Lockwood landfill. While Carson City is more expensive, it is closer, lowering STR’s carbon footprint. However, one point Friedrich and members of the public brought up was that Carson City doesn’t capture methane. 

— Finally, the council received a COVID update. Cases are continuing to rise so the council voted to approve a $25,000 donation to five food banks and up to $40,000 for the city manager to have an app developed that will support small businesses or for the city to find another way to support businesses during this time.

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