4 candidates vie for 3 Town Council seats
TRUCKEE, Calif. — This November, three Truckee Town Councilmembers will be defending their seats in the election.
Councilmembers Anna Klovstad, David Polivy and Jan Zabriskie are each hoping to hold their seats, while Planning Commissioner Suzie Tarney hopes to take one.
Klovstad was first elected in 2018 and ran on a platform of making Truckee’s tourism economy more sustainable, as well as helping the town create and reach carbon reductions and renewable energy goals.
“Also, I am very passionate about forest health and wildfire mitigation and I just didn’t see our community and our political leaders taking strong enough and quick enough action on that,” Klovstad said.
Klovstad is a construction manager for the Tahoe City Public Utility District and previously for Tahoe Truckee Unified School District. She has also managed the state and federal award-winning TTUSD sustainability program.
Klovstad has a long list of accomplishments from her first four years on council, including creation of the 2040 General Plan. She has been helping craft the General Plan since before she was elected but the pandemic and a cyberattack on the town in summer 2021 slowed progress.
“While I’m really proud of that and we’ll get it approved before the end of my term, we won’t even have started implementation yet which is why I decided to run again,” Klovstad said. “I advocated really strongly for all these things so I felt I really needed to participate in the implementation.”
Klovstad was also a leader in the creation of the Climate Transformation Alliance, which is a regional public private partnership of local governments, special districts, community organizations, businesses, and individuals committed to collaboration, innovation, and accountability through a governing body and shared vision of achieving carbon neutrality by 2045.
Finally, Klovstad is proud of the short-term rental ordinance which the council passed earlier this year.
“I never thought it was appropriate for people to rent businesses in residential neighborhoods,” Klovstad.
Klovstad, along with the council, is working with the Airport District and local fire agencies to create a biomass and biofuel program which could help the town become more energy independent.
If re-elected, one of Klovstad’s main focuses will be on wildfire prevention.
“I’m still really actively working towards trying to support our fire district and our forest service and our land owners and try to create a healthy forest, change that dynamic that we have with our forest right now to something that’s more sustainable both for the forest and for our community,” Klovstad said. “It’s really clear to me that we really do need to change our relationship with the forest that we created post-colonialism, it’s not healthy.”
To learn more about Klovstad, visit https://anna4truckee.com/.
Polivy moved to Truckee in 2001 and boasts that he’s lived in almost every area of Truckee and parts of North Lake Tahoe.
He was first elected to Truckee Town Council in 2018 but he’s been a public servant for nearly 15 years, serving on the Truckee Planning Commission, the North Lake Tahoe Advisory Council and the North Tahoe Business Association. He also served as Mayor in 2020, helping navigate the town through the pandemic.
“The Town’s been going through a lot and I feel like we’re just now starting to get our footing back,” Polivy said. “I’ll be the first to tell you that you barely know what you’re doing in year one, year two you’re starting to get the feel for it and by year three is when you really start to understand how everything fits together. I feel like my time has been short and I’m not done, I want to continue.”
Polivy is the co-owner of Tahoe Mountain Sports and as such, he says he’s the only candidate that currently has to handle payroll and navigate the town’s permitting process.
During his time on council, he’s proud to support both Measure K, which helps fund housing programs and Measure U, which builds and protects trails.
In addition, he’s proud of restaffing the Town. While he served as Mayor, the Town lost their manager, leaving Polivy to step into that role a little. They were able to hire Jen Calloway as Town Manager and have been working to fill all the vacant leadership roles.
One of Polivy’s primary focuses is in long-term land use planning, not just planning for the now but looking decades into the future. During his time on council, he helped craft the General Plan and we said one of the things that excites him most about the plan is its emphasis on neighborhood centers and mixed-use zoning that allows everything a resident needs to be all in one central space within each neighborhood.
“My interest at the high level is really in land use planning and community development and making sure that our communities retain the character that they currently have for now and for future generations so we don’t just become Anywhere, USA,” Polivy said.
He’s also been instrumental in getting some of the current housing projects and programs passed to help address the housing crisis in Truckee.
“I’ve been a housing champion since my early days on the Planning Commission and council and I will continue to be a champion in and pursue all of the housing programs that we currently have,” Polivy said. He added that if re-elected, he will work to improve on existing housing programs while looking for new ones.
To learn more, visit https://www.facebook.com/davepolivyforcouncil.
Tarnay is the only candidate not currently serving on Council and is hoping to grab one of the seats from the three incumbents.
Tarnay has a Masters degree in civil engineering and has worked in construction management work in the Yosemite area. Her and her husband had a house in Truckee that they were renting out but one summer, they came back for a visit and she decided she didn’t want to leave.
Tarnay had an unsuccessful run at council in 2018 and is currently serving on the Planning Commission.
“I love getting into the weeds of things, I love looking in-depth at plans and looking at what the big picture is,” Tarnay said.
She’s loved her time on the Planning Commission but hopes to be able to work on bigger and broader issues on the Council, such as the Town’s vegetation management plan.
“It’s not the best idea for sustainability to have blanket policy like this, most places now-a-days are trying to save those mature trees by the road that shade the pavement and lower the urban heat island,” Tarnay said, adding that hotter pavement in the day is harder to cool at night, which the Town has experienced this past summer.
She also adds that trees near the road promote people walking and also forces people to unconsciously slow down. Tarnay pushed to include a street tree policy in the General Plan, which received support from the joint council and commission.
She now drives school buses for the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District, giving her a unique perspective into the town’s transportation issues, a subject she is passionate about. While working on the General Plan, Tarnay has pushed the Town away from adding more roads to address traffic issues. She hopes to make driving a car the most inconvenient option for people and instead, focus on public transportation and making the town more walkable.
Tarnay also wants to focus on making policies that help middle income earners can afford housing in Truckee. Some ideas she has to require employers that offer workforce housing to charge rent based on what the employee’s take home is, rather than based on area median income. She’d also like to require commercial developers to build residential units based on the square foot of the commercial building, for example for a 9,999 sq ft building, providing housing for 3% of the future employees.
To learn more, visit https://suzie4truckee.com.
Zabriskie and his wife moved to Truckee in 2011 to join their two kids who were already living in the area. They now have five grandchildren attending Tahoe Truckee Unified School District schools.
Prior to moving to Truckee, Zabriskie was an attorney practicing business litigation and served as Deputy Attorney General with the California Department of Justice. In addition to his legal background, Zabriskie also has a Bachelor’s Degree in botany and a Master’s Degree in biology.
When Zabriskie moved to Truckee, he was in the process of retiring and had no interest in getting involved locally.
“I thought I would just be bouncing grandkids on my knee and enjoying the years kayaking, fishing and hiking,” Zabriskie said. “But I discovered that other people felt the same way that I did about our natural environment and the Sierra Nevada and then I made friends with people who are deeply committed to our community and I caught the bug.”
Since then, Zabriskie has served on the Planning Commission, Nevada County Transportation Commission, served on many boards and has served as Councilmember since 2020.
Since getting elected, Zabriskie has several proud accomplishments, including his work on housing.
“I’m only one person on a five member council, I think I’ve been instrumental but collectively we’ve worked to establish the Leasing to Locals program,” Zabriskie said. He also added the accessory dwelling unit program and the STR ordinance, all of which have helped with the housing crisis.
The area has seen an increase in second-home owners in Truckee and Zabriskie said he’s hoping to reverse that trend by making housing more affordable to the workforce.
He’s also proud that council created a full-time emergency officer position and has started work upgrading the town’s emergency response program.
He’s also happy with the strengthening relationship with non-profits which Zabriskie said makes the community stronger.
If re-elected, one of Zabriskie’s focuses will be on transportation, traffic and parking.
“Truckee is in a very challenging terrain, we can’t just widen our streets to accommodate more vehicles so we have a lot more congestion… in the last two years, the town council has been very progressive in terms of looking for other ways to reduce traffic and reduce parking demand,” Zabriskie said.
Through the mobility element of the General Plan, Zabriskie hopes to continue making headway into this issue.
To learn more about Zabriskie, visit https://truckeejan.com.
The election is Nov. 8 and the last day to register to vote is Oct. 24. Ballots have been mailed out to the voters and vote centers open Oct. 29.
To learn more, visit https://www.nevadacountyca.gov/3593/November-8-2022-General-Election.
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