Election 2010: North Shore utility district candidates outline positions | SierraSun.com

Election 2010: North Shore utility district candidates outline positions

Matthew RendaSierra Sun

KINGS BEACH andamp;#8212; Two candidates andamp;#8212; incumbent Sue Daniels and challenger Phil Thompson andamp;#8212; vying for one seat on the North Tahoe Public Utility District engaged in a friendly respectful debate on Tuesday, Oct. 12, at the North Tahoe Event Center.Daniels touted her experience and knowledge, while Thompson said he would bring a fresh perspective to the boardandamp;#8217;s proceedings.The following is a look at some of the questions and answers featured during the forum:

Thompson: I think in terms of recreation amenities, a lot of them are created because of gifts or grants from other agencies. For instance, the recreation department took funds and built the Tahoe Vista recreation area. However, they do not have the money to take care of it once itandamp;#8217;s done. Recreation is for everybody; playgrounds and beaches are used by everyone, so it will never be equitable between the taxpayers and the tourists. Daniels: Parks and beaches are the districtandamp;#8217;s biggest assets, maybe the only recreational asset. What we give to the local Boys andamp; Girls Club is an example of a local benefit not taken in by outsiders. We have kept prices down and give priority reservations to locals at the boat ramps, and a lot of the recreation draws people to our local businesses, which is a win/win.

Thompson: Absolutely, I would support a study, although at this point itandamp;#8217;s pure speculation that consolidation would save money; however, if a study showed consolidation would save money, I would support it. Daniels: This issue seems to come back every year or so. So far it was shown that there would be no savings, but it does not mean it would be the same in the future. I would be in favor of a study that gave more current answers. Still, a lot of money is wasted on studies. I would have to see the cost of the study andamp;#8212; if it was economical, we could ask the question again.

Thompson: In the spring the board consulted with staff and decided to raise taxes for the recreation department; so, they had staff come back with a resolution that called for spending $150,000 to survey the public to see if they would be in support of raising taxes. They ended up spending $130,000 and the public overwhelmingly said they were not in favor of raising taxes. It was a big mistake spending that money for the survey.Daniels: The biggest mistake was not purchasing the AAA building where we could move down our headquarters. We had it in escrow for a great price. Made more sense than to remodel the buildings we currently occupy or tear them down and build new ones. It would have saved a lot of money.