After 76 years, Tahoe PUD alters director election process
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — The Tahoe City Public Utility District is changing the way board members are elected this November, updating a process that’s been in place for 76 years.
In a 3-2 vote, TCPUD directors on April 18 approved changing to a voting-at-large method, in which candidates run for all available board seats.
Since the district’s inception in 1938, candidates have run for a seat number (1 through 5), with the top vote-getter for each winning it. The district’s five seats don’t represent geographical areas.
That was one argument director Ron Treabess used in support of the switch.
“This is the way most elections are now done, and my feeling is that we ought to bring us up to the current way most elections are being run in order to provide an opportunity for more people to feel comfortable to run for one of these seats,” he said at TCPUD’s April 18 board meeting.
Board vice president Erik Henrikson voiced his opposition to the change.
“It’s not broke,” he said. “It works fine, and I don’t support changing it.”
Due to the board being split on the matter, the district collected public feedback. A postcard survey sent to the district’s 3,132 registered voters and a newsletter survey to its 7,800 water and sewer customers found majority support for the at-large method, according to previous reports.
Two seats are up for the Nov. 4 general election — one held by TCPUD board president Dan Wilkins, the other by director Lou Reinkens.
Each director serves a four-year term.