Election 2016: Tahoe City PUD — read 3 candidate statements
Visit the following websites for your respective county to learn more about local elections, as well as upcoming important dates and other information:
Nevada County: mynevadacounty.com/nc/elections/Pages/Home.aspx
Placer County: placerelections.com/current-elections.aspx
El Dorado County: edcgov.us/elections
TAHOE CITY, Calif. — Four residents are in the race to fill three seats on the Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors.
The general election is set for Nov. 8. For the TCPUD race, residents will be asked to vote for three of the four candidates; the top three vote-getters will be elected to the positions.
The open seats are currently held by Judy Friedman, Erik Henrikson and Ron Treabess. Henrikson did not file for reelection.
In California, early voting for the general elections began Oct. 10.
To better inform readers voting early or heading to the polls on Election Day, the Sierra Sun reached out to the candidates a couple weeks ago and asked each to provide a short biography, as well as a 500-word maximum candidate statement.
Candidate Paul Joslin did not return requests seeking his participation; you can read the statement he provided to Placer County by visiting placerelections.com/current-elections and clicking on “Qualified Candidate List.”
Below, you can read the candidates’ statements, which are printed verbatim (including typos and grammar errors) in random order:
Full name: Ron Treabess
Full-time residence in the region: Toiyabe Court, Tahoe City
How long you have been a resident: 36 years
Current occupation: Director of Community Participation and Planning, North Lake Tahoe Resort Association
Formal education: Degree in Landscape Architecture; Iowa State University
Current and previous political/governmental experience: National Park Service; Tahoe Transportation District Board; Placer County Transportation Planning Agency Board; NLTRA Board; Tahoe City Municipal Advisory Council; enough!
Greetings! I’m Ron Treabess. I just want to let you know that I’m running for re-election this November to represent you on the Tahoe City Public Utility District Board of Directors.
I do look forward to the privilege of continuing to serve as your Director. My main goal is to further encourage the strong community participation that has enabled the Tahoe City Public Utility District to become the most successful water, sewer, and recreation provider at Lake Tahoe. This involves listening to, and seeking out your opinions and concerns, in order to represent you in a thoughtful, dedicated and productive manner. Your concerns have identified key issues for which I have the experience and the passion to resolve. Consequently, I believe it to be really important to keep you apprised of what we Directors do in response to your needs and concerns to continue having the best and most efficient provision of necessary community services. In representing you guys, we work with staff to insure that the District’s Vision remains one of a proactive local government agency that is dedicated to providing outstanding public service and collaborative leadership, now and in the future.
The TCPUD Mission is to serve people, our community, and our environment. It’s the District’s responsibility to provide safe and reliable water service, sewer service for the protection of public health, and parks and recreation services to enhance quality of life…all accomplished in a sound fiscal manner.
Service, Professionalism, Teamwork, Initiative, and Communication are the core values pledged by the staff, and your Board of Directors.
A few of the initiatives we, as Board members, will continue to direct and support between now and 2019 include:
• Promotion of Customer and Tax Payer Transparency
• Expansion of the District Water Supply through Regional Partnerships
• Evaluation of Mergers, Consolidations or Acquisitions of Mutual, Private, or Public Water Systems.
• Expanding Parks & Recreation Facilities and Programs
• Increased Utilization of Rideout Community Center
• Participation in Planning and Design for the Tahoe City Golf Course and Winter Sports Park, including Ice Skating, a new Club House and Parking Improvements
• Engaging in Regional Efforts to Expand Local Workforce opportunities
• Improving Cost Effectiveness of Project Development
• Maintaining the District’s Strong Financial Position
• Researching Opportunities to Cost Effectively Amend Employee Benefits and….
• Maintain Proactive Leadership with Community and Agency Partners
I know my honesty, extensive experience, loyalty to the community, being a good listener, a strong, caring leader, extreme professionalism, and high level of energy will ensure me continuing to seek out your concerns and views while serving as your Director on the TCPUD. Please support me on Nov. 8th and when voting please consider Judy and Scotty for the other Board positions.
Full name: Scott Zumwalt
Full-time residence in the region: West Shore / Tahoe City
How long you have been a resident: 10 years
Current occupation: Owner, West Shore Market and Bridgetender Tavern and Grill
Formal education: BS in Business Management, San Diego State University
Current and previous political/governmental experience: Did not include
As an owner of two successful, local businesses in Tahoe City, I know I have what it takes to be an important part of the TCPUD Board and keep it moving in the right direction. There are many issues surrounding the future of our community and I will do everything in my power to support our local needs on the following topics:
Transportation: The Hwy 89/Fanny Bridge realignment project is under way and with the bike paths, sidewalks, and roundabouts working as a cohesive unit, I believe the traffic issues, fire escape routes, and walkability of this town can be significantly improved. The final plans for this project are approved, but I have no doubt there are still decisions that will come up and need to be addressed.
Labor and Housing: There is a clear shortage of labor in our town and this can be directly linked to the housing shortage. Although the PUD might not be interested in getting directly involved in owning rental properties, they have the ability to influence a solution in a positive way.
Recreation: I am excited for the potential of the Tahoe City Golf Course with the PUD operating it. The addition of the new ice rink and restaurant capabilities present an excellent opportunity to make this great course a spot that has something for everybody.
The North and West shores of Tahoe are a special place because of the great people that live here and they deserve to have their voices heard and represented. I look forward to being a part of upcoming decisions with the local community’s best interests in mind. Thank you for your support.
Full name: Judy Friedman
Full-time residence in the region: Tahoe City
How long you have been a resident: Since 1972
Current occupation: Small Business Owner
Formal education: Did not include
Current and previous political/governmental experience: Did not include
Arnold Palmer said the best advice he ever received was from his dad: Don’t tell people how good you are…show them! With that in mind, I’m proud to run on my record as a current TCPUD Board member.
• Upgrades to water and sewer infrastructure are ongoing to improve fire suppression, insure safe and reliable systems, AND protect Lake Tahoe.
• Improvements to the bike trails continue, including the new Homewood section, and soon-to-be-started link between Sugar Pine Point and Meek’s Bay. This winter, the bike trails from Cathedral on the west shore into Tahoe City and from Lake Forest to Tahoe City will be cleared to allow use by pedestrians.
• The public’s investment in the Tahoe City Golf Course as a recreational facility is being protected. And this winter we’ll see the much requested Ice Rink at the Winter Sports Park!
• Upgrades to technology provide customers with the utmost in transparency and insure District efficiency. In fact, TCPUD has been awarded a Certificate of Transparency from the California Special Districts Association.
• When I came on the Board in 2008, Reserves were underfunded. Today we have over $16 million in combined designated and undesignated Reserves.
All of this has been accomplished while keeping rates below voter-approved Proposition 218 levels thanks to strong oversight by the Board, collaboration with partners, and aggressive efforts to receive local, State, and Federal grant funds, saving our rate payers millions of dollars.
Our community is changing. The coming years will present difficult decisions that require thoughtful and creative solutions. Complex and evolving issues around Tahoe’s north and west shores require collaboration and cooperation to resolve.
I ask for your support and appreciate the trust that comes with your vote.