Laine wins appointment to S. Lake Tahoe council


By Kathryn Reed

After a 10-year hiatus from the South Lake Tahoe City Council, Brooke Laine will be sworn in Feb. 5. The ceremony will be at 8am so she can participate in that morning’s closed session prior to the open session starting an hour later.

On a 3-1 vote, with Councilman Hal Cole the dissenter, Laine was chosen Jan. 29 to fill the remainder of Claire Fortier’s term. At the meeting Laine told the council she intends to run for the seat when it expires in fall 2014.

Laine served on the council from 1998-2002. Cole and Mayor Tom Davis were on the council for part of her previous tenure.

“I served 10 years ago. I was 38. I have new ideas and experiences and I want to bring them forward,” Laine told Lake Tahoe News after the meeting. “I look forward to being a team player.”

While Laine was Cole’s second pick, he would have preferred Kathay Lovell return to the council.

Councilwomen Angela Swanson and JoAnn Conner had a problem with Lovell wanting the seat only for the 22-month term and not willing to seek re-election next year. Lovell served on the council from 2002-10.

Davis and Cole each picked Laine and Lovell as their top choices; Conner chose Laine and Scott Valentine; and Swanson picked Valentine and Kay Ogden.

The others who sought the seat were Austin Sass, Bruce Grego, Howard Bittner, Bill Crawford and Joan Walthall.

Each person had 10 minutes to make a case for him or herself. Walthall did not attend the meeting. Then the councilmembers asked various questions, with Davis participating via phone. And the public had a chance to comment about whom they preferred.

The council has been put in a similar situation in the past with needing to appoint a fifth person. However, it’s been a while. The last time was when Grego was appointed Aug. 1, 1989, to fill the seat vacated by Terry Trupp who in June of that year was arrested on a slew of drug charges.

On Dec. 15, 1970, William Ames resigned and Ken Smith was appointed Jan. 5, 1971, and on June 8, 1971, Donald Clarke resigned and Bill Moyer was appointed July 20, 1971. When Ken Smith resigned March 12, 1974, the council opted for a special election. That is when Robert Kaufman was elected on June 6, 1974.




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Comments (35)
  1. Biggerpicture says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Well at least all council members voted consistently…….AGAINST THE WILL OF THE VOTERS!

    Very disappointing!

  2. Rmoss49 says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Brooke is a good choice. She seems to sincerely have the best interest of the community in mind , works well with others and is pretty sharp.

  3. Dogula says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    They ARE consistent, aren’t they?
    Same thing seems to happen in national politics as well. Same old same old.
    The devil you know. . . etc.

  4. 30yrlocal says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Congrats Brooke. A hard working and locally committed person!

  5. Laketoohigh says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Tune in next week for the continuing saga here at “Peyton Lake”.:-D

  6. copper says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Thanks for serving, Brooke. I don’t believe we’ve ever met, but I know both your parents and if you’re even close to their quality, you’ll be fine.

    But as an old, and skeptical, timer, I hope you’ll start off by separating yourself from the ol’ guys (both of whom I know well) who apparently supported you, but, through longevity and perhaps even stagnation, are responsible for many, or maybe most, of the City’s woes.

    It’s fine to be a city leader; it’s time to become a City Council leader. You’ve got what you wanted – grab ahold and take charge.

  7. reza says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Conner and Swanson so got the wool pulled over their eyes. So naïve! Cole and Davis back with Laine. The good old boy network back in place again.
    Don’t let Cole’s vote for Lovell fool you two. He is fine with Laine.

    Well everyone, same old, same old for another two years. Old Tahoe rules again and assures us all that we will stay old Tahoe.

  8. Harold Krammer says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    I dont as a rule agree with bigger,but this time shes right on. Who cares what the voters want.

  9. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    The voters lost out and won’t be heard. I foolishly thought that we would have a special election not only for our missing mayor but for some other pressing issues as well. Silly me!
    Looks like it doesn’t matter what the tax paying, hard working residents want, it’s been narrowed down to three or four people who don’t represent their community. Cronyism is alive and well on our city council. Business as usual!

    Good Luck SLT, Old Long Skiis

  10. John says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    I guess the fact is ya get what ya pay for. What qualified person is going to take a job like this for free? Yes I know insurance, but that is a pitance. The city is a multi-million dollar organization and we hire people that are completely unqualified to run even a simple business.

  11. Gus says - Posted: January 29, 2013

    Excellent choice!

  12. Louis says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Congratulations Brook. I hope when you say you have ideas you don’t mean ideas to help out just your friends and not the community on the whole. I’ll be optimistic, hoping and praying council all the best.

    As a side note, to the people who think Sass should have gotten the seat because he was third in the last election. Don’t forget, he ran a smear campaign didn’t he? Wasn’t he the one who put out (or mailed out) flyers of some sort of everything wrong with the currently elected officials? Well that was brilliant move to foster good relations, how’d that turn out? Didn’t he also have one of the heaviest anti campaigns in recent memory because he supported the loop road, I seem to recall many “No Sass” signs. Can’t recall any other candidate ever getting that much bad press. If I’m wrong would a Sass supporter please correct me?

    Like Brook or not, she was chosen because the council felt they could work with her to improve the city. I’m sure every other candidate could have done the same, but she apparently put the best impression forward.

    Time to put bad feelings aside and work with what you’ve got. If you are a citizen and want to be more active, go to the meetings, speak up, present yourself well, be realistic, put forward a helpful improving idea, offer positive constructive criticism, or heck just praise someone in government who is doing a good job, wouldn’t even hurt to use gooder or more better grammars two. ;)

  13. dryclean says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Louis, Sass never backed the loop road. It was Grego who sent out the personal attacks and his supporters who put up those signs. The city lost an opportunity to get someone with real experience. Our town’s loss.

    Good luck to Laine. I suspect we will be looking for another council member soon. We’ve had two people charged with wrong doings after lengthy investigations by the DA. A third is pending and should come public in 2013. You might see Lovell back on council.

  14. Carioka says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Congratulations Brooke, you will do a good job!

  15. hmmm.... says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    tahoe NEEDS a Convention Center in order to be competitive

  16. tony colombo says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    How funny is that hmmm…., did you not hear that the convention center is the site of the new city hall!

  17. Bob says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Just when you thought you knew everything, Council pulls a rabbit out of the hat.

  18. Dogula says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    “Like Brook or not, she was chosen because the council felt they could work with her to improve the city”

    More like, someone they could count on to go along with their program. When the entire council agrees and gets along, it’s usually the taxpaying citizens who end up getting run over.
    I don’t know Brooke. She’s probably a lovely person. But I don’t trust any small group of people that has power over a larger group. Self interest usually trumps altruism.

  19. Deborah A. Palmer says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Congratulations, Brooke! Brooke is experienced, knowledgable, works in our community, raises kids here, and is well versed on community issues. She and her family have been in City politics for decades. Most of all, Brooke has the highest integrity. She is an excellent choice to fill the Council vacancy. Best wishes, Brooke, on a difficult job. I know you will work for the betterment of our community.

  20. Aaron says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Being locally grown in many cases is not a positive attribute. When seeking a role on the City Council. What it means is that their exposure, and experience in life is limited to one area, and this area should never serve as a good example of how a City is run. Sorry, but ignorance is not bliss.

  21. FULL TIME says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Brook is perfect for the job!!!!!!!!!! The community is first in her eyes, she is very smart, fair, and was a great council member before, the city got it right folks.

  22. Keith says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Who is Brooke Laine? What is her vision for South Lake Tahoe? I know nothing about her. What is her position on many of the issues facing our community? I am very disappointed that the City Council decided not to have a special election to fill the vacancy. Kae, can you interview Brooke and ask her the many questions that were asked of the candidates in the June election.

    On another note, I believe it is time to have term limits. City Councilmen/Councilwomen should be limited to two four year terms. We can’t have change if we keep electing the same people and expecting different results.

  23. Old Long Skiis says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Brooke Laine was on the city council several years ago as was her mom Del previous to Brooke’s time on board. I met Brooke briefly a long time ago and remember her as being very nice and concerned about our community as well. Hopefully she’s a good fit for the vacant spot.
    I still think we should have had an election but you know how it goes…”who cares what the people think, we can do whatever we want”, or to my mind so goes that’s the thinking of some of our elected officials.
    I do hope Kae can interview not just Brooke but all the other council members. Might be interesting.
    Old Long Skiis

  24. Scott Blumenthal says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Congratulations to you, Brooke. Although I do not know anything about you (save that which I just read here), I have faith the council members choose the best person. Take care of your city and its people and God Bless you!

  25. tahoeadvocate says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Keith— term limits is a good idea which should be implemented all the way from the city to the top (POTUS) where it already exists. We should not have career politicians but citizens willing to serve at all levels then returning to the private sector.

  26. John says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    What education and experience does Brooke have that qualifies her to be the executive manager for a $80 million organization?

    Answer: None, not even close.

  27. FULL TIME says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    So John maybe you should run next time!
    I can tell you she has all the experience needed for this job.

  28. Louis says - Posted: January 30, 2013


    I went back and you are totally right, Sass didn’t back the loop road, but it was made out like he did. Thank you!

    But yes there were “No Sass” signs up, but I guess it didn’t work out for Grego.

    Now would anyone know if its legal to shoot a crow (away from homes in the county of course) for human consumption?

  29. nature bats last says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    out of the whole bunch Brooke is probably the best pick. Im glad they didnt have an election due to the cost to the city. Actually, I think that Claire should have paid out of her pocket for a special election to fill her spot since she didnt think of the city and the effect her leaving would have on SLT. Not that im sad she left, im just saying….

  30. John says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    Full time, really? Tell me, what $80 million business has she managed? What exactly is her educational background that qualifies her for executive management? In government managing post retirement benefits is probably the most important task to properly quantify long term liabilities? Does anyone on the council have any experience with finance? Does Brooke?

    Why cant the city issue a simple contract? Is it because the executive management is incompetent?

  31. "HangUpsFromWayBack" says - Posted: January 30, 2013


  32. Laketoohigh says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    80 MILLION!!! Is this a real number? Look around this town. Where is all this money going? Love to see the breakdown of expenditures. Is this knowledge available for public viewing? How about it, can LTN or anyone out there supply where $80 million went last year?

  33. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: January 30, 2013

    I do belive that Brooke is the best pick of the litter

    I also remember that when she was in the Council last time, she did a good job

    it seems to me that she was disappointed with the “BS” that goes on behind the closed doors

  34. Laketoohigh says - Posted: January 31, 2013

    Yup. About 83 million. So do the council members just rubber stamp this stuff because they are so impressed with the graphs and charts or because they are able to actually understand them. And where does the $200K a year for the council itself go if they are working for free?