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.