EDC supervisor candidates try to woo voters

Kenny Curtzwiler and Sue Novasel are running for El Dorado County supervisor, district 5. Photo/LTN

Kenny Curtzwiler and Sue Novasel are running for El Dorado County supervisor, District 5. Photo/LTN

By Kathryn Reed

MEYERS – A contrast in styles is the overwhelming difference between the two El Dorado County District 5 supervisor candidates.

Kenny Curtzwiler is animated and passionate. He talks about how he goes to all the events in town, how people come to him with their problems and how he will get things done.

Sue Novasel is more reserved and thoughtful in her approach. She talks about building consensus, needing to count to three and being a team player.

On July 29 they spoke to an audience of about 50 people at the California Conservation Corps offices about county issues and why they should be the next supervisor to represent Tahoe in Placerville.

Members of Tahoe Regional Young Professionals started the questioning before the public questions were asked. The first was: What would your top three priorities be as supervisor?

“The top three are basically the same for me. It’s community involvement,” Curtzwiler said. “The community is what makes it a community.”

Novasel said her priorities are economic vitality, fire safety and public safety, which include mental health.

When it comes to the Meyers Area Plan, Novasel said, “It still needs some tweaking.” But she did not elaborate. The questioning panel did not ask a follow up question.

Curtzwiler said he likes the Meyers plan.

“I read the entire Catalyst project. It’s good, but it’s too big for the community,” Curtzwiler said. “There is another project out there if the community knew about it, they would like it.”

He didn’t elaborate and the questioning panel didn’t press him further.

They were asked how they are involved in the community.

“I attend almost every single community event,” Curtzwiler said. He said through his business he donates time and resources to various causes.

Curtzwiler also said he is involved with Christmas Cheer.

Novasel was more specific with her involvement – Lake Tahoe Wildlife Care, 12 years on the Lake Tahoe Unified School District board, Lake Tahoe Community College Foundation, Soroptimist International South Lake Tahoe and Lake Tahoe South Shore Chamber of Commerce board (one of the event sponsors).

Curtzwiler was asked to clarify something he had written about the morality of breaking a contract. He said it was about Heavenly Mountain Resort not paying its fair share of taxes to South Lake Tahoe; that he believes the contract should be broken by the city.

Novasel countered, saying, “You have a moral obligation when you have a contract. If something needs to be changed, you do so through legal channels. You work with your board.”

When a member of the public asked about county’s Charter review committee, neither candidate had a firm grasp of what it is or why they should care about it.

When it comes to infrastructure, Novasel wants to see roads and broadband. She believes recreation is the “lifeblood” of the area.

Curtzwiler doesn’t believe it’s the county’s job to provide Internet. He also believes recreation should be No. 1.

Curtzwiler said he is not asking for people’s vote, but instead for their vote of confidence and accountability. He wants to be the first person people call when they need something.

Novasel said she is asking for people’s vote. She plans to listen more than talk, and she said she will build consensus.

The election is Nov. 4.



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Comments (34)
  1. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: July 30, 2014

    While not identifying anyone specifically, if I were one of these candidates I’d likely be praying that I get defeated so as to eliminate four years of humiliation caused by a very public exposure of my incompetence.

  2. Toxic Warrior says - Posted: July 30, 2014

    I hope the person who wins is that person who is doing this for the community rather than furthering ones own political networking career.

  3. Steven says - Posted: July 30, 2014

    Novasel sounds like the same old story, been in the same old organizations and worked in government, and what has that gotten us ?
    Curtzwiler is rough around the edges, inexperienced, and not the same old thing. This county needs something new, give Curtzwiler a chance.

  4. Level says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    One question: If you were hiring a person to run your business, would the most important quality you looked for be passion sans any realistic qualifications for the job, or would you be prone to hire a person who is qualified in the processes involved in running your business, and has a more grounded pragmatic disposition?

  5. Justice says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    They both should be more specific about Meyers, and if they support the current draft plan revisions, and what they think the zoning and density should be. Being in support of the developers or residents will determine the election. There are also the interests of the people from Pollock east that are in the district that should have the attention of the candidates as the voters from the west side outnumber the basin slightly, although there was a low turnout in the primary voters this time. Knowing the County Charter is also something they should be familiar with.

  6. Kits Carson says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    They should leave Meyers alone. Or have all Meyers (only) residents vote on it. We love being here and away from the casino corridor crap and it’s drunken idiots.
    Not sure what to think about the new Gym where Alpaca’s used to be. Could this be step 1 in the development? Any bets on when this will shut down? I say it won’t last a year…..if that.

  7. Scott Blumenthal says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    I’m voting for the candidate that is NOT business as usual.

  8. dumbfounded says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    It is absolutely unconscionable that they are not aware of the Charter issue, IMHO.

  9. Charles Morse says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    USMC should get off his duff and run for office like he tells everyone else to do. And not belittle others who try to make things better.

  10. Susan says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    Attending every community event is completely different than being a leader and a decision maker, which Sue Novasel has repeatedly proven she is. I applaud Mr. Curtzwiler for his dedication but if ALL 3 of his top issues are community involvement – which are definitely not my top 3 issues! – he should stick with volunteering. He doesn’t need to be elected Supervisor to continue going to events.

  11. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    Mr. Morse:

    I’m 71-years old and no longer have the energy level required to do the type of quality work that people entrusting one with their vote should provide, and who will get paid taxpayer dollars in the area of $80K per year.

    While both these candidates have strong ties to Meyers they will not be representing Meyers only and their representation will be for the entire El Dorado County portion of the South Tahoe area and down to Pollock Pines. And I don’t think that the EDC portion of the South Shore can afford to have four valuable years of potential progress lost by a District 5 Supervisor who does not grasp the issues that are of real importance to this entire community and has no understanding of how agencies even function or of the rules and regulations to which agencies must adhere. I question if the taxpayers of El Dorado County should spend in the area of $80K per year on someone who believes that attending almost every single community event is the priority of an elected official and who went in front of the SLT City Council and strongly urged them to award a contract bid to a friend of his based simply on the fact that his friend had lived in SLT longer than any of the other contract bidders. That’s not how government works and we need someone who can go to Placerville, be taken seriously, and be effective and get some things accomplished on our behalf.

    While I’m certain that Mr. Curtzwiler is a nice enough man I don’t think he’s the right person for this job at this point.

    So, since you’re the resident expert regarding people on their duff, are YOU running for an office?

  12. John Blackmore says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    So this is what those recent gigantic BOS salary hikes got us?

    Yikes, taxpayers got scammed again.

  13. Chief Slowroller says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    Kenny- involved in the community hands on level.

    Sue- part of the Good ol Girl club does exactly what she is told to do.

    that’s how I see it.

    one of my favorite quotes from Bob Dylan ” everybody’s shouting which side are you on”

  14. David Kelly says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    SUE Norma has ben trying to learn to count to 3 now is the time for a new face Kenny Curtzwiler

  15. Fifty year resident says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    It is disappointing to me that neither candidate has a grasp of the community problems with Charter Cable TV and Internet. This issue could very well sway my vote as our cable provider needs to be looked at for many reasons as this provider is ripping off our local community and why because they can.

  16. Arod says - Posted: July 31, 2014

    What is the problem with Charter?

  17. Tahoebluewire says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    Charter is great ! Happy with the service!

  18. Kit's Carson says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    Charter sucks!
    Not happy with it and am changing…..like they do all the time with programs.

  19. KATHY says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    Charter SUCKS

  20. careaboutthecommunity says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    Charter took our last California news stations away a few months ago, now all we get is Reno, Nevada news, not the best way to stay informed :(

  21. local says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    When I vote for a candidate I pay close attention to the organizations that are endorsing them. I tend not to vote for a candidate that is endorsed by an organziation I do not like or think will have a great deal of influence on the candidate’s decision making.

  22. Lou pierini says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    Poor service, no service, and no customer service is Charters M O. Check out your option s, Direct, Dish, over the air,(6 stations for free from Reno) and DROP Charter now!

  23. John M. Wilson says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    They don’t know what the County Charter Review Committee is and why it’s important. Hmm. Miss Kevin yet?

  24. dumbfounded says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    The reference to “Charter” in the article is about the proposed changes in the document that the County uses to govern with. Similar to how the US Constitution is used to guide US governance. My comment above about the “Charter issue” refers to the proposed changes to that document.

    However, as regards the TV and internet service provider (ISP), Charter. There is a misperception, in my opinion, that the County will somehow be able to affect the way any ISP (or cable TV) operates. This is simply not possible. Local government has no input to huge corporate interests that I am aware of. Norma Santiago has tried to affect this issue unsuccessfully for years. Big corporations do not care one bit about individuals or local government, they are focused on profit. Neither AT&T’s nor Charter’s equipment will support appreciable improvement in their service without considerable capital investment. They have no inclination to spend their capital in a no-growth area.

  25. Steven says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    Lou Pierini
    What kind of antenna do you use to get the ” over the air ” channels ?

  26. Lou pierini says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    I am at this point trying different ones and might need more than one to get all 6 from my location. The height is very important as the transmetors are at 3 locations. So at this point I can’t answer your question. The internet is a good resource you should check out.

  27. Bob Fleischer says - Posted: August 1, 2014


  28. Toxic Warrior says - Posted: August 1, 2014

    OMG !
    Television service is the most important topic when discussing which Supervisor candidate has the right stuff ? Only in Tahoe ……..LOL !

  29. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: August 2, 2014

    dumbfounded says
    The reference to “Charter” in the article is about the proposed changes in the document that the County uses to govern with. Similar to how the US Constitution is used to guide US governance. My comment above about the “Charter issue” refers to the proposed changes to that document.

    Toxic Warrior says
    Television service is the most important topic when discussing which Supervisor candidate has the right stuff? Only in Tahoe … LOL !

    It really is astounding how this morphed into a discussion about television service. Some people living in SLT remind me of Gilda Radner’s Saturday Night Live character Emily Litella; only in this circumstance it’s not funny.

  30. dumbfounded says - Posted: August 4, 2014

    Marine, I am surprised to see your apparent inability to follow the conversation. You are generally more circumspect than this. And you are also generally more respectful.

    The discussion of Charter (TV/ISP) is directly related to the supervisor’s race. It is not about TV. County Supervisors for years have claimed that they will work towards growing Tahoe for light industrial uses by increasing access to high-speed internet. They simply have no influence there. Further, the lack of knowledge of a supervisor candidate about proposed changes to the County Charter is unacceptable. If you don’t know your history, you shouldn’t attempt to deride others for paying attention.

  31. 4-mer-usmc says - Posted: August 4, 2014


    My comment was about how this had morphed into a discussion about TV service, antennas, etc., which was not what the reference to “Charter” in the article was about. My reference to your initial comment that this was about the proposed changes in the document which the County uses to govern with was intended as agreement as was my reference to Toxic Warrior’s comment and it was not either of you that I was deriding. Apparently I did not make that sufficiently clear in my attempt at sarcasm.

    I was not aware that any previous District 5 Supervisor candidates had used the high-speed internet service to residents/light industrial uses for political stumping. But the type of broadband infrastructure we need in the basin isn’t for residential/light industrial uses but for very large, business purposes which is something the Tahoe Prosperity Center is working toward.

  32. Julie Threewit says - Posted: August 4, 2014

    I look forward to more candidate forums closer to the election. Many locals are at their busiest during the summer and they too deserve to hear what Sue and Kenny have to offer.

    Those of us with time to post our strong opinions have an opportunity to get involved and help the candidate of our choice. Since cable TV is so awful we have time to campaign, right?!

  33. lou pierini says - Posted: August 5, 2014

    Steven, Clear Stream 4 is working for a friend in sierra track.

  34. Tahoe Lass says - Posted: August 9, 2014

    Charter does provide CA news on channel 13 KCRA Sacramento and channel 781 Fox news channel 2 from the bay area at 10 pm . Not the Fox channel.

    Charter does have a new money maker in that to get tech service you have to pay around another 15.00 per month to get any help. Their service is out in some way a lot of each month . But if one doesn’t have a good place for a dish what else can one do?