David: STPUD 6.5% rate hike was wrong
Publisher’s note: Lake Tahoe News asked candidates for South Lake Tahoe City Council, Lake Tahoe Community College, Lake Tahoe Unified School District, Douglas County School District, South Tahoe Public Utility District and Lake Valley Fire Protection District a series of questions. We are running the responses in the order received. All profiles may be found under the Special Projects listing and then the 2106 November Candidate Profiles category.
Name: Kirk A David
Job/profession: General contractor
What boards, commissions, or other experience, including volunteering, do you have?: Youth coach for last 17 years. AYSO and club soccer, ASA and high school softball, Pop Warner football, high school basketball (boys and girls), Little League and Babe Ruth baseball.
Why are you running for the South Tahoe PUD board?: I want to be involved in our community and I feel this is a good opportunity to help and be a service by having a voice on the board. Life is full of challenges and learning experiences and I look forward to the opportunity.
Why should voters vote for you over another candidate?: My wife, Jennifer, and I were very fortunate to raise our two children here. I have roots In Tahoe and I am invested in our community and our future. I care about Tahoe’s unique environment and understand and appreciate what our community requires.
What distinct experience or competency makes you uniquely qualified to lead effectively as an elected official?: My environmental studies degree and background in construction are two strong qualities in a board candidate. The skills I have acquired in owning and operating my business have given me the ability to develop efficient leadership skills that can motivate groups in a positive direction toward a common goal.
Public agencies have been under scrutiny the last few years for lack of transparency and accountability. What will you do to ensure both?: I am honest and fair and I would work with the district to ensure the same values and clarency that I believe in.
What stands out for you in the current budget that you support and that you would change?: I agree that the budget should not be dependent or reliant on guaranteed property tax increases. I don’t agree with the 6.5 percent annual rate hike.
Describe three attributes for a successful board: The ability to work well together, work through tough conflicts, and provide good service.
What are your thoughts about public employee defined benefits?: Great for an employee. Paying for the benefits is costly.
Please explain your position on contracting out work normally done by staff: If contracting out is costing more money, I would like to find a way for the work to be done in house.
What is your 10-year vision for STPUD?: Continue to provide the great services they provide. Continue and improve upon the environmental commitment our district currently has. Provide an affordable service for our local community.
What one vote in the last four years that the current board made do you disagree with and why?: The 6.5 percent annual rate hike. I understand the need for meters and improvements in our district, but I don’t like the path of increased rates we are on.
How many meetings have you attended this year for the board you are running for?: I have yet to attend a meeting; I regularly read the board minutes.
What do you know about the strategic plan, finances, debt, goals of the district?: I’ve read the plan and I have seen their finances and goals online.
Being on a board means working as a team. How will you work with the other board members for the greater good of the community?: I work well with other people, and I have no doubt that I would work well with the board to serve our community.
What should be the three main priorities for the board?: Ensure the continued outstanding service our district provides, control our rate increases, work well with district staff.
How do you balance the economic situation of the community with the infrastructure needs of the district?: The district must run as efficiently as possible to ensure rates stay controlled.
STPUD is often criticized for having some of the highest paid public employees on the South Shore. Any comment?: STPUD is known as being a good workplace, if elected I would know more about this topic.
When it comes to permits for construction, the district has high fees. Do you believe they are fair? Why or why not?: I feel the connection fees are high, as with water and sewer rates the connection fees increase each year.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know: I worked as a deckhand on a whale watching/snorkel boat in Kaanapali for six months.