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: Patrick Jarrett
Job/profession: retail sales
What boards, commissions, or other experience, including volunteering, do you have?: 2016 South Lake Tahoe Citizens Academy participant
Why are you running for City Council?: I care about this city, and the current council doesn’t seem to have any clear direction. They are too busy with all the infighting to listen to the people’s wants and needs.
Why should voters vote for you over another candidate?: I have a vested interest in this city. I attended school here from third grade at Tahoe Valley Elementary all the way to STHS graduation in 1989. My son is currently in eighth grade at STMS. I care about this city and its people and I want us all to succeed and be happy and prosperous. This city needs to accept change and adapt, not just stick our heads in the sand and keep the “old guard” in place.
What distinct experience or competency makes you uniquely qualified to lead effectively as an elected official?: I served in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Shield/Storm where I learned responsibility, teamwork and leadership skills and I have also been assistant manager and store manager at a few businesses here in town.
Public agencies have been under scrutiny the last few years for lack of transparency and accountability. What will you do to ensure both?: A lot of people know me in this town. I tell it like it is, shoot straight and don’t pull punches. I’m not afraid to tell the truth or to speak up when things are out of line.
What stands out for you in the current budget that you support and that you would change?: We as a city are spending too much and seeing very little return. We need to find a dedicated way to fix and support our infrastructure.
Do you support current legislation for $15 minimum wage? Please explain: No — $15 an hour not only cuts full-time employment in favor of part time, it eliminates employers’ desire to reward hard working employees with bonuses.
Do you support Proposition 55? Please explain: (Did not respond.)
Describe three attributes for a successful council: Listening to the citizens, fair and just treatment of codes and laws, and clear, concise communication.
What are your thoughts about public employee defined benefits?: If a person is capable of accomplishing their job, benefits are part of the reward.
Please explain your position regarding contracting out work normally done by staff: In this economy, you must ask why we are hiring someone to do a job that we have clearly been capable of doing in the past? Did all of the city employees quit working?
What is your 10-year vision for South Lake Tahoe?: Tahoe needs to accept change. We need to grow together more. More community events with more community participation and involvement.
What one vote in the last four years that the current council made do you disagree with and why?: The vote to censure Councilwoman [JoAnn] Conner. This whole matter has become so convoluted, I wonder if the parties concerned even remember what started it. And we spent how much taxpayer money on this?
How many City Council meetings have you attended this year?: 2
What do you know about the strategic plan, finances, debt, and goals of the city?: I learned a lot on all these subjects at the Citizens Academy. I think more people should attend the academy and learn about the inner workings of this city we all call home.
Being on the council means working as a team. How will you work with the sitting members for the greater good of the community?: Through teamwork, communication with the council and the citizens, and fresh new ideas.
What should be the three main priorities for the council?: Repairing our infrastructure, finding some affordable housing solutions and bringing in more business to create more jobs.
What have you done to make yourself ready to be a council member?: I’ve spoken with a lot of people in town who both agree and disagree with me. One of the traits I’ve been recognized for is that I am a good listener.
What role should government have in housing for residents?: Almost none.
How can the city partner with the school district to improve high school graduation rates?: We could have some incentives for good grades, attendance, and graduation.
How can local government support and expand job creation and small local businesses?: By lowering business fees and taxes in order to attract more businesses.
If you believe in the one South Shore concept, what would you do to further make this a reality? If you don’t believe in blurring the state line, why don’t you?: We are two different townships with different laws and regulations. Stateline is a 24-hour party community with their own interests. South Lake Tahoe should be more family friendly and family oriented.
What are your views on:
a: Vacation home rentals: If we were to enforce the laws already on the books, we wouldn’t need to debate this.
b: Loop road: It was unsuccessful back in the late ’70s/early ’80s and it’s really not necessary now. If you want to fix the traffic problem, do what myself and countless people have been saying for years: synchronize the stoplights.
c: City streets: We need to find a dedicated revenue stream for our streets and equipment.
d: Relationships with other public agencies: We can’t have this us vs. them attitude. We need more communication on all sides.
e: Recreation: We can do so much more.
f. TRPA defined commodities: The TRPA is great at their original job, but they do take some things a little too far.
g. Transient occupancy tax measure: We need TOT to support city services and other things the TOT pays for. Our TOT is a drop in the bucket when you look at TOT in places like San Francisco.
h. Sales tax measure: Everybody pays taxes one way or another. If the city needs more money, put it to the voters. Most people won’t mind .0025 percent raise in sales tax if they feel they get an equal say in the matter.
i. What do you want the additional sales tax money to go to?: We badly need to fix our infrastructure (roads, equipment, facilities).
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know: I’m proud to have been all around the world. From the time I was born in West Virginia, lived in Tucson, Ariz., for six years, grew up in Tahoe, joined the Army, lived in Germany for two years and came back to Tahoe only to meet the love of my life; and she’s from New Zealand.