News, notes and features from the Tahoe Chamber

Tahoe Chamber Endorses Wes Rice for County Commission District 4

  Tahoe Chamber  |   May 20, 2022   |   Community NewsGovernment Affairs

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After careful consideration, Tahoe Chamber has announced its endorsement of Wes Rice for re-election to the District 4 seat on the Board of the Douglas County Commission.

Shaped by decades of experience in law enforcement, Wes is a steady hand in the often-tumultuous world of County decision-making and politics. He is not afraid to speak up and support what he believes is in the best interests of the County and its residents and businesses, and the decisions necessary to hire and retain good County employees.

He cites his support of the Tahoe South Events Center as one of his major accomplishments. At the time of the vote, Wes knew the center would be the catalyst for revitalizing what was an aging Stateline destination whose assessed valuations were in decline. Indeed, sparked by the events center, the new owners of each of the casinos are making significant investments in facility and amenity upgrades. And, when the events center opens next year, it will spin off some $700,000 to $1.2 million in new consolidated tax revenues for Douglas County. Tahoe Chamber agrees that the Tahoe South Events Center will be a source of pride, entertainment, sports, conventions, and cultural events for the County and the larger region, now and into the future.

Commissioner Rice understands that he represents and serves the entire county, not just District 4. That being said, he has been a champion for the unique needs of the Tahoe Township. After lengthy debate and public input, Wes helped craft a new, tougher ordinance capping and regulating vacation home rentals (VHRs), backed by a meaningful commitment to enforcement and adding a Vacation Home Rental Advisory Board to help ensure accountability and recommend necessary modifications over time. He represents the County on the boards of the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority, Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority, TRPA, Tahoe Transportation District, and the Douglas County Lake Tahoe Sewer Authority. These responsibilities contribute to his overall knowledge and decision-making. He understands and supports the important role Tahoe Township and the Stateline resorts play in generating the revenues vital to support services and programs throughout the County.

In the Valley, Wes supports smart growth, defined as maintaining the County’s unique rural character while providing for properly located new business and housing opportunities. He knows the County must provide for the needs of families and all age groups who want to live and contribute to the County, including those who work for our businesses, public service agencies, health care systems, and the County itself. To ensure properly managed growth, Commissioner Rice voted to fund the U.S. Geological Survey study of the Valley’s water aquifers. He also knows the importance of prudent planning and funding for the County’s capital project needs, including a more modern and efficient Judicial Law Enforcement Center.

In listening to the candidates and thoughtfully deliberating our endorsement, we also look at how each candidate would fit within the five-member County Commission. Here again, we believe Wes Rice is the best fit. He currently serves as the BOCC Vice Chair, and working with Chairman Mark Gardner, has helped to restore decorum to the meetings and work of the Commission.

In making our endorsement of Wes Rice, we want to commend and recognize the interest shown by candidate Natalie Yanish in serving the County beyond her 12 years of dedication as a board member of the Kingsbury General Improvement District. It is important that we encourage new leaders to step forward in public service. We believe in the sincerity and commitment of Ms. Yanish and while we did not endorse her candidacy this year, she is a community leader worth watching.

In summary, in this election year, our Tahoe Chamber endorsement goes to Wes Rice for re-election to Douglas County Commission District 4.

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