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Posted on: February 9, 2018

Acting City Manager Jeff Meston Identifies Top Priorities for City

Earlier this week, City Council announced that City Manager Nancy Kerry was on indefinite leave and that Fire Chief Jeff Meston would become Acting City Manager. On Wednesday, an all hands staff meeting was held at City Hall to inform staff of these changes.

“We have an extremely capable team of employees within the City and we do not have any concerns of interruption of services, programs or projects being delivered to community members,” said Mayor Wendy David.

Acting City Manager Jeff Meston has 38 years of public sector experience including; 33 years as a supervisor/manager, management of multi-million dollar budgets, and implementation of national award winning programs. He is an experienced negotiator and has represented a number of public agencies in employee negotiations. In his new role as President of the California Fire Chiefs Association, he will lead nearly 1,000 California Fire Departments.

Meston previously ran the State Fire Legislative Task Force and is extremely well respected throughout the State and locally within the City. Meston created, implemented and led the City’s internal annual City University program which provided extensive training and leadership growth for City staff. Through his leadership of the City University program, Meston was able to meet with the majority of City staff which in turn has instilled trust, confidence and leadership throughout the organization.

Three projects have been identified as top priorities and include; a Snowglobe contract, conclude employee negotiations and complete the ordinance for retail sales of cannabis within the City of South Lake Tahoe.

Snowglobe
City Council and staff has been in continued communications with Snowglobe and will continue discussion of multi-year contract and restoring the Community Play Fields will be a top priority.

Cannabis
City Council will host a public workshop in regards to the retail sales of cannabis on Tuesday, February 20th beginning at 5:00pm and the location is to be determined. The public workshop on February 20th will be an opportunity for community members to contribute their recommendations to the upcoming Cannabis Retail Sales Ordinance.

In addition, the City continues to work towards and implement the following high priority issues and project:

Public Works
With the light winter conditions, the Public Works Department is prepared with the Spring 2018 Public Works projects which include:

• Sierra Boulevard Roadway Improvement Project – this is a two year construction project which will begin in 2018 and conclude in 2019. Elements to this project are very similar to Ski Run Blvd. and will include a new roadway, sidewalks, lighting, bike paths, etc.
• Champions Plaza Phase 2 – This project includes the implementation of pavers with the name and sport of local State, National and Olympic athletes which have been recognized. Honored athletes currently include; Elena Hight, Glen Plake, Hannah Teter, Jamie Anderson, Jonna Mendes, Kyle Smaine, Maddie Bowman, Shaun Palmer, Travis Cabral and Travis Ramos.
• Bijou Park Creek Watershed Project/a.k.a. Whole Foods Project Phase 1 – The project is currently on schedule and the environmental components which will include new stormwater treatment basins, which greatly reduces the pollutants reaching the lake, to be completed in 2018.
• Bijou Park Creek Watershed Project/a.k.a. Whole Foods Project Phase 2 - The City recently received Proposition 1 grant funds from the State Water Resources Control Board for stormwater planning funds to assist with the study and development of a compressive plan to restore the watershed and reduce pollutant loading that impacts Lake Tahoe. The City will be issuing a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to select a qualified consultant team to complete soils investigations, hydrologic studies, conceptual plans and alternatives, and the required environmental review documents for the preferred alternative.
• Property Acquisitions - The California Tahoe Conservancy also awarded the City Proposition 1 and Proposition 50 funds for the acquisitions of three key properties from willing sellers in support of the project. These key acquisitions will provide more contiguous public land that will be used for the larger watershed restoration project. Staff will be working on these three property acquisitions.

Vacation Home Rental Program
City Council and staff continue the aggressive enforcement, protocols and procedures for this program and will continue to monitor its effectiveness. City staff which works on this program include Community Service Officers, Permitting Department, Finance Department and Communications.

Finances
City staff is currently working on the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report (CAFR) which will be released to the public in March. The CAFR is prepared by city staff and audited by an independent firm of Certified Public Accountants annually.

Community Outreach
City staff is in the process of redesigning the City’s website and anticipate the redesigned website to be launched by the end of June. Airport staff has also been in the process of creating a separate website specifically for the airport and it is due to launch by the end of this month. As part of the City’s efforts to expand public art within our community, the City is partnering with the Tahoe Arts Alliance and will be hosting Art Gallery Openings at City Hall on March 5th, June 18th and October 15th.

Acting City Manager/Fire Chief Meston can be reached at jmeston@cityofslt.us and inquiries to the City Council can be sent to City Clerk Susan Alessi at salessi@cityofslt.us
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