Attributes of a Skilled Councilmember


What traits are needed to be an effective member of city council? And, how does Wendy David fit the needed skillset of an accomplished, successful councilperson?

Let us count the ways!


Without personal bias, a skilled councilwoman is respectful, thoughtful and polite to all. She shows professional courtesy to her peers on the council, staff and the public… no matter the heat of any discussion. She never insults or attacks and always puts personal politics second to what is best for the community as a whole. Wendy has a track record of “keeping her cool” as a city council member for the past four years and she is known for her professional, civil demeanor.

Collaborative Thinker and Decision Maker

City Councils are useless if they cannot work together in formulating plans and or, solving issues. Collaborating is communicating and problem solving with colleagues, maintaining positive relationships with fellow council members, asking clarifying questions, and the ability to make others feel heard. It is the ability to persuade without bullying or manipulating. Wendy has a long, solid history of working in collaboration with others in South Lake Tahoe.

She was the President of the Lake Tahoe Unified School District Board of Education for 13 years, served as the Chair on Lake Tahoe Collaborative for 16 years…her list of leadership roles in our community is exhaustive! It takes time to establish relationships that lend toward successful collaborating and Wendy has invested that time.

Available and Connected to Community

Setting ego aside, a good councilwoman understands that every citizen is the boss. She responds to the public’s questions and concerns, promptly and politely. She values all contributions and comments equally. She respects voters at all times, especially when she is on the minority side of a heartfelt issue. As Mayor, Wendy has held monthly community coffees to get a better sense of the town’s questions and concerns. She has been open and available to all as a councilmember for the past four years.

Leadership Experience

A strong councilmember needs to successfully build consensus and pull a council together. You can’t just say that you understand the issues; you need to be able to communicate that to your colleagues and logically explain your decisions. There will be times when a councilwoman must ask tough questions and respectfully, demand answers. A strong leader also needs to have the confidence to say, “No” when no is not the popular answer. Wendy was elected by her peers to serve as the Mayor of SLT for two years and as the Mayor Pro tem for two years. She has served on:

  • Tahoe Prosperity Center Board
  • Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority
  • Clean Tahoe Board
  • Waste Management JPA
  • Cal Fire JPA
  • Workforce and Affordable Housing Committee

Wendy has decades of leadership experience in our town and the obvious trust and respect of her peers.

Knows the Distinction Between Positions, Values and Interests

City Council can be a “tinder box.”  Funding problems, difficult issues, council members and the public with strong opinions and short fuses. In the middle of this firestorm it is imperative to know the difference between a position, an interest and a value.

Consider these examples:

  • “Children are the country’s most valuable resource.” This is a value.
  • “I want a park with a playground and sport fields where children can play”. This is an interest.
  • “I want a park on Pioneer with batting cages having the city contribute 100% of the funds.” This is a position.

Again, Wendy’s years of community service has schooled her in listening for these distinctions and because of that she is able to lead collaborative, problem solving discussions. Emotions can cloud problem solving. Wendy is adept at separating “people from problems.” She has learned over the years to truly “hear” people, which has led to preserving crucial working relationships.

Use your vote wisely. Choose a councilmember for our city who has the traits and experience to get the job done. Choose Wendy David!