Mike Olson does not merit re-election as a county commissioner. His opponent, Barry Penzel, would be a welcome addition to the board, and deserves your support.
Mr. Penzel would bring a wealth of experience and a varied background to the Board. He has a degree in economics from UCLA, as well as a masters degree in hospital administration.- He served 25 years in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel, before embarking on a business career that included being an entrepreneur. More importantly, unlike Mr. Olson, Barry Penzel is not beholden to any special interest group, and would strive to do what's best for the county as a whole.
Mr. Olson, on the other hand, has made one mistake after another as a commissioner, hence diminishing his capacity to serve the community. Some of his decisions have embarrassed not only himself, but also the entire board and Douglas County.
Exhibit A is Olson's illegal attempt to remove Margaret Pross as a planning commissioner (because of her audacious attempt to exercise her Constitutional right to free speech). Olson ignored a fellow commissioner's advice to consult the district attorney, and proceeded to pressure Ms. Pross into resigning, telling her he had the votes to remove her, despite the fact that the Board did not have the power to do so.- He recently admitted to "not understanding the process," but neglected to mention that he failed to follow the advice of others that would have informed him of his mistake.- Instead he acted out of personal enmity.
Exhibit B was the Board's ill-advised decision to not re-appoint three sitting Planning Commissioners all of whom had re-applied and were deserving of appointment. Instead, as chairman, claiming the P.C. needed new faces, Olson led a movement to appoint three pro-development applicants, Don Miner, Jeremy Davidson and Frank Godecke. (Doug Johnson, the independent "voice of the people," was the only commissioner to oppose the change.)- Olson now says he regrets the controversial planning commissioner appointments. This decision led to a great deal of angst and disappointment in the community, as well as several complaints to the Nevada Attorney General of an Open Meeting violation.
Exhibit C is the fact that more than 80 percent of Olson's reported campaign contributions come from The Edgewood Co. (formerly Park Cattle). This is the same development company that sought a Master Plan Amendment a few short years ago to build 4,500 homes in the Carson Valley on land where they only had the zoning to build 225 homes. Olson's other campaign contributions have come from Don Miner and Kelly Kite, both of whom support Edgewood's development plans.- Olson was one of the commissioners who decided in July to postpone the regularly scheduled Board meeting at the Lake in order to play golf at Edgewood instead. Clearly Olson is beholden to this special interest group.
Barry Penzel has been endorsed by Republican primary candidates Dianne Humble and Gary Schmidt, as well as Assembly candidate Jim Wheeler. I urge you to support Barry Penzel as well.