Election 2012: Rancher wants more attention for agriculture issues | RecordCourier.com

Election 2012: Rancher wants more attention for agriculture issues

by Sheila Gardner

A 498882

Rancher Frank Godecke is seeking election to the Douglas County Commission because he wants more representation for the agriculture community.

“I looked at the situation and it’s probably been 25 years since somebody like (former commissioner) Herb Witt was on the board,” said Godecke, 52, a third-generation native Nevadan.

He acknowledged the contributions of Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen who served the board 1995-2005 while managing the Mack Land and Cattle Co.

“But it’s been years since anybody associated with ag at all has been on the board,” he said.

Godecke’s father, Roy, served as commissioner in the early 1970s.

Godecke is running against incumbent Doug Johnson. Both candidates are Republicans.

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Frank Godecke spends his days (and nights) managing the 317-acre Godecke ranch which has been in the family since 1917.

For the past two years, Godecke has served on the Douglas County Planning Commission, this year as vice chairman.

“I’ve enjoyed being on the planning commission,” Godecke said. “It’s a very cohesive and knowledgeable group of people. They have a lot of background experience and have been a real pleasure to work with.”

Godecke wants voters to know he’s not just interested in agriculture.

“When I work with various entities, I want to be inclusive of everybody,” he said.

“One thing we need to continue to work on is economic development. It’s not realistic to expect that we’re going to get companies with 500 employees. As a community, we have to work smart to bring these smaller businesses in. We need to show them what we can offer, the attributes of our community,” he said.

Godecke said he agreed with his father’s philosophy of 40 years ago that residential development doesn’t pay for all the demands placed on services to accommodate the growth.

“We need a way to diversify,” he said.

Godecke said he has learned a lot visiting neighborhoods in District 3 which includes part of Gardnerville and southeast Douglas County. The commissioner is elected at large.

“At the Topaz Ranch Estates Neighborhood Watch, they talked about how they feel they get left out, down there at the bottom end of the county. They’ve had power outages, and the water issue, but they’ve got a new GID manager and seem a little happier,” Godecke said.

He’s gotten an earful about the Valley’s water consolidation plan.

“You’re not going to make everybody happy,” he said. “You have to look at the project and see what value it brings to the community. If you can do some positive things, you have to go ahead and overlook the negative reaction.”

Godecke said what he lacks in experience, he makes up in common sense.

“I know the senior (and community) center is long overdue,” he said. “But rather than start building it in the middle of a flood plain, why not wait till the school district moves the ninth grade to the high school, and take over one of the middle schools?”

Despite the rigors of running a ranch, Godecke said he has the time to serve as a commissioner.

“I expect it’s going to be an extra 30-40 hours a month on top of the meetings. I would be able to handle that,” he said.

Godecke said he thinks he is more open to the business and agriculture communities than the incumbent.

“I am pro-business,” he said. “I am in business myself as a rancher. I am not going to be on the attack of any businesses that come before the board. Even a developer is a businessman. Developers made an investment in something. I don’t disparage somebody from trying to be in business, but I don’t believe in bailing them out, either. That’s one of the hazards.”

Godecke and his wife Ann are the parents of three children.

Godecke served on the Carson Valley Agriculture Association by appointment of the governor until he was named to the planning commission, and the Water Conveyance Advisory Board 2009-2010.


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