Letters for May 25, 2015
May 25, 2016
Gov. Sandoval continues his lies and misrepresentations about what a repeal of the commerce tax means. The commerce tax was snuck through the legislature by RINO Republicans and Democrats last session to fund the governor's pet project education. Remember this is the same kind of tax the people voted down by 3-1 in 2014. The commerce tax is a tax on the gross receipts of a business so even if the business doesn't make a profit, it still has to pay the tax. And every business, regardless of size, now has to file with the state even if they are not subject to the tax. All these costs, of course, will be passed on to the consumer. Our controller, Ron Knecht, proposed an alternate budget that would not have required any tax increases and is leading the charge to put the repeal of the commerce tax on the November ballot so the people, once again, have chance to vote on this issue. However, the governor continues to spread lies and misinformation about what a repeal means. The commerce tax is only expected to bring in an additional $60 million in revenue in Year 1. However, the state is expected to bring in an additional $400 million in revenue next year, so the loss of $60 million in revenue is no big deal. But the governor is out on the stump, saying that the cuts will "irreversibly and permanently harm children, parents, teachers, classrooms …". Pure nonsense. There is no relation between quality of education and the amount of money spent in government schools. None. The governor is doing a grave disservice to the taxpayers of this state with these falsehoods.
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As a longtime member of the nonpartisan Good Governance Group, I find Mr. Caspary's reference to the GGG (More than Bricks and Mortar, May 18) quite offensive.
To my knowledge, Mr. Caspary has never attended one of our Tuesday noon meetings at 88 Cups, so his statement that we "don't understand that the Community-Senior Center is more than bricks and mortar" is pure fiction or pure hearsay.
What Mr. Caspary doesn't understand is that we oppose the way in which the county commissioners cooked the books to use our tax money for bonds that were approved for other purposes in order to fund the Community-Senior Center. They did so after voters had twice turned down similar projects. I would urge Mr. Caspary to get his facts straight.
What he also doesn't understand is that as a nonpartisan group, GGG works toward finding and encouraging candidates that will be accountable to all voters, not special interests, and govern with transparency. We don't endorse one candidate over another. In fact, on May 16 we hosted and paid for out of our own pockets, a public Forum & Mixer that unlike similar events, was open for all countywide office seekers to state their platform and reasons for running.
I take particular exception to his claim that Dave Nelson "…has little or no understanding of county business or budget…" Unlike his opponent, Mr. Nelson is a true fiscal conservative and has a thorough knowledge of accounting principles that he applied as a consultant to several Fortune 100 companies in the past.
It was exactly that knowledge that enabled Mr. Nelson to expose the money games that were played to secure the funding for the Community & Senior Center. I probably would have used a different analogy to express how this financial shell game looks, but like him, I'm tired of liberal politically correct speech.
Frankly, I like the Community-Senior, but not the way the financing was finagled. The voters of Douglas County should have had a chance to vote on the indebtedness the commissioners placed on every property owner to pay for it. Mr. Lynn appears to thinks he pulled off a pretty clever slight-of-hand. Clever yes, but probably not legal and certainly not ethical.
Therefore, my vote will be for the Commissioner candidates who have pledged not to assess any taxes unless the voters have approved them first — Dave Nelson and Larry Walsh.
Given Dave Nelson's appalling comment that "in the case of rape you love the child anyway," I believe that he should withdraw from this election and issue a public apology to the community for slapping us in the face with this despicable insult. There is no way that this loathsome comment can be spun for anything but what it is, the exposure of a mindset and level of judgment that has no place in our civic dialogue, much less in our County's leadership.
The expression of smug satisfaction on Mr. Nelson's face when he uttered this statement leads me to believe that, far from being off the cuff, it was carefully crafted by his Good Governance Group masters for insertion into the debate at what they considered the proper moment, banking on their assumption that their own rage at our Community Center is mirrored in the community at large.
If Mr. Nelson possessed a shred of decency, and this repulsive remark suggests that he does not, he would drop out of this race immediately, regardless of the fact that his name will still appear on the ballot. A candidate who thinks like this shouldn't even be considered as fit for our leadership. Carpetbagger issues aside (a red-flag character issue), I urge anyone who feels as I do to express their opinion in this forum. We need to make sure that this hateful person does not end up on our Board of Commissioners. Go away Mr. Nelson. We don't want you.
County not transparent
Political campaigns provide opportunity for political bloopers, but a local one deserves public attention. A major goal of our local 'Good Governance Group' is to monitor and publicize occasional lapses in transparency in county government. Transparency has not always been a hallmark of Board of Commissioners decisions as board incumbencies fluctuate.
Accordingly commission candidates David Nelson and Larry Walsh have stressed their business experience and transparency as a significant reason for their candidacies.
One such recent troubling transparency issue arose in the Planning Commission discussion of solar farms on ag lands. I chanced to attend the meeting following the solar farm meeting, where a lady arose in opening public comment period to protest an alteration in final minutes from initial draft minutes of the prior meeting. In that prior meeting Chairman Frank Godecke had made a comment indicating his admitted bias in favor of the solar farm. His comment was correctly recorded in the original draft, but was excised from the final minutes, which would be read by county commissioners.
In spite of the speaker's protest the Planning Commission voted unanimously to accept the altered minutes anyway. By their vote the commission did not distinguish themselves, including candidate Godecke, who as chairman must have had prior knowledge of the alteration.
In speeches candidate Godecke emphasized his willingness to recuse himself when he as a rancher has an obvious bias, but the planning commission incident raises some concern. As chairman he could have prevented the alteration of the minutes as well. There is no harm in being a special interest. Most of us are. His is ranching, and that's OK, given sincerity to recuse himself when a bias is involved. I am also concerned in having one commissioner from the ranching community and another from the not unrelated development community (Greg Lynn) on the same five-person county board, which needs to represent the vast majority of current residents.
Several letters to the editor have made derogatory comments about the Good Governance Group, of which I am a founding member along with candidates Nelson and Walsh. We are criticized for being negative about practically everything, but our negativity is mainly narrowly focused on dubious fiscal misadventures by the Board of Commissioners.
In particular the admittedly popular community and senior center is mentioned. We opposed the financing of the center. Part of its $15 million pubic debt is funding from a bond issued almost a decade ago to build a parking garage in the towns. Six million dollars in garage bonds were approved by commissioners, while plans for the structure continued to shift. Finally, no garage was built, part of the money was used to improve municipal parking lots, and part eventually financed the center.
In the private sector such misapplication of specified indebtedness would be grounds for a lawsuit. In government, commissioners relish having such a slush fund.
We think bonded debt should be limited to the purpose for which approved, and along with tax increases to require voter approval.
Jack Van Dien
Lynn dedicated to Douglas County
Greg Lynn has my vote for County Commissioner, District 1. Most people don't know that Greg has dedicated 20 years of volunteer service to Douglas County. He has employed his expertise to help craft the current growth management ordinance, sat on 35 interview boards hiring personnel from building inspectors to department directors and much, much more. Without any compensation he designed and built the Douglas County Shooting Facility and then 10 years later, due to unanticipated safety concerns, again without any compensation, rebuilt that same facility to ensure its safety.
If you have a question on something that has come or will be coming before the board of county commissioners, you can call Greg Lynn. He is happy to answer your questions and provide the information that you need. I know this because I have, on occasion, contacted Commissioner Lynn regarding his reasoning on decisions that he has made as a member of the board of commissioners. He was more than happy to explain his thought process to me and answer questions that I asked of him.
Greg doesn't make his decisions lightly. It is clear from his comments regarding agenda items that he has thoroughly read the agenda packet and carefully weighed the pros and cons as well as listening to the input from public comment before making his decision.
He won't shirk off his responsibility to the residents of Douglas County. He will not push off his responsibility as a commissioner onto the public.
He has the knowledge and will perform the due diligence necessary to complete the complex tasks required when making decisions on all items including taxes and bonding. Greg uses that judgment to make a decision that is best for Douglas County as a whole.
Let's face it, the vast majority of the citizens of Douglas County do not have the knowledge or the time to commit to the intense research required to make an informed decision on these matters. Are you going to have the time to attend countless meetings with the appropriate departments to review the necessity of an essential service for the county, then attend more meetings looking at the budget, determining the proper source for that funding, the correct amount of funds needed and let's not forget, do you have the expertise needed to address that particular function of the county? Can you take yourself out of the equation and look at what is best for the county, not what is best just for you? Greg Lynn can and does.
Greg Lynn has the integrity, the honesty, the backbone and the expertise to do the job, to look at all the facts and then to make the decision that is best for Douglas County. Join me and vote for Greg Lynn.
Don't need Lynn and Godecke
With news of the Sandoval Supreme Court's attempted assassination of the commerce tax repeal effort, I wonder what kind of vacant mind would think of voting for tax-raiser Greg Lynn or his running mate Frank Godecke for Douglas County Commissioner?
Mr. Lynn has voted for, I believe, six taxes and gotten two successfully passed.
Neither was for any good reason, one to service the debt on the senior center bonds, the other to fund the connectivity project that would create a pedestrian mall around the Lake casinos, with a bit left over for roads and flood control.
Mr. Lynn says he's not happy about raising taxes but he characterizes the nickel gas tax as money that gas station owners were just pocketing.
Just pocketing? Memo to Greg Lynn, that's their money, they earned it. They were using it to feed and house their families, pay their employees, buy supplies for their businesses. It isn't up to Lynn to decide how much money small business owners get to keep.
Greg Lynn's tax-raising antics aren't happening in a vacuum. In addition to the onslaught from Obama's war on commerce, the last Nevada legislative session passed new taxes that will severely damage our free market economy.
The Commerce Tax, touted as "affecting only those businesses that gross over $4 million" requires everyone with any business income to file. And wait until you find out how hideously complex the filing process is and that you have to keep two sets of books to track the arcane income amounts on the forms you'll be filling out.
We don't need Lynn and Godecke reaching into our pockets, especially now.
Worked with Lynn for years
This short campaign season, voters are at a distinct disadvantage, in that SB 499 has eliminated the luxury of time for voters to adequately consider the qualifications of the candidates running for the Douglas county commission.
One of the issues of concern that has been discussed on the campaign trail is the turnover in the county managers office, and the need for continuity of leadership. This is a very real issue that can't be ignored, and speaks to the current fragile nature of our local county governance.
Having served as a Douglas County commissioner for six years, I had the opportunity to work side by side with Greg Lynn and came to appreciate his intellect, attention to detail and his thoughtful and reasoned approach to his decision-making. While we had our disagreements, I always welcomed his comments and observations, as well as his institutional working knowledge of the county and its history.
Leadership of the county is at a critical juncture, and continuity of leadership is vital. Mr. Lynn's critical thinking skills, tenure on the commission, and his broad based perspectives on issues facing the county, are requirements and qualifications this community needs this election season.
David J Brady
Nelson serves community
A recent letter to the editor pointed out that Greg Lynn's campaign ads and the letters supporting him attack challenger Dave Nelson rather than emphasizing Lynn's record of governance on the county commission.
There were several such letters in the May 20 issue of The Record-Courier, like the claim that Mr. Nelson is a power hungry Southern Californian who doesn't appreciate an honest day's work.
That's the Dave Nelson who's been walking precincts for months, talking to the people and getting their feedback on critical issues they want their county commissioner to address.
Regarding the claim that Dave Nelson sneers at local law enforcement and wants to cut their pay, that's the same Dave Nelson who donated $6,000 in leftover campaign funds in 2008 to the Douglas County Sheriff's Advisory Council.
Mr. Nelson is a civic-minded participant in our community who has donated time and money to causes like Project Santa Claus and organized the Kiwanis Eagles and Ag Benefit Concert series that has raised thousands of dollars for charities like Dogs for Wounded Warriors.
There was even some humor, like the letter confusing the non-radioactive Thorium power plant Mr. Nelson spoke about and a uranium-fueled reactor.
Greg Lynn has declared several times that he disagrees with the Douglas County Republican Party platform because, he says, there's no room for "ideology" in local governance.
For Mr. Lynn's information, the county Republican platform is made up of planks written by ordinary Douglas County caucus precinct voters expressing their everyday concerns. Dave Nelson participated in that entire process.
Mr. Lynn, who did not participate in either the caucus or convention, is out of step with the rank and file Republican voters of Douglas County, not a bunch of right wing graybeards at the Heritage Foundation.
Question: Which candidate do these fact-challenged letter writers support — the Greg Lynn who listed his party as "unspecified" on the Nevada Secretary of State's website or the Greg Lynn who filed as a Republican with the Douglas County Clerk?
Vote for Dave Nelson for County Commissioner District 1.
Lynn's integrity issues
Douglas County Commissioner Greg Lynn has integrity issues. At the candidate forum on Tuesday, Mr. Lynn was asked how he could be trusted after voting for the community center twice rejected by voters. He went on a rant that the facility wasn't what the voters rejected.
At the Aug. 18, 2011 commission meeting, he concocted his tortured rationalization recorded in the meeting minutes as, "this project has been referred to as a senior center and he emphasized this is not solely a senior center, it is a community center."
What is next for Lynn's Douglas County? Perhaps the voters will scream "no connectivity plan" as he transfers bond obligations, adding an electric automobile factory to the project, then comes to the voters to proclaim, "shazaam, it is a connectivity plan and an auto factory so it isn't the same thing."
The Declaration of Independence declares, "Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed." Perhaps Greg Lynn requires no such consent, since, as he declared Tuesday, he has "a 30,000 foot view."
On March 7, Mr. Lynn, signed the State of Nevada declaration of candidacy, Form EL101, as a Republican, which declares, "…that I generally believe in and intend to support the concepts found in the principles and policies of that political party in the coming election…." This is a legal document witnessed by a notary.
April 28 at approximately 2 p.m., the chairwoman of the Douglas County Republican Central Committee Endorsing Committee called Mr. Lynn to invite him to participate in the vetting and endorsing process of the party he declared he is a member of and intends to support.
He conveyed to her his dislike of the party and that "he will never be a part of this type of organization."
On May 10, after declaring he wanted no part of DCRCC, and well past the May 1 deadline to apply for the process, Mr. Lynn entered DCRCC headquarters and submitted his endorsing application.
Policy keeps the contents of the submitted forms confidential, however, the committee chair confirmed Mr. Lynn declared he would have no part of DCRCC.
This is the same party he declared, "…I generally believe in and intend to support the concepts found in the principles and policies of…."
The Republican Party in Douglas County is defined by residents registered as Republicans that advocate for policy planks in our Platform. Mr. Lynn can claim, that's "not the Republican Party I belong to" as he did Tuesday.
However, the fact remains, it is the Republican Party defined by the same voters he desires to send him to a third term of abusing their trust.
Consider sending Mr. Lynn a clear message at the ballot box.
Consider electing a commissioner that has promised to listen to the will of the people. Consider Dave Nelson.
Thanks for the donation
On behalf of the Douglas High School Drama Club, I would like to thank the Douglas County Public Employee's Association for their generous donation of $600 for our students to attend the International Thespian Festival in June. The support of our community is greatly appreciated, and this donation will help our young actors to learn and pursue excellence in their craft.
I would also like to acknowledge the continuous support the DCPEA has given our drama program. Earlier in the year, the DCPEA funded a grant which has allowed us to purchase stadium seats to make our theater a more comfortable, and more enjoyable place to watch our talented youth.
As a result of the stadium seating, many more have come to see our plays and improv shows without having to see a chiropractor immediately afterward. Thus, we have had an increase in ticket sales which also has contributed to the funding of sending our actors to the International Thespian Festival. We are eternally grateful for the DCPEA and their gracious contributions to our Drama program.
Douglas High School Drama Class