Letters to the Editor for May 23
May 23, 2014
What an embarrassing spectacle our Douglas county commissioners' meetings have become. In both of the two meetings I attended recently, the antics going on among the five duly elected members of the board have ranged from disturbing to outrageous. Commissioner Greg Lynn, in particular, behaves much of the time like a pre-schooler who hasn't gotten his way. That is, of course, when he's not sneering at the people (his constituents) who come to the meeting to share their opinions about the issues at hand. And he doesn't merely grimace, he actually says, out loud, comments that indicate those in the public who show up to participate are inconvenient and are getting in the way of the board conducting the county's business.
Perhaps Commissioner Lynn has convinced himself that he's under some kind of cloak of protection since no one ran against him in the last election. I've heard Commissioner McDermid has declared herself "mandated" to do as she pleases since she was unopposed this cycle. We voters need to let them know we expect them to reflect our will, not their own, particularly when their will ends up burdening all of us with a huge debt as in the case of the voter-rejected Senior Community Center. Recent decisions regarding water rates and further development in the valley also come to mind.
I'm warming up to the idea of a recall in the case of Commissioner Lynn. He actually has the gall to stick his finger in the face of those who happen to disagree with him (fellow commissioners as well as other attendees at the meetings who dare to speak out during public comment) and call them names and accuse them of creating trouble. Such rudeness should come with a pricetag. I also am still festering over his quoted remarks (in The R-C Feb. 27, 2014 article entitled, "Ceremony tops out 40 years' labor") that he was glad the Senior Community Center proposal "was defeated twice at the polls in the past," because the building the commissioners got to authorize was "at least triple what the original proposal was going to be." In other words, the voters would never have gone for a project that grandiose and expensive. To get that necessitated an end run around the will of the taxpayers of the county.
It's time for the people footing the bills to take notice. These are our elected representatives. We should demand they conduct themselves with courtesy and respect and that they honor those who put them in office. They need to remember that they serve us, not the other way around. A good start in sending that message would be to replace Commissioner Lynn.
Jobs Peak Ranch
Republican politics has changed
I took the opportunity May 3, to visit the Douglas County Republican Central Committee Headquarters. My reason for visiting was to see what candidates' campaign materials might be available. It came as a surprise to me when the worker at the headquarters began to express her personal opinions, which were not particularly positive about one or more of the Republican candidates' running for office in the June 10 primary. I do not consider myself politically active in county politics, but I didn't feel it was appropriate for someone to be promoting one Republican candidate to the exclusion of other Republican candidates. Politics sure has changed in Douglas County.
Reedy not who she seems
I've attended three candidate forums for Assembly District 39 and I've found that the challenger's message is losing credibility.
She claims to be a conservative Republican, but she refuses to follow Assemblyman Wheeler and sign the ATR Taxpayer Protection Pledge.
It's assemblyman Wheeler who has been rated number one conservative legislator by the American Conservative Union, Nevada Policy Research Institute and Citizens Outreach. The Nevada Republican Party and the National Rifle Association have endorsed Assemblyman Wheeler over his opponent based on his performance in office. Perhaps her campaign slogan should be, "I'm conservative, too, only less."
The challenger claims signing the tax pledge would signal negotiating inflexibility to Democrat lawmakers. But we still don't know what legislation she's so eager to craft with her friends across the aisle that she's willing to chuck one of her party's core principles.
The challenger claims to be a leader in the Republican Party, but she hasn't been active in the party for years. In fact, her campaign signs don't even say "Republican." It's hard to lead a party when as far as current membership is concerned, your picture may as well be on a milk carton. In each forum she talks about her past glory days in the party, kind of like my cousin who's always bragging about his high school football trophies.
When asked who was funding her campaign, Wheeler's opponent credited friends and family. I'm betting when the next C & E's come out we'll see cash from the same lobbying groups that lavishly supported the "Republican" Wheeler defeated last election. These are the firms that represent government contractors; tax increases are good for them, bad for the Nevada economy.
When asked why she was running to unseat Assemblyman Wheeler, she said, "I think I can do a better job." But as she says at every forum, "Facts matter".
Better how, exactly?
Common Core approved by state board of education
I guess if you keep saying it, people will think it's true.
Gov. Jim Gibbons, the governor's office and any staff had nothing to do with Common Core. It was the National Governor's Association which proposed the standards — an organization Gibbons rarely attended. Common Core was approved by the Board of Education.
Prior to Gov. Sandoval's legislatively approved changes, only the State Board of Education could approve any curriculum standards.
Any attempt to attach the candidate for Assembly District 39, Robin Reedy, to Common Core is just a distortion of fact by her opponent's campaign. But never let the facts get in the way.
Wheeler a true conservative
Jim Wheeler has proven by his actions that he is a true conservative. His opponent only says that she is a conservative, but some of her actions may not indicate that she is. Why would any "conservative" want to abandon the man who has been voted Northern Nevada's No. 1 highest rated conservative by the Nevada Policy Research Institute? Why would the voters want to replace him by someone who has no track record and has never proven herself to be a loyal conservative Republican? Assemblyman Wheeler has consistently kept his promises by voting against increased taxes, and against expanding our already over-bloated government. Wheeler represents his constituents. Now isn't that what we vote for? Representation.
Wheeler is no leader
There is something far more disturbing than Jim Wheeler's gaff that he would vote for slavery if that's what his constituents wanted. The truly alarming revelation is Mr. Wheeler's lack of understanding of his role as an elected official. We do not elect our leaders to react to our every whim; we elect them because we have confidence in their judgment, confidence that they will apply the necessary diligence to the complex and disparate issues that characterize civic affairs, and then vote on those issues to the greatest good of the greatest number of their constituents. That is the foundation of our Republican form of representative governance and our shield against mob rule. Politicians fail us if they believe they are elected to respond to every demand of one faction or another of their electorate. I'm looking for experience, integrity and the willingness to tackle difficult issues for all the people in Assembly District 39; that is why I will cast my early vote for Republican conservative Robin Reedy when the early voting poles open on May 24.
Wheeler shows true feelings
Per the County Clerk-Treasurer's home page, the breakdown on registered voters is approximately 17,000 Republicans, 9,000 Democrats and 8,000 others.
Therefore, a candidate for election to a public office within Douglas County needs to file as a Republican, regardless of their actual beliefs, if they wish to have any chance for election.
I believe that within the Republican Party there is a group more interested in promoting their own special interests rather than being a government for the people.
Remember when the majority of the voters voted for growth controls but the commissioners spent taxpayer money fighting against them? That money might have been better spent on roads.
Remember the commissioner, having met his term limits, stated the issue of safe water for the North Valley had been an issue for his 12 years in office, but had never reached a stage where it was put on an agenda even though it was pushed by the Town of Minden? More important issues may have been a road from Highway 50, through Carson City to the Clear Creek project, or the development on the east side of Highway 395 in the North Valley Area, or any of the developments on the west side of the Valley that now have water problems of their own.
Many of these are still unresolved and involve financial issues.
Remember the commissioner, favored at one time, who at re-election time was "dumped" in favor of a candidate that had lived in the area for a relative short time? Guess he voted against them too many times.
Remember the commissioner, having lost the majority in their district but winning county wide, removed their opponent from the position on the County Planning Commission? The replacement to the Planning Commission had been previously voted out of public office.
I feel this special interest group seems to consistently favor the developers.
Just recently, they have failed in their various attempts to discredit assemblyman Jim Wheeler who defeated their candidate in his run for re-election. Now I believe they now hope to use the gender vote to replace him.
I have always been registered as an independent but have changed to a Republican registration so that I can vote for Mr. Wheeler in the coming primary.
I have no objections against his opponent, but I feel it will be great to vote for a candidate who has shown he truly feels it is his duty to vote per the desires of the majority of his constituents…not special interest groups.
Change drives vision
I found the May 9 guest opinion in The R-C by Richard Clark very instructional. He pointed out many reasons why Sheriff Ron Pierini has been of service to Douglas County, and I appreciate knowing these things. But, I disagree with his final argument that we have no need for change.
As a former firefighter, I know that no matter how well you do your job, change is inevitable and necessary for progress to take place.
I recently attended a sheriff's candidate forum. I was impressed that former commissioner Dave Brady appears to have an aggressive plan to evaluate and improve the sheriff's office. He mentioned having an operational audit and comprehensive interviews with current personnel. These are steps I can identify as understanding the strengths, and more importantly, weaknesses of the organization.
Mr. Brady also stated he wants national accreditation that would assist the organization to make adjustments to improve its ability to meet changing safety needs of the community.
Why do we need change? Try fresh ideas … vision.
Lucky to have our sheriff
In Douglas County, we have a sheriff's office and court where you can go any day of the week for various information, records, report a crime, get fingerprinted, buy a concealed weapon license, buy a liquor license, sit in on a particular case, etc. You are greeted at the door by friendly faces and compassionate personnel. Remember the team is only as good as its leader. Become informed.
There are many volunteer support groups that help to complement the department for the safety and welfare of the community. There is the search and rescue who can be called out in the middle of the night, during snowy weather to isolated locations. There is the posse, citizen patrol personnel, lake boat patrol. Any of these well trained volunteer personnel may be called upon to do anything from control traffic at an accident scene to find your lost loved one.
There are programs to educate students from elementary school through high school; from the DARE program to Safety Street to the Explorer program. There are so many programs to help our residents be safe beyond just seeing a black and white vehicle driving down any road at any time in Douglas County. There is the clerical support staff who keeps things going so the officers can stay focused on their job in the field.
Ask yourself why you live in Douglas County? Most people who came from somewhere else, say the friendliness of the people. There are reasons why we are and can be friendly. Did you come from an area where you saw cars with dark tinted windows so that no one could see who or what was inside the vehicle? Did you see graffiti on fences and buildings? Did you come from a place where those wrought iron security doors and windows were quite visible? Did everyone have a peep hole on their door? When you passed someone in a parking lot did you drop your head and not make eye contact? Were you always looking over your shoulder aware of your surroundings?
Well, you now live in Douglas County and you see people walking, bicycling; porches with chairs and lovely plants on them, yards with children's bicycles parked. You are not afraid to be in your front yard or let your children play there. You look people in the eye and greet them with a kind word. You do the best you can to keep debris from your own home and your neighborhood. You feel comfortable and safe. You can go to a free concert in the park, see a movie in the park, go to a pond and fish. Do you think this happens by accident? No, you can feel that way because of the eyes and ears of the dedicated who help keep it that way. Those who solve crimes and situations in a speedy and efficient manner for the benefit of you and me.
That's why I'm supporting Ron Pierini for Douglas County sheriff.
Voting is a gift
I recently lost a fellow veteran and mentor to cancer. Last year Steve called to say farewell and remind me to never stop fighting for what is right. He reminded me what a gift America is when almost 1.4 million troops have given their lives to found her and keep her free so that We The People may exercise the freedom we're born with.
Being actively involved in politics in Nevada for about five years, I have seen there are wizards behind the curtains pulling on the strings. These experiences helped me know politics. Unfortunately, many candidates run for office that do not know their party platform, the principles of the people of their party.
Let's clear up the misleading excuse about taxes. Some "Republicans" refuse to sign the "Taxpayer Protection Pledge," telling us it is because their negotiating positions would be weakened. They think you are too stupid to understand what really goes on behind the curtain. If an elected official signed the pledge and goes to negotiate, his opponents know he will not support wasteful taxes. Opponents would be forced to negotiate towards wiser use of our hard-earned tax dollars. That is a strengthened negotiating position.
We have seen reporting on emails from wealthy consultants directing the votes of some of our Nevada legislators. Some of these same consultants are applying to open lucrative medical marijuana stores, approved in the last session by the elected officials supported by these same elitist consultant overlords. This is the definition of crony capitalism. My friend called it stealing from the people.
We can and should disagree and debate about what kind of state we want. However, once the people establish their principles in their party platform, elected officials that ignore those principles exhibit a lack of integrity. Did you raise your children to ignore the rules again and again? Would you marry a person that tells you one thing but always seems to do another?
Our June 10 primary election gives us the opportunity to select candidates we'll send to represent us against those with completely different values. How can candidates that don't respect our principles, or participate in our party, be trusted to represent us?
Let's do the best we can to keep a focus on these wonderful gifts called America and her Constitution. They are only as strong and enduring as our sincere love, respect for and support of them.
The opportunity, you ask? As my mentor Steve used to say, "Life is complicated, but I chose a simpler view: we should each work as hard as we can to leave the wood pile higher than we found it." Ignore the advertising blitz, look behind the curtain, and choose the candidates that can be trusted to respect our values. I'll see you at the polls.
Open letter to Valley drivers
When driving on any road such as 395, please do not stop in the travel lane to allow a car to enter the road from a driveway or parking lot. You may think you are performing a random act of kindness, but it's dangerous. The driver behind you may not be prepared to stop and a collision will result. Let's stick to the rules of the road we have all agreed on and not make up our own.