Douglas County, Nev., Sheriff Pierini wins fifth term | RecordCourier.com

Douglas County, Nev., Sheriff Pierini wins fifth term

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini was carrying a bouquet of roses and a big campaign sign as he came out of Rancho Grande Restaurant in Gardnerville after his commanding victory on Tuesday night. Pierini, 62, defeated challenger Dave Brady, 11,677 votes to 5,266, less than half a percent short of his 69.3 percent primary victory over both Brady and Michael Gyll. "We spent eight months working hard, and we received all this support," he said. "It's a very humble feeling. I really am blessed." Pierini said he felt the message from the community was that he and the sheriff's office are doing a great job. "We have a professional law enforcement agency and people want us to continue that over the next four years," he said. Pierini said he went door-to-door during the campaign, attending every social and political event he could. "I took this campaign extremely seriously," he said. "We started before the primary, we made a plan, and we didn't stop for eight months. We joked (after the election) we'll get up and wonder what three things we have to be at this week." This is Pierini's fifth term in office since he was appointed to replace Sheriff Jerry Maple in 1997. By the end of his term on Dec. 31, 2018, he will have spent 21 years as sheriff and 45 years in law enforcement. Brady said he was disappointed with the numbers, but hasn't given up on the idea of being sheriff. "I'm not throwing out my yard signs, trust me," he said. Brady said he knew he had a uphill climb against Pierini, but that he felt it was important to continue his narrative. "We didn't get across our message that our public safety dollars are not being spent wisely, and that the sheriff's office needs new leadership with a fresh perspective," he said. Brady said Douglas County is not really a safe community. "I don't think we're really feeling safe, as we are being lucky," he said. "It is a matter of time before voters will recognize we do need a change in leadership. That's what I'm hoping for. We're certainly not going away." According to the Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer's Office, 61.93 percent of the county electorate cast a ballot in this general election. GOP candidates fared well in this county that has a 2-1 Republican majority. The sheriff's race was the only countywide race with county commissioners and school board trustees running without opponents for the first time in history.

Pierini, Brady advance to general

Both challengers' combined vote totals in the primary election didn't amount to half the votes Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini received on Tuesday night. Pierini received 6,335 votes, or 69.36 percent of the votes cast during primary. His closest challenger, David Brady, received 1,888 votes while Michael Gyll came in third with 911 votes. Despite the size of Pierini's majority, he will face Brady in the general election in November. "It's outstanding and humbling that we were able to get close to that 70 percent number," he said. "The four previous times I've run, I've never had competition. It's quite an experience to get a good feeling from the community about what they like in the department. People are satisfied with how we run the department. There are no scandals, no problems. People are very pleased with the service they receive and appreciate the hard work put in by our professionals. I think that came out in the results." Both Brady and Gyll cited Pierini's campaign war chest in his victory. As of June 6, Pierini had raised $41,094 for his campaign. Pierini agreed running for sheriff is an expensive event. "A lot of (the contributions) had to do with what people believed in with this agency," he said. "If you look at the other two people, we doubled what they got. That support shows people do not want a change. They want us to continue making sure we keep the crime rate low, and do everything we can to keep being the best sheriff's office." Brady said he's not changing his message for the general election. "The sheriff received $20,000 from four donors," Brady said. "We're not going to be able to compete on the dollars raised. We're going to have to do a better job of getting our message out to voters." Brady said the sheriff's office needs to adapt to a changing world. "We'll continue with our message because it still holds true, the good old boy establishment prevails right now and that needs to change. Our action plan remains appropriate to the time and we need to convey that whenever we can." Gyll, who was eliminated from the race by Tuesday's vote, decried the lack of turnout. "I'm concerned that people aren't out there voting like they should be," he said. "It's horrible when most of the good elections are lost in the primary." Gyll thanked those who supported his campaign and residents who voted for him. He said he felt that the amount of money raised in the campaign was more than should be required for Douglas County. "I didn't have the resort groups giving me $10,000," he said. "That's more than I raised for my whole campaign. It's too bad it takes money to win something like that, especially in a small county like ours." Gyll wished both Pierini and Brady luck in the general election. "I hope the community gets what they're looking for out of the sheriff of Douglas County," he said. Only 14 percent of the electorate turned out to vote on election day, fewer than the 14.65 percent who voted early. Total turnout was 32.83 percent. Douglas County Republicans had the highest turnout with 44.18 percent of active voters casting a ballot. Just under a quarter of Democrats and less than 15 percent of nonpartisan voters turned out, despite having the nonpartisan race for sheriff on the ballot.

2014 Primary Election results

Congress District 2 — Democrat Douglas District *Kristen Spees 540 8,205 Brian Dempsey 563 6,799 Vance Alm 233 3,221 Ed Lee 185 3,163 Governor — Democrat Douglas State * None of these 526 21,718 Bob Goodman 213 17,950 Stephen Frye 252 8,229 John Rutledge 260 6,038 Charlie Chang 100 5,617 Chris Hyepock 131 4,740 Allen Rheinhart 96 3,605 Abduyl Shabazz 260 2,730 Frederick Conquest 35 1,866 Governor — Republican *Brian Sandoval 6,096 105,826 Eddie Hamilton 115 3,758 None of these 198 3,508 William Tarbell 81 1,966 Thomas Tighe 66 1,495 Gary Marinch 39 1,195 Lieutenant Governor — Democrat *Lucy Flores 1,112 52,305 None of these 339 11,508 Harley Kulkin 198 9,366 Lieutenant Governor — Republican *Mark Hutchison 3,953 62,920 Sue Lowden 1,912 42,280 Chris Dyer 359 6,824 None of these 345 5,008 State Controller — Republican Douglas State *Ron Knecht 4,562 56,480 Barry Herr 519 20,815 Cort R. Arlint 440 14,734 None of these 738 15,420 State Assembly District 39 — Republican Douglas District *Jim Wheeler 4,037 5,070 Robin Reedy 2,443 3,012 Sheriff Douglas *Ron Pierini 6,335 David J. Brady 1,888 Michael T. Gyll 911 District Judge Dept. 1 *Tod Young 7,643 District Judge Dept. 2 *Michael Gibbbons 7,817 School Board Area 2 *Robbe Lehmann 7,182 School Board Area 6 *Thomas Moore 7,182 School Board Area 7 *Ross Chichester 7,564

Nov. 4 General Election updates

Update: Final results for Douglas County, Sheriff Ron Pierini wins another four-year term with 68.92 percent of vote. Pierini defeated challenger Dave Brady 11,677-5,266 votes, with 62 percent of the electorate turning out. Final Results Sheriff Ron Pierini 11,677 Dave Brady 5,266 Garnerville Town Board Linda Slater 933 Ken Miller 855 Cassandra Jones 769 Annette Philips 716 East Fork Swimming Pool District Michael McCormick 5,811 Dave Ellison 5,694 Greg Taylor 4,721 Thomas Ingham 3,200 Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District Brad Newlon 1,760 Shari James 1,494 Jeff James 1,420 Leann Teter 1,190 Topaz Ranch Estates GID Mark Bradshaw 248 Wendy Francis 225 Ole Chavez 223 Philip Miller 218 Steven Haslam Nielsen 144 Kingsbury GID Norman Daniel 133 Darya Vogt 132 Craig Schorr 127 William Kirschner 94 Ooli Haskins 36 Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District Kevin Kjer 503 William Kirschner 460 Darya Vogt 341 Update: Sen. Harry Reid just conceded control of the U.S. Senate to Sen. Mitch McConnell. "I'd like to congratulate Senator McConnell, who will be the new Senate Majority Leader. The message from voters is clear: they want us to work together. I look forward to working with Sen. McConnell to get things done for the middle class." Update: With 48.04 percent of vote counted, Sheriff Ron Pierini is still running well ahead of challenger Dave Brady. Pierini has 9,107 votes to Brady's 4,094, accounting for a 38 percent lead. So far, nine polling locations, early voting and absentee ballots have been counted. Only 4,446 voters are represented by those locations. Vote totals for local races Update: With 38.8 percent of the vote counted, Sheriff Ron Pierini has a nearly 40 point lead over challenger David Brady. Pierini received 7,414 votes to Brady's 3,275. That counts early voting, absentee balloting and 1,748 ballots from four polling locations. All other leads remain the same. Update: With early and absentee balloting counted, Sheriff Ron Pierini has a nearly 40 point lead over challenger David Brady. Pierini received 6,282 votes to Brady's 2,759. Other local results show Linda Slater, Ken Miller and Cassandra Jones leading for Gardnerville Town Board. Dave Ellison and Michael McCormick are leading in the East Fork Swimming Pool District. Brad Newlon, Shari James and Jeff James are leading for Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District. Mark Bradshaw, Wendy Francis and Ole Chavez are leading Topaz Ranch Estates General Improvement District. Update: 8:14 p.m. All polls closed, results due shortly. Update: As of 7:50 p.m. Secretary of State Ross Miller reports Lyon County is the last to have polls open. All other counties confirm their polls are closed. Update: As of 7:32 p.m. Ross Miller reports on his twitter feed that the polls still haven't closed in Lyon, Elko and Clark counties. Results won't be released until polls across the state have been closed. The polls are closed in Douglas County, but election results won't be available typically until polls close statewide. Douglas County Election Official Concha Lord said the turnout was better than expected at the polls on Election Day. Results should be available shortly after 7:30 p.m. She said voting operated smoothly. Results will be posted here as soon as they are available. Also visit http://cltr.co.douglas.nv.us

Girls’ Golf: Wurster wins third league tournament

STATELINE – Even though Bethany Wurster represents Douglas High School and Alexis Holmes plays for South Tahoe High, they are more like golf teammates. As good “teammates” do, Wurster and Holmes root for one aonother and inspire each other. For two of the top golfers in the Sierra Division, and the state for that matter, a friendship has formed out of competition. “It will fuel you to strive for something better. You just want to beat them. You love them, but you want to beat them at the same time,” Wurster said Tuesday afternoon following a 3-over-par round of 75 that topped the Sierra Division event at Edgewood Tahoe Golf Course. “It’s kind of like, ‘Oh, I hope you do well, but I hope I do better.’” Wurster, who birdied six holes, finished seven strokes ahead of Holmes, who came in third with an 82. The last of Wurster’s birdies on No. 18 cost Holmes a dinner. “Once I get my scoring figured out, it’s going to be fun,” said Holmes, who believes mismanagement of her game at times prevents her from scoring in the 70s. “I’m driving the ball really well, but I’m just hitting bad irons. I overcompenstate sometimes when I shouldn’t, so I’m 20 yards long, and it’s very difficult to two-putt from there. “Hopefully by zone I’ll get it figured out.” The two friends played Edgewood Tahoe on Sunday in preparation for Tuesday’s round, and Wurster beat Holmes 74-76 by eagling the final hole. Bishop Manogue’s Mackenzie Souers broke up the 1-2 Wurster-Holmes finish by shooting an 80. Alex Phillips, the defending state champion and also playing in the group with Wurster and Holmes, came in fifth with an 85. “It’s the first time all three have played together,” said STHS coach Marsha Butler. “Bethany and Alexis have developed a really good friendship, but they are always real competitive with each other.” Manogue, the defending state champions, were far superior than their division foes on Tuesday, as four Miners scored 90 or better en route to a 339 team total. Damonte Ranch was second with 419 strokes and Galena and Carson tied for third at 422. South Tahoe, which placed third in the previous tournament, finished sixth at 458. The Vikings’ Morgan Murphy shot 109 and Brittany Rumble fired a 118. Team scores 1. Manogue 439, 2. Damonte Ranch 419, 3. Galena 422, 3. Carson 422, 5. Fallon 453, 6. South Tahoe 458, 7. Douglas 467, 8. Wooster 526. Individual scores Manogue: Alex Phillips 85, Maggie Jones 84, Mackenzie Souers 80, Elise Levy 90, Megan Anderson 136, Lexi Robertson 114. Damonte Ranch: Shayla Miller 104, Ashleigh Westover 96, Rachael Schryer 101, Morgan Pisane 118. Galena: Hayley Jensen 100, Skylar Antencio 105, Sydney Atencio 113, Gabi Lucas 109, Rachael Zunino 107, Amanda Parmer 110. Carson: Megan Justice 113, Whitney Nash 102, Elayna Shine 105, Katie Cowperthwaite 110, Lindsay Burroughs 105, Katie Livermore 110. Fallon: Megan Hill 109, Brittyn Tidwell 103, Sarah Frandsen 123, Sara Parsons 118, Ashley Bowers 128, Katie Moore 131. South Tahoe: Alexis Holmes 82, Morgan Murphy 92, Brittany Rumble 118. Douglas: Bethany Wurster 75, Kelsey Endter 118, Megan Welch 151, Bri Burnside 138, Emily Downer 136, Kristen Greenhut 153. Wooster: Alana Crosby 123, Zoie Oberg 116, Karlee Day 130, Samantha Burrows 157.

Some inconsistencies

Editor: Voters sorting through Sheriff Pierini's re-election campaign communications should be aware of some inconsistencies. Regarding sheriff's candidate David Brady's commitment to seek professional department accreditation, Sheriff Pierini's campaign website quotes him as saying: "Rest assured the Sheriff's Office most definitely has not only national accreditation but also employs a meticulous risk management process. Our county jail is accredited by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care." But the sheriff omitted that the accreditation was forced by a federal lawsuit and a grand jury investigative report that was brought due to deficiencies in the jail operations. That accreditation applies only to the jail, not the entire department. Mr. Brady is advocating an operational audit of the entire department and full departmental accreditation by a nationally recognized law enforcement organization to ensure adequate training, improved officer safety, and a higher level of professional service to the citizens of Douglas County. Mr. Brady has pointed out that despite a five-fold increase of the sheriff's budget since 1986, DCSO fields the same number of patrol cars now as it did then: three in the valley, two at the lake. In his website self-interview, the sheriff responds: "Nine deputies are deployed during each of three 10 hour shifts". But in a May 5 statement to The Record-Courier, the sheriff said that DCSO fields "six officers … in each shift 24 hours a day," which would include one supervisor, consistent with Mr. Brady's statement. Which is it, Sheriff Pierini? School Resource Officers, for example, aren't available for street patrol. The sheriff's claim that the 10 hour shifts "provide an overlap for each shift …" during which "… the number of deputies on patrol will double" ignores the paperwork and other administrative duties deputies must perform during shift change. In the same R-C interview, the sheriff said improving the department's technology helped offset "the impact from the loss of $2 million in the annual budget". But a year over year analysis shows that the DCSO budget doubled since 1999, dipping only once, by $226,127, from 2012 to 2013. As to Sheriff Pierini's website statement that: "… we enjoy a very tenured and experienced work force, so many personnel are at or near the top of their salary range," that's certainly true at the command level. As the sheriff said in his newspaper interview, he is "possibly the most senior person in the Public Employee Retirement System". Salary and benefits for just the sheriff and his five top command staff are costing county taxpayers about $1 million per year. The incumbent seems to have a credibility issue. The voters have a right to learn why the county's law enforcement budget funding has ballooned so sharply while patrol resources remain static, and to decide for themselves if they're being overcharged for public safety. Lynn Muzzy Minden

Letters for Oct. 24, 2014

Brady responds to letter Editor: In response to Ms. Hansen's letter of Oct. 15, I find it necessary to clarify and correct some of the misinformation she provided to your subscribers. I served as a reserve deputy sheriff in Douglas County for 15 years, prior to resigning the position to campaign for the sheriff's position. I have served in law enforcement for 25 years, and believe it is important for the public to be aware of my background. I served side by side with the deputies on the street during my tenure and the badge is in fact my personal badge, as well as the uniform. Granted, I am currently not with the department, but I doubt other deputies would find my campaign material "offensive." With respect to the acquisition of the new patrol boat, I consider the idea of using contingency funds for the purchase to be fiscally irresponsible and reflects piecemeal financial planning. My suggestion to the commission was to consider a used Titan vessel which was built by the same company that is now building our new lake boat. I referenced a boat for sale that was similar in price, but had extensive equipment that would have met the needs of the Sheriff's department extremely well and would have been a "value added" proposition. Titan Yacht Company estimated the replacement cost of this particular boat built in 2007 to be $450-500,000, due to the extensive equipment. Additionally, the boat had very limited hours on the engines (100hrs). This was certainly not a "used fishing boat" as she described, nor a "waste of taxpayers' money." With respect to my "lack of knowledge of what is needed for Lake Tahoe rescues," perhaps she is unaware that I served as a crew member on the previous boat (Marine 7) for three summers, and was directly involved in multiple rescues on the Lake. As a former commissioner for Douglas County, I understand the needs of our community and our law enforcement agency, and especially how to budget responsibly while exercising fiscal discipline. Dave Brady Sheriff candidate Minden Sheriff responds Editor: Early voting for the general election has begun and it is your opportunity to make a very important decision as to which sheriff's candidate will serve Douglas County for the next four years. During this campaign, I have had the pleasure of meeting with you in a number of political forums and in your homes as I have personally gone door-to-door within our community in a whole-hearted effort to meet with everyone. In almost every one of these encounters I have asked, "Do you feel safe here?" The nods and applause of approval were loud and clear. This feeling of safety comes from a lot of hard work, dedication and partnership. As your sheriff, I have the honor to lead the finest group of law enforcement officers in the state. I have strived to foster and maintain the relationship we have with the community, which has led our county to one of the lowest crime rates in the State of Nevada. Douglas County has two jail facilities. I am the only candidate for sheriff who has any knowledge of how to run a jail system, which is extremely important, as jails are the highest liability a department faces. I can proudly say the policies, procedures, and the national accreditation my office has implemented and sought have proven effective in preventing frivolous lawsuits and has saved taxpayer's money. I take our finances very seriously and can say that our fiscally responsible methods have not only saved hundreds of thousands of dollars every year, but they have also earned Douglas County an award in fiscal excellence. My agency has never overspent our budget and in fact, 1.5-3 percent of our budget is returned to the county general fund each year. My annual budget is submitted to and approved by the county commissioners. Law enforcement is not a profit-driven business. We are in the business of serving and protecting the public. MBA, profit-based business models do not apply to what we do. We are always looking for ways to save money. Whether it is through grants, contributions, or joint purchasing; we make it happen. But I will never put our officers or our community at risk simply to pinch a penny. While keeping a balanced budget is an important aspect of running a law enforcement agency, it is only a small fraction of the job. The majority of effort is spent on the operational elements of multiple divisions. Each division has its own unique issues, legalities, training, etc. but they all require the oversight of properly trained senior law enforcement officers; well-versed in the intricacies of personnel management, contracts, unions, special statutes and codes pertaining to law enforcement personnel. All of this is very important, but the key to running a successful agency is to do all of the above very well while maintaining a strong connection to the community. In my 36 years in law enforcement management — during which I ascended through the ranks; my commitment to the excellence of our department, my fiscally responsible methods, and the significant endorsement of my officers has confirmed that I have the leadership to keep Douglas County Sheriff's Office moving ever forward and relevant to the changing times. As your sheriff, I bring my proven leadership and real experience to the table. I am committed to fulfilling my 4-year term as your Sheriff and I have a proven record in keeping our department pertinent and well staffed for the community and my officers' safety. I would appreciate your vote to re-elect me as your Sheriff on Nov. 4. Sheriff Ron Pierini Gardnerville Behind the numbers Editor: The Dave Brady for Sheriff campaign claims that "public safety dollars are not being spent wisely" by Sheriff Ron Perini. I want to say that I believe that this claim is a clearly false and misleading statement. Here is why. The claims expressed in a recent Brady campaign brochure stated the sheriff's annual budget had "skyrocketed" from $3.1 million in 1986 to $16 million. While the raw numbers appear correct, Brady's analysis and interpretation are very wrong. At first blush the increase seems astronomical, and that is what Brady wants you to think. The problem is that this representation is a classical "apples and oranges" comparison. The 1986 $3.1 million budget had not been adjusted for annual price inflation, which if done correctly would have made the numbers truly comparable. The failure to adjust for price inflation is a very significant omission rendering the 1986 and 2014 budget numbers completely noncomparable. The omission may have been deliberate since Brady claims many academic and other credentials and should have known better. Nevertheless the omission appears to have led to a series of false claims and representations on the part of the Brady campaign. When the 1986 $3 million budget number is adjusted for annual inflation over the course of the 28-year period from 1986 to 2014, the $3.1 million number becomes approximately $12.2 million. The $12.2 million number is now comparable with the 2014 $16 million budget. Using a financial industry standard HP 12C calculator for all calculations, I determined that the budget growth rate over the 28 year period comes out to be approximately 0.97 percent. This means that the Sheriff's real annual budget (adjusted for price inflation) has only grown at the rate of slightly less than 1 percent per year for the last 28 years. More significantly, Pierini's budget growth rate of approximately 1 percent per year has been less than half the 2.4 percent rate of population growth. Frankly, that is simply an outstanding budgetary management accomplishment that deserves to be applauded and appreciated by all us voters and tax payers. On top of all that he has kept us safe and for that I am truly appreciative. Dennis Favero Minden Pierini best candidate for sheriff Editor: With the race for Douglas County Sheriff nearing an end I would like to offer the following observations: First, I have repeatedly heard that Dave Brady wants to cut the volunteer programs, calling them "nonessential." I am one of the 200-plus volunteers currently serving the Sheriff's Office; I am a Citizen Patrol officer. By being able to recruit, train and retain people that are willing to donate their time Sheriff Pierini saves Douglas County taxpayers approximately one million dollars per year. The various volunteer services allow the sworn deputies to devote their attention to real-time public safety. I cannot understand why Mr. Brady would want to eliminate programs that do so much good and save so much money. Second, Mr. Brady has constantly hammered his point that we are not safe in Douglas County because of the ineptitude of Sheriff Pierini. This is absurd. Sheriff Pierini is one of the most competent head of a law enforcement agency I have ever known…and I've known several. He is highly trained (as is his entire department) and possesses great acumen as a street cop and as an administrator. I believe his deep and abiding love for, and dedication to, the residents of Douglas County are what drive him. I've been greatly impressed by his proactive approach to crime deterrence and prevention, and his aggressive approach toward gang activity is an excellent example. Recently I heard someone say that we have a gang problem here because they saw some graffiti on a wall. I spent a lot of time investigating gang-related homicides in Phoenix before retiring and returning home to the Carson Valley. I can assure all that we do not have a "gang problem" here. Third, Mr. Brady has said that DCSO should reduce salaries and benefits of command staff and raise salaries and benefits of officers. How? DCSO has nothing to do with these items. They are set by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Mr. Brady was a commissioner for six years. Does he not know this? Finally, Mr. Brady wears a DCSO uniform in his campaign ads as if he is still affiliated with and endorsed by the Sheriff's Office. He also has a DCSO badge emblazoned on his posters and website. I find that to be manipulative, disrespectful and at the very least a gross misdemeanor for impersonating a law enforcement officer. I have seen first-hand the high quality of leadership exhibited by not only Sheriff Pierini but his entire command staff. The morale in this department is incredibly high, and the dedication and professionalism are a reflection of the Sheriff. For months we have heard Mr. Brady deliver a message: in him lies "hope" for the uninformed, huddled masses of Douglas County, and he will save us by bringing "change" to the Sheriff's Office. Personally, I have had enough "hope and change" lately to last a lifetime. Tom Martel Gardnerville

Sheriff holds fundraising lead over challenger

Going into the last few weeks of the 2014 election, Sheriff Ron Pierini maintained his fundraising lead. According to reports filed with the Nevada Secretary of State's Office on Tuesday, Pierini has raised $57,185 so far in the election. He raised $12,460 in cash contributions since his overwhelming primary election victory over challengers David Brady and Michael Gyll. His expenses so far have reached $51,640, with $20,422 of that since June 6. Brady reported raising $28,728 over the entire campaign so far, with $7,797 since June 6. Brady has spent $24,897 so far with $5,752 of that since June 6. Zephyr Cove residents Karl and Kim Aynedter were the largest donor to the sheriff's campaign with $2,500. Minden resident Chris Bently donated $2,000, Sharkey's owners Hal and Anna Holder, Jim and Anna Hansen and the Topaz Lodge were all $1,000 donors to Pierini's campaign since June 6. During the same period, Brady contributed $6,262 to his own campaign. Genoa resident Craig Peters donated $250. Brady contributed $5,000 to his own campaign in May and $5,378 in April. The sheriff's race is the only countywide race in this election. Sheriff is a nonpartisan race and was open to all voters in the primary.

Douglas County, Nev., sheriff’s candidates debate

With the start of early voting looming, Sheriff Ron Pierini and challenger Dave Brady went toe-to-toe in a town hall debate in Minden on Tuesday night. The crowd in the CVIC Hall was smaller than it was for the two men's first debate in May, but both took the opportunity to expound their views on public safety in Douglas County. About 100 residents turned out for the debate, sponsored by the Business Council of Douglas County, the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Record-Courier. Former Douglas County Commissioner Jacques Etchegoyhen moderated the debate. The debate will appear on Douglas County Cable Access Television. The schedule will be released later this week. Brady, who got 21 percent of the vote in the June 10 primary, stressed that the sheriff's office could be better run, while Pierini asked residents if they felt safe in Douglas County. "I believe the voters deserve an opportunity for a choice," Brady said. "For 20 years we've not had a contested election for sheriff," Brady said. "The department needs a makeover," Brady said. "If you're going to change an organization, you need to change the leadership." Pierini pointed to his record as sheriff, saying the county had a much higher clearance rate of crimes than the state average. "How many times have we seen change promised," he said. "People are not always happy with it. If you're not going to vote for me then you're telling me I should be fired. Should I be fired because the crime rate is so low? Because our success rate at arresting people is so high? Is it because this agency is doing what it's supposed to?" Brady pointed out that the turnout in the primary was very low. "Only one in three people voted," he said. "We do have a very low crime rate, but that's due to demographics. We have a well-heeled population. To take credit for a low crime rate is remiss." Brady served as a reserve deputy sheriff in the Douglas County Sheriff's Office and was a police officer in Redondo Beach for eight years. "I was a K9 officer where you are the tip of the spear," he said. "I know what it means to work the street. I've worked every corner of this county. We have under-served areas in this community and we need to address that." Pierini joked that he started out in law enforcement when he was 2 years old. A law enforcement explorer in 1973, he has worked for the Douglas County Sheriff's Office since 1976, where he has been a patrol officer, and has been in investigations. He was undersheriff when Sheriff Jerry Maple resigned and was appointed to the position. Brady accused the sheriff's office of being top heavy and suggested hiring a civilian manager to do the work of at least one of the four captains serving under Pierini. He assured residents that didn't mean a civilian would be responding to calls for service. Billy and Brianne Wirtanen, both 34, brought their 6-month-old daughter with them to listen to the debates. The Gardnerville ranchos family recently moved from California. We're new to the community and we want to participate and come out and see what they say tonight," Billy said. "You want to make an informed decision. It's better than a throw at the dartboard." Minden resident Nancy Clapp, 69, had her mind set on who she was voting for, but wanted to get a feel for what other residents were thinking. "In Douglas County we're a rather cohesive group," she said. "I'm in favor of Ron Pierini because he's done an outstanding job as sheriff. When something's working well, I don't see any reason to change leadership." Clapp was also firmly against Question 3. "The automatic response any voter should have for a tax increase is no," she said. "Any tax money we hand to politicians, they'll expand their expenses to meet and ask for more." John Ryland, 74, was also against the Margins Tax. "I see no reason to tax businesses more than they're already taxed," he said. The Gardnerville resident said he was ready for a change in the sheriff's office. "I think a change is good once in awhile," he said. "You can't have the same people doing it all the time. I want to hear what people have to say. I don't think it will change my mind, but it might."

Third of voters have already cast ballot

Nearly a third of Douglas County's active voters have cast a ballot in the election already. According to the Clerk-Treasurer's Office, 9,403 residents cast an early or absentee ballot by the end of early voting on Friday. That's 32.1 percent of the 29,253 active voters in the county. Turnout among Republican voters is running 10 percent ahead of Democrats in Douglas County going into Tuesday's general election. Statewide early voting tallies showed Democrats within 5 percent of Republicans. There are twice as many Republicans as Democrats in Douglas County, 15,491 to 7,224. But the hottest race in Douglas County is a nonpartisan one between Sheriff Ron Pierini and challenger Dave Brady. Both men filed their contributions and expense reports with the Nevada Secretary of State's Office. Pierini raised $59,685 during this election season, receiving another $2,500 in donations over the past two weeks. The sheriff spent $54,919 during the campaign, including $3,279 over the past two weeks. Brady raised another $2,047.18 in the two weeks since Oct. 14, bringing his total fundraising for the campaign to $30,772. Brady contributed another $1,547.18 to his campaign, which gave him the $5,370 he needed for his last mailing. That brought his final expenses to $30,314. So far, Brady has funded his campaign to the tune of $18,187, with $15,378 of that in loans. The sheriff's race is the only countywide race in this election. Voters go to the polls, which are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday. Unlike early voting, they must go to their precinct to cast a ballot. After the polls close statewide on Tuesday, results of early and absentee voting should be released. The Record-Courier's press time falls before then, so results of the election will appear online at http://www.recordcourier.com on Tuesday night and in Friday's edition.