Letters to the Editor Aug. 8


If the Sustainable Growth Committee can't successfully buy the election of our Douglas County commissioners, they will try to influence your vote through scare tactics, false innuendo, misinformation, and just plain dirty politics.

For instance, Jeanne Shizuru, wife of Dave Nelson, states in her Aug. 6 Record-Courier letter that "Greg Lynn will use his years of insider knowledge and expertise for his own personal gain and not for the benefit of us citizens." She also states that Greg Lynn's exemplary service with the county is "self-serving." These statements are preposterous and unfounded. And by the way, Ms. Shizuru, when you asserted that Mr. Lynn is trying to protect his own interest with his comments on the flood ordinance, are you aware that he does not own property that will be negatively affected by this ordinance? We demand that Ms. Shizuru back up her slanderous accusations with facts.

In the same issue of The Record-Courier, Judy Sturgis, co-chair of SGC, states that "Mr. Lynn has a history of applying for master plan amendments for his own projects." She goes on to state that "Lynn has asked for and received amendments to the Master Plan for himself in the past, and possibly will in the future."

Mrs. Sturgis, you know that this is not true " read the front page. If you were honest in speaking factually, you would know that Greg Lynn has applied for and received only one Master Plan Amendment which was to correct a 1997 mapping error.

More SGC falsehoods were contained in John Garvin's Aug. 6 letter. Mr. Garvin, co-chair of SGC, stated that Coalition for Smart Growth has endorsed and is raising money for the campaign of Greg Lynn. Mr. Garvin, if you had checked the facts, you would know that Mr. Lynn has received nothing in contributions from CSG, and that Mr. Lynn has declined CSG's endorsement. In addition, Mr. Garvin, we challenge you to substantiate the claim that SGC represents the majority of voters.

While Mr. Allgeier claims not to be an SGC member, he stated that he has never heard Mr. Lynn voice support for the growth cap ordinance or the advisory measure. If a 16-month effort to reach a compromise as one of the authors of this effort does not confirm support, would you please tell us what does?

Finally, our committee shall continue to challenge and expose SGC's misrepresentations and untruthful statements designed to discredit Greg Lynn's candidacy for County Commissioner District 1.

Gary Thompson, Karl Meyer, Paul Fry, Roger Brekas, Pam Brekas

Committee to Elect Greg Lynn



In regards to "Spires the better candidate" on Aug. 1, sounds like Mike Hayes is trying to get his son-in-law a better job. And at $25,000-plus a year part-time, that's probably not bad for a recent college graduate.

Hayes showed his son-in-law spent the last four years going to college while Doug Johnson wasted his time as a county commissioner. I have an MBA degree plus I've directed 200-plus technical people in the work environment. I can vouch that five years of college is not the same as running a business or a county. To succeed in college you need to listen to the professor, memorize what they want you to know, and parrot it back to them. Sorry, the county doesn't run quite like that.

Oops, that's right, according to Mr. Hayes, Doug Johnson spent four years resigning the chairmanship of the county commission. And according to Mr. Hayes, that makes Doug Johnson a "quitter." I believe most of us know why Mr. Johnson resigned as chairman. But Mr. Hayes makes it sound like Doug Johnson stopped being a county commissioner which is not true.

We know that Blaine Spires and Mike Olson are endorsed by Lynn Hettrick and his Coalition for Smart Growth, a group committed to promoting the economic vitality of Douglas County. Those are fancy words for uncontrolled development and growth. And who benefits from that? Big land owners and developers. I grew up on the edge of the San Fernando Valley and I can tell you what the developers did there. They ripped out orange groves, walnut groves and vineyards to plant houses. Once it was prettier than Carson Valley. But would you want to live there now?

Do you work in construction? There are plenty of approved developments already on the books to keep everyone working in the valley. So why is there so little construction going on? I guess you could say the developers are a bunch of quitters too.

The most positive asset that Mr. Hayes gave Blaine Spires is that Mr. Spires was able to find an entry level home in District 3 and moved there before filing for county commissioner. That must have been quite a feat.

I for one will vote for the commissioner I know and trust, Doug Johnson for District 3. It's that or change the name of our valley to San Fernando Valley North.

Bob Chambers



I am writing to voice my disagreement with Mr. Allgeier's premise that having a developer on the county commission could create a potential conflict of interest. Most if not all of our county commissioners both past and present either work in or own and operate a business in Carson Valley. It is that very expertise that made them viable members of our commission. If one were to accept Mr. Allgeier's position then just about every single issue that comes before the board could conceivably be a conflict of interest for at least one commissioner on some level. That is when honesty and integrity come into play. I know that those are two qualities that I look for when voting for representation in my community.

I for one am sick and tired of one very small, close-minded special interest group trying to load up the board with their candidates focusing all efforts on only one issue that is just one part of what the board deals with on an on-going basis.

The last thing we need on our board of commissioners are more people who have no idea what they are doing other than to push their own personal agendas.

I have lived in Carson Valley for over 28 years and yes there has been a lot of development, but I have yet to see the Valley "paved over" as some claim will happen.

They spit out the word developer like it is a bad thing.

Correct me if I'm wrong here, but I believe that a developer built the home you live in, the grocery store, gas station and retail stores you shop at and even the parks and facilities that you recreate in. Get off your soapbox, get a life and give the rest of us a break.

Elaine Agnason



In response to Blaine Spires' father in-law Mike Hayes and Mr. Spire's web site itself, I am surprised at the amount of hate that Mr. Spires campaign has toward Doug Johnson. This isn't just misrepresentation and misguided facts, they seem to have an overall disdain for Doug. I'm grateful to Doug for sticking to the facts and not participating in this type of negative campaigning.

I find it interesting that almost all of Mr. Spires' yard signs are either posted on grey areas of property rights or on lawns of offices, developments and vacant land for sale. You'll notice that 99 percent of all of Doug Johnson's signs throughout Douglas County are in personal family yards. This tells me that the average Douglas County resident like you and me supports an average homeowner like Doug to represent us in all areas.

In a blog submitted by Mr. Spires on his Web page on June 17, he writes:

"Did you know that Doug has decided how many dogs you can have? Yes, he has! In the midst of the worse fiscal crisis the county has ever seen my opponent is regulating the number of dogs you can have. I'd be looking at revenue projections and reviewing the budget with the local business community to find a solution to our economic woes. How many dogs you have wouldn't even be on my radar."

Running a county involves everyone and anything; from dog ordinances to flood management and managed growth. Unless you are a single issue voter, the county as a whole is equally important.

The fact is myself and 25 other dog owners made a request in 2006 for animal control to include us owners of dog fancier or breeder kennels, dog rescue kennels, pet services, working ranch dogs, service dogs, and boarding for welfare dogs to change the definition in the dog variance and allow us to be included in the county ordinance. It was Mr. Johnson that we asked to represent us to the board and animal control to allow us this request. The 25 were invited to offer our experiences, the change in wording and voice our concerns and Mr. Johnson kept us informed all the while attending to his other issues at hand as a County Commissioner. As trivial as Mr. Spires thinks this issue is, thank you Mr. Johnson for allowing my family the opportunity to legally have our show dogs on our property.

Mr. Spires does not deserve our vote until he gets the facts straight, stops hiding behind mistruths (and a father in-law that guides him into these mistruths) and runs an honest, positive campaign.

Kirk Gillaspey



An open invitation to the candidates for the Douglas County Board of Commissioners.

What is the answer to Douglas County's anemic economy, controversial growth and frightening budget shortfalls? It's simple ... Jobs. That's absolutely right on the money.

According to Scott Neuffer's front page article, "Candidates Forum Fills CVIC Hall," in the July 18 edition of the Record-Courier; "The economy, growth and the county budget dominated the discussion." (120 attendees)

First, the economy in Douglas County has always been dependent on gaming/tourism, real estate (residential) and agriculture. The lack of economic diversification means it is time to be proactive by encouraging and recruiting new and expanding manufacturing businesses who create primary jobs. It's the multiplier effect. Manufacturers bring investment, service and retail development ... Jobs.

The ongoing, bitter battle between the "forces" of growth vs no growth needs to be realistic, fair, honest, balanced and smart. We know a stagnant economy is unhealthy. And rampant, uncontrolled growth is undesirable. However, the "pendulum" (attitude, aura, rules and regulations) needs to be balanced and even lean just a little closer to the growth side. Growth is inevitable in Douglas County . . . It's all about choices.

The Nevada state budget is the third worst in the nation with a 7 percent decline in revenues.

Douglas County depends solely on one industry " gaming. You do the math. Our economic engine (gaming and tourism) in Nevada must never be ignored. However, the need to diversify our economy has never been greater. Manufacturing will continue to create jobs and generate tax revenues. These actions will take our region to the next level and dimension of economic progress and vitality.

I sincerely encourage the candidates to contact Nevada Business Connections and discover who is exploring the capital region (Carson, Douglas, Lyon and Storey counties) to relocate or expand their businesses right now. Just last month, we experienced 26 inquiries with 14 especially interested in Douglas County. You are hot and on a major roll. Don't screw it up ... Nevada Business Connections can be contacted at nevadabusinessconnections.com or 882-8306. Good luck.

Kris E. Holt

Executive Director

Nevada Business Connections


Make no mistake about it. This year's commissioner races will determine who will control the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. What's at stake are any issues where the development community finds themselves at odds with residents' concerns over growth (Park Cattle) and taxes.

However, developer and commissioner candidate from District 1, Greg Lynn, has tried to obscure and distance his political connections to his fellow developers.

Unfortunately, Mr. Lynn's distancing act is not credible. By Lynn's own admission, he is being coached by Lynn Hettrick, the Coalition for Smart Growth's paid political consultant. Since joining the Coalition for Smart Growth on December 2006, the coalition has paid Lynn Hettrick's corporation, Select Investments, Inc. $37,000 for consulting. This record of payments to Select Investments is available on the Nevada Secretary of State's Web site.

Lynn is further connected to the coalition through e-mail solicitations by Don Miner that include Mr. Lynn, on behalf of the Coalition for Smart Growth.

No matter how Lynn may try to deny getting help from the coalition, behind closed doors there are direct connections, and Mr. Lynn is, indeed, one of the three intended beneficiaries of their political activities.

B. Evans



I am proud to support Mike Olson in his run for county commissioner for District 5. Mike has the experience, knowledge and leadership skills required for the job. Through his five-year service on the Douglas County Planning Commission, he has proven himself as a thoughtful, competent leader with a comprehensive understanding of the issues and challenges facing our county.

Mike has a proven track record of making sound decisions for the benefit of our citizens. Because he was extensively involved in updating the master plan, he is committed to working within those guidelines and staying true to that vision for our county. As a prominent member of our business community, Mike knows what is required to create a more business friendly environment and how best to stimulate the local economy. There is a stark contrast between Mike and his opponent. Mike is an experienced, dedicated public servant who has raised three daughters in our community. His opponent is a relative newcomer to Douglas County who views residential growth as our most pressing issue. Mike understands that since our county is working through the worst housing market slump in 30 years, economic stability is our No. 1 priority. Please make the best choice on Aug. 12, and vote for Olson.

Byron Waite



Common sense is the main reason I am supporting Dave Nelson for county commissioner.

Principled: Dave's ethics have prevented him from getting into the mud slinging that some of the supporter of his opponent have felt it necessary to engage in. The county voters would rather meaningful dialog about the real issues this county is facing, as opposed to editorials on why the blinds are open or closed at Dave's home.

Accountability: Dave has consistently supported what the majority of voters have said they wanted. He supports the Sustainable Growth Initiative, which was approved in 2002 by a majority of the voters. He also supports the compromise slow growth ordinance. Both of these measures support managed growth (not no growth) and adhere to the guidelines of the master plan.

Transparency: Dave has consistently been open and forth coming in declaring where the contributions are coming from for his campaign. Other candidates, not so much. They must be waiting for the dead line, Aug 5 to identify their contributors. By that time a good number of early votes will have been cast and other voters may not have time to gather this information before the Aug 12 vote. Maybe that's what their hoping for

One of Dave's contributors, the sustainable growth coalition has been termed a special interest group. I don't understand how a group of people that are trying to preserve the initiative that was approved by a majority of voters in 2002 can be considered a special interest group. This seems to be a major spin effort by the opponents of managed growth and a vocal minority.

Please vote by Aug. 12 and please use your common sense.

Bill Sweeney



What's happening? Is America slowly becoming a sagging democracy? It sure feels like it. We aren't even a "united states" 50 states as far as an established set procedure for national elections.

National elections now have become a free-for-all process - a game of the major players that goes on and on and on. Now, has it been three years?

Television media loves it. Millions of dollars are raised. Millions are spent. Couldn't this money be used to pay down the national debt? Armchair election die-hard addicts stay with eyes and ears glued to TVs. Others, at the sound of any presidential candidates' voice wear out mute buttons or change channels. Better yet read a good book or the newspaper.

Each state sets up its own either caucus or primary at some time that suits "whomever." Nevada went "caucus" because the states don't have to pay. A primary would cost Nevadans big bucks. Smart, huh?

This complicated process is not what I learned in high school. We elected by popular vote. But then that was high school and old time days. Now we have some outmoded electoral college. Now I am a senior citizen. What do I know?

In either case, caucus or primary, a citizen must be a registered Republican or Democrat to attend. The tally of caucus ballots go to some person called a super delegate. But no one knows who this super delegate is or which way he or she will vote. For sure it has to be either Republican or Democrat. This excludes me. Long ago I registered as independent.

But all is not lost. Registered other party folks are allowed to go to the back of the bus and cast their votes in the November general election. Isn't that swell?

Carson Valley folks I know, in order to attend the caucuses and who were not registered as Republicans or Democrats did the American political thing. They simply re-registered as either Democrat or Republican. In November, they can vote anyway they choose, do a write-in or mark in "none of the above."

And that is all I have to say about that. For now.

Barbara Griffiths, Ph.D.



I'd like to set the record straight and correct any false impressions that your readers may have received from Lynn Hettrick's July 23 guest opinion alleging that Citizens for Accountable Government is a biased political action committee and should pay for publishing its findings.

I can understand his erroneous thinking; after all any PAC with which he is associated is biased. Just look at the Coalition for Smart Growth picture postcard mailer we recently received with his endorsement of two developer funded candidates for county commissioner.

According to the Secretary of State (NRS 294A.0055) a PAC is "any group of natural persons or entities that solicits or receives contributions from any other person, group or entity and makes or intends to make contributions to candidates or other persons or makes or intends to make expenditures designed to affect the outcome of any primary, general or special election or question on the ballot."

Yes, CAG registered with the Secretary of State as a PAC fully intending to make expenditures designed to affect the outcome of the election of the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Does that mean CAG favors one candidate or group of candidates over others? No, and for the record, CAG paid for the two-page nonpartisan and unbiased report published in the Political Primary 2008 tabloid in The Record-Courier on July 23.

CAG focused its attention and energies on conducting personal interviews with all the candidates and published factual information that will help voters decide which have executive leadership experience necessary to be a county commissioner. Ironically, this was done the same day Hettrick falsely claimed that CAG had a secret political agenda.

Hettrick jumps to the conclusion that because Gary Pyle serves as the treasurer of both CAG and the Sustainable Growth Committee that CAG must have a political agenda. Not so. Just because a person serves as treasurer of one organization doesn't mean the other organization has some clandestine mission. It simply means that Pyle volunteered to do the job because he's a concerned citizen seeking a more transparent and accountable government.

He complains because CAG interviewers were "professional people with many years of executive experience," then goes on to bemoan that there weren't any employees, farmers, public safety personnel, or teachers on the interview team. I can't think of any multi-million dollar organization (Douglas County) that would select its top leadership without a lot of background research and a face to face interview by professional people with executive experience.

You have to wonder who Lynn Hettrick works for, the voters or special interests? He wants us to read political mailers to get our information. How naive does he think we are? We know those mailers are biased, and only give a superficial overview of the candidate and his or her platform with words they think we want to hear.

For a copy of the unbiased fact-based CAG report, send a request to CAG at P.O. Box 892, Minden, 89423, or mailcag@charter.net.

Bob Ballou



My name is Jim Shiffert, father-in-law of Doug Johnson for the last 19 years. During that time he has proven himself to be conscientious, and always looking at every situation from all sides. Doug has been county commissioner for the last four years and he has been doing the same thing on every item on their agenda. Also, during that time, he has added 1,700 square feet to the size of their home in Ruhenstroth, doing all of the work himself. The stairway to his office and master bedroom is a work of art. To me, that shows attention to detail. Doug applies this to his ability to be a hard working commissioner. He takes pride in his work and his endorsements " Douglas County Sheriff's Office, and East Fork Fire & Paramedic Districts. And, if there was an endorsement from a cribbage club, he would have that too because he's a darn good partner.

In my 21 years of knowing Doug, he has proven to be highly reliable in all phases of his life, such as helping neighbors in their fields, helping me with things I am no longer able to do and helping a recently widowed friend is just a very small fraction of Doug's integrity and conviction.

I am positive that with your vote, Doug will continue upholding the will of the citizens of Douglas County. www.vote4doug.net

Jim Shiffert



You're July 16 editorial about lack of funding to implement the airport master plan is onto something.

The plan rolls out an impressive list of projects, supposedly to create a "world class" soaring and light aviation facility east of the current airfield, sort of a second airport if you will. Total cost in public funds: over $30 million.

Yet, as you said, both the federal lion's share and the local match are unlikely to materialize at that level. Commissioners admitted as much when approving the plan.

But I note that among the first projects out of the gate, if even modest funding is available, will be construction of a new eastside tiedown ramp. That will allow the airport to relocate gliders to the east.

At that point, if additional funding is not forthcoming, the many glider and light aviation pilots who were convinced to support this plan may find themselves exiled to the new ramp without the "world class" facilities that were the inducement for their support.

One might ask, so what?

Well, the rest of the community should be concerned about this, too, because it will clear the decks at the existing "west" airport for the increased business aviation activity, including business jets, that the Pinon Aero project portends. Jets operate up and down our valley, not in a tight pattern around the airport, so have more potential to disturb.

Despite having leased Pinon its land and having approved its initial construction permits, the County left the Pinon project (100 large hangers and several times that number of aircraft) out of its Master Plan analysis.

Instead the county projects that growth at the airport over the next 20 years will be a modest 11 percent.

That number conveniently falls just below the thresholds for anymeaningful environmental impact analysis, so we will have no idea what the effects of Pinon and similar could be on our valley until they happen, at which point it will be too late to do anything about them.

I think we've been sold a pig in a poke. Instead of a "world class" soaring facility, that may never materialize, we'll likely get a remote, hot, dusty ramp to the east, the forced relocation of soaring and the "west" airport cleared of gliders and well-positioned for the growth of business aviation.

All done with little consideration of the potential impacts to our quiet little valley. The county has lots of excuses for why it operated this way, but the sad truth is, nothing prevented different choices. We need better governance in Douglas County.

Terry Burnes



The Supreme Court Justice race for Seat B is crucial to local residents and should not be overlooked during the primary election. Deborah Schumacher is the standout among the candidates. She is currently a district court judge and has served in that capacity for over 11 years. Judge Schumacher is the only candidate representing Northern Nevada.

The county commissioner races are important, however, we should not forget the Supreme Court also directly impacts Douglas County residents. A reminder of this is the recent Supreme Court decision on term limits which affected the town board(s) and general improvement districts throughout Douglas County.

I have personally witnessed Judge Schumacher's dedication to families and children " particularly to those involved in the foster care system " during the six years I was privileged to practice law in front of her. Judge Schumacher respects, not only the law, but the people who come into the courtroom. She is extremely knowledgeable in all areas of the law however she is not afraid to apply common sense.

Judge Schumacher has been married for 25 years and raised three children in Northern Nevada. During the last legislative session, she was asked to provide testimony regarding her experiences as the parent of an autistic child.

Judge Schumacher is a person of character, a wife, a mother, a Judge and hopefully our next Supreme Court Justice. Deborah Schumacher is someone Douglas County residents and the State of Nevada can be proud of to sit on the Supreme Court.

Cynthea Gregory



The annual Democratic Central Committee BBQ fun and fundraiser on July 27 was held at the Hollister Ranch in Genoa. Gim Hollister, the Central Committee Chair and his very gracious and patient wife Joyce had gone to extremes in preparing their lovely property for the event. Enough cannot be said in gratitude for their tireless contributions both leading up to, during and after the get together ... clean-up after the hundreds in attendance is no small feat.

Kate Marshall the Nevada State Treasurer gave the keynote address followed by short presentations by most of our Democratic candidates. Surrogate and campaign manager David Mason spoke for Jill Derby who had a long standing prior commitment and Barak Obama field organizer Rachael Ort spoke for the presumptive presidential nominee. Nancy Allf who is running for the Nevada State Supreme Court joined JoEtta Brown running for the Assembly District 39 seat, Nancy Epstein seeking the County Commissioner District 5 position, Anje De Kinjf County Commissioner District 1, Cindy Trigg Vice President of the Douglas County School Board, and Karen Chessell's husband Bill who stepped in as surrogate both spoke for their individual re-elections to the school board and Robin Bernhard running for the Gardnerville Town Board.

Though the thick smoke throughout the day tempered the hoo-ha's a tad, the three live bands, magician juggler, great food, wine, beer and various other beverages and the wonderful good company combined to make the day memorable.

The number of volunteers who made the entire day happen is too long to list here, but suffice it to say Democrats can be proud of them all.

The Douglas County Democratic

Party Central Committee



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