Democrat: Govern growth, don't regulate it

District 5 county commission candidate and longtime Nevadan George Thiel said he doesn't believe the county should regulate growth.

"I think the county and the state should be creating laws that govern growth and where it should occur," Thiel said. "They should not be involved with regulating growth."

A civil engineer, Thiel said he was a civil person, but that he won't shy away from saying what he thinks.

"One thing about me, is that I'll always be frank in what I believe. I don't like creating issues, there's enough out there I can comment on."

Thiel faces Saratoga Springs resident Nancy Epstein in the Aug. 12 primary election. It will be the first Democratic primary for Douglas County commission since 1992.

Thiel was 6 months old when his family moved to Las Vegas. He attended junior high school and high school in Carson City and graduated in 1971.

"When I was in high school I used to have a poster that said 'You are either part of the problem or part of the solution,'" he said. "I've always had that kind of philosophy."

Thiel graduated from the University of Washington and returned to Nevada where he worked for the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection's air quality division in 1977. He also worked for the Washoe County Health Department and the Nevada Division of Water Resources before going into private practice in 1983.

Thiel has been married to Christine for 29 years. Christine Thiel retired from the Nevada Division of Water Resources three years ago as deputy state engineer.

The couple has two daughters, Tammy Mahe and Stephanie Thiel and a granddaughter, Makayla.

As a Democrat, Thiel said he realizes that his chances of winning in Douglas County are slim, but he believes that he may have some influence on the issues in the race.

"That position should be more about the person than their political affiliation," he said. "But if nothing else, I can bring up issues that people can think about and discuss."

He said Reno-Tahoe Airport's efforts to remove private aircraft and Carson City's airport expansion should be encouraging Douglas County to compete.

"It shouldn't be a commercial airport, but there's no reason it can't support a quasi-commercial airport," he said. "We should market it to attract people who will still satisfy the weight limit issue and competing private sector aircraft."

As a civil engineer, Thiel has had substantial experience with flood rules and maps.

He said he opposes the direction the flood plain ordinance has taken.

"It's a bad ordinance," he said. "I understand they are under pressure to approve a new ordinance or they'll lose the flood insurance discount. But I've reviewed the ordinance and I have problems with what it promulgates."

Thiel also argues with using the perennial groundwater yield to determine how much water is available to Carson Valley.

"People are hanging their hat on perennial yield because it's easy and quick," he said. "But no one has looked at all the secondary recharge in the Valley. How can you regulate growth based on water when there are other resources available."


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment