Nov. 19, 2020, Letters to the Editor

Thanks for support during the election


This election saw many challenges and changes including Same Day Voter Registration, Automatic Voter Registration through DMV and changes in response to COVID-19. Through it all, the one singular focus of our office was to conduct a transparent and fair election.

I am extremely proud of my staff and the many partners we worked with and I would like to take this opportunity to thank them:

  • Douglas County voters that always show up in force to vote.
  • The County Managers and PIO Office, Melissa Blosser and Baily Gumm, for designing campaigns that helped inform and educate voters and Dennis Sanders for faithfully delivering the returned ballots.
  • GIS Department, Matt Richardson, for helping us design and make signs.
  • Community Services staff for the full use of their buildings and staff during the election, specifically:
    • Liz Buamgarter and Scott Morgan for always helping
    • Ryan Stanton and his staff for moving tables and creating lines
    • Recreation Staff, including Kurt Ahart for helping us move equipment and supporting us even when the Community Center was closed.
  • East Fork Fire and Paramedic District and Town of Genoa for use of their building front for a ballot drop off pop up tent
  • Human Resources for expediently hiring 90 election workers
  • Facilities for making 50 sneeze guards
  • Technology Services for providing support and maybe fixing a dymo printer or two
  • Sheriff for being our back up support if we needed them
  • Returning and new election workers, many of whom applied to gain a better understanding of the controls we have in place to conduct the election.
    • This includes about 25 high school students.
  • County Employees that volunteered early and last minute to help us at the Vote Centers including being willing to clean for more than 12 hours on Election Day.
  • My Treasurer Staff, Kathy Kaiser, Leann Teter, Colleen Kollar, Katherine Powell and Michael Troutner, for conducting the second property tax installment at the beginning of October.
  • My Clerk staff (including Tahoe), Nicki Leeper, Regina McDonough, Emmy Dombrowski, Tanya Balda, Michelle Pablo, Shanna Greathouse and Carol McCulloch, for providing DMV services, marriage licenses, marriage officiants and FFN Services to our residents and also clerking and writing minutes for BOCC meetings.
  • My Election Staff, Misha Case, Craig Burnside, Irene Peterson, Mindy Breeding and Jeanne Darnell, for answering voter questions and concerns and doing whatever else we needed.
  • All my staff for working countless overtime hours and changing job duties as needed.
  • Our Election Administrator, Dena Dawson, for her experience conducting elections to able to adjust our plan based on new mandates, answering voter inquires with grace and professionalism and taking the time to ensure all Douglas County Voters and Observers understood the process and the controls in place.

The danger in writing a detailed thank you letter is that I will, most likely, forget to thank someone personally for assisting us. If I did, please know you are still very much appreciated.

Clerk-Treasurer Kathy Lewis


Commissioner wrong about events center


This letter is in response to the letter published in your Nov. 5 edition by County Commissioner John Engels. The Commissioner does not have his facts correct about the Tahoe South Events Center.

Commissioner Engels claims, “When the Event center fails, financially there is an item in the Nevada Revised Statutes that will leave every property taxpayer, in the county, to make good on the debt with an ad valorem tax on their property.”

This statement is false. The Tahoe South Events Center is a project of the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority (TDVA), a public agency created under Nevada law (NRS Chapter 496, Statutes of Nevada 1997). The TDVA will issue all debt and be solely responsible for the Events Center, ensure its construction and operation, and the TDVA, not Douglas County, is solely liable for the repayment of any debt issued for the project. There is no Douglas County or taxpayer liability for the Events Center, contrary to Commissioner Engels’ statement.

On April 16, the County Commission, acting first as the Redevelopment Agency, then as the County Commission, vote in the majority to pledge a maximum of $34.25 million in redevelopment tax increment funds over 25 years to the TDVA for the Tahoe South Events Center project. This is an existing, legally-binding obligation of the Douglas County

Redevelopment Agency. As stated in the Explanation section for County Question 1 in the November 3 General Election Sample Ballot, “If RDA#2 is repealed, the Douglas County Redevelopment Agency must still comply with all legal obligations under the Tax Increment Pledge Agreement.” The fact remains fact that TDVA is solely responsible for the repayment of any debt issued for the Tahoe South Events Center without any risk to the County or taxpayers.

For more information about the TDVA and the Tahoe South Events Center, visit

Carol Chaplin

President & CEO

Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority

How many houses?


Mr. John Engels, bless your sensitive ego. In the Oct. 29 issue of the Record Courier I mentioned that Mark Gardner and Walt Nowosad are allies of yours. That was enough for you to respond with more misinformation about my campaign. Your attacks against me in Social Media, and now here in The Record-Courier are replete with rumors. What you truly lack is information about me.

I've seen your behavior at county commissioner meetings and on YouTube. You definitely have a short fuse.

Your allies no longer claim that 8,000 homes have been approved. Get with the program. They claim 7000. You were almost honest for a second there when you admitted that nobody seems to know how many homes have been approved, because you don't.

How do I know that we've grown at a 1.7% rate for the last 10 years? I researched it in our county records.

What is SMART Growth? I've defined it repeatedly, and you did also in your comments, but you still don't know what it is?

What you failed to mention is that your policies are elitist, anti-business, anti-growth, and anti-everything else. You'rehappy with your good life and you want to keep everyone else from being able to pursue their lives. You can't evenaccept differences of opinions without resorting to personal attacks against those who hold them.

Charles Holt


Thanks for supporting Leadership project


I wanted to take this time to thank all the multiple participants that participated with the 2020 Leadership Douglas County class project. The In Focus project included the completion of a time capsule with various objects donated from members of the community. The time capsule will be placed at the Carson Valley Museum for all to see until 2070 when it will be opened. Again thank you to the following community organizations such as the Douglas School District, DCSO, local businesses, local ranchers and the wonderful residents of Douglas County.

Ryan Stanton


How can Douglas survive


I am confused and concerned about how Douglas County can survive. Recent Letters to the Editor just do not have correct facts, and if this was the guide to their voting, well, "Houston, we have a problem".

According to a "Budget 101" presentation on the County website, income to the County comes from:

Property Taxes - but Douglas County residents do not want more building, so there is only 3% growth in income for what exists now (built, and on the books)

Room Tax &Transient Lodging License Tax - but no one down here wants to improve Stateline, or even motel row on 395, to accommodate families who come along with the high rollers but do not gamble.....

State Consolidated Tax - yes, the State helps us out a lot

Gas Taxes - but Douglas County residents are not willing to impose a tax on diesel even though we have a major truck route and soon will have 2 Maverick stations which cater to truckers

Sales Tax - but while we do not want anything built, and do not want ranchers to sell off their land, we are not willing to kick in what 25% of 1% (On $5 purchase this adds $0.0125.....)

Construction Tax... well, who wants construction??

How does the County continue to provide for its residents with no increases in income? One recent letter writer seemed to blame former Californians for coming up with the concept of the County fund to purchase open space. This writer seems to think that the County has enough money to do this themselves. He also claims most came here to get away from CA State Income Tax. There are only 7 states that DO NOT have a state income tax. In NV, the casino tax used to provide most income, but here in Douglas County, we are not willing to use money designated for redevelopment and economic investments to "beautify" Stateline because it is believed it will "only award the casino's". If you do not want housing, or taxes, then you must support all businesses in our County.

We have a very talented group of people running our County.... How soon til more leave because there is no career advancement, or raises, or places to live?

One more comment about the Rally at the Airport. Our President said to wear masks, and our President said to not have large congregation of people. Candidate Trump said the hell with masks and Candidate Trump disputed social distancing. So, who came to visit - the President, or a candidate? (Kudos to letter-writer Greg Dowty!)

If someone out there can provide an answer to how we continue to fund our local government, please let us know.

Deni Caster


Celebrating Biden win


Hallelujah, ‘Sleepy Joe’ pulled it off! Here are a few of the things that have been dancing around in my head after four days of nail-biting suspense: Old Faithful will no longer have to worry about being surrounded by oil rigs and Alaskan polar bears won’t have to scrape crude oil from their morning salmon; people who are actually qualified will be appointed to important government positions and allowed to do their job; injections of liquid bleach will no longer be touted as a treatment for the Coronavirus; Twitter can deactivate its prevarication detector; the ‘putting green’ will be removed from Air Force One; immigrant children will no longer be snatched from their parents and put in cages and Americans abroad can stop pretending to be Canadians!.

Finally if I may, a post script: our staunchest allies, who were alternately ignored, scorned and insulted by Donald Trump are now celebrating the end of America’s long nightmare with congratulatory messages of hope and cooperation to our newly elected President and Vice President-Elect. I think this is worth one more ‘Hallelujah’!

John O’Neill



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