Dec. 13, 2023, Letters to the Editor

An owl looks down from its perch in a tree. Photo special to The R-C by Dave Thomas

An owl looks down from its perch in a tree. Photo special to The R-C by Dave Thomas

America’s freedoms unique


True freedom is really hard. America has a baseline set of laws under the U.S. Constitution that provide a level of freedom that is not found in most of the rest of the world. Even “free” modernized countries have restrictions on certain forms of speech and or protest. But America is unique in its level of freedom and its legal tolerance of nearly all forms of speech and protest. This does not condone destruction of property, that is still a crime and should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. However a recent letter to the editor condemned the Red Shirt group for their protest and condemnation of recent board members and decisions. The red shirts were not elected, so they should not speak out and allow those elected officials to do what they were elected to do. For sure these board members were elected by a majority of votes cast in the previous election. However, by that logic, should one also sit down and shut up about the elected leadership in the state assembly? Or perhaps the President? We all have the right to our opinions and to voice them in support of or against any elected official or policy. The red shirt group has been peaceful and abided by all laws that I am aware of. They should be celebrated for their proper use of their constitutional rights. Their vocal opposition to board policy is an example of our constitutional freedoms, in the same way all peaceful protests or vocal opposition are. I whole heartedly support anyone’s right to support the board, their decisions and policy, just as I support the right to challenge the board and their policies. But when you deride a group you disagree with because they have a different opinion for exercising their constitutional rights, you demonstrate that power and control are more important than rights and freedoms. And that, at best hypocritical, and at worst is truly unAmerican.

John Collins


Gilbert racking up the costs


The Douglas County School District has paid $129,877.34 to Joey Gilbert Law for August, September, and October. This includes the credit DCSD received on October’s invoice. 

With the current invoice of $40,326.61, it brings the total to $170,203.95. In four months, Joey Gilbert has surpassed the yearly legal budget by $10,000.

Some Board members, as well as Joey Gilbert, have publicly said that the reason for the high legal costs are Open Meeting Law complaints, Writ of Mandamus, and public records requests. That is provably false. Of the $129,877.34 paid to Joey Gilbert, $52,310 was for Board Meetings and $41,481.25 was for General Board Administration. In comparison, public records requests, Writ of Mandamus, and OML complaints have cost $38,132.50. 

For the last three months, I have requested and received redacted legal invoices. My request for November’s legal invoices was denied. Legal counsel’s explanation for the denial was that time entries (dates and hours billed) are communication between attorney and client and therefore covered under attorney client privilege. Why the sudden change in precedence? What is legal counsel hiding? Where is the Board’s transparency? 

It is the public’s right to know how our tax dollars are being spent. Every dollar that goes to Joey Gilbert is a dollar less towards the education of DCSD students. It’s time the public holds the School Board accountable to their fiduciary duty to the taxpayers of Douglas County.

Adrienne Sawyer


Your time mattered


Trustee Tony Magnotta, thank you for your service. I am sending this to The R-C because I want to make sure it gets to you and the community as well. I figure once your resignation is official your DCSD address will disappear. 

Your time on the School Board matters and your experience you have outlined since January of 2023 with the new Board members fits absolutely with my personal observations. As you said, “opinions and comments from the greater Douglas County community (especially staff and parents) have not been respected on any major decisions in the past 10 months.”

I can only hope Susan Jansen will read your entire letter at Tuesday’s meeting. 

Losing you at this time is a terrible blow, we will keep letting people know We Deserve A Better Board.

M. Betcher


Kiwanis Club gives thanks


The Kiwanis Club of Carson Valley wishes to thank the community for your participation and support for our recent very successful Turkey Bingo fundraiser.  We are especially grateful to the following for your sponsorship.

Our thanks to ABE Printing and Copy Center for donating the turkeys. WalMart for the financial grant. Additionally, 88 Cups, Artistry Salon, Carson Valley Chamber, Carson Valley Historical Society, Carson Valley Swim Center, Chocolate Shoppe, Coffee on Main, David Walley’s, Double J Auto, Douglas County Community Center, Especially for You, Francisco’s, Fresh Ideas, Heritage Bank, Main Street Barber Shop, Max’s Pet Supplies, Performance Auto in Carson, Pet Station, Raley’s, Schat’s Bakery, Shawnyne Garren - Recorder, Taylor’s Scissors & Cut, T’s in Motion and Wink’s Bowling Center were significant contributors whose generosity was critical to our success.

Our Kiwanis Club is devoted to helping the children of our community through donations to child-oriented charities and scholarships to county high school seniors.

Bob Wellise 


Carson Valley Kiwanis

Kudos to Citizen Patrol


I would like to give a shout-out to one of the most helpful and least known volunteer organizations in Douglas County, the Citizen Patrol. Granted, I am one of the least senior members of this group and have only been at it for a year but the degree of professionalism and positive attitude among these members in helping the community is profound.

The Citizen Patrol is a mixed group of gender and work background folks associated with the Douglas County Sheriff’s office who perform vacation checks on homes for those citizens who request it for as long as they are gone from their residents. They complete vehicle information (VIN) checks for those citizens at their homes or places of business to alleviate them from having to pay an additional visit to the Department of Motor Vehicles in order to have their vehicles registered. They respond to citizens who have had the misfortune of having an abandoned vehicle parked in front of their home or business by having it removed. They help to keep handicapped parking available for those that need it.

These activities and more are done with a smile and a gracious acceptance of “thank you” because it is always completed with a sense of pride and a feeling of giving back to a community that gives us a wonderful place to live and serve.

My shout out would not be complete without giving our leadership a five star rating; from the sheriff himself to his leadership team and deputies and most closely to us as a group, Cathy Holveck a volunteer herself who does a phenomenal job of keeping us organized, informed and task orientated; always with a smile, a laugh and a thank-you. 

Merry Christmas.

Randy Williams

Alpine View


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