May 29, 2024, R-C Letters to the Editor

Douglas County commissioners Danny Tarkanian, Sharla Hales, Wes Rice and Walt Nowosad have their picture taken at the Vietnam Moving Wall on Friday.

Douglas County commissioners Danny Tarkanian, Sharla Hales, Wes Rice and Walt Nowosad have their picture taken at the Vietnam Moving Wall on Friday.
Photo by Kurt Hildebrand.

Editor’s Note: The deadline for the last Letters to the Editor column before the election is 5 p.m. Friday. Please ensure your street address and phone number is included.

Tarkanian listens


I hear more and more people saying they’re not going to vote because “their votes don’t count, and no one listens to them anyways.” I still believe that every vote matters and if you want your voice to be heard, then you need to cast that vote for someone who actively listens to their constituents and provides genuine feedback. Danny Tarkanian is that candidate. I have voted in every Douglas County election since 1986 and Mr. Tarkanian is the only Commissioner in all of those years to have answered each and every query I have posed him with grace and consistency. That doesn’t mean we’ve always agreed but it does mean that he listened, and he took the time to address my concerns while explaining his stance as regards the bigger picture. He sends out an e-mail both pre and post the BOCC meetings identifying what will be voted on and the result of those votes. He includes footnotes regarding why he voted the way he did as well as outlining what he believes the outcome will mean for Douglas County residents. He was excoriated for his e-mails by his fellow Commissioners who seemed to think he was telling tales out of school and felt he was being too transparent with us, the voters. Ironically the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners have now begun publishing the “Board Buzz” - a recap of meetings. Danny Tarkanian is community oriented as evidenced by his “Spotlight on Small Businesses”, his focus on getting shelter animals adopted, and his family friendly “Tark in the Park” Labor Day BBQ.  He is accessible, accountable, transparent and continues to make me feel heard. 

Lori McCaskill


McKalip best for commissioner


James McKalip is the best person to serve as county commissioner and I urge a vote for him in the upcoming Republican primary. 

First, he is a loyal Republican, having provided outstanding leadership to Douglas County Republicans. Contrast that to his opponent, Commissioner Tarkanian, who seems to be proud to support Democrats and challenge our incumbent Republican Congressman.

Second, McKalip listens to local citizens and will work for their best interests. Commissioner Tarkanian too often pushes proposals at the request of people outside Douglas County, while taking their thousands of dollars in campaign money.

Third, McKalip has promised to continue issuing frequent reports on county business. And I expect they will be unbiased, and not contain the personal attacks that have frequently been used by Commissioner Tarkanian.

Fourth, I expect Mr. McKalip to continue his many years of dedicated service to the people of Douglas County. It would be unfortunate if Commissioner Tarkanian continues his priority of running for a new office every two years.

Kirk Walder

Zephyr Cove

Voting for Tarkanian


I am writing to encourage Douglas County voters to return Danny Tarkanian to the County Commission for at least one more term. I have only lived in Douglas County for 20 years, but I still can’t remember a more thoughtful, concerned and dedicated County Commissioner. He has kept us informed on a regular basis via emailed messages, and in that endeavor he has also spent time publicizing small businesses and recognizing those who make our beautiful environment even more enjoyable. 

I understand unaccountably that Danny is being opposed by “big money” and “special interests”. That sounds like the backing of our current federal government. Let’s not duplicate it here in Douglas County.

Thanks for having read this.

Phil Miller

Topaz Ranch Estates

Tarkanian cares


It is often said that “politics is a dirty business,” but I am here to tell you about a man who actually cares about the people which to me is a characteristic of integrity. That man is our current County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian, and the good news is you have the opportunity to vote him in for another four-year term.

Recently, I caught up with a good friend whose husband has suffered numerous heart attacks over the last two years, with the most recent one occurring a month ago. Having hailed from Las Vegas to Douglas County some years ago, they knew Danny from helping in prior campaigns. When Danny learned of the most recent heart attack, he encouraged them to get a second opinion from his cardiologist, “the best,” in Las Vegas. In fact, it was Danny who called and made their appointment when he found out they were told they could not be seen until August 1. Danny didn’t just leave it at that, he has been calling and/or texting at a minimum every other day wanting to keep apprised of her husband’s status. 

Their trip for a 2nd opinion resulted in a triple bypass only days after their consultation with the cardiologist. My friend said it was Danny’s insistence on getting another opinion through his calls and texts that has saved her husband’s life and will give him many more years of quality living. 

Those of you who receive Danny’s pre & post Commissioner’s meeting newsletters know that Danny is the “people’s Commissioner” for his issue and voting transparency plus his promotion of local Douglas County businesses and events. Keeping his constituents informed about important county business, being up front about how he voted on various issues and why, are just good constituent services. I hope you will consider keeping Danny as one of our Douglas County Commissioners.

Ed Hayes


Jansen’s slur unacceptable


The community deserves to know the true character of those we elect as school board trustees, so I believe it’s important that I share the public comment I made during the May 21, DCSD school board meeting. I hope Trustee Susan Jansen will read this letter, as she had stormed out of the meeting just prior to my opportunity to speak. 

As the proud father of two children who are intellectually disabled and students within the Douglas County School District, I am compelled to express my profound disappointment and repulsion at Trustee Jansen’s use of the r-slur in a public meeting, which was directed in a derogatory fashion at members of the public. This word is not only offensive but also dehumanizing, and its use by anyone is unacceptable. However, it is particularly egregious when uttered by someone in a position of leadership and influence over our students with disabilities.

To those who might consider defending Trustee Jansen’s remarks as merely a terrible choice of words, I caution you to think twice. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated incident. Trustee Jansen used the same slur during a meeting in my office on July 6, 2023. President Burns was a witness to this incident, but not surprisingly, he failed to denounce her comment.

I made it clear to Trustee Jansen then that such language was unacceptable, and I will not let this latest incident pass without defending my two children and all other students who deserve respect and dignity.

Our school board members should exemplify the values of respect and inclusivity that we strive to teach our children. Trustee Jansen’s repeated use of such offensive language demonstrates a severe lack of empathy and respect for those who are different from her. This behavior is unbecoming of a trustee and is a betrayal of the trust placed in her by the community.

I implore the board to take immediate and decisive action to address this matter, as silence is complicit. Trustee Jansen’s conduct is unacceptable and undermines the integrity of our school district. Our children deserve leaders who model kindness, respect, and understanding; all traits which Trustee Jansen appears to lack.

Keith Lewis


$137,387 to fight records request


Douglas County School District paid its attorney $65,387 to fight a request for specific text and email records of four trustees (Jansen, Burns, Dickerson, and Englekirk). I verified this amount through my own public records request. At the March 27, 2024, court hearing, I learned that the school district’s decision not to produce the records was made solely by those four trustees, not the superintendent or any district employees, and that the decision was indefensible. I watched as those four trustees, in an act of total capitulation, agreed to produce the records and committed the district to pay more than $72,000 to the attorney representing the public records requestors.

The four trustees’ indefensible decision to withhold records lawfully required to be provided has cost our school district $137,387. This money should have been used to educate our children. Understandably, the other three trustees are expecting that the four culpable trustees should pay at least some portion of the cost, as state law provides. This is a fair outcome, given that they made the decision to withhold the records contrary to state law and DCSD’s own policy without consulting anyone in the school district. 

The requested text messages and emails might show multiple violations of the open meeting law or other improprieties. They also might show nothing. Either way, the law required they be produced. The inexcusable decision by the four trustees to ignore the law and not comply with the school district’s own policy cost the district $137,387 thus far. That expense is directly attributable to the four’s failure to comply with the law and the school district’s policy.  Jansen, Burns, Dickerson and Englekirk should be accountable for their actions and not expect the school district to pick up the tab for their illegal actions.

Jim Hales


Dwyer still best superintendent candidate


I am writing in response to Gwen Blanc’s letter “Religion in public schools?” from May 22, 2024. I completely agree with Gwen. Doug Englekirk’s reason for why he felt he had to vote against Ms. Dwyer’s appointment as superintendent exposed his own negligence. He offered unsubstantiated accusations of things that were reported to him to have happened at school. Why, if he was so concerned, didn’t he report it to Ms. Dwyer, the acting superintendent, so it could be investigated? Instead, by some twisted logic, he decided it was a reason to vote against Ms. Dwyer.

The result is a costly, disruptive, unprofessionally conducted search for a new superintendent. The board’s lack of expertise and knowledge for managing a professional search for a new superintendent was on display at the May 21 school board meeting. According to their own review and discussion of the candidates, none of the 3 candidates they settled on interviewing for the position were exceptional or had the requisite experience. 

This is happening while they have in front of them, an experienced, effective, professional, and proven superintendent. Ms. Dwyer knows the community, is respected by the teachers, students, and parents and has been doing the job under challenging circumstances. Instead of moving forward with the interests of the community and students in mind, too many members of the school board seem to be more interested in serving their own agenda.

As Gwen said of Doug, “he should be ashamed”. He has said on several occasions that he doesn’t have the time for serving on the board that other members do. Apparently he shouldn’t be running for re-election!

Elizabeth Valdes


Too busy for office


On at least three occasions, Douglas County School District Trustee Doug Englekirk has said publicly he’s too busy with his construction business to respond, or even read, all the emails from his constituents. He just doesn’t have time to regularly visit the schools in his Lake Tahoe district. 

The most recent comment was at the Business Council of Douglas County Town Hall meeting May 22. 

Let’s help Doug out, and elect Erinn Miller for District 3. That way, Doug won’t have to neglect his business or his promise as a trustee to serve his constituents.

Sheila Gardner


Thanks for funding cat facility


 Thank you Commissioners Tarkanian and Gardner.

If you have been to the Douglas County cat facility at the Animal Shelter, you probably noticed that it is old, sinking, and holds only 6 cats. We want to take this opportunity to thank Commissioners Danny Tarkanian and Mark Gardner for their leadership in helping to fund a replacement for this inadequate, failing cat facility. As a result of their leadership, private donors and volunteers we will work with the County to build a replacement cat facility that will be a substantial improvement! Please contact DAWG at dawg.douglascountynv@gmailcom if you want to help fund or build this new structure. 

We also want to thank Commissioner Tarkanian for his consistent support for Douglas County animals these past four years. Many hard to adopt animals have found homes through his efforts. Thank you.

Kathryn Dodge 

President, Douglas Animal Welfare Group

Thanks for support


On behalf of the Heritage Park Garden committee of volunteers we would like to express our sincerest thanks to our community for their generous support of our Annual Heritage Park Gardens Plant Faire. 

Donna Werner


Thank you


As we approach upcoming patriotic celebrations, I wanted to take the time to say thank you to all our of Douglas County community members that served this great Country. 

Thank you to the families that lost their loved ones, fighting for my freedom. I see you. 

Thank you to those that gave their lives. I remember you. 

Thank you to those struggling to find their place in life again. I pray for you. 

Memorial Day 

Flag Day

Fourth of July

Patriot Day

Veteran’s Day

Remember to thank those in your community for the gift of service. Freedom isn’t free. These holidays are not “vacation days” they are days to celebrate the pride, honor, courage and freedom that our brave men and women have sacrificed so we can live our lives in this beautiful community. 

Thank you today and every day, you have made a difference in our lives one way or another. God Bless America and God Bless Douglas County.

Nikki Rudelbach



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