Candidates debate at Town Hall Forum |

Candidates debate at Town Hall Forum

Monday's Town Hall Forum was limited to the candidates, the camera crew, the moderator and the organizer thanks to the coronavirus outbreak.
Renea Louie

A list Mark Gardner waved at Monday’s candidate forum does contain 8,846 homes that have been approved, though it’s padded with a few projects that have already been built and at least one that’s incorrect.

Planning commissioners are scheduled to discuss the list at their meeting scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday.

That was just one of the highlights from Monday’s forum sponsored by The Record-Courier, the Business Council of Douglas County and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce. County commission candidates must live in the district they are representing, but are elected at large.

Watch the Debate

Of the projects listed, 1,126 are listed as having already been built. The first two entries, Clear Creek, includes 594 homes in the project above Jacks Valley while the county only shows 384 in the development agreement.

Access for the Clear Creek project is off Highway 50 and connects directly to the I-580 freeway.

The list Gardner has also includes 1,200 units of the Big George project located on the north side of Indian Hills near the Carson-Douglas line and Tahoe Beach Club listed as being in Minden-Gardnerville.

Those projects are still in Douglas County and there are two possible developments in Carson Valley, including the approved Virginia Ranch project behind the Grant Walmart with 1,020 homes and the Park Holdings 2,500-home approval.

Monday’s debate brought to the fore a $27,000 donation by the South Tahoe Alliance of Resorts to a political action committee.

The Douglas County 2020 PAC has raised $42,000 in contributions. The rest of the money comes from Trans-Sierra Investments with $10,000 and Cecil’s LLC donated $5,000.

Advertising pieces attributed to the PAC have been sent out on behalf of Nate Tolbert and Larry Walsh.

Both the Carson Valley and Tahoe chambers of commerce are endorsing Walsh, Tolbert and Danny Tarkanian.

One of the major points of debate on Monday was the fate of Redevelopment Area No 2 at Stateline, which will help fund an event center next to the MontBleu.

On Tuesday, The Record-Courier confirmed that no matter what the result of a referendum on redevelopment in November, redevelopment money will continue to flow to the center.

Douglas County commissioners voted 3-2 to approve the agreement both as the redevelopment agency and again as the commission on April 16.

The agreement between Redevelopment Agency No 2 and the Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority cites Nevada Revised Statutes Chapter 279, and says “any law supplemental or otherwise pertaining thereto, and any other act concerning the bonds or other securities to be issued by the Authority, the Existing Tax Revenues, or the Pledged Increment will not be repealed or amended or otherwise directly or indirectly modified in such a manner as to impair adversely any outstanding bonds or securities issued by the authority until all such bonds or securities have been discharged in full or provision for their payment and redemption has been made fully.”

Walsh voted for redevelopment while Dave Nelson voted against it. Proponents say the center will revive Stateline as a source of tax revenue for the county, while opponents say it will take money that could be used for other purposes.

Both Tolbert and Nelson’ opponent, Tarkanian confirmed their support for redevelopment funding the center. Gardner clarified that he doesn’t believe tax increment should be used for the center, but he was happy to help build it otherwise.

Tarkanian and Gardner have been dinged for their recent arrival. Tarkanian first registered to vote in Douglas County on Aug. 28, 2019, according to the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office. He updated his address to one in District 1 on March 6.

Gardner registered to vote at his Topaz Ranch Estates residence on April 18, 2017.

Tarkanian’s opponent, Nelson came under similar criticism both times he ran for county commission. He moved into District 1 on Nov. 5, 2015, to successfully challenge Commissioner Greg Lynn in the 2016 primary. He’d previously moved to an address on Wintergreen in District 1 on Nov. 19, 2007, before his unsuccessful 2008 run for commissioner.

Tarkanian criticized Nelson for being the deciding vote in a December 2018 deal that would allow projects to only build two lanes of Muller Parkway instead of four. Nelson is the only commissioner running who voted against the proposal. Both Barry Penzel and Nancy McDermid also voted against, saying they wanted all four lanes. The deal would have obligated Mike Pegram to build the southern portion of Muller.