Commissioner Penzel files for re-election
March 16, 2016
Commissioner Barry Penzel has so often been the lone "no" vote on the county board that it's a surprise when he finds himself in the majority.
One of those times was earlier this month when he voted in favor of a master plan amendment for the Corley Ranch.
"I went through the findings and found that I could support them," he said. "It will preserve 160 acres of agricultural land that we couldn't afford to buy, It will be to the betterment of the Valley."
Penzel, 70, has held scores of meetings with residents about issues facing the county during his four years in office.
He said he stopped counting after 31. Last week, he met with two dozen Johnson Lane residents and a natural resources representative of Rep. Mark Amodei's office about flooding issues above that community.
Penzel defeated county commissioner Mike Olson in 2012 to claim the District 5 seat, which covers much of northern Douglas County.
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He has been an advocate of North Carson Valley issues since his election, including fighting increases in utility fees and for dollars to deal with the flooding that struck Carson Valley the past two summers.
He has also had run-ins with county management over issues he's concerned with.
Those include the utility increases to support the North Valley Wastewater Treatment Plant.
Penzel's opposition to the connectivity proposals was based on his requirement that residents vote on implementation of taxes. He has said he supports the idea of going to the voters with tax proposals, including a sales tax increase to support connectivity.
He and his wife Cindy have been Douglas County residents since 1992.
He is a retired U.S. Army colonel, with 25 years as a ranger, aviator and combat leader. He retired from operating a business in the geothermal industry before becoming a commissioner in 2012.
Penzel is former owner of the Genoa Country Store, and has lived in several locations across Douglas County before settling in Saratoga Springs.