County commissioner’s outburst gets online traction
A Carson Valley woman, who was yelled at by Douglas County Commissioner John Engels last week, said she didn’t feel threatened, but that she did feel the outburst was unwarranted.
Danna Meyer asked for an apology from Engels on Wednesday during public comment at a hearing.
During the Nov. 7 hearing on a first reading of the Park Development agreement, Meyer was one of the few speakers who didn’t oppose the development agreement.
In her comments and a letter appearing in The R-C the same day, Meyer said in her opinion build-out of 2,500 homes is decades away.
“We’re worried about schools, but how many people moving here are retired?” she asked. “We don’t need schools, we need housing for our sheriffs, for our teachers. We’re not getting 2,500 homes tomorrow.”
Meyers then apparently touched a nerve when she said Engels claimed the supermarket shelves would be empty if the project was approved.
“I understand Mr. Engels thinks that if we have all these people here, the supermarket shelves will be bare,” she said.
“Madam, I’m not going to put up with you anymore,” Engels said interrupting her public comment. “You’ve been berating me since day one. I want to have you removed from chambers.”
Then Engels turned to Chairman Barry Penzel.
“She does not have the right to berate me,” he said. “You have done nothing to prevent this from happening.”
Meyers replied she was just repeating what Engels had said to which he said, “I got that information from The Record-Courier letter to the editor and you twisted that around.”
A reference to grocery store shelves does appear in an April 4, 2019, letter to the editor to The Record-Courier, which predates the Park proposal by two months. In it a writer described the impacts of winter weather, which often interferes with trucks bringing supplies from California.
Video of the exchange is making the rounds on social media along with a poll seeking Engels’ resignation. The excerpt of the video posted to YouTube had 4,906 views.
A Facebook poll asking whether Engels should resign over the incident was running 265-29 in favor on Wednesday.
Meyer has questioned Engels’ insistence on wearing a hat through county commission meetings in the past.
Meyer is a legal resident of the United States, but said she is a Canadian citizen.
She owns homes in Minden and in foothill, according to the Douglas County Assessor’s Office.
The altercation was included in an advertisement attacking Engels published in the Saturday edition of The Record-Courier.
Engels said at least one assertion in the advertisement was untrue in an email to The R-C on Sunday.
Engels said the home he owned in Northridge was inherited from his parents and is not a vacation rental.
The home is listed as an asset on Engel’s candidate declaration form filed in January.
“I inherited it as the estate was being settled hence I had to list it as an asset,” he said. “It has been sold. It was never rented out as claimed. I do not own any property anywhere other than our home in Gardnerville.”
The advertisement itself lists the Taxpayer Strike Force of Douglas County as the purchaser, an organization that has yet to be filed with the Nevada Secretary of State’s Office.
The state is investigating whether the organization is in violation of a state election law that requires any group that spends more than $1,500 to influence an election file as a political action committee.
Engels claimed that the outburst was a deliberate attempt to draw attention to Meyer, who he claimed has been harassing him.
Engels and Penzel actually got into a physical altercation during a hearing on the Stateline redevelopment agency in April that resulted in an injury to Engels’ arm, a police report and an investigation.