Valley man announces commission challenge |

Valley man announces commission challenge

Staff Reports

Chambers Field resident John Engels announced Wednesday that he is running for District 2 Douglas County commissioner.

A Republican, Engels said he and wife, Maria, moved to Douglas County because of its rural beauty and independent-minded residents.

He said concern about efforts to change the area’s “countrified” nature prompted him to run.

Engels, 72, has regularly attended board of commissioners meetings and participating in several small groups that delve into the reasons for county decisions and policies. “Douglas County simply can’t take in all of the people west of Lake Tahoe who are going to want to relocate here,” he said. “Wrong decisions are being made that put our quality of living in jeopardy.”

To inform residents of his platform, his background, and campaign events, he has established a website His campaign committee is working on signage, information materials and meeting voters.

“John’s financial expertise combined with his leadership experience in both the military and private sector make him a candidate ideally suited to begin a course correction here in Douglas County,” said campaign chairwoman Virginia Starrett.

“We tried in 2016 to get a majority of small-government voices on the Board, and we made some headway,” said Starrett, “but disappointingly, we still have mostly pro-development, pro-county tax-and-spend policies being implemented.”

Engels said well-thought through responses are needed at the board of commissioners to bring the county’s actions back in line with what the majority of residents want.

Infrastructure continues to be shunted aside in favor of special interests and nonessential projects for which little to no future planning was seemingly ever put in place, he said. Of particular concern, high-density developments are getting green-lighted at an almost breakneck pace despite serious potentially harmful consequences with respect to the availability of resources such as water, and the impact on the county’s streets and services.

“Affordable Housing” has become the latest push by the county, a push Engels said he views as entirely wrongheaded. He also takes issue with the lack of true transparency at every branch and department of county government.

“They consistently use any and every reason to not be permitted to share what’s going on with the people to whom they are supposed to be accountable,” Engels said. “I mean, look at ‘Tiregate.’ Could they be delaying and delaying hoping most folks will simply forget that the county’s management was so lax that multiple thousands, even a million dollars of theft and county embezzlement could go on for years?”

The “John Engels for County Commissioner” announcement event will be at Hamdogs, 1267 US 395, Gardnerville, Nevada, 6 p.m. Jan. 19.

Light refreshments will be served.