Letters to the Editor for May 18
May 21, 2018
Backing Dave Brady
Wow! Can't find deputies, but lots of candidates for the top cop position. Most of the candidates appear to be placing their bets on years of experience in law enforcement as the principal criterion for our vote. But, in my opinion, that is the lesser of the need for county sheriff. I encourage you voters to examine the job requirements of the position. The sheriff is the top level administrative executive of one of the larger spenders of our tax dollars, and therefore, should be well versed in financial affairs at the county level. In reviewing the resumes of all the candidates, the only person who meets all the requirements of the position: leadership, technical, operative, county financial and law experience is David Brady.
John D. Richardson
Duffy best candidate for sheriff
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I want to recommend to the voters of Douglas County to cast their votes for Joe Duffy for sheriff. My wife and I have known Joe for many years and have followed his career in law enforcement. After reviewing the backgrounds, qualifications and experience of all the candidates for sheriff, it is apparent that Joe Duffy is, hands down, the best candidate to be the next sheriff of Douglas County. Joe's overall experience in every aspect of a large law enforcement agency and more than 20 years with the Douglas County Sheriff's Department especially qualifies Joe to lead the sheriff's department.
Furthermore, Joe is a very caring person who has worked with our citizens throughout the county and treats people with respect. This is a trait very much needed in today's law enforcement.
I urge the voters of Douglas County to join with me and vote for Joe Duffy for sheriff.
Thank you for publishing the recording of Dan Coverley's response to the GGG's question about whether he had ever been disciplined. I heard him burn up his 2 minutes by telling a long story in which he claimed to have actually been "cleared" of any wrongdoing, but never mentioning a single time he was actually disciplined. He then later blamed his failure to provide an honest answer on the moderator. Great trick to avoid answering the question.
His statement that he provided afterward to clarify his discipline record was about as clear as mud, and oddly enough, left out the rest of his record.
The truth was that, rather than being "cleared," Coverley was found to be "unprofessional" and in "violation of the Douglas County use of force policy," in addition to the county having to pay out over $50,000 due to Coverley's improper use of force. But Coverley is still not able to take responsibility and be accountable for his actions. While he finally admitted he received a disciplinary suspension, he insists it was for an "improper lifting technique." Creative! But, I've actually seen the graphic, shocking, photos of him choking a handcuffed prisoner who's gasping for air and to quote Coverley, "this was not that."
I am calling for Dan Coverley to once and for all, take accountability by revealing the truth about your entire discipline record from the beginning of your career to the present. The public deserves to know what your actions were that led to discipline, as well as the length of time you were suspended for each incident. A true leader should be able to demonstrate integrity and honesty, and the maturity to be able to reflect back and learn from his mistakes. A true leader should not be dealing in coverups, omissions and untruths. What are you trying to hide?
If you are asking for the public to trust you enough to vote for you to become the sheriff of Douglas County, then the public deserves to have the truth laid bare, so they can make an educated decision at the polls.
Facts matter and character counts.
Voting for Dave Brady
In voting for a new sheriff, it boils down to four things I want to see for the deputies of Douglas County. 1. A good working environment, for better morale and less turnover. 2. The best equipment and training for officer safety. 3. Greater opportunity for advancement and with it higher salaries. 4. Greater community support and respect for the deputies.
But which of the candidates has the most experience to lead the sheriff's department into the future? Easy, Dave Brady! He has 23 years total in law enforcement. Eight years as a police officer, canine unit, in Redondo Beach, and 15 years as a reserve deputy sheriff here in Douglas County. Now, before anyone starts with the, "Yeah but reserve deputies don't count, they don't face the same challenges and dangers the full time deputies do," let me remind you that the last deputy to lose his life in the line of duty in Douglas County was a reserve deputy sheriff. Yes all of the candidates have put in the time and paid their dues to be the sheriff. So why Dave? The four items I listed above require some very special skill sets. No. 1 on that list is the ability to negotiate with the likes of the County Commission and other political entities that control budgets and regulations. Dave was, for five years, the president and lead negotiator for the Police Officer's Association in Redondo Beach. Negotiating for the officers, not the city. In fact he was responsible for a large pay raise for those officers during his tenure. Further, he was the Douglas County Commissioner for eight years, appointed by then-Gov. Kenny Guinn. Dave knows how to work and deal with the political entities to get what the deputies need. And here I have to ask, what experience of this kind do any of the other candidates bring to the table? Last, I know Dave put himself through college earning a master's degree in public administration. He knows how to work with the public, deal with the politicians and how to optimize budgets for best results. I have known Dave for many years, and know he possesses great integrity, integrity so sought after in recent times as law enforcement across the nation has come under greater media scrutiny for their actions.
Bottom line, happy deputies, make for happy, well protected citizens. A win, win in my book. I will be casting my vote for Dave Brady for Douglas County sheriff.
Examine the consequences
The subject of attainable housing (or whatever it's being called today) came up again as reflected in your article concerning the Good Governance Group's candidate forum of May 3, 2018. Candidate John Engels was quoted as saying that we in the Carson Valley already "have enough congestion here," and that "We're not set up to do it," alluding to the fact that we are, and are trying to stay, a rural county.
True, but he also made reference that such housing, likely multi-family or apartments, was not necessary for veterans in this rural county. Is Engels saying he doesn't want to help our military veterans? That would be absurd, though his political enemies will say otherwise. Engels was a
captain in the artillery in the Central Highlands of Vietnam. To state that he is not sympathetic to vets would be to say he is not sympathetic to himself. No, Engels was talking about demography and basic socioeconomic principles.
Engels' opponent, candidate Steve Thaler, states on his campaign materials that he wants to "promote 'attainable housing.'" He and candidate Wes Rice (District 4) have said specifically that vets are among those on the list of groups who need the county to find a way to get housing built that nice folks with low incomes can inhabit. Sounds great, right?
No. What Thaler and Rice forget is that no matter how worthy a goal subsidizing houses for vets or others may appear, they are dealing with the finite financial resources that a small rural Nevada county generates through taxation and fees. As Engels pointed out at the Forum, assistance for housing veterans is readily available not that far away. Right here we have a wonderful non-governmental organization, Welcome All Veterans Everywhere (WAVE), hard at work offering housing help to our local vets.
Setting aside the increased traffic and crime that our Sheriff's Department acknowledges comes with low income or clustered housing, Thaler and Rice's vision of having county government require or assist in building "attainable" housing ignores the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Example: who will prevent those who simply want below market priced "quality" houses or units from snapping them up.
Then we would have to create a new county housing oversight bureaucracy. Then, who would pick winners and losers among the needy? Would the chosen few be veterans? casino workers? teachers? sheriffs? single moms? big-box store workers? or maybe adult children of Douglas County residents (as called for by both Thaler and Rice)? What if no one from some of these named groups they claim we need to assist ended up getting the housing? No vets, say. Or no teachers. Would the county have to keep building more?
As Engels said, Douglas County is not set up for this. Lofty social goals make for great speeches, but when it gets down to our county government interposing itself into the local housing market, the consequences are dire for all county taxpayers – that's you and me.
Backing Engels and Murphy
Two years ago, I was elected County Commissioner based on a strong fiscal conservative platform and to protect the Master Plan, which controls development in the county. I signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge, and promised not to raise taxes without approval from the taxpayers. I have kept my promises to listen to you and to represent your interests.
My top priority is to fund infrastructure – road maintenance, flood control, and other capital improvements. The current board majority has approved an estimated $14 million for five and seven-year guaranteed salaries and benefit increases for county employees.
Personnel costs currently consume 72 percent of the county general fund expenditures. By the end of the 5- and 7-year contracts, this percentage will rise to 78 percent. Any increase in revenue from higher property tax assessments will go automatically to these higher personnel costs, leaving very little to address under-funded infrastructure needs.
Secondly, in 2015 the board created Lake Tahoe Redevelopment District No. 2, which will divert an estimated $215 million from the general fund, our schools, firefighters, law enforcement, and other critical needs in order to pay for a stated $50 million, and likely to increase, event center that primarily benefits the wealthy casino corridor. If the gaming industry believes an event center will help their business, let them take the RISK for this project with their money, not your tax dollars.
This wasted tax revenue could have been directed to our unfunded 5-year Capital Improvement Plan. We now have an opportunity to correct this situation.
We need to stop spending on special interests and redirect taxes to your needs. Vote in this June 12 primary and elect John Engels for District 2 and Janet Murphy for District 4 who have both promised to help me put your interests over special interests.
Attainable housing really socialism
I read the political ad by commissioner candidate Steve Thaler (running against John Engels) for District 2 on page 12 of your May 18 edition. For such a small ad, it was, to me, a real eye opener and spoke volumes about the political philosophy and beliefs of candidate Thaler.
The ad calls for attainable housing — Thaler does not define what that is, but I can only conclude that it is below market-rate housing and in some manner subsidized, directly or indirectly, by county government and ultimately the taxpayer.
The ad goes on to say that Thaler favors "more attainable housing options for our veterans, seniors, young families, first responders, teachers and county employees." Their families, of course, would be included.
Wow! That's a big chunk of our population, and it does not take into consideration other potentially "deserving" segments (such as the handicapped).
Yet Thaler has not even hinted at how he would propose to finance this transformative social program of wealth redistribution where those who are not within his favored groups must carry the load for those who are, whether through huge tax increases, massive debt, or reducing public services.
Someone has to pay. After all, there is no free lunch. Plus with that long list, is he simply ignoring the traffic congestion, added stress on the county's crumbling infrastructure, and loss of our rural identity that would result, or does he not care?
No matter how you cut it, Thaler is calling for county government-sponsored housing for a large segment of our population — a transformative first for this county. The taxpayer, as usual, would be left paying the bill and shouldering the burden, though that same taxpayer had no voice in whether or not to go down the leftist path of wealth redistribution.
Would someone please tell Steve Thaler that he should consider running under the Socialist Party banner and not the Republican?
Looking at the larger picture
I thank the person who responded to the letter written by Tina Fixman; somehow I missed that.
I and my husband were most upset to see the trees ripped out and the mess that has followed on Lucerne. OK, maybe its a good thing that is going on but there is a big but!
Why in the world would the city decide to do this project making Lucerne such a mess at the same time of the mess at Ironwood and 395? Did no one remember we have an urgent care on that corner and with no left turn from NB 395 the next logical way to get there is via Lucerne. However that is a real mess and not easy to even get to businesses there.
We have to make weekly trips to a business on Lucerne so it makes it really hard to have it partially blocked off and workers trucks parking other than on the road. This is not making it easy for residents getting in and out of there.
"Someone" should have used some brains on scheduling this. Maybe there needs to be some replacement for logical brains for our city.