Sept. 20, 2018, Letters to the Editor
September 21, 2018
Abusing power not a good legacy
How would you like to be Dave Maxwell when he answered his front door and an armed constable handed him a notice to appear for the following item:
For possible action. Discussion to discuss the character, competence, alleged misconduct or physical or mental health of David Maxwell, chairman of the Douglas County Audit Committee, pursuant to NRS 241.030 and to possibly remove him from the Douglas County Audit Committee for cause. ([Commissioner] Nancy McDermid)
Maxwell had, some months before, released an analysis of Douglas County Redistricting Area 2, claiming that over $200 million in taxpayer money would be used to finance an event center to benefit the wealthy lakeside casino corridor. Because of what Douglas County Manager Larry Werner called a misunderstanding, Maxwell inadvertently overstated the estimated tax diversion by almost $100 million, a goof he had publicly apologized for.
But Commissioner McDermid claimed she suspected Maxwell of a political motive for publicizing his overstated estimate. However, rather than sharing her concerns with him directly, she decided to put the above agenda item on the Aug. 23 Douglas County Board of County Commissioners agenda.
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The constable on his front porch and the legalese-laden agenda item had the intended effect: Maxwell feared he might be in some legal jeopardy and consulted an attorney, who advised him to exercise his right not to answer any questions put to him at the hearing. On that day, for the most part, that's what he did. However several of his friends, including me, spoke on his behalf.
We pointed out that Maxwell had released his erroneous financial analysis prior to being appointed to the Douglas County Audit Committee, that he had publicly apologized for and corrected his mistake. Commissioner Thaler appointed himself chief inquisitor and told Maxwell that refusing to answer questions would force Thaler to vote to remove him from the Audit Committee.
I'm pleased to report that McDermid and Thaler failed to persuade the other three commissioners to their point of view. The board voted 3-2 to retain Maxwell's services on the Audit Committee.
Responding to erroneous reports about this event that are circulating in some quarters: First, Maxwell's defenders did not attack McDermid. Second, Thaler, in our view, improperly bullied Maxwell to abandon his attorney's advice to exercise his right not to answer questions. Third, creating a redevelopment agency to force taxpayers to fund a casino event center was incredibly unpopular with 87 percent of Douglas County voters, an issue that Engels used to replace Thaler on the Douglas County Board of County Commission long before Maxwell had been appointed to the Douglas County Audit Committee.
As I told McDermid at the time, it's a shame that after 12 years of honorable service to our community, this misuse of governmental power to take this vindictive, petty swipe at Maxwell will become a prominent part of her political legacy long after she leaves public service.
Fee increase too much
The 911 fee increase is part of Public Safety cost and public safety is always one of the bigger items in local government budgets. It is nonsense to pretend this is not a tax increase. However, the bigger issue is the proposed fee increase seems more than what is needed. Revenue of $447K minus an expense of $174K indicates this revenue will not be in a reserved 911 trust fund, but used for "other things" – that is a tax. Cut the increase about in half to roughly match the expense.
Thanks for supporting FISH
People from all over the Carson Valley were getting their 'hula on' at the fifth annual Celebrity Waiter Luau on July 19 and 20 at 1862 David Wally's Resort. This fundraiser for FISH, Friends In Service Helping, was a tremendous success due to the willingness and generosity of this community.
At the Luau 'Celebrity' Waiters compete for tips as they vie for the coveted Golden Pineapple which goes to the waiter that generates the most tips. This year's winners were Holly Waters (Rich Sheldrew) Thursday night, and Priscilla Mott (Designing Interiors) Friday night.
I would like to extend a big thank you to all of our waiters: Pastor Jim Beilstein, Teresa Duffy ( Douglas County Sheriff's Department), Steve Thaler (Douglas County Commissioner), Natalie Duffy (Greater Nevada Mortgage), Alex Uribe (State Farm Insurance), Ursula Prebezac (City National Bank), Holly Waters (JBRS Enterprises), Kathleen Kelly (Kathleen Kelly Law), Evelia Duncan (Western Nevada NAMI),Jessica Rackley (Record-Courier), Audrey Wilson (Nevada State Bank),Eddie Dimock (Stampede Pest Control), Jim Seyfried (Seyfried Dental), Frank Lococo (Northstar Lending Group), James Settelmeyer (Senator), Heidi Saucedo (Carson Valley Visitor's Authority), Melissa Blouser (Douglas County Public information Officer), Kathleen Contento (Genoa), James Courtney (Carson Valley Medical Center), Courtney Moore (Carson Valley Medical Center), Melissa Gylh (Ticor Title), Chris Blaha (Motion Spine and Sport Chiropractic), Dan Coverley (Douglas County Sheriff Department), Priscilla Mott (Designing Interiors), Rocky Radka (Corner Bar, Laurel Hill Boutique) and Connie Richardson (Nevada Country). These people are truly celebrities for volunteering their time and efforts, many of them returning to pull out their best coconuts and grass skirts for the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or yes, even the 5th time.
Additionally, thanks go out to our amazing sponsors who, once again, supported two full nights of Luau: 1862 David Wally's, Carson Valley Inn, Precision Diamonds, Bleu Wave Cruises, Carson Valley Country Club, Tahoe Keys Marina, Napa Sonoma, Edgewood, Basecamp Pizza, Sidestreet Boutique, Déjà vu Salon, Polynesian Pearl Company, Ski Run Boat, True Bliss Salon, Azul's Latin Kitchen, The Dimock Family, Genoa Lakes, Trans-Sierra Investments, The Entertainer, Corner Bar, Freshies, Honeysuckle Hair Salon, Reno Aces, J Boutique, and Carson Valley Golf.
This fun-filled event would not have been possible without the tireless and cheerful efforts of Marie Stokes and her staff who always go above and beyond the expected, exuberant and talented musician Dougie L, creative photographer James Glover, and our smiling, raffle ticket wielding, volunteers Gini Dower, Amber Dimmitt, Devon Wirtz, Cathryn Kotler, Kevin and Gene Heckart, Liz Patterson and the continued and much appreciated support of the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce and The Record-Courier. Heartfelt thanks to all who help FISH help our neighbors. Your generosity is greatly appreciated.
The Celebrity Waiter Luau is Friends In Service Helping's big fundraiser in the Carson Valley. (The ongoing 'fundraiser' is the FISH Thrift Store situated at 1561 US Hwy 395 in Minden). Luau proceeds help FISH to offer a 'hand-up' to needy families, seniors on fixed incomes, and veterans in the Carson Valley. FISH offers services including, but not limited to, food, clothing, utility assistance, and, currently, new gas water heaters at the Rancho Family Service Center located at 921 Mitch Drive, open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. The phone number is (775)265-3474.
FISH Regional Director