April 26, 2017 Letters to the Editor
Cortez Masto should defend Constitution
Dear Senator Cortez Masto,
When you ran for office I had differences of opinion with you on many issues. Despite that, I believed you to be a woman of character, integrity, and capable of reason independent of the corrupt Democrat establishment personified by the Clintons. Your inability to separate yourself from, and rise above, the antics of Schumer, Feinstein and others of the corrupt Democrat machine have shown, conclusively, that my trust in your integrity has been misplaced. Rather than standing up to Schumer, as Sens. Donnelly, Heitcamp, and Manchin have done, you showed yourself to be a pawn that fits in with the Warren, Feinstein, Murray crowd who were bent on politicizing the Supreme Court of the United States. I hope that in the future you will find it in your character to champion the Constitution of the United States and the welfare of the legal citizens of the United States.
We are all immigrants. My great grandparents were Germans residing in the Volga River Valley. When they were harassed by the Russian Cossacks they came to America, legally, homesteaded in Colorado and became citizens. We should be proud of and protect our heritage by deporting the violent, illegal immigrants who have no right to put us in harms way. I expect you to help protect me and my family and our rights, not those who have no rights as criminals.
I have lost many friends and relatives who have defended our liberty, freedom and security. I cannot put onto words the disdain I have for you for siding with the Obama/Clinton cronies who continue to fight to put us at risk.
You just challenged the authority of the President to take action against the enemies of human decency. When considering the Democrats aiding and abetting Obama’s imperialistic presidency, I find it ludicrous that you would advocate that members of Congress who have shown themselves to be incapable of criticizing Obama’s foreign policy vacuum to now debate what actions should be taken by President Trump. Perhaps it would be appropriate for Congress to declare war on the perpetrators of terrorism, contrary to Obama’s egregious denial that there is a global radical Islamic terrorist movement. You might want to look back on how a respectable Democrat, FDR, handled attacks on America and its allies. How JFK stood up to Nikita Khrushchev.
I hope to see you support and defend the Constitution as it was written and to help the President uphold the laws of the United States. It is a fact, not a threat, that if you do not do a better job of representing the citizens of the United States, I will do all I can to see that you do not return to office.
Eldon DeVere Henderson
Good for the goose
This is in response to a letter to the editor to the Record-Courier by Timothy Goldsmith, a registered Democrat in Douglas County since 1992. I would ask Mr. Goldsmith if he was equally, to use his own word, “sickened” when Harry Reid opted to use the nuclear option to get past the 60-vote requirement to pass the Affordable Care Act? Did you get upset about the “long-standing 60 vote requirement” or “centuries of tradition” when he led the charge to change the rules? The lesson here is what is good for the goose is good for the gander.
Golfing while Korea burns
As North Korea brews, Trump again in Mar-a-Lago? I wonder, shouldn’t the captain of the ship be on the bridge at times of emergency instead of in his multi-million dollar playpen?
The April 12, 2017 letters of both Marshall Goldy and Lynn Muzzy express concerns about our County Commissions and special interest groups. I agree with them and there are many incidents to support their concerns.
In 2002 the voters had approved the Sustainable Growth Initiative, but the Commissioners used considerable County resources (time and money) in support of the developers and builders opposing the voter’s desire.
Recently Commissioners McDermid and Thaler acted in an inappropriate manner in trying to influence staff members in support of the Douglas County Sewer Improvement District and the controversial “gravel pit” issue. Commissioners are not to “direct staff nor advocate staff support”. Commissioner McDermid has a history of favoring special interest groups and Commissioner Thaler would probably been very upset if faced with a similar situation while Director of the China Spring facility.
The above action led to the resignation of County Manager Jim Nichols. Mr. Nichols, a former Deputy City Manger in Las Vegas, had been hired after an extended search by the Commissioners. While he resigned the Commissioners agreed to pay him over $115,000. This was probably less costly than getting into a legal hassle.
The resignation of Mr. Nichols led to the Commissioners appointing Mr. Werner as County Manager. Mr. Werner, a retired Carson City Manager, had previously served as Interim Douglas County Manager when County Manager Mokrohisky had left for a position in Oregon. Mr. Mokrohisky had replaced T. Michael Brown who had replaced Dan Holler as County Manager.
The Douglas County Manager position seems to be a “revolving door” position.
The Corley Ranch proposed project, which would require a master plan change, was denied by a 5-1 vote of the planning commissioners. The County Commissioners disregarded the recommendations of their appointed committee and approved the project.
When thinking about special interest groups please consider that Douglas County, if not the biggest, is certainly one of the largest employers in the County. This means County employees and their families represent a very large voting group in any County election and it would certainly get the attention of those running for election.
County employees, dependent on the Commissioners, certainly have an interest in keeping the Commissioners happy. Employee actions often reflect the actions of the employer.
While running for election individuals may make all kinds of commitments to voters, but once elected the commitments and the voters are often forgotten. The only options the voters have are voting individuals out of office or recall.
In coming elections remember…actions speak louder than words when judging individuals who are running for re-election.
Sanford E. Deyo
Mountain vistas, swirling clouds and green valleys are what the Carson Valley is known for, but it is the giving spirit of the community which really shines. Minden Fortnightly Club owes a big THANK YOU to family, friends, attendees and the local business community which supports our fundraising efforts and helps us kick off the holiday season year after year. This year the community pitched in and helped raise more than $15,000 at our annual Christmas Fundraiser, “Believe in the Magic.” All of the money has now been donated back into local clubs, nonprofits and residents in need. This year recipients included: City of Refuge, Douglas County Community Center Youth Sport Programs, DHS Thespian Support Circle, DAWG, Suicide Prevention Network , Family Support Council, Carson Valley Food Closet, Douglas County Public Library’s Summer Reading Program, Nevada Girl’s State, and Minden Fortnightly’s Have-a-Heart Fund which anonymously helps individuals and families in need throughout the year. Minden Fortnightly Club was established 106 years ago to save and restore the CVIC (Carson Valley Improvement Club) Building and is composed of 35 local women who meet once every two weeks (a fortnight) to plan, raise money, give back to the community and have fun. It is only through the generous and thoughtfulness of our donors and guests is Minden Fortnightly able to reach out into the Carson Valley and help so many. Thank you to those of you who donated, attended or worked the event this year. We are already planning for next year, so clear your calendars for Friday, November 17th, and come eat, drink, bid and start your Christmas shopping early.
Thank you, Carson Valley, for believing in the magic of the Minden Fortnightly Club.
Fundraising Chair Minden Fortnightly Club
In a March issue of the Record Courier an article was written about my seventh grade social studies students — “Students accelerated reading raises $1,100 to help fight poverty”. So exciting for them. Thank you for the opportunity for them to be acknowledged in that way.
When the article was first written our midway mark was $1,100 raised. The article helped us in our additional efforts as many students forwarded the article to family and friends and acquired even more donations.
Our final donation amount for all four classes was $1,850.11. All four classes pooled their money together.
I am so proud of their efforts and astonished at the amount. Substantially more than expected, and honestly I think more than they thought they were capable of as well. Most impressive was that this fundraiser was not required. Having learned about global poverty, each of these students participated because they wanted to help others less fortunate than themselves. With that money students will help 12 families and communities lift themselves out of poverty and change the trajectory of their lives forever.
Students who chose to participate in the fundriaser met in small groups to determine what they felt would be the best use of the money. These were totaled and then each class chose a delegate who would represent them in the final decision making process. These students came in at lunch and the four of them worked together to come up with their final list.
Here is what we will purchase: one goat; one heifer; two gifts of clean water; one water buffalo; one sheep; three flocks of chickens; and two trios of rabbits. The balance is to go “where needed most.”
Thank you again for all of your help.
Carson Valley Middle School English/social studies teacher
Looking at the numbers
Douglas County’s cost of personnel — wages and benefits — comes to over 70% of the county’s total budget, soaking up the financial resources needed for the county’s priorities of addressing critical infrastructure needs like flood control and road maintenance.
Douglas County employs one worker for every 85 residents. For Carson City, it’s one for every 95 residents. For Lyon County it’s one for every 120 residents. For Washoe, one for every 209 residents. All of these counties must deal with the same unionized work force issues as Douglas, yet their populations support proportionally fewer employees.
These staffing numbers are particularly inexcusable for Douglas, the only county with a significant population that resides within GIDs, townships, and HOAs that charge their residents a fee for supplying infrastructure services, such as road maintenance, that the county would otherwise be responsible for. As an example, Ranchos GID provides 11,000 residents with a variety of services, including road maintenance, with one full-time manager and four full time employees. Yet even with GIDs and townships paying for their own infrastructure maintenance costs, Douglas can’t meet its most basic obligation to fund road maintenance and flood control.
The BOCC presumably felt a sense of urgency about the coming Spring torrents when it preemptively declared a flood emergency. Yet this urgency hasn’t inspired the board to take control of their agenda and make critical infrastructure the top priority.
At the 4/20 Lake BOCC meeting there was the Economic Vitality Manager and her high-priced consultant pushing a “report” full of false “voter priorities” from self selecting on line polls and workshops — where county employees often outnumber private citizen attendees. Instead of drawing conclusions based on statistically insignificant numbers of participants, how about looking at the most recent BOCC election results and acknowledging that the voters expect the new reform majority to do what they were elected to do?
As to personnel costs, better negotiations with employee unions is important, but the BOCC must go further. Let’s see them retain an outside law firm specializing in public sector labor issues to conduct a top-to-bottom jobs audit with the goal of eliminating unnecessary consulting expenditures, positions, or even entire departments.
The taxpayers have a right to expect minimal preventable damage or injuries from the anticipated Spring floods. If the county flubs this because leadership didn’t take the threat seriously, the voters will know right where to put the blame.
For our ‘activist citizens’ in Douglas County, this is the ‘best time’ of the year. The County Commissioners are set to approve the 2017-2018 annual budget on May 15th, and are in the process of reviewing suggestions to modify the County’s Strategic Plan. Prior to the election last November, and throughout the first half of this year, discussion has focused on the needs for infrastructure improvements in our County. Rising to the top of the ‘Priority List’ is the repair to many of our county roads. County Commissioners are set to adopt a annual budget of $145 million at their May 15th Meeting.
Observing all of this as a new resident to Minden, the issues are complex. Balancing growth, County Services, infrastructure needs, housing, and all the while maintaining a rural setting, is not for the faint of heart. What is important is to have the correct information. Getting hold of the annual budget is important. Attending the semi monthly County Commissioner meetings is important. Speaking with informed ‘active residents’ is very important.
The Good Governance Group “GGG’ meets each Tuesday at 88 Cups in Minden, at noon. Comprised of local ‘activist citizens’, the group features speakers and discussions focusing on local and State issues. Starting in May, ‘GGG’ will feature a series of speakers called the “The Informative Series.” Each Tuesday, for five weeks, speakers will inform the audience about local and state issues. The speakers for May are:
May 2nd: Ron Knecht, Controller for the State of Nevada. He will speak on the State’s budget, the Commerce tax, and new funding possibilities.
May 9th: Cheryl Blomstrom, Interim President of the Nevada Taxpayers Association. She will speak on the State’s property tax structure and what’s coming in the future. She will provide an update on the State Legislature’s current session.
May 16th: Andie Wislon and Brad Gonkowski, principals at NA1 Commercial Real Estate in Carson City. Gonkowski is a current City Commissioner in Carson City. They will speak on small business growth in the Carson Valley. Gonkowski is a supporter of the $6 cent a gallon increase in the cost of Diesel Fuel.
May 23rd: Cary Richardson, vice president of business operations, Miles Construction in Carson City. He will speak on the construction industry as the fastest growing career sector in the State. He will give us an update on the news Bently Distillery being constructed in Minden.
May 29th: Mary Simmons, vice president business development and community services, NV Energy. She will speak on energy growth in Northern Nevada. Renewable energy and price comparisons to California will be discussed.
Mark your Calendars. Come early to 88 Cups each Tuesday at noon, order a sandwich, and enjoy the weekly speakers sponsored by the Good Governance Group. In these ‘interesting times’, the correct information is more important than ever.
Onward and upward in the Carson Valley.