Letters for Oct. 18, 2018
Vote yes on county question No. 1
The Douglas County Master Plan clearly states: “Most residents agree that new development should pay its own way and not be a burden to existing residents.” It is equally clear that this has not happened. This question would not raise taxes on existing residents, only on new development.
Not only have services and infrastructure deteriorated over the last 20 years, but taxes on existing residents have increased. The worsening condition of many of our roads, due in part to the substantial residential development and the subsequent increase in traffic, is one obvious indicator. This is despite the increase in gas taxes and the $13 million bond for road maintenance approved by the County Commissioners in the last couple of years. Growth has certainly not paid for itself.
County Question 1 allows residents to help correct that problem with a modest increase in the tax paid for the privilege of new development. While the proposed increase wouldn’t solve all of our road problems, an increase from $500 per unit to $900 would be a step in the right direction, and would help fulfill the desire expressed by residents in our Master Plan.
The $500 tax on new development for road construction and maintenance was approved statewide more than 20 years ago. Since then the state has allowed counties to increase that amount four times, but Douglas County has failed to take advantage of that opportunity, and our roads have continued to deteriorate. This is an opportunity to catch up to state-approved levels.
Adding $400 to the tax on new homes to help pay for roads would be less than 0.1 percent of the median cost of a new home in Douglas County, and hence would have a negligible effect on sales or affordability. In fact the proposed $900/home would be a lower percentage of the cost of a new home today than the $500/home was when the tax was first introduced in 1996.
This ballot question was proposed by the Regional Transportation Commission, which “provides advise regarding existing and future transportation needs and issues in Douglas County.” County Commissioners voiced support for this question, and unanimously voted to put it on this year’s ballot.
Not only will this question (if approved) not raise taxes on existing residents, but, by modestly raising the tax on new development, it may actually lessen the tax burden on current residents. It deserves a “yes” vote.
Levin best candidate for JP
Erik Levin has a 20-year record of dedicated public service. He is the only candidate with the integrity and experience to be the next East Fork Justice of the Peace. Erik has been a prosecutor in Douglas County for over 10 years and he has served over six years in the civil division of the DA’s Office in Nye County. He is the only candidate with that breadth and depth of experience.
Sheriff Ron Pierini, Sheriff-Elect Dan Coverly, and designated Undersheriff Ron Elgis have all endorsed Levin. When the two candidates met with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Protective Association on Sept. 25, when members of the Sheriff’s Office were deciding whether to endorse a candidate for Justice of the Peace, the members voted to endorse Levin. In my opinion, Levin is the candidate who received those endorsements because he is the candidate with the integrity and experience that Douglas County needs for its next judge.
Ms. Jones has stated that she has served from 2016-2017 as judge pro tem in Tahoe Justice Court and that she has served at no cost to the county every time she has been asked. She has created an impression that this is something she has done on several occasions. In fact, on Sept. 19, 2017, just a few months before filing for candidacy she served as judge pro tem one day.
Jones stated she has handled every kind of case that comes before the justice court. In fact, during her one day on the bench, she did not handle any preliminary hearings, criminal trials, small claims actions, contract cases, or any of several other types of cases for which the Justice Court has jurisdiction. Levin has prosecuted thousands of criminal cases and some civil cases as well in the Justice Court. Erik’s experience spans from traffic citations to homicide, and in Justice Court, the Nevada Supreme Court, and the federal courts.
Jones has stated she is the only candidate with budget experience. Levin managed several million dollar budgets for high tech aerospace contracts on behalf of programs for our national security.
As a career law enforcement officer for more than 30 years, I strongly endorse and support Levin for East Fork Justice of the Peace.
Jones best candidate for Justice
I know Cassandra Jones to be a fierce advocate and excellent litigation attorney. I know this because she was my advocate and attorney.
For over four years, Cassandra provided legal services to me at no charge through my divorce and the subsequent motions needed to enforce my court-ordered spousal support payment.
Without her, I don’t think I would have ever gotten my spousal support. At all times, she handled my case with care, clearly arguing the law and consistently enforcing my right to spousal support. She never gave up though it took years to enforce my rights.
I know that she will apply the law, be clear and consistent, and protect victims’ rights, because that’s exactly what she did for me. I look forward to casting my vote for her this fall.
Voting for Cassandra Jones
As a former law enforcement professional, I’m recommending that Douglas County voters elect Cassandra Jones as our Justice of the Peace in November. Jones’ law practice deals in many branches of the law, including elder law and protecting victims of abuse, often helping poor clients for free.
Her experience has motivated her as a Judge Pro Tem to make certain that criminal defendants, found guilty, complete their sentences. Whether they get a diversion program or jail time, the victims get access to justice and a fair hearing before the bench. As an appointed Judge Pro Tem, Cassandra is the one candidate for JP who has mastered the administrative and organizational challenges of this busiest of jurisdictions and ruled on both civil and criminal cases in court
Cassandra’s opponent Douglas County DA prosecutor Erik Levin’s overall performance has been spotty at best, but two recent cases concern me. Levin prosecuted a father, accused of killing his daughter in June 2016, only to have the jury find him not guilty. In January of this year, a judge cited video evidence in exonerating a nurse Erik had charged; the judge found that there was no evidence a crime even occurred. He either charged these defendants improperly or he undertook two cases (one to a very costly trial which the taxpayers paid entirely for the defense) without proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. His record reflects a lack of discernment.
As a retired cop, I’m very uncomfortable that some senior law enforcement officers have endorsed Erik in this election. If a Justice of the Peace is even suspected of tipping the scales as payback for getting elected, our citizens’ one and only venue for fair and equal treatment will be forever tainted.
Cassandra Jones has dealt with both civil and criminal legal matters, both as the owner of a busy legal practice and from the bench as a Judge Pro Tem and arbitrator. There will be no learning curve; she has done the job. Douglas County citizens would be well served to elect Jones as East Fork Justice of the Peace.
Vacation rentals would change neighborhoods
As I read and think about the question of allowing temporary home rentals in the Carson Valley, many thoughts come to mind. When I purchased my home over 30 years ago, I had a view. That changed. Though it is zoned single family residence, now comes the idea of allowing persons to rent out their home or a portion for an unspecified amount of time.
That would totally change the complexion of my neighborhood. I love my neighborhood because I know all of my neighbors. That makes me feel very comfortable and safe. I watch those who bicycle and walk seemingly with no reservations. We all wave and smile or greet one another. Our area is known for its friendliness. You do not see security doors or windows on homes. You see benches and flower pots on porches. We are happy people who are content with that kind of living space. We allow our children to play in the front yard. The high school track team jogs through the neighborhoods. That’s called peace and simplicity of a relaxed lifestyle.
If you allow residents to rent out rooms or have temporary rentals, that will totally change that wonderful, safe and peaceful lifestyle that we have come to enjoy. Will you know your neighbor? How long will he/she be your neighbor? When will the next stranger move in or out? Will you recognize your neighborhood any longer? Will you feel comfortable with all the strangers coming and going? Will your neighborhood be impacted with traffic? Will they respect that you have children or yourself walking or riding in the street? Will they have the same respect for others’ property as the permanent residents? Of course not. They are temporary. Why? Will this impact our already stretched law enforcement department? Will dispatch (911) have more calls because we see strangers up and down our streets? Are they supposed to be there? Are they transient or are they part of the “new, ever changing” neighborhood? Will you feel as comfortable letting your children walk to and from school or letting them play outside?
These are all valid questions you need to ask yourself. We have enjoyed a reputation of being friendly. Will you still be as friendly, not knowing who might invade your neighborhood and for how long? Will our quiet community continue to be quiet? Will temporary residents have as much respect for our community as those who plan to be permanent? I think not. To me, it will become more of a tourist attraction. Come, stay, do your damage, trash it and leave. That is exactly the complaint that tourist communities have. They are left with the mess and destruction of an every changing neighborhood. There are places for temporary living. They are called, Inn, Motel, Hotel, RV park.
I see nothing positive for our community. We are very close to Tahoe. Let Tahoe remain the area for temporary home rentals.
Retain Minden Town Board
Matt Bernard, Bill Souligny, and Roxanne Stangle have all served on the Minden Town Board during the past years. We feel that during this time they have shown they are very concerned about the residents of Minden.
We feel it would be a shame if any of them were voted out in favor of an individual of lesser experience involving town issues.
Like the old adage, “Why change horses in the middle of the stream?”
Sandy and Nancy Deyo
Protect water, not whiskey
Thanks to Douglas County commissioner Larry Walsh for pointing out how serious our underground aquifer and potential “selling” water from it would be in our area. Aquifers’ continued stability depends on replenishing themselves, not being unnecessarily used up.
According to a variety of internet articles, groundwater depletion across the U.S. has been a growing concern of scientists and water management the last several years and currently accelerating.
Expect our local “decision makers” to be knowledgeable, responsible, and protect our county water.
Mark Twain, “Whiskey is for drinking, Water is for fighting over.”
Victoria J. Roberts
Vote no on Marsy’s law
We should note that Question 1 is very similar to a ballot measure known as Marsy’s law that California voters approved as an amendment to the California Constitution in 2008. Mindful that these California voters have repeatedly voted for Diane Feinstein, Nancy Pelosi, Jerry Brown, and Sanctuary Cities, I immediately became compelled to investigate the provisions. Though there are some differences between the California law and what this Nevada ballot measure provides for, the fact remains that Question 1 undermines rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution, including the rights to be presumed innocent until proven guilty, to effective counsel, to confront one’s accusers and to a speedy trial. By allowing alleged victims to prevent disclosure of certain information or to refuse to participate in depositions, those accused of crimes may be denied access to information proving their innocence. Under present law the state, not the victim is tasked with prosecuting and punishing crimes and that is as it should be. With Feinstein’s deplorable antics fresh in our minds, we should be cautious of any measure that threatens what Sen. Collins of Maine opined so bravely regarding the presumption of innocence. But there is more to it than that. Question 1 removes Nevada’s current constitutional and statutory framework that gives the Legislature the flexibility to balance victim’s rights with the efficient and effective functioning of the justice system; it will mandate an inflexible framework that cannot be fixed unless the Nevada Constitution is amended yet again and that may take more than three years. Question 1 contains vague and confusing language that will make it more difficult to ensure that justice is served. We should not approve this poorly-written and unnecessary constitutional amendment that does nothing to improve anyone’s rights under the law. The Douglas County Republican Central Committee has got it wrong. We should all vote no on Question 1.
Eldon DeVere Henderson
Muller bridge beautiful
To the Nevada Department of Transportation, thank you for your hot, hard, daily labor for four and a half months installing our beautiful new bridge on Muller Lane near Foothill Road. Good job, guys.
We here on the Muller Ranch and those on the Herbig Ranch are so very fortunate to live on Muller Lane, the best in Douglas County.
Judi Muller Hamon
Thanks from Tangles
Tangles Hair Studio would like to thank everyone for participating in another successful Gigs 4 Wigs.
My co-workers, who helped out tremendously, included Kelly Swan, Elizabeth Hickman and Cassie Isaac.
Wonderful stylists Ronnell Campbell and Heather Semper came from other salons to help out.
A special thanks to the band, the Trippin’ King Snakes and thanks to Jerry Snyder for the great photos.
Thanks to the very generous people and businesses who donated including Starbucks, Country Carousel, Tony Gasper, Dwayne Hicks, Betty Crister, Ellen’s Glassworks, Brook Enos, Donna Marie, Suzette Bennett, Shawna’s Eyelashes, Merry Maids, Distinct Interiors, JT Basque Bar & Dining Room, CVI Steak, Battle Born Wine, Carson Valley Golf, Willow Springs Resort, Jackie Gordon, Jan Lindsey, Dr. Raschilla, Ty Tramain, Coffee on Main, Brenda Mauk, Ron Wilson and associates, Valerie Winkler, Just Fabulous, Fresh Ideas, Especially For You, Christensen’s Auto, Entertainer, Renee DelPrete, Deanna, Judy Shish, Margueite Lolly, Melanie Doyle, Main Street Barbers, Beautiful Beauty Bar, Carson Valley Gardens, Janice Lavoue, Chop Shop, FISH, Patsey Bradberry and the Zumba instructors at the Douglas County Community & Senior Center.
Thanks to Paula and Katie for sharing their stories and giving people hope. You are beautiful.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped out with so much, including Girl Scout Troop 331, Bob and Nancy Camaras, Nancy Stewart, Leslie Bianchi, B. Frazier, Tony Gasper, Melissa Whorley, Jennifer and Hailey Pierce, Jeni Cartwright, Nicole and Cooper Etherly, Connie Coughlin, Chloe Ortega at KOLO News and The Record-Courier for all your help in making this fundraiser a success and if we forgot anyone, we truly apologize. The greatest gift that we can give is our time and love,
Obesity and our kids
Obesity is growing among U.S. states with seven states reporting adult obesity rates greater than 35 percent compared to 2012 when not a single state had an obesity rate greater than 35 percent, according to a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System study done in 2017. Teaching our kids at a young age what foods are good for them to eat and what foods they should avoid is the best way to prevent future rises in the current 26.7 percent adult obesity rate here in Nevada.
The Leadership Douglas County class of 2018, in collaboration with Gardnerville Elementary School and other community sponsors and donors, decided to tackle the issue of bringing a Farm to School program to Douglas County. The national farm to school program is meant to enrich the connection communities have with fresh, healthy food and local food producers by changing food purchasing and education practices at schools and early care and education settings. The early stages of this program entail changing the food served in the schools to healthier foods and creating a garden where children can learn to grow their own foods to eat.
A garden has been completed at Gardneville Elementary school as step one in this process and securing grants to bring in healthier food options to the Douglas County schools are in the works. In celebration of the beginning of this great program, Leadership Douglas County along with faculty from Gardnerville Elementary school hosted a successful opening day on Oct. 11 showcasing the garden to the parents of students as well as other community members. If you have not already seen the garden for yourself, I invite you to take a drive by GES and take a look at the completed garden. The school has additional items they need to help continue this program and if you would like to know how you can help, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.