Letters to the Editor for July 4
Amodei commits to health care
Just weeks after our daughter, Elsie, was born, she was diagnosed with cystic fibrosis, a life-threatening, genetic disease that affects more than 30,000 people in the U.S., including 220 Nevadans. CF is caused by a defective gene that makes the body produce unusually thick, sticky mucus that clogs the lungs, making it extremely difficult to breathe. As I researched CF through my heartache and fears, one thing stood out: the life expectancy for people with CF is 44 years old. I refused to accept that Elsie’s life would be cut short, and I was resolved to do everything possible so she could celebrate milestones.
It was not long before managing frequent doctor visits and hospitalization, high costs of medications, specialized treatment, and out-of-network providers cost our family excessive time and energy. I knew Elsie needed a voice, and I could not do it alone.
I first met Rep. Mark Amodei at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation’s March on the Hill. From our initial meeting, I knew I had an ally. He, too, has a personal connection to CF, so when I asked him to join the Congressional Cystic Fibrosis Caucus, he immediately agreed. This month, Amodei agreed to serve as co-chair to the caucus, one of the few that is bicameral and bipartisan. He may be known for his land management expertise, but his heart is also behind protecting those with pre-existing conditions, like Elsie. Thank you, Rep. Amodei, for your commitment to ensuring that health care is accessible, adequate, and affordable to all.
Question ads supporting RDA
Redevelopment Agency number 2 was created some years ago when outside “experts” convinced our county commissioners that using our tax money to fund an event/convention center at the lake would draw tourist and business traffic. Stateline businesses suffering from competition by California Indian gaming have been understandably anxious to grab onto this lifeline. But RDA2 diverts tax dollars badly needed for services and infrastructure to bet on an untested scheme. No one – not the experts, the commissioners, any of the lake-based alphabet agencies – guarantees that the plan will work or that the taxpayers would ultimately be made whole.
This is a serious subject, but it was great to see the RDA2 Record Courier ad wars last Saturday take a turn to whimsy and comedy. We were truly honored to read Douglas County’s own poet laureate on the more ridiculous aspects of RDA2.
More laughs: Telling English professor Virginia Starrett that she should do her homework because words “mater.” Some more than others? As to Bailey’s implication that we “California retirees” have no right to express ourselves, news flash: none of our county commissioners is a native-born Nevadan.
Bailey claims Commissioner Nelson was lying that RDA2 would deny $110 million in funding to our county’s services, which it will over its 30-year lifetime. Bailey then cited the estimated loss to the operating budget of “less than $300,000” for just this fiscal year.
Homework question for Bailey: Is one year less than 30? Bailey forgets to mention the lost tax dollars to Douglas County schools (which suffered a $4.1 million cut in this last legislature), our fire departments, and other services not included in the operating budget. Who’s the liar?
The fact is, RDA2 prevented the commissioners from fully funding county services in the last budget cycle, including the sheriff’s request for three deputies (about $80,000 per position). For extra credit, how many deputies could be funded with the $300,000 per year the RDA is swallowing up? By the way, the county taxpayers have permanently lost $2 million to the RDA fund already.
I would advise the taxpayers to be skeptical of ads run by lake business people who stand to benefit from RDA2. At the Board of County Commissioners meeting at Lake Tahoe this past Thursday, they voted 3 to 2 to continue this money grab from the residents of Douglas County in spite of the fiscally responsible comments of the people in attendance who spoke against RDA2. The Big 3, Penzel, Walsh and Rice, continue to prevent a vote of the people on RDA2. Attend commission meetings, get involved. This money grab still can be stopped.
Thanks for voting for RDA
Commissioners Penzel, Walsh and Rice, on behalf of the taxpayers of Douglas County, thank you.
Thank you for your strong leadership, your dedication to transparency and your commitment to this community. Thank you for serving the best interests of the county rather than the closed mindedness of a select few.
Most importantly, thank you for upholding the public process. As a Douglas County taxpayer and a firm believer in limited government, I’m appalled at the way Commissioners Nelson and Engels have represented this county over the past several weeks. It appears that they had made the decision to oppose the proposed events center at Stateline long before any meaningful public discourse or investigation of facts on the issue. Even more troublesome is the indication that they were apparently willing to entirely circumvent the public process to reach that goal.
To the best of my understanding, the proposed events center and the funds needed to build it is a complicated project. As is the case for any issue involving public funds, the county should undertake careful diligence to ensure the collection of information that is unequivocally accurate and complete. Ultimately, it is the responsibility of the commissioners to consider the facts and weigh potential risks against perceived benefits to arrive at a decision that best serves the interests of the county and the taxpayers. In the words of Commissioner Rice, the people of this county did not elect our commissioners to pass the buck.
A great deal of information regarding the proposed events center is necessary before any shovels hit the ground, and I fully expect this county and our commissioners to rigorously scrutinize those facts and act in this county’s best interests. The problem here is that Engels and Nelson attempted to prevent the county from ever having the opportunity to do so. By attempting to hijack this process, these commissioners have shown that they are willing to substitute their own personal prejudice for a consideration of actual evidence. At the end of the day, it seems to me that Engels and Nelson should base their decisions on facts. They should do what is best for the community.
To make matters even worse, Engels and Nelson claim to be in favor of taxpayer accountability and good governance. If demanding transparency in government while simultaneously working to deprive taxpayers of an open decision-making process isn’t hypocrisy, I don’t know what is.
Regardless of politics, campaign promises or a commissioner’s experience in the private sector, it is critically important that this multi-year public process be completed — not abrogated or hijacked. Last week, in the face of a coordinated effort to abort this process you did the right thing.
We elect our county commissioners to govern, not to campaign. We expect decisions made based on a complete understanding of the facts and we deserve commissioners who respect that process. Thank you for taking that duty seriously. Your leadership inspires confidence in our local government and optimism for the future of this county.
Local politics shouldn’t be partisan
A local government, be it county or city, should not be dictated by partisan politics. It is discriminatory, and at time seems like “Freedom of the Press” has its hands tied here in Douglas County. We all live here, regardless of party. We all care about where we live, regardless of party. Since no one can tell me what the Republican platform currently is (unless this is where locals are learning to be petty, argumentative, and forsaking the morals and decency they were taught, as was I, by my Republican parents) it is difficult to find any correlation between federal and county issues. If I am not a Republican, I cannot get info on the backgrounds of some of our commissioners who seem to have no digital footprint. The county is heavily influenced by the GGG who has shown its colors to be that of one political party. Please, non-Republicans, speak up. Do not let moral decay enter so closely to our lives.
Take care of public lands
Public land is not the same as public dump. Those of you who use public lands as your personal dumping ground are doing so illegally. The rest of us dispose of our garden waste and car parts and fencing and concrete by lawful means. You should do the same. You obviously weren’t paying attention during your parent’s lesson on littering.