May 14 Letters to the Editor | RecordCourier.com
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May 14 Letters to the Editor

A sunrise on Monday colored the eastern sky in this photo taken by Margaret Pross.
Margaret Pross/Special to The R-C

Editor’s Note: The May 21 edition of The Record-Courier will be the last time new issues may be raised in a letter to the editor. We welcome letters supporting candidates in both the May 28 and June 4 editions.

Attack on decent people

Editor:

The May 9 full-page ad about the “puppeteers” was nothing but innuendo right out of a Nancy Pelosi paid political action committee page. This ad is typical of your liberal a.k.a. socialist attack on decent people.

Dolly Schreckengost

Garderville

Try to keep it civil

Editor:

The full-page advertisement appearing in The Record-Courier May 9 paid for by PAC Working Citizens of Douglas County is an example of mean-spirited gutter politics. Most of the time, we see only what we want to see, instead of really investigating what is really there. We embrace illusions only because we are presented with the illusion that they are embraced by the majority (www.goodreads.com). All the individuals demonized in the ad, I’ve had the pleasure of knowing for a number of years and know that each one of them in their way has nothing but the best intent for Douglas County and its residents. Let’s all refrain from this type of politics.

Mark Tarvainen

Gardnerville

Vote for the Californian, not the Las Vegan

Editor:

I am a North Lake Tahoe California transplant. During my 20 years there, I was a member of the Community Citizen Advisory Team selected to update and produce a new Area Plan. I also actively participated in meetings of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and myriad government-based committees. Then I moved to Douglas County and began to appreciate its rich history and rural and conservative values.

Because I actively support grassroots groups in pursuit of fact finding and community outreach in order to ensure quality of life for future generations, I immediately started to attend Board of County Commissioners as well as Planning Commission meetings to be informed about our local government, get acquainted with other like-minded Douglas Countians, and to learn about our elected and appointed officials.

I don’t know Danny Tarkanian, but it appears he hasn’t bothered to get to know Douglas County much yet. Being a new comer, I have attended local government meetings to better understand my new home. Danny hasn’t commented at even one of those, and when the public had the opportunity, he didn’t attend either.

The recent mailer identified Trumps support. As Donald Trump likes to say, “It’s fake news.” The suggested closeness between Trump and the candidate from Las Vegas is an illusion.

I know Dave Nelson supports a Master Plan that will enrich our lives in Douglas County through responsible growth that will not over-burden our infrastructure and increase traffic. Voting against a 2,500-home development where there are over 5,000 units already on the books is sensible.

I know Nelson believes in redevelopment dollars supporting actual blight, not a $100 million Event Center that may never get built, and his only recourse is to rescind RDA2 much like RDA1 termination, as the property taxes it is obligating are being misappropriated.

I know Nelson believes in and supports accountability to our annual county budget.

I know Nelson believes in our Second Amendment Rights.

I plan to re-elect Nelson as I’d rather have a California transplant with rural, conservative values and who listens to the people than a carpetbagger from Las Vegas that supports special interests. Just drive around the valley and check out the location of Tarkanian’s signs. That speaks volumes. We need to know why Senator Settlemeyer is endorsing Danny Tarkanian? Could it be the farmer wants to be a developer like Park?

Elle Waller

Alpine View

Editor’s Note: Elle Waller is one of the five originators of the Park 2500 petition.

Not much debate there

Editor:

I have let 12 hours pass since watching the Virtual Town Hall Debate on Sunday to mull over what I heard and didn’t hear from the six candidates running for County Commissioner. Trying to stay pithy, I will “bullet” my thoughts.

I heard no debate. No candidate was challenged regarding their statements and numbers. No hard questions of individuals.

I mostly heard generalizations and feelings especially by the candidates not currently commissioners but few specifics.

I heard we need affordable housing but only Walsh said we need to increase density to lower costs. What were the other five’s solution?

I heard three say we need an events center to promote tourism and it would not negatively impact DC taxpayers. Three said “no” to the center and that it would negatively impact the taxpayers. Who is right? All said there will be major decreases in tax revenue from the casinos. So if “no” is the answer regarding the event center, then how do the “no’s” plan to create new revenues?

I heard for the first time the Ranchos is going to have a “water problem” with no explanation or follow-up.

Gardner informed us that there is major funding concern regarding our sheriff and other services that needs to be addressed. No specifics, questions or rebuttal?

I admit I favor private businesses over government. Initial questions to the candidates regarding post COVID-19 and opening up the economy were responded to with vague answers and generalizations. How about encouraging businesses to open, promoting business, regulation reduction, faster response times at all levels, etc. It’s called being “business friendly.” It’s every office, department, staff member, city, county and state wide. Let’s all remember businesses create tax dollars and government only spends tax dollars. Let’s nurture the goose laying the golden eggs; including South Lake Tahoe.

These are trying times but not defeating times. Reality is constant change and is most often unpredictable. Accept it , stay optimistic, acknowledge the challenges and then dwell on the solutions. Make creative and well thought out plans for growth, the life blood of any community, and know those plans can and will need to be changed as circumstances change. “No,” as expressed by candidates Nelson, Gardner and Nowosad, is not an acceptable solution or answer.

Peter Engle

Gardnerville

Voting for Nelson

Editor:

Spirited debate about most anything is good, especially during election season. There appears to be two groups in Douglas County that are competing for votes: The pro-big development group and the go slow, stay rural as long as we reasonably can group. Change is inevitable, especially with our natural beauty of the area, for however long it lasts. So, please take your time to sort the wheat from the chaff.

There is one race, District 1, I would like to comment on. In particular Danny Tarkanian. From what I understand, he has been here less than a year and just purchased a house at the beginning of this year. It’s interesting that he is going to protect the values and lifestyle of rural Douglas when he barely knows the county to begin with. It leads me to believe something is fishy here.

It seems he really wants to get elected to some public office. He has tried multiple times and has lost each time. This when he resided in the Las Vegas area and had his dad’s legacy behind him. Dean Heller did a campaign ad labeled “Wake up Nevada” when Danny was running against him in a Senate primary. I’m sure you can find it on the web. In it Dean mentions a number of questionable activities relating to Danny. They include being sued for malpractice, being sanctioned by the state Supreme Court for practicing law without a license and defaulting on a federal judgment. Danny has sued opponents after he loses. However, he didn’t sue Dean, so the items must ring true. If so, is this the type of person we want making decisions for our county’s future? Something tells me he wouldn’t be on the commission long as he would jump at the first chance to run for a state office.

Additionally, while being here less than a year, word has it he is trying to intimidate and bully the Douglas High athletic department. Apparently, he thinks the rules everyone else has to follow shouldn’t apply to his children.

I would say vote Dave Nelson for at least one more term.

Richard Hamzik

Gardnerville

Candidates propagate phony math

Editor:

Dave Nelson, Mark Gardner, Jon Engels and Walt Nowosad continue to propagate fake news and phony math to further their narrow-minded political objectives. Recently in the County Commission debate, Mark Gardner factually misstated that there are over 8,500-plus approved lots already in Douglas County, ready to build on. He used this figure as a scare tactic and to augment his close-minded stance against development in Douglas County. The only problem, the number of approved lots, ready to build upon, is nowhere close to this number.

When you take the list of 8,500-plus lots Gardner claims are already approved and you remove the lots that are already developed and built-out there are really only 4,223 lots that are truly approved as of April 30, according to Douglas County Community Development. This is less than 50 percent of what Gardner erroneously claimed in the debate.

Further, when you remove lots with expired tentative maps, projects that still require further discretionary approvals from the Board of County Commissioners, and lots for $1 million-plus estate homes (i.e., Clear Creek, James Canyon Loop, Job’s Peak, Eagle Ridge, etc.) there are only 2,586 lots approved. Of these, there are fewer than 200 developed finished lots in the Carson Valley for homes under $1 million. Of these 200, over half are tied up by big builders and are unavailable for local home builders and individuals.

In spite of public corrections by county officials of their erroneous math, Engels, Gardner, Nelson and Nowosad continue to propagate fake news. Their reasoning can only be one of two scenarios: 1) Inability to accurately research and report facts, or 2) an intentional desire to mislead the public in order to further a special interest agenda. Either way, the gross misrepresentation of facts is a demonstration of why these gentlemen should not hold or be elected to public office.

If this were the first time these candidates had used phony math to further a special interest agenda it would be one thing; unfortunately, the GGG candidates have a history of using phony math and fake news to further their agenda.

As an example, to garner support against the Tahoe South Events Center, Nelson originally propagated phony math that suggested RDA would steal or siphon hundreds of millions of tax dollars from essential services needed in Douglas County. The problem with Nelson’s math? He failed to understand that property taxes are calculated based on a 0.35 multiplied by assessed market valuations. As a result, he overstated the incremental property tax by 300%. An elected official or candidate for public office for County Commission should know how property taxes are calculated before widely propagating phony math to further an agenda.

I encourage all Douglas County citizens to research the facts for themselves and question the false narratives being put out by Engels, Nelson, Nowosad and Gardner. Any candidate that would propagate fake news and phony math, whether out of incompetence or nefarious intent, should not be voted for.

Brandon Hill

Gardnerville

Writer has vested interest

Editor:

When reading letters to the Record-Courier or seeing campaign signs around town, it’s instructional to learn about the writers and property owners. That can be informative as to their possible motives.

Take Brandon Hill, who wrote two letters last month in support of the Tarkanian/Walsh/Tolbert (TWT) “ticket,” while insulting the Nelson/Gardner/Nowosad slate. Did Hill happen to mention his career in either of his letters? Of course not, because he is a developer, and President of Carter Hill Homes. That explains his bias, and his support of the pro-development TWT ticket.

Hill claims to be the arbiter of what makes a “real Republican,” like his chosen candidates TWT. He seems to suggest that one must support private property rights without reservation, even if it means ignoring the Master Plan or relevant zoning, while nearly everyone else understands that property rights are not absolute, and that there are laws and zoning with which they must conform. Hill also claims that “real Republicans” believe in “family values,” but then seems to conflate that with building limitless houses in Douglas County so that anyone and everyone that wants to live here can. That’s not family values, that’s a recipe for ruination of everything that we all love about this area, merely for the profit of developers like Hill.

Hill was the representative of Genoa Shares regarding Master Plan and Zoning Map Amendments for a Planned Development in 2018-19, in order to build 75 homes north of Genoa. It passed in November 2018, with Walsh voting in favor. On the second reading of the zoning amendment, Walsh flip-flopped and voted no, and told the applicant that he “needed to go back to the drawing board.” Genoa Shares sued to get a re-hearing, and again Walsh flip-flopped and voted for approval, along with Penzel and Rice. No wonder Hill wants Walsh and his TWT cronies to get elected.

Have you seen the big signs supporting TWT at the corner of Toler and Orchard? That property belongs to Frank Godecke, who applied for a Master Plan Amendment in 2016-17 to change the land use on 373 acres from Agricultural to Receiving Area, which would have increased the potential number of homes on his property from 19 to potentially more than 7,000! In the end, he withdrew that request, since it was clearly contrary to the Master Plan, in large part because it was outside of the town and urban service area boundaries. Now, however, since pro-development Commissioners Walsh, Penzel, and Rice approved the 2,500 homes on nearby Park land, even though it too was outside the town and urban service area boundaries, Godecke apparently decided he should back the TWT ticket in hopes of getting his own Master Plan Amendment, so that he can sell his property to developers and make a huge profit.

Those two examples show that Tarkanian, Walsh and Tolbert are viewed as the pro-development candidates, whose actions are likely to financially benefit the special interest groups that support them. Nelson, Gardner and Nowosad, on the other hand, will stand up for the common good. They deserve your support.

Jim Slade

Foothill

Why vote for tax but not parkway?

Editor:

There was a divisive vote at the commissioners meeting on May 7 regarding the agenda item to submit a federal BUILD Grant application for Muller Parkway construction funds. Muller Parkway is the only alternate route included in the BOCC approved transportation Plan. Commissioners “NO, NO” Nelson and John Engels voted against submitting the application, whereas the other three commissioners voted for it, and it passed. Douglas County has been working on a final Muller design, and the Park agreement gave the county the right of way needed to submit for the grant. The north and south end of the Muller Parkway are completed (Phase 1), and the remaining construction is proposed in a Phase 2 and 3. In Phase 2, a two-lane road with roundabouts is proposed and Phase 3 will add 2 lanes in each direction. The BUILD grant application for Phase 2 is for $18M, and Douglas matching funds proposed is $3.6M meaning if approved, the grant would pay for 83% of the Phase 2 construction.

Nelson’s stated reason for his no vote was concern over county finances given the coronavirus situation. However, there was considerable discussion that the grant could be turned down, if won, if county finances turned out later to be a problem. Also, financing of the Douglas matching money could be done via bond financing, so the first couple of years cost could be minimized. It is expected that grant award could take many months, so why not apply now? Construction probably will take a couple of years.

All the GGG people and their candidates for commissioner have constantly complained about U.S. 395 traffic past, present and future. The county traffic study says Muller Parkway will help alleviate the U.S. 395 traffic. Nelson or other GGG candidates have no solution proposed for lessening traffic, and they do nothing in working on the problem. Only Larry Walsh proposes to have Muller Parkway built as part of his re-election policy. How can Nelson claim to be “the voice of the people” when the majority of people want something done about the traffic? What is the real reason Nelson voted no? Is he still upset on the Park agreement? Does he not want to see Walsh and other commissioners successful in getting Muller Parkway built? Did the GGG leaders tell him to vote no? Again, his decision was made before going into the meeting.

As a bit of irony, at the same meeting, all commissioners voted yes to add a ballot question for a 5 cent a gallon tax increase on special fuels, including diesel fuel. This would bring the tax on special fuels to the same level as current gasoline tax. This increase would fund road repair, maintenance and new construction. Nelson seemed to have no problem, or no objection to voting for that. So why no on Muller?

Vote for Tarkanian, Tolbert and Walsh in the upcoming election. We need to get rid of Nelson.

Tom Zogorski

Gardnerville

Republican values?

Editor:

As a disenfranchised voter in the upcoming County Commissioner primary (I refuse to change parties), it is interesting looking at all the advertisements without bias.

What I would like to see is which of the Republican values are shown by the stances taken by all of these Republicans. Also, I would like to know how many of these candidates understand the Master Plan in Douglas County and understand what change they may or may not be able to affect.

On a more personal level, I have often had a difficult time discerning what Mr. Nelson thinks, since so often at his town halls, and even in responses under his name on NextDoor, his wife Jeanne is the main speaker. I find Mr. Engels to be particularly rude, but I will say that they were both correct about voting no on the updated Rancho Sierra development. While it did pass, there may be delays due to the county’s lack of providing infrastructure for any builder to reach that area deemed “receivable.” Dresserville Road must be updated by the county unless this is its way of blocking people from fulfilling their rights as property owners to do what is legally permitted for that land. And where does Douglas County get revenue from? Property taxes, development fees. Aren’t individual rights part of the Republican mantra?

I hope that those voters out there will realize that redevelopment funds are meant for economic development. While the casinos in Stateline might benefit from more hotel room bookings or perhaps even increased gambling from attendees at the new Event Center, each room adds $5 to the redevelopment fund… We need to have commissioners who keep in their minds that while our ranges are gorgeous, the part of Douglas County on the top of those mountains is our jewel and commissioners must respect the requirements there as well. Too bad we have no ranch owners on the commission to speak for themselves.

Deni Caster

Gardnerville

Don’t be led by the nose

Editor:

Good morning. Just south of the Kingsbury Grade stop sign, there is a good chance you will see a large black dog loping down a long driveway and then taking a turn to the newspaper box and bringing the paper to the house.

He has my long-awaited Thursday version of The Record-Courier, especially if I have submitted a letter to the editor. The suspense is overwhelming, unfortunately the content has a lot be desired. Too bad Mr. Hildebrand is not able to award Pinocchios, though many of the opinion pieces deserve them. B. Anderson had written that county commissioner candidates Walsh and Tolbert are backed by the same PAC, totally ignoring that the three opponents, Nelson, Gardner and Nowsosad, are backed and financed by the “Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire” gang, Muzzys, Tom and Virginia Starrett and Jeanne Shizuru, (Mrs. David Nelson). All California interlopers. Of the three opponents of this trio, two are long-time Nevadans, or in Walsh’s case, been here for 30 years. Walsh has served on the Planning Commission, Chamber of Commerce, as well as now a County Commissioner and is well versed in the values and needs of Douglas County.

Claude Marsh wrote wondering “Why is it that Dave Nelson, a long-standing Realtor here in Douglas County has not garnered the endorsement of the Realtors Association and the Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce?” Do those organizations know something we should?

It is time, that we, as individuals, should check the facts, as Vern Madsen did. Call the building department. Only 154 single-family permits were issued in 2019. Ask the Planning Department when these 7,000 homes will be built. They are long time from being permitted. It will be long after most of us are still here on this earth. It is time we have the responsibility to ascertain the facts and not be led by the nose.

Danna Meyer

Foothill

Supporting Nate Tolbert

Editor:

If you are looking to vote for a county commissioner candidate with integrity. A candidate who is objective with issues facing Douglas County. A candidate who will put in the time to research the issues of Douglas County. A candidate who will listen to all residents of Douglas County. A candidate who looks to bring civility back to the BOCC. A candidate who is not retired, but owns and operates a small business in Douglas County. A candidate who has been a resident in Douglas County for more than 30 years. A candidate who is raising his family in Douglas County. A candidate who is involved in Douglas County community events. A candidate who is endorsed by current and former community leaders. If so, then vote for County Commissioner District 5 candidate Nathan Tolbert. He will work with the BOCC to make Douglas County a better place for all residents and not just special interest groups.

Jim and Belinda Grant

Gardnerville Ranchos

Supporting Judge Young in November

Editor:

We are in unprecedented times in America. Like all communities across our nation, businesses, public buildings and community centers have closed their doors. Our beloved restaurants have limited hours and are take-out only. Our favorite small businesses are shuttered and public gatherings have been restricted.

Despite all these closures, the courthouse has remained open because it is an essential service.

Thanks to Judge Young’s leadership in spearheading the reform and revamping of our courtrooms a few years ago, our community can feel safe while accessing our justice system. The new technological upgrades have made it possible for us to preserve our access to justice from the safety of our own homes.

This is especially important right now.

Cases in Judge Young’s courtroom are still being heard. Judge Young knows every case is important to the citizens involved. To protect the safety of our community and our court staff, all parties can appear by telephone or GoToMeeting, an online tool that supports virtual conferences. Notably, our elders in guardianships, and those most susceptible to the devastating consequences of COVID-19 can safely appear at their hearings without being exposed to the public.

Judge Young is a proven community leader and deserves to be re-elected.

Allen and Vicki Jewell

Minden