May 28 Letters to the Editor |

May 28 Letters to the Editor

Editor’s Note: The deadline is noon Monday for June 4 Letters to the Editor. No new election issues will be permitted, though we welcome letters supporting candidates.

Tarkanian on why he’s running


When I first mentioned to my dad, coach Jerry Tarkanian, that I wanted to run for public office, he asked, “Why would you want to do that? The people who are the most successful are the ones that lie the most and have the most money to lie the most often.”

At the time, I didn’t appreciate the amount of wisdom in my father’s words. I was focused on my belief that public service was a noble profession and I wanted to be a public servant.

We all want, and should demand, honesty from our political leaders as well as those vying to be our leaders. Always remember the adage “If someone will lie to you to get elected, they will lie to you once they are in office.”

Many of you have read or heard the lies and distortions told about me by my opponent and/or his supporters, many of which have been in letters to the editor in this newspaper.

I am taking this opportunity to set the record straight.

I have lived in Nevada for nearly 50 years. After witnessing the population explosion in our community, my wife Amy and I cringed as we watched the negative impact it had on our four young children.

We decided to move to Gardnerville so that our children would experience the values, culture and lifestyle that makes traditional Nevada such a special place.

When we moved here, I had no desire to run for public office. I was enjoying watching my three young girls compete in basketball, tennis and golf for Douglas High School and attending the various school events for my son, Jerry, at Minden Elementary.

I have enjoyed waking up late every morning and seeing the breathtaking view of Jobs Peak.

However, in early March, I was approached by many residents and community leaders, to run for County Commission. I listened because of the great respect I had for them, such as State Sen. James Settelmeyer, former Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, and many others.

I heard about the infighting and lack of civility with some of the current commission and how they came to meetings unprepared, with their mind made up before hearing testimony, and having no alternative solutions to the items they were voting “no” on.

After much consultation with my wife, I decided to run for county commissioner. With my background in law, small business, real estate and a history of achieving great results by working with and encouraging diverse groups of people, I am confident I will be a great asset to the Douglas County Commission.

Contrary to what my opponent is trying to portray, I will be a strong advocate in protecting the rural heritage of Douglas County. After all, it is the reason Amy and I moved our family here in the first place.

I am Danny Tarkanian and I am asking for your vote for Douglas County Commissioner, District 1.

Danny Tarkanian

Gardnerville Ranchos

Walsh no friend of master plan


Larry Walsh, in his letter of May 21, claims that he has “fulfilled his campaign promises,” but the facts do not support that assertion. His main pledge four years ago was that he would uphold the Master Plan, yet he has repeatedly violated both the letter and intent of Master Plan by changing the plan to allow for development where it was not previously permitted. In less than 3½ years, he has voted to allow nearly 4,000 additional homes, the vast majority of them requiring a Master Plan Amendment and/or a Zoning Map Amendment. That is unwanted, unreasonable and unsustainable. Plus, it is in addition to over 3,000 homes that are yet to be built in previously approved developments.

The largest and most ill-advised of these, of course, was the Master Plan Amendment to change the land use on 1,000-plus acres of Park Ranch land from Agricultural to Receiving Area, allowing Park to increase the number of homes there from 66 to 2,500. The Master Plan states that Agricultural land use is intended to remain in that use, and that the county should direct growth to areas already committed to an urban level of growth in order to preserve ranching, natural resources, and open space. Walsh’s willingness to ignore those provisions, and to approve 2,500 homes on ag land that was outside both the town and urban service area boundaries, is unforgivable, and the primary reason why he does not deserve re-election.

Walsh’s latest campaign promise is to retain our rural character, which was the over-arching desire of residents when our Master Plan was approved in 1996. Unfortunately, Walsh has already violated that pledge by his vote in favor of the Park Ranch Development. Park Ranch, along with the Park’s other holdings, is one of the largest, wealthiest landowners in the county, and hence a powerful special interest group.

Because some people have asked, let me briefly explain a few things about myself. In the ’90s I moved to Douglas County from Carson City, after nearly a decade there. Just in the last twenty years, I have written over 100 letters to the editor, and made over 1000 public comments at County Commissioner meetings. As opposed to some others who seek to financially benefit from their letters and comments, not once would I have ever benefitted monetarily from anything on which I have expressed my opinion. I merely consider myself a concerned citizen. I have spoken up for what I thought was right and fair, and have always believed that my opinion was shared by the majority of residents, most of whom have neither the time nor inclination to write letters or speak in public. I have always stood for retaining our rural character, following the Master Plan, and preserving our open space, while growing at a sustainable rate. I believe that Nelson, Gardner and Nowosad support those same values, and urge residents to vote for them.

Jim Slade


Don’t vote for obstructionists


I have grown up in the Carson Valley and spent most of my life here. I have watched our small town grow over the years, while still maintaining it’s rural beauty. Our land, rich with history and natural beauty, is the perfect place for a family to raise their children. As a father myself, I would love for my son to have the same opportunities I had growing up in a safe, rural community. Our community has grown, through guidance of our Master Plan, at a conservative rate that has created jobs and stimulated our local economy. But, we are at a crossroads in our community. The Primary Election on June 9 for County Commissioners will determine the fate of Carson Valley for years to come.

Unfortunately, some county commissioners have led a concerted effort to obstruct the progress of our community. Specifically, Commissioner Nelson, has shown no interest in adhering to the Master Plan. Rather, he votes no on all new developments proposed in the valley. The Master Plan was passed to ensure slow, controlled growth in the Carson Valley. Instead of approving controlled growth, Nelson has teamed up with California transplant retirees who are aptly called the “No on Everything Crowd.” Douglas County is becoming unaffordable, largely because of this cap on the housing supply. As I am sure Nelson is aware, by placing a cap on the housing supply, the price of housing increases beyond market equilibrium, and prices become inflated and unaffordable for hardworking Nevadans. Unfortunately, Nelson’s actions and voting record demonstrate he has no interest in adhering to the Master Plan. I encourage candidates for the county commission to adhere to the Master Plan as it stands, so future generations can experience the beauty of the Carson Valley. We are at a crossroads in our community and we cannot afford to say “No on Everything.”

Thankfully, we have a candidate with a pragmatic approach to leading our community. Danny Tarkanian has lived in Nevada for nearly 50 years, roughly 31 years longer than his opponent Nelson. “No on Everything” may seem to be the simple solution to maintaining our rural character. However, experienced leaders understand the value of resolving difficult issues for the benefit of our growing community. With the guidance and experience of Tarkanian, we can place our community back on track to slow and controlled growth. It is possible to grow our community while preserving the rural beauty that will always be the Carson Valley. Tarkanian would be a great addition to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners because he understands the needs of our growing community. The Primary Election on June 9 will serve as the General Election for county commissioners. Now, more than ever, we need true leadership from commissioners who show interest in solving difficult issues.

Aaron Whalin


We need government for the people


On March 16 our Board of County Commissioners declared a COVID pandemic-initiated state of emergency for Douglas County. This would prioritize immediate attention to possible needs of our medical community, and seeing to the direct staffing and equipment needs for our first responders. Given the yet undetermined impact of the shutdown on our business community and residents, our Economic Development Department and social services would be directed to reach out to assess the needs of our most vulnerable citizens and businesses. County staff would surely be instructed to restrict overtime and spending only for essential purposes until further notice.

The Penzel-Walsh-Rice Board majority in their April 16 BOCC meeting voted, first, to put on the November ballot a successful petition drive to allow Douglas County voters an up-or-down vote on Redevelopment Agency No. 2 that would fund a Lake event center. In the next agenda item, the same Board majority voted to commit $34.25 million in taxpayer money to fund RDA2, cheating the voters of an up-or-down vote on RDA2 funding. Committing millions of taxpayer dollars to help out the casino corridor in the midst of sorting out the COVID shutdown’s unknown financial losses to our county and its residents was borderline corrupt.

Commissioner Dave Nelson, who is up for reelection in the June primary, along with Commissioner John Engels, took this emergency declaration seriously and voted against this reckless expenditure, a policy position also taken by Commission candidates Mark Gardner and Walt Nowosad, both in forum questioning and in their campaign material.

If we’re ever to get back to government for the people, not special interests, it will be in this most important June election. It’s absolutely critical that we first keep Nelson, who with Engel has been fighting from the minority to represent the voters’ best interests. It’s also essential to elect Gardner and Nowosad, honest men who stand with the voters on the important issues.

Maureen Morris


You get what you pay for


The old saying “you get what you pay for” needs to be revised for the 21st century. Now it should be “you seldom/rarely get what you pay for” or my favorite “you never get what you pay for.” Seems business strategy now is make the most profit you can even if you put out a nonfunctioning product. You can always declare bankruptcy before the returns commence and start another business elsewhere.

Leaving you with a couple thoughts:

You might just as well try to dry a floor by throwing water on it as try to end a war by fighting.

The working class of one country has no quarrel with the working class of another.

Things make a lot more sense when you realize the world is run by psychopaths and sociopaths.

M.A. Richardson


May is Mental Health month


May is Mental Health awareness month. With so many of our friends, family and neighbors struggling through feelings of anxiety, fear, despair and frustration we are forced to cope with the impacts of COVID-19’s forced closures of schools, businesses and churches. There is no better time to talk about it than now.

The overwhelming stress from being unemployed or overworked, our health, homeschooling our children, taking care of an elderly parent not to mention isolation from human contact has caused an increase in depression, anxiety or coping in ways that can be harmful to one’s self or others. Sadly, it has been reported, by the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and the Suicide Prevention Network, domestic violence calls have tripled, substance abuse has increased, and suicide attempts have doubled since the mandated closure was initiated. This is real, this is important.

Many of our friends, family and neighbors may have been already struggling from depression and anxiety long before this. Some have learned self-care coping skills and developed a support network, but for others this is new. Depression is real and can affect anybody at any given time. It’s time to lose the stigma, there should be no shame in admitting we are feeling overwhelmed and may need someone to talk to.

We here in Douglas County are very fortunate to live in a special place that has a tremendous network of professionals and volunteers that can help. If you or your loved one is struggling right now, you are not alone, they are not alone, and there is help. Here are just a few places dedicated to making sure you are safe, and you are heard:

Safe Voice 833-216-SAFE

Suicide Prevention Network 775-783-1510 or 800-273-8255

Rural Clinics (formerly Douglas Mental Health) 775-782-3671

Family Support Council 775-782-3671

Tahoe Youth and Family Services 775-782-4202

Crisis Text line Text SHARE to 741741

We are all in this together. Check on your neighbors, check on your family, check on your friends and above all be nice to each other. Let’s come out of this stronger than we were before.

Jen Tune

Leadership Douglas County Class of 2020

Regional Manager, Anytime Fitness