Nov. 12, 2020, Letters to the Editor
Clerk’s Office was professional
Like many in our community, I have experienced fear about the 2020 elections in Douglas County, but that has been allayed. Starting with the first day of early voting I have been serving as a poll watcher. I have been there at different times of the day and have observed activity both outside the polling place and the actual processing and voting inside. I have only thanks and kudos for Kathy Lewis, Douglas County Clerk-Treasurer, and Dena Dawson, Election Administrator. This thanks and gratitude extends to the entire team of workers and volunteers. I saw nothing but professionalism and commitment to excellence. Everything was well thought out and planned for, from the greeting of voters, to the assistance they received until they exited the polling place. If something was not running smoothly there was immediate action. Accommodations were made as needed, voters were treated with respect and there was an overall mood of a functioning and participatory democracy.
Allegations are ridiculous
Something can be said about working the elections. It really makes me sad and angry listening and seeing people talk about the cheating going on among election workers. Those making these claims (you know who you are) have obviously never worked an election. I say working the election but it’s really volunteering. Yes we get paid but that’s just icing on the cake. We’d do it without the thought of getting a dime. It’s hard to explain the feeling you get from giving your time, of feeling like you are really making a difference. Most of us are old. But I tell you those 12-plus hours a day gives us a boost and makes us forget our age. We all make food to share and order pizzas. We are lucky to get a break to take a leak or grab a bite to eat. Most of us have met 1 or 2 of the volunteers at a training session. But most of us have never met. That’s the excitement of meeting new people and working towards the same end. Making the voting experience safe, easy and gratifying for the first time voter or the hundredth time voter. We call out “First time voter” and the room would break into applause and congratulations. It never gets old. It’s amazing how fast all us strangers get together and work our tails off as a team. That’s why I’m angry about anyone suggesting that there is any kind cheating going on. We are Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Nonpartisans all working died by side for the same outcome. For citizens to cast their votes and have that vote be counted no matter how it was cast. Never have I ever witnessed or heard anything to make me even think something was off. We are a blending of all political parties, not one of us would ever do anything to jeopardize this sacred trust when we help at the polls. Don’t believe me? See me in two years.
Master Plan update being rushed
Douglas County staff are on social media inviting residents to participate in the Board of County Commissioners and Planning Commission meetings to update the Master Plan. But in reality the public is effectively being screened out. Public comments must be phoned in and recorded within a very few minutes just before the meetings start. The recording play backs are frequently garbled by background noise.
As has been pointed out, nothing has been done on the MP update for three years. Now the update is being rushed through during the COVID pandemic and the election season. In person public input on critically important Master Plan deliberations that will affect the county for years to come could easily be held at a Covid compliant CVIC Hall or Community Center configured for social distancing
In a textbook case of cognitive dissonance, the current Minden-Gardnerville Mission statement says: “The [towns’] successful main street districts are enabled by a completed Muller Parkway, allowing through traffic to bypass Main Street”. The federal government denied the BUILD grant application for a true four lane Muller bypass. That leaves a two lane Muller, just another multi intersection bottlenecked street
The “Workforce and Affordable Housing” element and any other provisions for further residential development are nonsense when it’s obvious that residential overbuilding has already passed critical mass. “Affordable” — below median market priced housing — exists in abundance in western Indian Hills, Gardnerville Ranchos, and Topaz Ranch Estates among others. Carson City also offers apartments and affordable housing within easy commute to Douglas County.
Going by who got elected — and who didn’t — the most important issues impacting our residents’ quality of life can be ascribed to the residential overbuilding that serves developers and degrades our residents’ quality of life. When it comes to addressing what’s important to Douglas County, mitigating traffic congestion and the strain on our water supply should block out the sun. NDOT estimates that 395 just south of Mica sees 39,500 vehicle trips a day. An honest Board majority would ensure that the Master Plan would minimize the root cause of those impacts.
It was a rally, not a protest
As expected Nevada’s OSHA has fined Douglas County and ABS Aviation for holding a large rally at the Minden-Tahoe airport without submitting a plan for approval. And yes, it was a rally not a peaceful protest, it was clearly advertised by the Trump campaign as a campaign rally. The question is who is going to pay the fine, the taxpayer of Douglas County or the government officials who acknowledged they were violating the mandate by allowing the rally?
Our elected and appointed government officials are supposed to protect the well-being of all its residents (Republican, Democratic, Independent). The Douglas County officials who justified approving the rally by calling out our freedom of speech were abusing our right to freedom of speech. Freedom of speech is not absolute, i.e. yelling fire in a crowded theater, libel laws. We are in the midst of a deadly pandemic, a virus that is spread through the air. Holding a large rally without requiring the wearing of face masks or social distancing was reckless. We are very fortunate that the rally did not create a spike of COVID-19 in our area. Other regions in our country have not been so lucky, they have seen spikes in COVID-19 after the holding of a large, mask less, no social distancing Trump rally. The Douglas County officials who approved this rally should be held accountable not the taxpayers of Douglas County.
I don’t know when our country started losing its way, when we started to believe the only legitimate elected official was the one we voted for, the only laws we have to abide by are the ones we like or the only Americans who have the right to vote are the ones who vote the right way, i.e. my way. We are moving more and more toward autocratic rule where opposing views are not allowed, where political opponents are viewed as criminals and should be locked up. This didn’t just happen under Trump, but our move in this direction allowed for someone like Trump to be president.
Why leave California?
With regards to California or other state transplants I say welcome but please leave your propensity to vote for Democrats (typically liberal thinkers) to the state from which you left.
My questions are: Why did you choose to move to Nevada in the first place? I am going to guess that the no state income tax played a major role. Another reason might be the beautiful mountains, lakes and recreation we enjoy here. Another reason might be the lower crime here. Another plus is the fact that Minden/Gardnerville has no riots.
The point is this. I believe that the residents of Northern Nevada are welcoming people but please do not inflict the woes of California or other liberal states to us in Nevada. Please do not support federal and local politicians who want to raise taxes because we don’t have this or that thing or service.
For example, there is a local question on the ballot this year (question 3) that wants to increase the sales tax by 0.25 % in order to purchase property to maintain open space. I am in agreement with saving open space but not by raising taxes. I hope that the folks who vote yes on this question realize that very little of the money raised will actually go to purchasing open space but will end up in the general fund to increase salaries and pensions. Then someone will propose another 0.25% sales tax increase soon enough claiming the same thing (preserve open space).
How about this: Instead of raising the sales tax, how about cutting funds from some other state or county government program and use that money to buy the open space? It is what the normal people call budgeting. If someone’s programs get cut, that is the way it goes. So easy to spend other people’s money. I believe that folks that move here to Northern Nevada should lay low for few years, soak up the local culture and independent lifestyle a bit and not be too quick in their attempts to change things (to how they were in California). I mean you moved away from that state for a reason, correct? Just my observations.
Restore the Grand Old Party
I am submitting this letter but not out of pride or arrogance. Like most, I have experienced episodes of abject failure with some success in between. Since, I have learned to live, for the most part, within the confines of reality.
Thus, I am making a few predictions:
1. No one is going to show up at your door to pry your gun from your cold, dead fingers. You will see motion towards increased background checks as supported by the vast majority of Americans.
2. Though white males in America are the least tread upon in the history of earth, many will continue to fly Gadsden’s ‘Don’t Tread on Me’ banner. Likewise, those that dishonor the American flag by flying it in the back of their pickup where it touches the surface of their rig will continue to do so.
3. White, separatist males will continue as the most significant and common terrorists in this country.
4. Evangelical leaders will find a way to turn this defeat into a movement that further removes them from their savior in favor of gaining even more political control. Using scriptural gymnastics, they will continue to justify the placing of brown toddlers into cages that best represent dog kennels as if their Holy Spirit is not grieved.
5. The most important prediction is that those decent-hearted, intelligent Trump supporters who are not deeply lost in denialism will finish their cup of tea, bid adieu to the mad hatter, climb out of the rabbit hole, breathe the fresh air of democracy and again become an adult in the room.
You no longer represent Reagan, GHW, or GW (all of which I have voted for). Your president has trash talked all of them in one form or another. It has gotten to the point where an armed militia was accepted into this community for the first time as the righteous indignant. I have never heard so many talk with such confidence about which they know little to nothing about. You are regularly spoon-fed disinformation that is equivalent to the conspiracies of QAnon and trust it as gospel. You have trashed the very science that has afforded you every comfort you enjoy from technology, medicine, and engineering. Math, chemistry, biology, and physics matter. Without these forces we would still be chucking stones.
This is not the Republican party that I once supported, and you have awoken a giant of opposition. It is similar to the rise of Ross Perot in ’92 when 20% of the GOP lost their minds and singlehandedly put the Clintons in the White House to then begin the process of mastering his ability to spin fiction into facts. If you want to battle the cancel-culture of the far left, you need to reenter reality, regain your integrity, and become human again. We need honest, thoughtful, conservative thought. It is essential to our democracy. I have been where you are, and you can make it back.