Gary Schmidt, Republican Born: July 26, 1943, near Foley, Ala. Political: First candidacy in Nevada; moved to Gerlach and Sun Valley in April; third year on county Board of Equalization censured last year over his questioning of a deputy district attorney; has filed 12-15 lawsuits against the county, including one making public records available to the public at little cost. Employment: Semi-retired owner of the Reindeer Lodge, a former concert promoter and owns a pistachio farm in Merced County, Calif.; former computer systems programmer and computer systems software designer in Silcon Valley. Education: Los Altos High School graduate in Santa Clara County; bachelors in economics, San Jose State University; one year graduate work in real estate at the University of California, Berkeley. Community: Open meeting law and public records advocate for more than a decade; attended county commission meetings for 15 years and addresses the board a number of times at each one; was involved in an effort to extend sewer services up the Mount Rose Highway; Washoe County resident 34 years. Family: Divorced with five step-children. Internet site/e-mail: www.garyrschmidt.com and email@example.com Ballardini may hurt incumbents, expert says Washoe County Commissioners Dave Humke and Bonnie Weber may be vulnerable in their bids for second terms because of the flip-flop over the Ballardini Ranch and regional growth and a lack of leadership, a university professor says.
In the Republican primary in District 2, Humke is being challenged by Elisa Maser, who has been campaigning the past year, said Eric Herzik, a Republican political science professor at the University of Nevada.
A granddaughter of former U.S. Rep. Barbara Vucanovich, Maser is a former regional planning analyst and a consultant on flood control issues. Tracy Method, a stay-at-home mom also in the GOP race, says she would fight against any more new casinos in the south.
The winner of the Aug. 15 primary will face Democrat Sam Dehne, in the Nov. 7 general election. He has unsuccessfully run for local offices four times. That makes the primary the pivotal election, given more than 50 percent of the voters in the south county district are Republicans, Herzik said.
In District 5 in the north, Weber faces has three Republican primary challengers: Robert Fink, a long-time community leader in Sun Valley; Gary Schmidt, who moved to Gerlach and Sun Valley in April; and Joan Liscom, who has fought expanded development in Cold Springs.
The Republican winner would face Democrat Tom Noblett of Sun Valley, who's been campaigning door to door, and Gary Feero of the Independent American Party.
Sign of trouble
The number of candidates running against Weber is a sign of trouble, Herzik said. But her odds are better than Humke's because the vote will be split four ways, he said.
Weber said the six candidates in her district are more a reflection of the diverse district that runs from Verdi, Cold Springs, Stead, Sun Valley and part of Sparks. She faced four opponents four years ago.
Commissioner Pete Sferrazza, a Democrat in District 3, faces no opposition for a third term.
Herzik said the Ballardini Ranch, growth and the county commission's lack of control over their meetings to be issues in the campaign.
Herzik said many people felt betrayed over the county's deal to settle with the owners of the Ballardini Ranch rather than going forward with a jury trial to condemn the 1,019-acre ranch for a regional park. The commission has agreed to pay the owners $13.5 million for tying up the property for nearly two years and not to oppose plans that would make the entire ranch a private, gated community.
In exchange, the county gets to buy 116 acres of nearby land for a trail head to the Mount Rose foothills.
"The county handled it as poorly as it could be handled from beginning to end," Maser said. "We could have bought the ranch for $8.5 million in 1998."
"As a lawyer, he (Humke) should have known the liability they created. What a disaster," she said.
Humke said the county moved to condemn the long-sought property as soon as officials realized land prices were escalating. If there was a mistake, he said the county should have been bargaining for a part of the ranch instead of all of it.
In January, the Washoe County Commission voted in support of regional plan amendments that would give Reno and Sparks up to 160,000 acres for expansion over the next 100 years. Over the next 25 years, Reno would gain 12,000 while Sparks would gain 16,000.
"I want to do something about runaway growth," said Fink, a real estate broker. He said the region needs to build more roads before approving more homes.
Maser said she wants plans for a future water supply and expanding the road network before elected officials on the regional governing board cast final votes for the large expansion areas.
>From knocking on doors, Weber said she learned only Democrats are concerned about growth. But she agreed more up-front planning is needed for water and transportation.
Humke said he wants to help solve water issues such as increasing supply, water treatment, flooding and waste water. He said local officials are getting better at managing growth.
Herzik described county commission meetings as never-ending and leaderless. Deputy sheriffs are ordered to remove anyone for breaking the rules during public comments.
"The county commission doesn't understand the meaning of freedom of speech," Dehne said. "You can't be repetitious, irrational, slanderous or inflammatory. That's about as despicable as it gets."
In February, the commission instituted a new rule cutting public speakers' time from three to two minutes.
"We need to turn government back to the people," Schmidt said. "I don't care if you give people 30 minutes. It doesn't matter if you don't listen to them."
Because of the way some members of the public conduct themselves, Weber said other people don't attend commission meetings.
"We love when people share their ideas, issues and concerns. We have made it so everyone has an opportunity to speak," she said.
Weber said she is running because she enjoys helping people solve problems and believes she is helping bring local officials together to work on regional problems.
"I believe we have come a long way in the last four years," she said.
At her request, Reno Mayor Bob Cashell, commission Chairman Bob Larkin and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini sponsored a fundraiser for Weber this spring.
For her campaign, Weber raised $26,357 last year, and Humke raised $30,825. ________________________________________
Sam Dehne, Democrat Born: Sept. 24, 1940, Bismarck, N.D. Political: Unsuccessfully ran for Reno mayor in 1995 and 2002 and for Reno City Council in 1996 and 2000. Employment: Air Force and National Guard pilot, 1962-88, retiring as a lieutenant colonel; Pan American Airways pilot, 1967-91. Community: Too Wild Yankees Band performs for veterans and senior citizens groups. Claims he has attended every regular Reno City Council since 1995 and every regular county commission meeting since 1997, nearly 1,000 meetings and speaking more than 4,000 times. Hosts Sam Dehne Raw Rah show on public access television channel 16 on Friday nights for the past year; Reno resident since 1967. Education: Air Force Academy graduate, 1962. Family: Three grown children including Chad, who is running for Reno mayor, a daughter and step-daughter. Internet site: www.Renocitizen.com
David Humke, Republican Born: Oct. 23, 1948, Waterloo, Iowa. Political: Seeking second term as a county commissioner; Nevada assemblyman, 1983-93. Employment: Project lawyer for the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges in Reno; previously at Nevada Small Business Development Center at the University of Nevada, Reno. Education: Ackley-Geneva High School, Ackley, Iowa; history degree from Parsons College, Fairfield, Iowa; masters in social work from the University of Iowa, Iowa City; graduate of Nevada School of Law (Old College), now defunct. Community: Member of Reno South Rotary, Western Industrial Nevada and co-chairman of For Kids Advisory Board, which raises money for health care for kids in the family court system; Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority, Regional Transportation Commission, Washoe District Board of Health, Criminal Justice Advisory Committee and Flood Project Coordinating Committee; Washoe County resident for 28 years. Family: Wife Cindi and four children. Internet site and e-mail: Pending.
Elisa Maser, Republican Born: May 10, 1962, Portland, Ore. Political: First candidacy. Employment: Consultant for a group of stakeholders for the Truckee Meadows flood project and is a fundraiser for the Nevada Opera; two years as executive director for Champions of the River; management analyst for the Truckee Meadows Planning Agency, 1993-2000. Education: Bachelors in communications, Mills College, Oakland, Calif.; masters in business administration, University of Nevada, Reno. Community: Ex-officio board member of Truckee Meadows Tomorrow; lifelong Reno resident. Family: Husband Richard Maser, four children; granddaughter of former U.S. Rep. Barbara Vucanovich. Internet/e-mail: www.elisamaser.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Tracy Method, Republican Born: July 19, 1976, Bishop, Calif. Political: First candidacy; Washoe County resident since 1999. Employment: Stay-at-home mom and part-time relief manager for Ridge House, a drug and alcohol recovery program for women coming out of prison. Education: Bishop Union High School, Bishop, Calif. Family: Husband Craig, three children. Internet site: email email@example.com
Pete Sferrazza, Democrat Born: April 30, 1945, Manhattan, N.Y. Political: Seeking third term; Reno City Council, 1981-83; Reno mayor 1983-1995; unsuccessfully ran for U.S. House, state controller and district judge. Employment: Tribal judge in Ely, Yerington, Gardnerville area and former director of Nevada Indian Legal Services; U.S. Peace Corps in Brazil. Education: Bachelors, political science, Michigan State University; law school graduate, University of Wisconsin. Community: Board of directors, Nevada Legal Services; vice chairman, Reno-Sparks Convention & Visitors Authority; former board member, William F. Harrah Automobile Museum; former chairman, Regional Planning Governing Board; founding director, City Kids of Reno, a televised dance program for kids; Washoe County resident since 1978. Family: Wife Julie, four children; daughter Jessica Sferrazza in second term on Reno council. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Noblett, Democrat Born: May 23, 1937, St. Louis. Political: Unsuccessfully ran for Sparks Justice of the Peace, U.S. House, Sparks City Council and Washoe County Commission. Employment: Retired; owned Toms Hauling and Clean-Up business for 13 years. Education: Dropped out of high school when he was 10th grader in Vienna, Mo.; took philosophy and ethics courses at Contra Costa Community College in California. Community: Takes credit for starting V&T Railroad project in 1992 by getting Virginia City and Carson City officials talking to each other; lobbied for changes in state law for uniformity in school zones; Washoe County resident since 1974. Family: Wife Toni, four children. Internet site/e-mail: no.
Gary Feero, Independent American Party No information available.
Robert Fink, Republican Born: Dec. 16, 1929, Yellow Springs, Ohio. Political: On Sun Valley General Improvement District, Washoe County Planning Commission and the County Board of Adjustment. Employment: Broker and a partner with Norma Fink Realty. Education: Attended agriculture classes at Ohio State University and UNR; graduated from Yellow Springs High School. Community: Past president of the Sun Valley Landowners Association, charter president of first Sun Valley Sertoma Club and helped raised funds for Sun Valley swimming pool; Washoe County resident since 1957. Family: Wife Norma and five daughters. Internet site/e-mail: www.RobertBobFink.com and email is email@example.com
Joan Liscom, Republican Born: Nov. 14, 1945, Los Angeles. Political: First candidacy. Employment: Personnel department, JC Penneys warehouse in Stead since 1979. Education: Almost two years in community college and a certified emergency medical technician since 1984. Community: Cold Springs volunteer firefighter since 1979; Cold Springs Citizens Advisory Board five years; teaching assistant, EMT class at Truckee Meadows Community College; Washoe County resident since 1977. Family: Husband Ray, two children. Internet site/e-mail:
Gary Schmidt, Republican Born: July 26, 1943, near Foley, Ala. Political: First candidacy in Nevada; moved to Gerlach and Sun Valley in April; third year on county Board of Equalization censured last year over his questioning of a deputy district attorney; has filed 12-15 lawsuits against the county, including one making public records available to the public at little cost. Employment: Semi-retired owner of the Reindeer Lodge, a former concert promoter and owns a pistachio farm in Merced County, Calif.; former computer systems programmer and computer systems software designer in Silcon Valley. Education: Los Altos High School graduate in Santa Clara County; bachelors in economics, San Jose State University; one year graduate work in real estate at the University of California, Berkeley. Community: Open meeting law and public records advocate for more than a decade; attended county commission meetings for 15 years and addresses the board a number of times at each one; was involved in an effort to extend sewer services up the Mount Rose Highway; Washoe County resident 34 years. Family: Divorced with five step-children. Internet site/e-mail: www.garyrschmidt.com and firstname.lastname@example.org
Bonnie Weber Born: Aug. 21, 1953, Los Angeles. Political: Seeking second term; on Washoe and Nevada Republican central committees for the past 18 years. Employment: Owns Weber Enterprises, maker of signs and banners. Education: Graduate of Mayfair High School, Lakewood, Calif.; taken some college courses. Community: On Nevada Works Board, Nevada Association of County Officials executive board, and Commission on the Reconstruction of V&T Railroad; county resident 23 years. Family: Husband Mike, two children; husband is running in Assembly District 32. E-mail: email@example.com
SUSAN VOYLES 6/5/2006
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