Gary R.Schmidt Biography

Born July 26, 1943, Gary R. Schmidt was raised on a rural Alabama farm and then moved to Iowa.  Gary’s family moved to Santa Clara County, California in the 50’s where he witnessed first hand the birth of sprawl and the resulting degradation of the quality of life in his community.  Gary started his professional career with a B.A. degree in Economics as a computer software designer in Silicon Valley.  Gary also did post graduate work at the University of California in Real Estate and studies in Computer Applications.  In the mid 60’s he went into business for himself.

 Gary successfully became an entertainment concert producer for well known music festivals and concerts.  He was the co-producer of the 1968 Newport Pop Festival, the first outdoor music festival to draw over 100,000 people!  Some of the acts Gary presented were: The Grateful Dead, Elvin Bishop, Jefferson Airplane, Iron Butterfly, Steppenwolf, Country Joe & The Fish, Chambers Brothers, Byrds, Sonny & Cher, Tiny Tim and others.  

He moved to Washoe County in the early 70's.  He produced The “Labor Day Music and Arts Festival” in 1973 at T-Car speedway featuring the Doobie Brothers that drew over 30,000 people and was the third largest city in Nevada for a day. Gary is the longtime owner of the Reindeer Lodge and has been involved with tourist and recreation activities including various special events; snowmobiling and other winter activities; various recording artist concerts and restaurant operations.  Gary has been in the wholesale stationary business, owned and operated a pistachio processing plant and distribution business, and owned a video game route with over 400 units. Gary has developed, owned and managed his own real estate properties (agricultural, commercial and residential) for over 40 years. In the early 80’s Gary was the first non Californian ever elected to the California Pistachio Commission.  He had assignments to the marketing and horticultural committees and activities in Washington D.C. lobbying U.S. Senators, Representatives and the Secretary of Agriculture. Gary’s father, Al, was a small business owner/operator including farms, a monument shop, a motel, a lumber yard, a bullet manufacturing plant, and a retail stationary store.  He also did wildcat oil exploration.  As a boy and a young man Gary worked with his father on most of these businesses.  Gary comes by his entrepreneurial sprit by heritage and understands business! 

As an active member of the Washoe Co. Board of Equalization for the past several years, Schmidt reformed the BOE procedures to be more Citizen friendly.  The County received hundreds of letters and emails in support of Gary’s service and performance on the BOE.   In 2004 he received a Commendation for that Service!

As a community activist and noted public records and open meeting law advocate, Gary is responsible for the adoption of “Policy by Resolution Procedure” in Washoe County.  He was also responsible for forcing the County to obey the law by lowering the Public Records costs from 50¢ to 4¢.  Reno also adopted Gary’s procedures.  Gary regularly attends and speaks out at the Washoe County Commission and many other meetings throughout the community and the State.  He stands up for Citizen’s Rights and has successfully brought actions in the District Courts and the Nevada State Supreme Court against government officials for flagrant violations of the law.

Gary has farmed and ranched for over thirty-five years.   He is a strong advocate for the preservation of rural lifestyles and the protection of property rights that have historically been foundations for our quality of life in Nevada.

Gary has fought sprawl in both California and Nevada and is concerned about the direction of the current out of control development and regularly speaks out against run away growth—and its resultant uncontrolled sprawl!”

 He understands water rights and water problems.   “Uncontrolled growth lessens our quality of life!  What happens is that the local Citizens have to pay all the costs.   Many of our elected officials have been attracting that runaway growth by giving subsidies to huge corporations while literally destroying longtime mom and pop stores.  These are pivotal trying times in our community.

Please email Gary at

 Lets all get the Schmidt to work.

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