The race for the Ward 4 supervisor seat in Carson City offers three candidates who, we feel confident in saying, have the ability to contribute substantially to the board. That doesn't make choosing among them any easier, however.
Our vote in the Sept. 5 primary for the best of the three is Verne Horton. He has a broad understanding of city issues, having served extensively on several city boards. Most significant would be his chairmanship of the Carson City Regional Planning Commission, although he has dealt with the city's history, downtown, growth management and Tahoe Regional Planning Authority, as well.
In those capacities, Horton has had an active role in developing the city's master plan. The issues involved in trying to craft such a plan are the city's most important, and farthest-reaching.
Horton has a vision for what Carson City can become, but it is tempered by his knowledge of the complicated forces that tug at the city's leaders as they decide which way to go. Open space vs. economic development is a prime example of such issues, and Horton sees a need to nail down exactly where Carson City would like to boom and where it would like to remain unchanged.
His opponents in the race, Richard Staub and Frank Sharp, both are long-time residents of Carson City and, no doubt, have a good feel for the questions facing the city's leaders. Horton's involvement in boards and commissions gives him the edge, however.
Staub strikes us as well informed and, as an attorney, capable of the kind of pointed analysis of issues that would be valuable to the Board of Supervisors.
Sharp, too, is abreast of current affairs in Carson City and brings a common-sense approach to his campaign. The exception, though, in our opinion, is the way he has hung his campaign on a vow to add two deputies a year for five years to the sheriff's staff.
We have to agree with both Horton and Staub that we'd like to see some better justification, and more efficiency in the sheriff's department, before simply adding 10 deputies to a 124-person staff.
Out of this three-way primary race, we fully expect to see a two-man runoff in November - even though we'd be hard-pressed today to predict which two they will be. We do urge voters to make sure Horton is one of them.