Two newcomers will be on the ballot in Storey County's District 3 commissioner race. This isn't a contentious race: Republican Bob Kershaw and Democrat Dennis Miller are neighbors and friends.
They may agree on many issues, but the candidates themselves are quite different.
An engineering relief supervisor at Circus Circus Hotel/Casino, Kershaw has lived in Rainbow Bend for 11 years. At 40, he is a single father and lives with his 14-year-old son.
"The county will have good but challenging times ahead," Kershaw said, noting that the Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, which will include heavy and light manufacturing, will provide the increased tax revenue to improve Storey County's infrastructure. But there are still problems, he said.
"With my experience on the school board, as debt management commissioner, and my background with union negotiations on both sides of table, I have a lot to offer," he said.
He believes the major issues facing the district are securing more water for the river district and the completion of an alternate route for the trash trucks currently passing through Rainbow Bend on their way to the Lockwood Dump.
He sees water supply as a problem for the whole county, and would like to see the proposed new pipeline from Lakeview to Virginia City completed following the original route that was built in the 1870s rather than channeling it through Lyon County and pumping it up the hill to Virginia City.
He is also concerned that land swap deals orchestrated by the Bureau of Land Management are siphoning off land in Storey County that might otherwise be developed.
"I hate to see us swap land, and my biggest concern is that Storey is getting short end of stick," Kershaw said. "I'm all for open space but we need responsible growth and development too."
Kershaw likes the wild horses but said problems are the worst that he's seen in the 11 years he's lived here. Dry winters and lack of feed have exacerbated the problem. The number of horses have created a safety issue for kids and a lot of destruction. He believes some of the horses will have to be relocated. Kershaw said he would like to see a return to former practices where feed for the animals was placed back in the canyons to keep them out of the residential district.
Retiree Dennis Miller, 58, moved to Rainbow Bend from Hayward, Calif., four years ago and has been an advocate for residents in Storey County's District 3 most of that time.
Miller spent 37 years with the United Can Co. in Hayward, working his way through the ranks to a supervisory position. He has one daughter and one son with his wife of 39 years, Shirley. Whether the issue is the completion of the Hafed Bridge, the widening of Canyon Road or the senior citizens lunch program, he has fought for residents.
"I want to be a voice for these people in the outlying areas. They aren't getting the representation they deserve, and I will represent all of them," Miller said.
Like Kershaw, he believes that water and the completion of the diversion road are the biggest issues for District 3 and water, or the lack of it, is one of Storey County's biggest problems. He feels the acquisition of Storey County's water rights by interests in Reno and Sparks must be stopped.
"They are taking the water rights from the small amount of agricultural land we have," Miller said.
He has been an advocate of the senior hot lunch program, which recently received funds from Tahoe Reno Industrial Center, and is slated to start by the middle of next month. He also advocates for the creation of a senior center near Rainbow Bend.
"There are a lot of seniors in the area, and the closest programs in Storey County are in Virginia City," Miller said.
Concerned with quality of life issues in Rainbow Bend, he helped spearhead a petition to look at special use permits, blocking the development of a truck yard across from Canyon Way. He also opposed the widening of the road through Rainbow Bend, which officials proposed in lieu of building the new diversion road for the garbage trucks passing through to the Lockwood dump.
"Reno disposal had a special use permit that required them to put in an alternate road when commissioners deemed necessary," Miller said, noting the road is used 24 hours a day by about 900 truck a day.