The time has come for me to sound off on a couple of local political races. I wanted to ignore this year's campaigns because to me it is obvious for whom to vote, but on second thought, you newcomers don't have the advantage of knowing what I know.
And having been a member of the Carson City School Board and a three-term assemblyman, I also have a better idea than most people of what it takes to be a successful public servant, especially a lawmaker.
The first thing I want to discuss isn't a political race, but it's as important as anything else on the ballot. I'm talking about Question CC2, the school bond. As most of you know, I'm the last guy to support bonds or any kind of expenditures unless they are completely justified. This bond issue is justified in every respect.
Toxic mold is not to be taken lightly. The modular buildings at Bordewich Elementary School are loaded with toxic mold and must be replaced with a permanent building. This is such a serious problem I can't imagine it being debatable. And please know that even though I no longer have kids in our school system, I don't want anything bad to happen to yours. Vote yes on Question CC2.
We are extremely fortunate to have two excellent candidates running for the offices of assessor and clerk-recorder. Carson City has never in its history had a better clerk-recorder than Alan Glover. He was born to the job. And even though our assessor, Kit Weaver, isn't running for re-election, he is so respected and revered in that job that I'm going to go with his recommendation for Dave Dawley for assessor.
Dawley has been Weaver's number one assistant for many years and he knows the job far better than anyone else. Vote for Alan Glover, clerk-recorder, and for Dave Dawley, assessor.
Now we come to the campaign for State Assembly, District 40. On the one hand we have Stacie Wilke, a local girl who manages a slot machine club here in Carson City, who has limited educational credentials, passes herself off as "a proven elected official," and spends most of her political advertising space articulating negatives about her opponent. She is yet to make one noteworthy statement that isn't obvious to anybody running for public office.
Oh, yes, she opposes the nuclear dump destined for Southern Nevada. Who doesn't? But somebody should tell Ms. Wilkie that it's a done deal. Like it or not, we're going to get it, and we'd better find a way to capitalize on it. True, ex-Sen. Richard Bryan and present Sen. Reid have both built and maintained their political careers on the fears of the Yucca Mountain nuclear dump, but it's now a little late to make political hay out of that dead horse.
Now, debunking her claim to be "A proven elected official," let me say that being a member of the Carson City School Board is an honorable way to serve one's community. I, too, am proud to have done it. But a school board member can hardly call him or herself an "official" in the true sense of the word. The office carries no power, nor do local appointed commission members. There is nothing about the school board which prepares anyone to become a lawmaker.
On the other hand, we have Ms. Wilke's opponent, Ron Knecht. This man's only drawback is that he isn't a native of Carson City and hasn't resided here for lots of years. I'll bet that most of you readers haven't either. Mr. Knecht's educational and employment credentials are probably better than any incumbent, or candidate running for a seat in the Nevada Legislature.
Here is a man who has not only been exposed to a wide variety of professional working situations, he has MS and JD degrees, and is a registered professional engineer, with extensive technical consulting experience, as well as legal consulting experience in the areas of public service and energy regulation. The bureaucrats can't possibly fool a person with Knecht's background.
This man is made to order for what a lawmaker should be. Look, the major issues that face us year-after-year are no mystery, and they are the same in all parts of the country, even California. One doesn't have to be a long-time Nevada resident to understand the ramifications of taxes, public sector income, education, energy regulation, transportation, law enforcement, health, low income housing, environment and all of the other problems plaguing society.
What we need are legislators who have been exposed to, and can see the big picture, and the way all of the above issues affect each other. This time around Ron Knecht is that person, the best candidate we've had in years. Don't miss this opportunity. Vote for Ron Knecht, Assemblyman, District 40.
Bob Thomas is a local businessman, past member of the Carson City School Board, the Nevada State Assembly and occasional Nevada Appeal columnist