Candidates offer ideas on Douglas, retail and manufacturing at forum

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Assembly District Seat 40 incumbent Ron Knecht speaks during the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce  candidates forum Thursday at the Carson Nugget.

Rick Gunn/Nevada Appeal Assembly District Seat 40 incumbent Ron Knecht speaks during the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce candidates forum Thursday at the Carson Nugget.

A Carson City business group questioned candidates about relations with Douglas County, retail and manufacturing Thursday during a group forum.

When asked whether Carson City has considered annexing north Douglas County to recapture lost retail dollars, mayoral candidates Marv Teixeira and incumbent Ray Masayko reiterated their desires to mend relations with the county to the south and work on regionalism.

"We need to start with a tri-county compact," Teixeira said. "That's done by sitting down at the table and say 'where is our common ground.'"

Masayko reminded the group that Carson City is still waiting for Douglas and Lyon counties to consider agreements the city offered to them about regional cooperation.

"Regional cooperation is the answer," Masayko said.

Ex-mayor Teixeira, a 69-year-old retiree who currently volunteers on the Board of Directors of the Boys & Girls Club and a bank, is seeking another term. He served from 1989 to 1996, but decided not to run for a third term at the time.

Retired from Sierra Pacific Power Co., Masayko, 59, is seeking his third and last term.

Supervisor Richard Staub, candidate for Ward 4 in southwestern Carson City, said he doesn't think annexation of Douglas County is politically feasible. Staub spoke at the Carson City Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon at the Carson Nugget even though he is running unopposed for a second term.

"There are people in Indian Hills that would whole-heartedly support annexation, but I don't know that it's politically feasible," Staub said.

Candidates for Assembly District 40 Ron Knecht and Bonnie Parnell were asked how they might address manufacturing growth in the city.

"To get businesses into the community, what we need to do is lower the tax burden and offer a good place for you to do work," Parnell said.

Parnell, a retired teacher and Democrat, served two terms representing District 40 before deciding not to run two years ago. The district represents most of Carson City and part of southern Washoe County.

Knecht, a Republican and economist with the Public Utilities Commission, is seeking his second term. He said he will continue to represent small businesses and doesn't anticipate any new tax initiatives and opposes new regulations that might serve to hinder business development.

As one of the holdouts against passage of last year's massive tax increase, Knecht said he will expand his proposed constitutional amendment designed to limit the annual growth of state spending. He is one of the public employees who could wind up removed from legislative service if the Supreme Court rules state workers can't also be lawmakers.

Independent American Party candidate Merritt Yochum also added his perspective on state operations and delivered a speech at the luncheon. His platform includes impeaching the state Supreme Court after allowing the state to pass the tax increase last year without a two-thirds majority of the Legislature.

"I think they've committed a crime against the citizens of our state and I think they should be impeached and punished for that," Yochum said.

The candidate also wants to see the Bureau of Land Management booted from the state, a cap on real estate taxes, bureaucracies dismantled and wants to stop funding public education.

Supervisor candidates for Ward 2, the northeast section of Carson City, also spoke at the luncheon about their ideas for the city.

Rebecca "Becky" Beisenstein said she would quit her job as a customer service technician in Carson City's Public Works water division and leave her post with the city's employee association if elected, so she could freely vote for the issues.

"I'm the person you see in the grocery store, the person you get gasoline with," Beisenstein said about her desire to represent the average resident and become a liaison for their ideas and concerns. "I have a perspective based on practical experience. I will encourage the public to step up and give their opinions."

Supervisor candidate Shelly Aldean, who was appointed to fill a vacancy, said she will focus on economic development, transportation and the Tahoe Basin.

"I would like to serve a full term," Aldean said. "I do feel I have a good understanding of the issues. I certainly have a desire and will to make a difference."

Aldean said she would continue her work on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency's Governing Board, work to retain auto dealers in the city and continue to pursue economic vitality plans. She advocates regionalism, but not at the expense of the city's economic stability.

Contact Jill Lufrano at or 881-1217.


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