Supervisors take light criticism, defend records

Incumbent supervisors took light criticism from their opponents and defended their records at their first debate since the primary election.

The forum Wednesday hosted by the League of Women Voters of Nevada including Ward 2 Supervisor Shelly Aldean and challenger Dennis Johnson as well as Ward 4 Supervisor Richard Staub and challenger Molly Walt had few direct exchanges except for one rebuttal from Staub.

Walt, a Carson City School District teacher, said in her opening comment she wanted to help Carson City move "from a good town to a great town."

"It's not just a good community, it's a great community," Staub, an attorney, said a minute later.

Walt has criticized the board for its decisions over the V&T Railway project and Johnson has accused the board of incompetence, but they said nothing nearly as strong as that at the debate in the Carson City Community Center.

Johnson, a consultant, did say he thought decisions about redevelopment and open space could have been more focused and that the supervisors' general planning could have been better, but it was nothing close to his past comments accusing the board of "failing miserably."

Walt said she had done more research about the V&T and wasn't sure where she stood on the November ballot question anymore, a plan that would increase Carson City sales taxes to benefit the project.

She did say that she was different from Staub because she is involved in the city both as a teacher and mother.

"I am listening to the voters of Carson City," she said.

But Staub said he has also been involved, pointing to how he has helped with youth sports and taught at Western Nevada College and other schools.

Both he and Aldean called the board's spending "prudent" and talked about how supervisors balanced the budget in a slow economy.

Many campaigns are picking up on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama's theme of change, Aldean said, but sometimes it's better to "stay the course."

"Change is fine unless you're heading in the right direction," said Aldean, a broker and developer.

Staub is seeking his third and final term in office. Aldean is running for her second full term.

The general election is Nov. 4.

- Contact reporter Dave Frank at dfrank@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1212.

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