Scharmann thanked for years of community service

Former commissioner worked on a number of projects to better life in Churchill County

Bus Scharmann, second from left, who spent more than five decades of public service to Churchill County, speaks to, from left, Ryan Swirzcek, Pete Olsen and Tami Olsen at a gathering to honor the former Western Nevada College dean and county commissioner.

Bus Scharmann, second from left, who spent more than five decades of public service to Churchill County, speaks to, from left, Ryan Swirzcek, Pete Olsen and Tami Olsen at a gathering to honor the former Western Nevada College dean and county commissioner.
Photo by Steve Ranson.

The community turned out June 16 to thank a former county commissioner not only for his five decades of public service and his eight years on the commission but also for his years on a number of committees that served to better Churchill County.

The gathering at the Churchill Arts Council’s Lariat Courtyard had been postponed until COVID-19 restrictions were lifted.

Harry “Bus” Scharmann, in turn, expressed his appreciation for those who attended and to many others with whom he had served. He retired a decade ago as dean of the Fallon campus of Western Nevada College, a position that enabled him to become more involved with the residents and county leaders.

“I look at all of you, and I have a history with all of you,” said Scharmann, who first moved to Fallon in the 1970s.

Commissioner Pete Olsen listed many of Scharmann’s achievements including being a part of the county’s coronavirus response and the Big Dig, a project to move excess water from Lahontan Reservoir via the V-line canal to the desert and eventually to Stillwater Wildlife Refuge; overseeing the construction of both the William Pennington Life Center and Law Enforcement Center; serving as chairman of the Fallon Cantaloupe Festival, which reincorporated the Country Fair under his leadership; ensuring the return of nursing classes to WNC’s Fallon campus; and beginning the Restore Our College Campus Committee with other community members to find solutions to help restore the Fallon campus as a vibrant, contributing member of Churchill County.

Steve Ranson/LVN
Mayor Ken Tedford, left, and Councilmembers James Richardson (second from right) and Kelly Frost (right) honor former Churchill County Commissioner Bus Scharmann.


During the past four years, Scharmann became involved with discussions on the Navy’s training range expansion and engaged the Nevada Department of Transportation with other commissioners to install a much need traffic light at Sheckler Cut-off and U.S. Highway 50 west of Fallon.

Scharmann first ran for the commission in 2012 after Norm Frey termed out. Before he filed, Scharmann talked to Olsen, Frey and others about running for the office.

“I thought I really should do this,” Scharmann said.

Fallon food producer and grower Rick Lattin was one of the last people Scharmann approached about the open position. Lattin quickly encouraged his friend to file as did the Scharmann’s  family.

Scharmann, who was upset in his bid for a third term last year, said he never regretted his time on the county commission and enjoyed with the county staff and the Fallon City Council.

“The commission and council work very well together,” he said. “They are on the same page.”

Scharmann called the county staff “top professionals” for him during the past eight years before he lost his re-election for a third term in June.
After Scharmann retired from WNC, he was soon thrust back into education when the Churchill County School Board selected him to be interim superintendent for a year after Carolyn Ross resigned late in the school year. Then came county commission.

“There was never a slip,” he pointed out. “Just outstanding folks to work with.”

Over the years, Scharmann said his rock has been Lana, his wife of 52 years. Now, with his community service behind him, he said they plan to spend more time with their children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Olsen called Scharmann “one of the finest human beings I know.”

Steve Ranson/LVN
Attendees wrote cards of appreciation to former Churchill County Commissioner Bus Scharmann at a gathering Thursday night.


“You were a great person to work with,” Olsen said. “I really enjoyed my time working with you.”

Olsen said Scharmann’s heart is with the community and people.

County Manager Jim Barbee said he knew of Scharmann before he came to Churchill County three years ago. Barbee’s father and Scharmann worked together for about 18 years in education. Barbee said his father talked about "the man" who ran the Fallon campus and called his friend honest and a straight shooter.

Barbee said it’s been good to know Scharmann.

“You’ve given me the opportunity to learn quite a bit under your stewardship the last three years along with the rest of the commissioners that I serve,” Barbee said.

Mayor Ken Tedford, a San Francisco Giants fan like Scharmann, first mentioned the Giants’ walk-off grand-slam win the previous night against Arizona. Then, Tedford turned serious.

“I served on several committees with Bus,” Tedford said.

Both elected officials were on the Hospital, Transportation and Senior Citizen boards.

“Any time somebody needs help in the community, then can call Bus and get that help,” Tedford said.

Tedford, along with Councilmembers James Richardson and Kelly Frost, presented Scharmann with a clock to appreciate working with him.


Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment