Churchill GOP backs Scharmann for county commission seat

Harry "Bus" Scharmann

Harry "Bus" Scharmann

The Churchill County Republican Central Committee on Wednesday selected former Commissioner Harry “Bus” Scharmann as its No. 1 choice to replace Greg Koenig on the county commission.
Koenig defeated Vida Keller, a Lyon County commissioner and real estate agent in Silver Springs, in the June primary to become the new District 38 assemblyman. He replaces Dr. Robin Titus, R- Smith Valley, who won the State Senate 17 seat.
Scharmann, who served on the county commission for eight years before losing a third-term try in 2020 to Dr. Justin Heath, received 11 votes. Rusty Jardine, retired general manager and legal counsel of the Truckee-Carson Irrigation District, received nine votes. Gary Smith, chairman of the CCRCC tallied eight votes followed by Cathy Koval with two.
The CCRCC will submit Scharmann’s name along with the other candidates to Gov. Steve Sisolak. The candidates were required to live in Commission District 3 and be Republicans, the party currently holding the seat.
Before the 30 members of the CCRCC voted, County Commission Chairman Pete Olsen reviewed the procedure. He said the governor will review the list and make a decision, but the CCRCC had to prioritize a list. The candidates had to attend the CCRCC meeting to be considered. Each person gave a 3-minute overview of their qualifications and then answered questions for several minutes.
Scharmann, a lifelong Republican, spent 35 years with the Western Nevada College’s Fallon campus and served as dean before retiring. He also spent one year as interim superintendent for the Churchill County School District.
Scharmann said he brings experience to the commission and wants to share his expertise with the new commissioners. According to Scharmann, water is the most important issue.
“If we don’t have water, we’ll be in trouble in this county,” he said.
Scharmann reiterated he wants to protect the flow of the Carson River, which fills the Lahontan Reservoir and continue the modernization of the Naval Air Station Fallon’s training range. When he served as a commissioner, he said Congressman Mark Amodei, R-CD2, and Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., were very helpful in the process.
Scharmann said he’s concerned with housing, especially since 23% of sailors and their families assigned to NAS Fallon don’t live in the county.
Koval said she’s lived in Churchill County for about 17 years. She said she’s served on the CCRCC’s scholarship committee and has assisted with the annual convention.
“I’ve talked with my husband, and I feel like we need new blood,” she said. “I don't have a lot of experience running for government. This would be a first time, but I like what we do in this room. I love the passion.”
Jardine has a 38-year record of public service as an assistant district attorney and counsel to commissions in different counties.
“We have some big issues out there,” he said.
Jardine has worked for TCID since 2010.
“TCID cultivated a special relationship with our congressional delegation,” he said, specifically citing Amodei's assistance.
Jardine said a continuity of experience is needed.
One of the CCRCC members asked him about the temporary closure of the Truckee Canal for a year while repairs are conducted. He said it will be a challenge to get water to the farmers in the Fernley area.
Smith listed his 32 years of experience as a Department of Defense machinist and his three years as a government contractor. He also spent five years in law enforcement.
Smith said he had the experience to be a county commissioner and during his career, he worked in a skilled trade.
“I worked in product analysis and design,” he said while citing environmental projects.
Smith said he’s familiar with the NAS Fallon operations and military infrastructure. As the CCRCC chairman, he said the organization is in “pretty good shape” but left it to the members to decide.
He addressed high density housing.
“Do I like it? No. Is it necessary? Yes,” he said.
Smith said the problem is residents don't want high density housing next to them.
“But it has to go somewhere,” he added.

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