Douglas holds ‘state of county’ gathering |

Douglas holds ‘state of county’ gathering

by Sheila Gardner
Nevada Appeal News Service

MINDEN – Some 150 people took Douglas County Manager T. Michael Brown up on his offer Monday “to put aside the doom and gloom and focus on the positive” aspects of where they live.

Brown and county commissioners hosted the 2010 State of the County at the CVIC Hall with a presentation by retired State Archivist Guy Rocha and updates on the past 10 years in the


Rocha offered an entertaining recap of county


“I believe Nevada as a state is at a critical threshold,” he said. “You’re witnessing history.”

He said he wanted the audience to leave thinking, “I really understand how we got here.”

The stages of boom and bust since 1850 signaled a familiar theme for many in the audience. For newcomers, Rocha outlined how Douglas County got its name (1860 Democratic presidential nominee Stephen Douglas), patterns of growth and the importance and dominance of gaming to keep the county afloat.

“The growth of casino gaming at Stateline changed this county,” he said. “What’s happening now at the casinos is changing this county.”

Commissioners detailed the past 10 years of progress in the economy, culture, environment, and quality of life.

“We’ve been here long enough to see we all have a heritage worth paying attention to,” said Commissioner Greg Lynn.

Brown wrapped up the evening with a look at future county efforts.

Pointing to a picture of Jobs Peak, Brown said, “Our core competency is that: Our spectacular natural environment.”

“Sometimes people say we don’t have a vision,” he said. “That’s not true. We have a vision. It’s alive every single day. It doesn’t mean no-growth. It means defining where it will be.”

Citing the county’s “wonderful assets” and demographics, Brown said it was critical to find a way to keep young residents occupied.

“We want our young people to stay. What are we doing about it?” he asked. “It’s a tough challenge. We have to tackle it.”