Nevada Appeal endorsements for city races
About these endorsements: The Nevada Appeal has long endorsed candidates on our Opinion page prior to elections. The endorsements are arrived at after personal meetings with the candidates, followed by discussion and votes by the Appeal Editorial Board.
We’ve included endorsements only in races where the candidates have met with the editorial board and members of our reader panel.
Carson City Supervisor Ward 1
Robin Williamson has been a tireless supporter of the city and the promotion of its history, especially downtown. She’s been active in several worthwhile endeavors to re-energize the downtown and has many accomplishments on which to stand.
She differs from her opponent, Tom Keeton, who believes there is too much focus on downtown issues. He’s not confident the master plan for downtown is feasible, and says new business growth will occur at the freeway interchanges.
We endorse Williamson. She’s a key member of the Board of Supervisors and an asset to this community.
Supervisor Ward 3
It’s hard to find any negatives on Pete Livermore. He’s dedicated to his community and has given it much of his time and energy. He’s been responsive to his constituents, and is known for his support of athletic fields and recreational facilities. He says he supports law enforcement and economic development, and is active in many community causes.
Then there’s Neil Weaver, a man not afraid to shake things up and put forth ideas voters haven’t heard before. For example, he asks why the city cannot privatize some of its services. He stresses the need for diversification, and says the city could generate more revenue by copying other communities and charging franchise fees to utilities.
Weaver says developers are avoiding Carson City because of an unfriendly business and permitting climate. He supports a strong emphasis on history, but doesn’t see enough of it in the downtown master plan.
It’s a tough call in this race, so tough that the editorial board was equally split over a respected community figure and an outspoken advocate of new ideas who could give the board a needed shot of energy.
We subscribe to the philosophy that there’s no need to fix what’s not broken.
The Carson City School Board is a well-functioning body, and we support keeping it as it is.
However, we applaud the candidates who contended the race and the ideas they brought forth. Specifically, we agree with Barbara Howe that juvenile obesity is reaching epidemic proportions across the nation.
We encourage her to continue her efforts to bring healthier choices to cafeterias and lead the discussion about creating safer routes to school.
We support Jeff Fontaine because of his willingness to step into the role after it was left vacant last year.
Once on the board, he has brought an analytical analysis to the fiscal and other operations of the school district.
He manages a much bigger budget for the Department of Transportation, and that experience is something voters should not pass up.
We also support incumbent Bob Crowell on his bid for his final four-year term. In his eight-year tenure on the board, Crowell has worked to keep the budget balanced, improve student achievement, and repair relations between teachers and district officials.
He even donated his campaign funds to this year’s bond issue. Crowell’s level head and genuine heart are an asset to the board.
But Ann Bednarski was correct when she said the voters of Carson City deserve a choice. She’s fulfilling a necessary function to keep democracy alive, and we appreciate that. Her platform to encourage communication in the school district is a valid one.
Joe Enge also has valid points to offer. He is, no doubt, well-educated and brings an alternate view to public education. While he may have a role to play in education, his ideas are more conceptual, and we don’t think the school board is the right place for him.
Instead, we support incumbent Jim Hukari, who has shown a passion for public education and the need to give children a platform to succeed.
We think the current school board is doing that.
Justice of the Peace
Robey Willis still has the experience and energy this position requires.
His opponent, Mark Krueger, is running an aggressive campaign around the idea that the job requires a licensed attorney. He makes a compelling case that would work against many opponents. But Willis is well schooled in both book learning and street smarts. He’s taken several judicial courses, has heard thousands of cases, and has helped institute new programs to respond to changes in the community.
Willis is an active and compassionate member of the community and has many awards of appreciation to show for it.
Because of his record, rather than any concerns about Krueger’s qualifications, we give our endorsement to Robey Willis.
This is a race with two very good candidates with completely different styles. Neither has significant management experience.
Neil Rombardo, a senior deputy attorney general, makes a lot of promises. They include doing community outreach to prevent children from starting drug use and rehabbing nonviolent drug users while offering zero tolerance for dealers. He says he will crack down on street gangs and school violence, add a victim coordinator, and make sure a given case is handled by one prosecutor from start to finish. And it won’t cost the city any more money.
Suglia brings a down-to-earth demeanor … substance over style. He questions the workability of some of Rombardo’s promises, especially vertical prosecution. He supports a reorganization to add a domestic violence prosecutor.
If Suglia, who handles primarily civil cases, only had a more thorough resumé to separate himself from his opponent, he might have gotten the nod.
But we believe Rombardo deserves a chance to make his vision for the office a reality.
University Board of Regents
David Fulstone and Ron Knecht both bring impressive records of public service to this campaign. Fulstone is a longtime Nevadan with leadership credentials from several boards and commissions, including the Desert Research Institute; Knecht has a long association with higher education and has also served his community in many capacities.
Both agree that the university system is in need of greater funding and overall improvement.
Knecht says, if elected, he would bring patience and a studious nature to a board known for its discord.
Fulstone carries the endorsements of several of the state’s major politicians and said he’s proud to have served as a Lyon County commissioner at a time when it was converting from a sleepy county to one of the fastest-growing places in the country.
With little to separate the candidates on the issues, leadership ability becomes an important trait. Knecht says, if elected, he would help set policy rather than micromanage, but his record in the 2003 Legislature did not win him a reputation as a uniter.
For that reason, our endorsement goes to Fulstone.
Assembly District 40
Bonnie Parnell has it all as a candidate and legislator. Charisma, intelligence, communication skills and a record of accomplishment.
But anyone who thinks Sheila Ward is not taking her candidacy seriously is wrong. She said she’s been out knocking on doors in the district nearly every day, even if she has missed some political forums. She has demonstrated during her time on the school board that she’s willing to go against the grain. The trouble is, her experience and knowledge of the important issues pales in comparison to Parnell.
Parnell is an easy choice.