Skip to content

November 2020 Election

The Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce has taken the following positions on the Douglas County questions in the November 2020 Election:

Vote Yes on County Question 1 to Retain the Redevelopment Area #2 (RDA #2)

RDA#2 is NOT a Tax Grab.

  • RDA#2 does NOT raise taxes or impose any new taxes. There is NO taxpayer liability.
  • Neither the Redevelopment Agency nor the County have agreed to issue any debt - bonds or loans - for the Tahoe South Events Center project.
  • The Tahoe Douglas Visitors Authority (TDVA) will issue all debt for the Events Center, ensure its construction and operation, and is solely responsible for the repayment of any debt issued for the project.
  • Property tax revenues that accrue to the Douglas County School District are not affected by RDA#2.
  • RDA#2 is working to reverse the following declines in Stateline revenues and employment:
  • 38% decline in County property tax revenue levied on Lake Tahoe casino properties between 2000 and 2017.
  • 16% decline in room nights sold between 2002 and 2018.
  • 54% decline in employment between 2003 and 2018.
  • The Events Center is a centerpiece for the revitalization of the Stateline resort core, historically the County’s major economic engine. However, it is not an isolated improvement. Others can include a new fire station, a more pedestrian and bicycle friendly downtown, trail projects connecting the mountains and the Lake, additional water quality improvements, and elements of the Expanded Kahle Drive Vision Plan. These projects are consistent with the South Shore Area Plan adopted unanimously by the Douglas County Commission and TRPA Governing Board in 2013 and the Redevelopment Plan adopted unanimously by the County Commission in 2016. Each project will address the findings of blight identified in the Redevelopment Plan.
  • A primary purpose of redevelopment districts is to “encourage investment by the private sector in the development and redevelopment of the Redevelopment Area by eliminating impediments in the redevelopment of the Redevelopment Area.” This is precisely what RDA#2 is accomplishing.
  • Public sector entities are also engaging in redevelopment opportunities. A new fire station in Stateline for the Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District may be a future RDA#2 deliverable.
  • The revitalization of Stateline is clearly a public-private partnership. Over the past several years, resorts have made the following investments:
  • Harveys $41 million
  • Harrah’s $30 million
  • Hard Rock $60 million
  • MontBleu $25 million

Total:            $155 million +

  • Private sector investments in the Edgewood Lodge and Tahoe Beach Club are generating the largest share of redevelopment tax increment. The owners of these properties have stated publicly on multiple occasions they want the redevelopment tax revenues to be applied to further improvements around the same area where they have been generated (largely after RDA#2 was established). They support the entire Redevelopment Plan, not part of the plan.
  • The RDA#2 investment of $34.25 million over 25 years will generate $3.9 billion over that same period of time, according to County estimates. This includes overnight visitor spending, room revenue, and both gaming and non-gaming revenue, each of which contributes to County revenues.
  • The general trend in visitation is toward resort destinations that are focused on recreation and entertainment. The Events Center and other Stateline improvements, including new trail connections to Van Sickle Bi-State Park and Lake Tahoe will integrate well with these trends.
  • Many businesses and tourism companies as well as individuals throughout the Carson Valley and the Tahoe Township spoke in favor the RDA#2 during public hearings conducted by County Commissioners. The Commission vote to establish RDA#2 was unanimous.
  • If RDA#2 is repealed, the Douglas County Redevelopment Agency must still comply with all legal obligations it has approved under the Tax Increment Pledge Agreement with the TDVA. However, no additional redevelopment projects would occur within RDA#2.
  • Accordingly, unlike the benefits generated to the Genoa Area and the County in RDA#1, which was in place for 20 years, further benefits and County revenues from RDA#2 investments will be cut short. County revenues will be negatively impacted if RDA#2 is cut short.
  • Two important source documents for more information about the timeline, reasons and process for establishing RDA#2 and the value of the Events Center project are available on the TDVA website at org under Events Center, Studies and Reports. These are:
    • March 19, 2020 County staff report “Findings Under NRS Chapter 279 for the proposed Tax Increment Pledge Agreement for the Tahoe South Events Center.” and,
    • South Tahoe Events Center Opportunity Cost Analysis Final Report (SMG Consulting)

Vote Yes on County Question 2 to Advise Support on the 5 cent Diesel Tax

A tax on diesel for Douglas County roads would create fairness and shared responsibility between gas and diesel users, helping fund Douglas County road construction and maintenance. Owners of gasoline vehicles exclusively contribute to local road maintenance through a "gas tax" while owners of diesel vehicles do not. It simply doesn't make sense for diesel powered vehicles not to contribute and help fund County roads.

Currently, Douglas County imposes a fuel tax only on the sale of gasoline, at the rate of nine cents per gallon gas. A new law, passed in 2019, allows a maximum of five cents per gallon of diesel fuel to be charged by rural counties. The proposed 5 cent tax per gallon of diesel fuel will raise approximately $287,000 per year in new revenues exclusively for Douglas County roads. Even if the diesel fuel tax is adopted, the County imposed fuel tax on diesel fuel will still be lower than the tax imposed on gasoline.

The five cent tax on diesel fuel will not apply to dyed ( or red) diesel fuel, which is typically used by farmers and mining operations.

Vote Yes on County Question 3 to Support a One Quarter of One Percent (.25%) Sales Tax to Establish a Fund to Purchase Open Space Easements.

Douglas County residents appreciate our scenic beauty, open space and rural character. For many, it is the principal reason why we choose to live here. A "YES" vote will advise our Board of County Commissioners to increase the County's local sales tax by 0.0025, one quarter of one percent, which equates to 25 cents on each $100.00 spent on qualifying purchases to fund the Open Space Program. Support of this advisory ballot measure facilitates the purchase of conservation easements on land that might otherwise no longer be preserved for open space and agricultural use. Once the land is developed, there is no chance it will look the same again.

The agricultural community deserves credit for being stewards of the land, which, in large part, has preserved the open space and rural character of Douglas County. Many landowners desire to continue ranching and farming, but sometimes it's hard to make ends meet. Without community support and the ability to retire development rights, they may choose to sell some or all of their land for development.

This Open Space Program Sales and Use Tax (Sales Tax) is designed to help both the agricultural community's ability to continue ranching and farming, while honoring the greater community's desire to retain Douglas County's open space and rural character. Support of this advisory question will advise the County Commissioners to establish a dedicated fund that can only be used to purchase open space lands and acquire development rights on existing agricultural and undeveloped land. This will be accomplished by establishing conservation easements allowing landowners to voluntarily sell their development rights to Douglas County, while retaining ownership and continuing traditional ranching and farming activities. Conservation easements also tie the water to the land.

The Douglas-Carson Farm Bureau Board (representing local ranchers), the Planning Commission, and the Board of County Commissioners all voted unanimously to place this advisory question on the ballot.

Sales tax is not imposed on food, prescription medicines, utilities, and services. Visitors and other non­county residents will also contribute by paying the Sales Tax on applicable purchases. The average cost per Douglas County household would be around $30 per year. This is a small price to pay to protect and preserve the beauty, culture, lifestyle, open space and rural character that residents love.

The following is information and statements from candidates running for local elected postions on the November ballot General Election. The Carson Valley Chamber of Commerce is not endorsing any specific candidate but is providing information given by the candidates.

County Commission Candidates for District 3

District Court Judge Candidates

School Board of Trustees - Area 3

Larry Sidney

Hello. My name is Larry Sidney, and I am running for Douglas County School Board of Trustees in Area 3 up at the lake. I wanted to take the opportunity to briefly introduce myself, since I may not have had the chance to meet some of you personally.  I am married with two young boys who will be students in the district in the upcoming years, and I am also a former teacher of 15 years.

Most of my work with the Douglas County Schools has been at Zephyr Cove Elementary and Whittell High School. I have been a coach, substitute teacher, and a donator of time and money to the schools. But I have also made the effort to be involved with the rest of the district, and to learn about the successes and the challenges of our schools. Last year I gave a presentation with JoJo Townsell to 6th and 7th graders at PaWaLu Middle School. This year, I have gone out of my way to meet with building administrators to learn more about each school.

I work in finance and have an MBA degree, and I believe that my business background, along with 15 years of experience as a teacher, make me a unique candidate who can see the full picture of what it takes for a school district to be successful.

My overall goal is to support positive growth in our local schools. Our kids get their biggest wins when they have an entire team united in their support. That means the teachers, administrators, staff, parents, coaches and the school board all working together to achieve the same goals.

I want our kids to experience school as I did, a safe place to grow, learn, and develop. Providing that for our children is what drives me to want to give my time to our local community as a board member.

My name is Larry Sidney, and I hope that I will have the honor of representing you on the Douglas County School Board.

East Fork Fire Protection District Board of Directors, District 1

John Bellona

I am John Bellona I am running for the  East Fork Fire Protection District Board of Directors, District 1

I am a retired firefighter from East Fork I have served our community for over 27 years. I hope you will support me in continuing that service.

East Fork Fire Protection District Board of Directors, District 5

Steve Mihelic

  • Douglas County resident since 1969
  • Graduated from Douglas County Middle and High Schools
  • Associate of Applied Science Degree – Fire Science Western Nevada College
  • Graduate – Executive Fire Officer – National Fire Academy
  • 30 years of Fire Service Experience in Douglas County and Carson City
  • Began Career in Douglas Co as a Volunteer
  • Became Career firefighter in Carson City

-  Served as the Assistant Chief and Fire Marshall

-  Facilitated the implementation of the Firefighter/Paramedic program

-  Initiated and facilitated the Quad County Hazardous Materials Team

-  Initiated the first wildland fuels management program in western Nevada

-  Initiated one of the Wildland Urban Interface specific county ordinances in   Western Nevada

-  Served on The Sierra Front Interagency Incident Management Team

  • 15 + years of Private Industry experience in the construction industry including several years as a project manager.
  • Currently serving on the East Fork Fire Protection District Board of Directors representing District 5
  • Improved Community Needs:
  • Facilitated a more defined and transparent budget ($19 million plus)
  • Supported the dissolution of Redevelopment Area 1 (RDA 1)
  • Facilitated a goal setting workshop for the Board of Directors
  • Facilitated a capital improvement / replacement program
  • Voted for an updated Standard of Cover
  • Voted for the purchase of a new ambulance
  • Voted for the acquisition of four new Fire Engines
  • Voted for the retrofitting of additional equipment
  • Voted for the sale of older apparatus/equipment
  • Voted for agreements & programs for Wildland Fire Protection
  • Voted for the development & implementation of updated policies
  • Supported Personnel:
    • Secured a 3- year employee contract bringing East Fork personnel into alignment with the surrounding area / market
    • Increased firefighter/EMS personnel to meet the needs of our community
    • Encouraged additional training / education for Paramedics
    • Voted for improved local training facility


Over the course of the last 50 years as a Douglas County resident I have had the opportunity to participate in many facets of our area.  I began my post high school employment with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office prior to becoming a career firefighter in Carson City. While working for Carson City I promoted through the ranks culminating my career as the Assistant Chief and Fire Marshall. I instituted, managed, and coordinated numerous programs and activities. I participated in labor management / negotiations representing both labor and management.  As a member of the Sierra Front Incident Management Team I assisted on numerous major incidents along the eastern front of the Sierra Nevada mountains.

These experiences combined have, I believe, given me a unique opportunity of knowledge and experience that I can use to better understand and serve our community as a member of the East Fork Fire Protection District’s Board of Directors.

I believe our personnel are the most valuable asset we have, and they must be given the resources they need to provide fire and life safety services.  I am committed to providing the citizens of our community with the best fire and life safety services we can with the resources available to us.


Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District

Barbara Smallwood

Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District Incumbent 2016-2020

1518 Hussman Avenue, Gardnerville NV. 89410

775-782-7915         email:

Semi Retired, 73 years old

Education:  Completed Public Officials Classes on Surface Water Issues, Nevada Drinking Water Regulations, Ground Water Treatment Options, and Emergency Management Preparation conducted by University of Nevada. Reno, NV.  Pierce, Jr. College, Woodland Hills, CA. and Valley College, Van Nuys, CA. Western Nevada Community College, Carson City and Douglas, NV.  Barbara graduated from William S. Hart High School, (Newhall, CA.)

Record of Service:

2012-2016 Elected Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District.  Presently serve as Chairman.
1992 elected to the Douglas County Board of Commissioners and served as Vice-Chairman. • Carson Water Subconservancy District Board Member • Gardnerville Water Company Board of Directors • Upper Carson River Management Plan Committee Member • Douglas County Senior Nutrition Advisor Board Member • Douglas County Regional Transportation Commission Chairman • Tahoe Transportation District • Douglas County Parks and Recreation Board • Western Nevada Development District • Law Library Douglas County • Douglas County Master Plan and Development Code • Gardnerville Town Board Chairman • Drug Free School Task Force Member • CAT-Community Action Team Member • Community Oriented Policing Training• DCSO Handicapped Parking Enforcement Team • Family Community Leadership Training • Douglas County Historical Society Past Trustee. Douglas County Sheriff Office Good Neighbor Program Team Member.

“Nevada Association of Counties Resolution Now be it resolved, by the Board of Directors of the Nevada Association of Counties, that on behalf of all 17 counties, the Association extends sincere appreciation to Barbara S. Smallwood for her leadership, dedication and public service; she promoted fiscal integrity and financial stability.”
Proclamation, “County of Douglas Barbara S. Smallwood served the citizens with enthusiasm and dedication serving as Vice-Chairman. Barbara's commitment to the future of Douglas County was demonstrated through consistent actions to preserve and enhance the QUALITY OF LIFE enjoyed by the residents through the adoption of the Master plan and development code; the adoption of balanced budgets; a strong desire to see development pay its fair share of costs; and enhanced citizen involvement to solve community problems.”

YOU elected me four years ago as your fiscally conservative voice on the MGSD Board of Trustees.  If re-elected I will continue the fine example of the Founding Fathers Board of Trustee’s management of the district. RECORD COURIER EDITORIAL OPINION Friday July 17, 2015.  “Don’t mess with what works.” “The Minden Gardnerville Sanitation District is one that is fulfilling its function very well.”  We have kept your rates LOW and I will continue to promote cost effective operation of the plant. The Board has well trained Staff and we encourage Job Related Improvement.  Our staff is cross-trained for efficient Plant operation.  Questions?  Call or email me.  I would appreciate your vote.

Raymond Wilson

I am Ray Wilson and am running for Trustee of the Minden Gardnerville Sanitation

Why, as a former MGSD Trustee, am I running again for the MGSD Board of Trustees? To keep the rate the lowest sewer rate in the county and state. MGSD is the only provider to be able to operate as a business in the county. Why? In 1990, the founding Fathers of MGSD: Daniel Hellwinkel, Louis Neddenriep, Jerome Etchegoyhen, Victor Pedrojetti, and Leonard Anker went to the State of Nevada and got the State legislature to allow MGSD to operate like a private business. That’s why we have the lowest rate in the county! Our quarterly rate is lower than most of the monthly rates in the county.

When I was chairman in 2016, 2017, and 2018 the Board put over $5 million into reserve
under the current low rate. Repairs and maintenance are expensive. As the chairman, I followed the guidelines set by the founding fathers: MGSD is the “company” and the rate payers are the most important part. I have over 50 years of business experience running four successful companies. There is no reason MGSD should need to raise rates. There has been one rate raise since 1999. In 2012, I was the only member of the board at that time who voted against the rate raise. There has been no tax raise since 1990. I hope you agree; I am asking for your vote to keep MGSD rates lowest in the county.

Tim Bunting

I am very interested in this Valley and it’s future. I believe we must learn from our past, but plan for changes and growth. We can not just say we are have the lowest rates and sit back and do nothing, we must be able to look forward, assess, plan and be prepared for what is going to happen.

Topaz Ranch Estates GID

Jerry "Brandon" Taylor

Hello, my name is Jerry “Brandon” Taylor, and I am running to retain my TRE GID Trustee Position. I was raised in a small town in Idaho and moved to Douglas County in 2001. All 6 of my children have attended Douglas County schools.

We moved to TRE in 2018 and jumped at the opportunity to get involved. TRE has been a fantastic community and one we are happy to be a part of. It has been my pleasure to host community events such as Thanksgiving dinners, Easter egg hunts, and drive-in movies - alongside my family and others volunteering. We have met so many amazing people and have enjoyed getting to know everyone.

I have a background in Construction and Project Management and am currently working for the State of Nevada as a Facility Manager for 29 properties across the state. I have been lucky to be involved in numerous projects such as highway and road projects, bridges, high-rises, parking garages, prisons, shopping centers, food-grade acid plants, and built multiple homes. I have been blessed to learn Heavy Construction to Plumbing, Electrical, Concrete, and Carpentry.

As a Trustee, I want to fight for another well to be placed and proper use of water to ensure that the TRE community is supported. Additionally, I understand that road updates are important to the community and want to allocate funds for the project.

I look forward to serving our community through this position. When you vote for Jerry “Brandon” Taylor, you vote for a family that believes in TRE and will do everything possible to support its growth and success. Please feel free to contact me at and join the Facebook group, “Brandon’s” Taylor Family Tre Information to connect.