Commission candidates debate |

Commission candidates debate

Michael Schneider

Douglas District 4 commission candidates Don Miner and Janet Murphy clashed on the county’s role in evaluating the performance of its many general improvement districts.

The pair debated Wednesday evening at Genoa Lakes Golf Course in Genoa.

Murphy, the Independent challenger to Miner, said the county, by law, can evaluate the performance of GIDs and chose to absorb them if county representatives think the county can do a better job. She said the county commission should evaluate the GIDs before residents complain to the county.

Miner disagreed. The Republican incumbent told the crowd of about 20 county residents in local jurisdictions should have as much of a say in how they live as they wish.

“For a county to evoke its will is not what local government is all about,” Miner said.

Both candidates agreed the county could step in should GID members come to the county with issues about how the district is being run.

Miner received some heat from the question panel, made of of Douglas County Business Council members, for the county commission’s recent appointment of Ame Hellman to the planning commission. Hellman, who was elected in a 3-2 vote, was viewed as someone who would not push a Republican county agenda.

Miner said he voted for Hellman because he felt she would bring diversity to the commission and further debate.

“I thought her political background was secondary to her input,” Miner, chiropractor with offices in the Carson Valley and Lake Tahoe, said.

Hellman’s position is only for the next three months. Five planning commission spots will be up for appointment at the beginning of the year.

Murphy, who works for the Tahoe-Douglas Utility District, agreed with Miner that partisanship should not enter into planning commission appointments.

“I believe if you have a mix of people it could be quite a debate,” Murphy, 37, said. “You should pick who can best do the job based on credentials.”

Both agreed that, in light of a recent inclusion of the Lake Tahoe portion of the county into the master plan, the planning commission should have a lake representative.

Miner, 59, recently defeated Republican challengers Kirk Ledbetter and Robert Pruett in the primary election.

Murphy did not have to run in the primary due to the lack of other Independents running.

Although the District 4 seat represents the lake portion of the county and candidates must reside in Lake Tahoe, the whole county elects each commissioner.

The only other commissioner whose seat is to be contested this November is Jacques Etchegoyhen. Etchegoyhen is running unopposed.

The general election is Nov. 3.

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