Candidate Q&A: Douglas County Commissioner, District 2 |

Candidate Q&A: Douglas County Commissioner, District 2

John Engels

Place of Residence: Gardnerville

Occupation: Investments

Age: 73

Contact Information: Phone 775-392-4210


Record of Service: United States Army, Captain Artillery Vietnam and Cold War, Los Angeles Reserve Police Officer, American Lung Association National Fund Raiser.

Education: College of Idaho Baccalaureate Degree in Finance and Accounting

Honors: Several military citations, Los Angeles Police Department Meritorious Unit Citation and Medal of Valor.

Professional Background: International Accountant for Borg Warner Corporation, Brazil, CFO for

NYSE Corporation San Jose, California $500 Million a year budget, 30,000 employees nationwide.

Platform: I’m a died-in-the-wool conservative Republican. I’ve signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge and I mean it: No new taxes without a vote of the people. We have enough revenue. It’s a matter of priorities, and infrastructure tops my list. That this county has ignored infrastructure needs until lately is shameful. But far more is needed, and I will advocate for that. I will also advocate for the dissolution of Redevelopment Area #2. It diverts $200 million into the Casino corridor, so that revenue is not available to the general fund, schools, the police, and other important entities. The Lake deserves more consideration, but even California abandoned Redevelopment as too corrupt.

I oppose what is now being called “Attainable Housing.” It cannot exist without some form of subsidy, and it goes against keeping the county rural. I’m determined to keep development cohesive and in line with the Master Plan, not grant new zoning or variances at the drop of a request by a “powerful” player in the county. I was CFO of a company with over 30,000 employees for several decades, so I know how to handle financial challenges and employee contracts in the way that is most beneficial to the taxpayers as well as fair to those who have chosen to serve this county.

Like Ronald Reagan, I find government too often is the problem, not the solution to the problem. A vote for me is a vote for Republican principles put in action at the local level.

Steven Thaler

Place of Residence: Minden

Occupation: Douglas County Commission Chairman

Age: 60

Contact Information: 775-721-1108

Record of Service: Douglas County Commissioner 2014-present

Minden Town Board Member 2008-2014

United States Marine Corps 1976-1980

Carson Valley Kiwanis 16 years

Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada 3 years

Suicide Prevention Network 2 years

St Gall Catholic Church Parishioner 29 years

Knights of Columbus 17 years

Carson Valley Business Council 3 years

Carson/Douglas Salvation Army 2 years

Welcome all Veterans Everywhere 1 year

Education: Associate of Arts (WNC) 1982

Backster School of Polygraph Examiner Certification 1991-1998

Nevada P.O.S.T. (Basic & Advanced Certificate) 1980-1995

Honors: USMC Humanitarian Service Award (1980)

SAMHSA Exemplary Program Award (1996)


I believe we need to continue to focus on balancing fiscal responsibility with good sound judgment when making decisions that affect us all. I will continue to ensure our community’s safety, which is paramount, as well as maintaining organizational stability and promoting a positive environment for families to live in and businesses to grow in.

My goal is to continue making county government more efficient and save taxpayer’s money by taking a critical look at the annual budget, maximizing revenues and holding a hard line on expenses.

I will continue to serve with integrity and honesty and treat all those I encounter with the utmost respect. I believe every issue that comes before the board should be researched and debated openly in public. It has always been my goal to be a “voice of reason”, to be fair and to use good sound judgment when deciding issues.

All of us live in a remarkable community, filled with talented and educated people who share a deep appreciation for our beautiful Lake and Valley. I believe I have what it takes to continue to make this a thriving, economically viable and sustainable environment for all who live here in Douglas County.

Together we can continue to focus on the future of Douglas County by maintaining an open dialog amongst everyone who calls this place home. I have always believed this is the best place on earth to live and raise our children, and I will do my best to ensure it stays that way.

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