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Lobbyist hired by county

Jenifer Ragland

Reno attorney and registered lobbyist Joseph Guild will represent Douglas County in the 1997 Nevada Legislature, the Board of Commissioners announced Thursday.

Dan Holler, county manager, said Guild will be paid $40,000 to watch several relevant issues – particularly the Tahoe Citizens Committee proposal to form a new county at Lake Tahoe and any flood-related legislation.

“People generally respect him and his integrity,” Holler said of Guild.

The commission voted March 6 to spend up to $50,000 in hiring a lobbyist in order ensure their voice is heard in discussions that could drastically affect the county.

Board chairman Jacques Etchegoyhen, who was designated to research candidates, said what stood out about Guild was his willingness to tailor a program for Douglas County, depending on which issues emerged as most important.

“He offered the flexibility that was otherwise lacking,” Etchegoyhen said.

While the TCC has expressed its disdain for the idea of spending Tahoe taxpayers’ money on a lobbyist who will essentially fight against them, Kelly Krolicki, the group’s executive coordinator, admitted that Guild is a “good guy.”

“At least they chose a quality one,” she said.

Holler said one of Guild’s major functions will be to inform commissioners of hearings for which a large turnout may be helpful in persuading legislators.

“His encouragement and what we have heard from the legislators is for us to be there,” he said. “He is willing to meet and work with commissioners as a trainer for lobbying.”

Commissioner Kelly Kite also stressed how important it is for members of the board to be personally active in legislative matters this session, so as to prevent the hiring of a lobbyist in the future.

Guild, 50, is the sole practitioner at his Reno law office. Among his current lobbying clients are Union Pacific, U.S. Tobacco Public Affairs, Inc., State Farm Insurance and the Nevada Cattlemen’s Association.

Other issues he will be watching this session include the proposed 1-percent room tax increase for infrastructure improvements, proposals to create school districts across county lines, efforts to increase building fees for schools and a possible change in state sales tax allocation.


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