McDermid talks about re-election
Tribune News Service
GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – Good governance is about striking a balance, Douglas County Commissioner Nancy McDermid said at The Record-Courier building Wednesday.
“Over the last three years, I’ve studied very hard, I’ve worked very hard, and I’ve done my best to strike a balance between budgetary constraints and wishlists,” McDermid said.
The 66-year-old Foothill resident and grandmother of 11 is running for a second term in District 4 against fellow Republican Lawrence Howell.
McDermid was a planning commissioner before she was elected to the county commission in 2006. She served as vice chair in 2008 and chair in 2009.
With a background in lodging development, McDermid said she has brought a business-minded approach to the board, helping achieve a “lean and mean” budget through the economic recession.
“I believe we have accomplished a cost-effectiveness and a lean administration while still trying to maintain a level of service,” she said. “I can’t take credit for a balanced budget because it’s mandated; however, it’s always a challenge.”
McDermid estimated that during her tenure, the county has reduced its workforce by 15 percent.
“I believe in squeezing every penny out of a dollar,” she said.
However, coming back to the idea of balance, she expressed the importance of employee morale.
“Turnover is not a good thing,” she said. “I’ve tried to retain and motivate good employees while being honest about what we could and could not afford.”
McDermid considers her greatest accomplishments the updated master plan, the growth management ordinance, and her subcommittee work with Minden on getting a waterline to East Valley residents.
She’s also proud of the county’s role in economic development at both the Lake and Valley.
“For a long time in Nevada, gaming has been king,” she said.
She said a paradigm shift is under way in the region to broaden the tourist market and capitalize on the area’s natural beauty and recreational opportunities.
“If we’re shifting from ‘gaming is king,’ what are we shifting to?” she said. “From Tahoe down to Topaz, we have so much to offer.”
McDermid said the community assessments performed last year and the hiring of consultant Karen Craig will help steer the way.
“We’ve been ahead of the curve and proactive in how to position ourselves for the paradigm shift that’s coming as a result of the downturn,” she said. “In Nevada, the train was going down the construction track at 90 mph without looking at anything else.”
McDermid said one of her most difficult votes was in support of Valley Christian Fellowship’s proposed church on the edge of the Silveranch subdivision, a project which many neighbors opposed.
“Ultimately, what I wanted out of that was for the opposing parties to get together and find a resolution,” she said. “Some issues are beyond what government can do.”
McDermid said throughout her first term, she has tried to listen to all viewpoints.
“I said four years ago that I would be a full-time commissioner accessible to all and with no ties to special interests,” she said. “I believe I have and will continue to do that.”
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