Murphy seeks county position
Years Resident: 10
Profession: District Administrator for Tahoe-Douglas District, technical advisor for the Nevada State Legislature
Party Affiliation: Independent
Platform: To be a true public servant, to treat all taxpayers fairly, I believe that’s the commissioners duties to do that. To have no special interest for any special gang and to make sure that government that works below you is accountable and resourceful as far as staff and everybody involved, the people that work for the county.
Question 1: Although a legitimate and profitable business at Lake Tahoe, should Jet Skis be banned on the lake?
Answer: I haven’t seen the reports, I don’t know how extensive they were, what type of reports they’ve done, but I’m not an expert. They’re supposed to be the experts and if the lake is deteriorating by these two-stroke engines then it is beneficial environmentally to everybody as a whole, but there have been experts that have found the larger boats with two four-stroke engines can create the same damage as a two-stroke. So what are you going to do, ban all watercraft from the lake? That is one of the main attractions for people that come here. A lot of people live off that livelihood and it brings a lot of tourists up here. I don’t know if there’s some kind of research they can do to find maybe an additive to the lake that maybe could counter act the problem so we can keep this economy going with Jet Skis. The Sheriff’s patrol is also two-stroke so they’ll have to be changed as well. They’re the experts and if that’s what they say then that’s the course you need to take environmentally.
Question 2: Should the Lake Tahoe portion of Douglas County have a separate school district?
Answer: I don’t think it’s really necessary. The main thing is communication. If you really sit down with the superintendent, that’s the first thing you have to do. If you see a problem, you go directly to where you feel is going to be the strength in changing it and say these are our concerns and we want them resolved or some type of a compromise otherwise this is what we intend to do and take it to the legislation or the people up in the area. That’s what you need to first attempt to do before you go to any other drastic changes. I don’t like more government, it’s just more bureaucracy as far as I’m concerned. You need to address the problem first before you go any further.
Question 3: Are General Improvement Districts good for the lake, or should the county look to absorb or consolidate them?
Answer: GIDs are here for a purpose and that is because the county did not want to facilitate or maintain the services. I like to use this example: GIDs to a lot of people up here are like two parents who have a child. The parents separate and one parent gets physical custody of the child and that parent raises the child for all those years and the child becomes self-sufficient, independent, resourceful and accountable. Then the other parent comes in and says, “I’m going to take this child over now and continue to raise this child,” after the first parent nurtured that child to that degree. Now, I don’t know if people will think this is a parallel but that’s how I think and how a lot of people feel about GIDs. That’s their baby as far as they’re concerned, just like someone who makes the sacrifice to raise the child. I don’t think its fair for the other parent, or the other government to come in and say we want you now that you’re efficient, accountable, resourceful. If it’s not broke, why fix it, that’s the bottom line. But, the county should analyze the GIDs annual reports and if there’s a district that’s declining then it’s the commissioners duty, if they see severe financial difficulty, to step in. There’s already state provisions for them to do interventions. If Douglas County is so Republican and the commission is so highly Republican, it was always the contention of the Republican standpoint, small government is good for more control, then why would you want to consider taking over small governments. Has the commission gone liberal?
Question 4: What should the county commission’s role, if any, be in formulating a plan for improving state roads, such as State Route 28 and U.S. Highway 50, in the Tahoe Basin?
Answer: As far as NDOT’s (the Nevada Department of Transportation’s) standpoint, I would hope they are the experts and they will enforce their expertise in these issues. As far as the role of county commissioners, the only time they need to step in is when they are not being enforced. If the public contacts them and says they have issues that are not being addressed, then their duty is to contact NDOT and say we have some citizens that are concerned and maybe we can get it resolved or compromised.
Question 5: The Tahoe Basin has been said to be sorely under-represented on the Board of Commissioners. What would you do to ensure Tahoe issues get the attention they deserve?
Answer: Any issues that are presented from the lake area, I will continue to bring to the table to the rest of the commission until the issues are addressed and there is some compromise we can come to. I think all areas need fair representation and the lake definitely needs its fair representation because it is, right now, the money pool. One of main priorities of commissioners is that every area needs fair representation. That’s what I’m basically all about.
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