Six apply for two Douglas planning commission seats |

Six apply for two Douglas planning commission seats

Scott Neuffer
Tahoe Daily Tribune

GARDNERVILLE, Nev. – County commissioners will appoint two people for a 4-year-term on the Douglas County Planning Commission on Thursday, choosing from a pool of six applicants including incumbents James Madsen and Margaret Pross.

The meeting starts at 1 p.m. in the county administrative building at 1616 Eighth St. in Minden.

Pross, current chair of the planning commission, is a 62-year-old retired interior designer seeking her second term. The Gardnerville resident said between Nevada and her former hometown of Green Oaks, Ill., she’s spent 15 years working in government. Presently, she is vice chair of the Main Street Gardnerville Board of Directors.

“I know it sounds like a cliche, but I really like being part of the solution,” Pross said. “I’ve really enjoyed being part of the community, playing a proactive role and giving back. I’ve had an awful lot of people ask me to continue. That they have so much faith in me makes me very happy.”

As a planning commissioner and chair for two years, Pross said she had the opportunity to work on the 10-year master plan update, among other things.

“I am able to maintain neutrality and fairness while making effective and competent decisions that represent the total interests of the county both short term and long range,” she said.

Minden resident James Madsen, 68, is also seeking a second term. A native Nevadan, Madsen grew up in Fallon and served as a U.S. Marine Corps sergeant in Vietnam. He is now a commercial real estate agent and construction management consultant with a master’s degree in education and a bachelor’s degree in business administration.

Madsen has served as chairman of the Douglas County Board of Appeals as well.

“One of the reasons I want to continue on the planning commission is that I’ve represented agricultural interests in the Valley,” he said. “I identify with them and want to continue to support them.”

Madsen said his experience stems from growing up in Nevada “trapping in the winter and working on ranches.”

“Don’t Californicate my Nevada,” he said.

Gardnerville resident Carla Kuhn is a science and math teacher with a bachelor’s degree in geology and a master’s degree in education.

Kuhn has worked with the Carson Valley Community Food Closet since 2007. She served on the curriculum council of the Berryessa Union School District in San Jose, Calif., and also worked with the Bay Area Earth Science Institute and Palo Alto Children’s Museum & Zoo.

“My qualifications for this position are based on my training as a geologist, my work as an educator translating complex ideas into more easily understood parcels of information, and my desire and delight in working with my community in a variety of ways,” Kuhn said. “I am interested in this position because I believe my skills and experiences could be of particular service to Douglas County and its residents. I look forward to this opportunity to contribute my energies, and, in doing so, enable Douglas County to enjoy all forms of prosperity.”

Retired Minden resident Charles Dane, 78, has both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in forest engineering and a doctorate in applied economic analysis. He taught at Oregon State University for 38 years and recently served on the Douglas County Parks and Recreation Commission.

“I have a background working with subdivisions. I appeared before the City of Corvallis Planning Commission representing developers, and I’ve also appeared on the opposite side in court (as an expert witness),” he said. “I know a little about agriculture, a little about forestry and a little about business. I want to keep myself active and would like to contribute my background to Douglas County.”

Dane said he has no business or investment commitments in Douglas County and therefore no potential conflicts.

“My wife and I intend to live our remaining retirement years in Douglas County to be near our Stateline daughter, so we are very interested in Douglas County,” he said.

Stateline resident Robert Cook, 61, is a retired Tahoe Douglas firefighter and UPS driver who now volunteers full-time.

“I am very interested in all aspects of Douglas County government,” he said. “I’m also interested in government both regional and global.”

Cook has an associate’s degree in fire science from the first graduating class of Western Nevada Community College in 1974. He has served on several boards and clubs, including the Tahoe Douglas Fire District, the Kingsbury General Improvement District and the Douglas County Advisory Board to Manage Wildlife. Besides being a member of Young at Heart and Douglas County Ski Club, Cook is the current chair of the Douglas County Senior Services Advisory Committee.

“As a Stateline resident for 38 years, I would like to give the Tahoe Township representation on the planning commission,” he said. “Douglas County is a wonderful place to live. We are all so lucky, and I just want to do my part.”

Gardnerville resident Britta Appel, 46, is a legal secretary for the Nevada Attorney General’s Office.

With a doctorate in law and a bachelor’s degree in political science, Appel ran a private practice in California with an emphasis in civli litigation, real property, collection and bankruptcy law. She’s also worked with Big Brothers/Big Sisters of Northern Nevada, Cub Scouts and Back Country Horseman of Northern Nevada.

“My interest is really in the direction of the county as far as overall development,” she said. “I have an interest in trying to shape the future in such a way as to balance competing interests – maintaining the characteristics of the Valley and the need for a certain amount of growth in order to sustain it.”

Appel said she doesn’t have an agenda either to promote growth or restrict it.

“It’s got to be a balancing act,” she said. “Make sure both sides are considered and take each issue on a case-by-case basis.”

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