July 10, 2006

Leader-Courier articles of note

The Leader-Courier is doing a great job of covering the local races of import. Here's one, printed in full due to the fact that it will disappear into the archives soon.

Four vie for District II County Commission seat

SILVER SPRINGS — On Aug. 15, voters will go to the polls to send two candidates to move on to the general election in November.

Four candidates are vying for the County Commissioner seat currently held by Chet Hillyard, Republican, who has again thrown his hat into the ring.

Trying to unseat the long-time Commissioner are Democratic challengers Pat Geurts and Charles Lawson as well as Republican Larry McPherson.

The Commissioner District II represents Silver Springs, the north side of Stagecoach and parts of Fernley.

Early voting will take place from July 31-Aug. 11 in Yerington while also in Fernley and Dayton starting Aug. 2, with Lyon County Clerk Nikki Bryan indicating Silver Springs and Stagecoach voters can cast their votes in Dayton.

Electors can vote at Fernley City Hall on Silverlace Blvd., beginning Aug. 2-11, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday, or at Dayton at 801 Overland Loop, suite 201, the same dates, from 8 a.m.-5 p.m., Monday-Friday.

The primary will be held on Aug. 15 at various locations in Silver Springs, Stagecoach and Fernley (see other story).

Candidates are listed in alphabetical order.

Pat Geurts:

“I was asked to run because the people are tired of the current administration ignoring the citizens’ voice,” said Geurts of the reason he decided to seek office.

The effects growth has had on the area’s quality of life are what motivated the 49-year-old resident to seek political office.

“Growth is the number one concern, its effect on our quality of life and little to nothing is being done to control its impact,” he said.

Geurts went on to cite impacts growth has had on traffic, schools, roads, infrastructure and also quality of life in the area neighborhoods.

“From Silver Springs to Dayton you can hardly get onto the highway without putting your life at risk,” he noted.

Geurts is also concerned about the water issues and noted it cannot be “ignored and/or denied.”

“The current administration sales pitch is to divert water costing millions by going outside the county and state. Their answer: use less water and pay more while they continue to allow uncontrolled growth. What’s the trade off, more development you get to pay for it again.”

He would also like to foster better relations with the City of Fernley as a commissioner rather than what he believes is a lack of communications between the current administration and citizens of Fernley.

Guerts is chairman of the Silver Springs Advisory Board, where he has served for the past seven years.

Chet Hillyard:

He has served for the past 14 years as County Commissioner and Hillyard said he wants to continue with a fifth term.

“I’ve been in there for quite a while and the more I work for the people the more we can get things done,” he said.

Hillyard said his reasons stem from the numerous accomplishments and progress that have been garnered while he has been in office.

He remarked in the Fernley area as commissioner he helped to bring industrial development to the industrial area of that community, which has given jobs to hundreds of people.

Prior to coming to Silver Springs, Hillyard was a trustee on the Vallejo Sanitation Board, in Vallejo, CA, and with his knowledge of the sewer system, as a commissioner he worked to bring the Silver Springs General Improvement District to fruition.

Throughout the years as Commissioner he fostered good working relationships and helped to improve the Lyon County Sheriff’s Office, Library system and each of the senior citizens centers.

Hillyard remarked the upcoming Villages of Silver Springs project, which will bring over 800 homes to the area, will incite more economic development to the area such as a grocery store, bank and other needed services.

Further with development will come additional jobs to the area.

As the area grows, he would like to work with the Nevada Department of Transportation to improve transportation major routes.

“I have no special interests, only for the health, safety and welfare of the people of Silver Springs,” said Hillyard.

Charles Lawson:

Planning, traffic problems and youth programs are just some of the reason Charles Lawson threw his hat in the ring to seek the County Commissioner post.

The long-time Stagecoach resident feels planning and all that it encompasses are issues that need to be addressed in the county overall.

He says he would like to work on a system that alleviates the traffic problems with more easements designated as roadways. Lawson noted, for example, frontage roads are one such solution.

Also, he’d like to see more roads maintained throughout the county, which would alleviate some dust problems in some communities and offer a safer ride for motorists.

Although he acknowledged that maintaining roads is a very big issue, he’d like to see something done, nonetheless.

Further he would like to see more retail businesses established in the county.

“People have to travel so far away to work and to purchase necessities and even get medical care,” he said.

Lawson also is interested in working with various groups to provide “some sort of opportunity for young people in the county.”

He continued that as it is there aren’t many activities for youths to join. Larson remarked he is aware Yerington has a Boys and Girls Club and both Fernley and Dayton are looking into such clubs, but he feels the County Commissioners also need to be involved.

The 65-year-old man has been married to Susan for the past 42 years.

Larry McPherson:

Once he noticed no other Republican had entered the race to unseat incumbent Hillyard, McPherson said that was his calling.

“There were no Republicans running against Chet, so I did,” he said.

He added he simply wanted voters to have a choice and he is not making any promises or advocating for action as a means to earn a vote.

Still, McPherson said he would be a full-time commissioner and he noted for the past two years he has checked County Commissioner meeting minutes, which has indicated Hillyard had not attended a number of meetings or was late.

“It’s a full-time job,” he said, adding he was capable of doing the job.

He added if a commissioner is unable to attend meetings or is late they are not doing their job.

The long-time Stagecoach resident noted his statements sounded harsh but he didn’t have anything against Hillyard.

McPherson retired from the trucking business and he remarked after traveling throughout the U.S. and Canada he decided to steer his life course off the road.

McPherson is active in the Pony Express Association.

The Leader-Courier will publish additional profiles on each of the candidates prior to the early voting period.

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