Fernley Reporter Election Guide: State and County Positions

For the upcoming primary election, Robert Perea, publisher of The Fernley Reporter, and Cody Wagner, Chair of the Fernley Community Foundation, have teamed up to gather information from local candidates to help educate voters throughout our region. A series of prompts and questions were emailed to primary candidates through their email addresses listed with the Nevada Secretary of State.  A similar format will be compiled for the general election candidates in November. Responses were not edited for content, punctuation, or grammar. Candidates are listed by position, then alphabetically by last name.  We will update this story as candidates submit their responses.

Nevada State Senate District 17

Name: Robin Titus

Party: Republican

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Place of Residency: Smith Valley, NV

No information received.

Name: Jim Wheeler

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Minden, NV

No information received.

Nevada State Assembly District 38

Name: Vida D. Keller

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Silver Springs, NV

1. Please provide a short biography and include anything voters might be able to use to research further (website, social media, etc.)

Vida D. Keller Wife, mother, and grandmother (Mema)

Current vice chair and past chair Lyon County Commission, completing my eighth year. Eight years serving on the board of (NACO) the Nevada Association of Counties, NACO legislative committee, NACO public lands, and the Quad County legislative committee. Commission chairman for two years, the first two years of COVID fighting Sisolak to protect our businesses, and our rights.

Business Owner, Broker, Realtor for 24 years, office of Priceless Realty.

Member and served two, 2-year stints as the 1st VP Fernley Republican Women

Associate member of the Churchill Republican Women

Member of the Lyon County Republican Central Committee and delegate to the state committee

Past and current president of the Silver Springs area Chamber of Commerce

President of the Lyon County Library Foundation (501c3) serving all Lyon County Libraries.

Former coordinator of family affairs, Army National Guard

Served on two sector councils appointed by Governor Sandoval (mining and manufacturing)

www.vidadkeller.com for more information and find me on Facebook @ Vida D Keller

2. What are the key parts of your platform?

I’m a proud Republican putting God first, family, and community.

Less regulation, Election Integrity to include voter I.D. requested absentee ballots only (no more mail ballots to all) take voter registration requirement out of the DMV, no more same day registration, voting is a personal responsibility and needs treated as such. Protect our Constitution it was designed for our own protection modifying will only lead to chaos.

Parental Choice in our schools guarantee the money follows the child not the administration. and Parental Rights to know about our children’s medica and decision making.

Patient Advocacy every medical patient guaranteed to have an advocate by their side whether it be a family member, friend or in case of none a volunteer advocate. No patient should ever be alone to include times of pandemic. Gun Rights the 2nd Amendment needs to be protected. Healthcare: we need more local autonomy at our county and city level when it comes to serving our rural and veteran needs, better access and ability to negotiate at our local government is legislation I can support. The state should not be dictating our rural healthcare/medical needs. We need to restrict our governor’s emergency powers no matter who is in office.

3. What are your three biggest priorities if elected?

Election Integrity

Parental Choice

Healthcare that includes parental rights for their children’s medical and patient advocacy non-restricted.

4. How do you believe growth will affect our region, specifically Fernley and Lyon County?

Growth is a double-edged sword we need it to survive and to make room for our future generations that want to work and live close to the community they grew up in. But if growth is not done responsibly, we will lose our rural small-town connection that we love so much and is what keeps us here. We can’t play into being a bedroom community for the bigger cities this is accomplished through planning and zoning, working with good companies that will supply jobs to our community rather than bring in people from out of the area demanding more housing and services. We are and should be self-sustaining promoting the live here work here community model. We can embrace the newcomers to our rural cities and county and still promote a wholesome lifestyle.

5. What are your thoughts on Nevada’s property tax and sales tax/Consolidated Tax (C-TAX) collection and distribution system and how they affect Lyon County and Fernley?

Property tax has been a discussion since the recession of 2008 and beyond, when housing values plummeted. Problem is to address this issue would require the legislature to 1. Do a one-time fix across the board on assessed values 2. Eliminate the depreciation on housing which we are the only state that depreciates our real property. 3. Eliminate the current law that provides residents with a 3% cap per year to raise property taxes and 8% on commercial. So, in essence any one of these would raise taxes. As a conservative republican I have signed the tax pledge to not raise your taxes.

C-tax is a completely different discussion as it is a combination of taxes collected by the state and distributed by different formulas until recently, we were a guaranteed county that allowed us to recapture taxes being paid outside of our county, we are now moving into point of origin county meaning we reap what we sow. The more we can buy local the more we can enjoy in our county and cities, however this will fluctuate from a thriving economy to recessionary economy. The C-tax distribution has been a discussion for many years one attempt was to open it up at the state level that failed to happen when every city and county claimed they weren’t getting their fair share.

Another attempt was to pull more out of the county, those discussions involve much more than just a percentage of the tax, for every percentage shifted would equally require the city to take on as much in services.

6. How do you see the future of our State, County, and City of Fernley evolving?

Better communication between all three, Lyon County and the City of Fernley have a much better level of communication today than say 20 years ago, but like anything there is always room for improvement. The link between State, County, and Cities has been severely lacking in past sessions, but electing good leadership is key, we can’t keep electing people to further their legacy. We need strong leaders that have and will volunteer to be a voice of the people and closest to the people. Hard work comes from rolling up your sleeves and be willing to defend our rights. The need for more autonomy from the top down in decision making.

Communication is critical in every aspect of our lives from our family, and friends, to our workplace we share knowledge, experiences, and history. With the right leadership in the legislature, we can get away from the norm of “It’s all about me” and “It’s my legacy” I truly believe greatness comes from within and the motto “It doesn’t matter who gets the credit, as long as we get the job done”

Name: Gregory S. Koenig

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Fallon, NV

Greg Koenig

1. Please provide a short biography and include anything voters might be able to use to research further (website, social media, etc.)

My name is Dr. Gregory S. Koenig. I am a candidate for Nevada State Assembly District 38. I am a fifth generation Nevadan. I am an optometrist with practices in Fernley, Fallon, and Yerington and have checked many of your eyes. I am a Republican and love our conservative way of life. I served on the Churchill County School Board for 12 years, half those years as Board President and was also President of the State School Board Association. I was on the NIAA board of control, which oversees all high school athletics in the state of Nevada. Currently, I am a county commissioner in Churchill County. Running businesses in Lyon County, I have a vested interest in what goes on here. I love Nevada and I love our rural lifestyle. I want to fight to protect our conservative values and make sure we aren’t overrun by the more liberal big cities in our state. I love the Constitution and will do all I can to protect the freedoms afforded by it. I will be your voice in Carson City. For more details visit my website, koenigforassembly.com.


2. What are the key parts of your platform?

My campaign slogan is “conservative, common sense, leadership.” The biggest differences in this race are our leadership styles, our common sense, and our integrity. As examples of our leadership styles, you just have to compare our current County Commission meetings. Mine are effective, efficient, everyone shows respect to each other, we trust staff and each other and we get things done without a lot of drama. My opponent’s meetings, on the other hand, are the opposite of that. An example of common sense is the way we would handle election reform. There are a multitude of problems with our election system, ranging from not requiring ID or proof of citizenship, to automatically sending everyone a ballot in the mail. These things need to be addressed. One of my opponents’ solutions is to require paper hand-collected ballots, costing the county hundreds of thousands of dollars and delaying the results of the election by days. I believe our voting machines, which have no internet connection, are efficient and secure. I am also the candidate in this race with integrity.

3. What are your three biggest priorities if elected?

Having been on the school board for 12 years, education will be one of my top priorities. It was embarrassing to me to go to a national meeting and have Nevada fighting with Mississippi and West Virginia for the lowest test scores. We can and must do better. I know money by itself won’t solve the problem, but we must give our teachers adequate resources to do their job. Another thing we need to do is promote career and technical education. Not every kid wants to go to college and trade schools offer the training which leads to well-paid professions. Working in the healthcare field has led me to realize that there is a lack of affordable, accessible healthcare, including mental health services in Nevada, especially in the rural areas. I know some of my current patients suffer from lack of access to specialists in their small communities. I will also fight against unfunded mandates. I don’t think they are fair. Nothing is worse than after painstakingly balancing a budget, having the state come in and say you have to implement a new program, but not giving you any funding to do it.


4. How do you believe growth will affect our region, specifically Fernley and Lyon County?

With the coming expansion of the USA Parkway area, growth in the county and the Fernley area is inevitable. I believe that the closer the government is to the people, the more effective it is. Who knows a community better, someone who lives there every day or a legislator from Las Vegas who is in Carson City? When it comes to decisions on growth and expansion, I think it should be mostly left up to the cities in the counties. I feel the job of the state legislature is to just stay out of the way. Don’t impose any taxes that would discourage growth and don’t create any burdensome inspections and regulations.

5. What are your thoughts on Nevada’s property tax and sales tax/Consolidated Tax (C-TAX) collection and distribution system and how they affect Lyon County and Fernley?

The C-Tax is a complex issue that warrants 200 pages instead of 200 words. The City of Fernley is at a disadvantage since the formula for distribution of funds was determined in 1997 and the City of Fernley wasn’t incorporated until 2001, not being at the table to protect their own interests. Fernley is receiving $8.69 per person, while Yerington gets $175.04. In comparison Fallon gets $255.53 while Elko gets $784.43. Not only is Fernley getting the short end of the stick in Lyon County, Lyon County itself is being shortchanged compared to other counties. In 2016, the City of Fernley filed a complaint seeking relief which ultimately was heard by the Nevada Supreme Court, which ruled against the city. In 2017, Assemblywoman Titus and Senator Settlemeyer co-sponsored a bill to change the distribution, but it didn’t make it out of committee. The main purpose of the money is to support law-enforcement, fire protection, parks and roads. More confusion comes because the City of Fernley currently doesn’t have its own police force. The problem is two-fold, Fernley isn’t getting what they need, but also the whole of Lyon County isn’t being treated fairly.

6. How do you see the future of our State, County, and City of Fernley evolving?

I think the best way our state and county can ensure a strong, successful future is to diversify our economy the best we can. In the past, the majority of our economy relied on gambling, tourism, and the hospitality industry, which is fine when things are going well, but when things take a turn for the worst, these are some of the first things that people cut out of their budget. Industry, like the companies at USA Parkway, is a good way to help weather this storm. We also need to make sure we support agriculture, mining, and green energy. The more diverse our economy and our state are, the better we are positioned to handle whatever the future throws at us.

Lyon County Board of County Commissioners, District 2

Name: J. Scott Keller

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Silver Springs, NV

1. Please provide a short biography and include anything voters might be able to use to research further (website, social media, etc.)

I am a native Nevadan, born in Reno and a Wooster High School graduate. I have lived in Lyon County for the past 30 years which provides me with a great deal of historical perspective and knowledge of the region.

Over the past 15 years I have served my community right alongside our Lyon County residents. I served 11 plus years with the Silver Springs Water Board where we have the lowest cost for treated water in the region, as well as Chair of the Silver Springs Advisory Board for 15 years. Also at the county level I have spent the past 14 years as Chair of Central Lyon County Parks & Recreation Board.

As a lifelong Republican I served as the Chairman of the Lyon County Republican Central Committee for 4 years and prior to that Vice-Chair. I now serve our Republican platform in the capacity as Vice-Chair of the Nevada Republican Rural Caucus. I am proud to be a Republican and will fight for conservative issues while serving as a commissioner.

www.keller4commissioner.com

2. What are the key parts of your platform?

Primarily, I will always put the people of Lyon County and their long-term interest above all else as we navigate through what we all realize will be years of projected growth.  My focus will be in protecting our vital resources, encourage and promote industrial growth that will provide high paying careers, and as a conservative, fiscal responsibility to relieve over burdensome taxes from our residents.

3. What are your three biggest priorities if elected?

There are several priorities that I will need to address as a commissioner along with any emergencies that arrive, so think flooding, COVID, Recession, etc.

1. Improve communication between the elected officials from County and the City of Fernley so that we can better serve our communities.  I will leverage my years of experience dealing with our state elected officials to change laws that are negatively impacting our communities.

2. Work closely with all our economic partners throughout the region to assist and encourage diversified business growth that will thrive not only during good economic conditions but also be sustained through times of economic challenges.

3. Work with NDOT to create an access management plan that NDOT can utilize as a tool for highway safety and improve transportation within and between our communities.

4. How do you believe growth will affect our region, specifically Fernley and Lyon County?

As a Lyon County Commissioner, I will primarily be addressing growth within other parts of Lyon County since Fernley has their own independent form of government. With that said, the areas of focus regarding growth will be the overall health and welfare of our communities to include its senior centers, libraries, roads, and parks.

Growth is a complicated subject depending on what region of the county you reside. We live in a rural county with limited resources that must be protected and not consumed by outside developers and companies that only do business here to export cheap labor and our resources. My decisions as commissioner will always be for the people of Lyon County and with foresight toward the generations that will have to live with decisions we make today.

5. What are your thoughts on Nevada’s property tax and sales tax/Consolidated Tax (C-TAX) collection and distribution system and how they affect Lyon County and Fernley?

Property and consolidated taxes are regulated through NRS and changed through the Nevada state legislature. As county commissioners we can only attend workshops and lobby for change.

There are 34 departments in the County that either directly provide services to the City of Fernley residents or provide services to other departments that are directly providing services.  Fernley can take on these responsibilities so then the money would go directly to the City of Fernley instead of Lyon County.  Lyon County in turn would be relieved of those responsibilities.  In short, shuffling funds from one part of the county to another part of the county does not necessarily solve any revenue problems.

As far as revenue, Lyon County recently lost our “guaranteed county” status, which means we used to get credit for the taxes we paid by shopping outside the county, however now we receive our funding from the sales within our county.  I will advocate for a buy local campaign, encourage wholesale retail in our industrial areas (outlet stores), tourism and point of sale on all construction projects. These steps will dramatically increase our revenue.  This should be a joint effort between Fernley and Lyon County to provide for our communities.

6. How do you see the future of our State, County, and City of Fernley evolving?

Certainly, the future is bright for Northern Nevada but that always comes with challenges that need to be met by knowledgeable leadership.  Lyon County is growing and as we all know that will continue to present many challenges at the County level. As a county commissioner I will help the citizens of the City of Fernley by bringing in the resources from state and county to assist their elected representatives with their own vision of the future.

Growth in our county is already on its way, we need to embrace it, stay in front of it, and be prepared for it. As your commissioner we can set the pace for a more responsible economic environment for generations to come,

while preserving our rural lifestyle.

Informed steady leadership is required to successfully guide Lyon County forward. My experience and in-depth understanding of current Lyon County issues will enable me from day one to serve well our diverse communities through this period of growth.

Name: David (Davy) Stix

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Fernley, NV

1. Please provide a short biography and include anything voters might be able to use to research further (website, social media, etc.)

I’m a lifelong resident of Lyon County, born in Fernley, attended Lyon County Schools K-12. I have 2 beautiful daughters and 2 busy grandchildren. I help operate the family ranching business that was started by my father in 1965. I also started as a Volunteer Fireman at age 16, Deputy Sheriff 1986-1990. Member of the Fernley Town Board 1994-2000. Fernley Mayor 2001-2006, Truckee Carson Irrigation District Board Member 2007-present, Nevada Board of Agriculture member 2010-2019, and Nevada Cattlemen’s Association President 2016-2018. My website is www.davystix.com and find me on my Facebook page “David Stix for Lyon County Commission – District 2”.


2. What are the key parts of your platform? 

I will bring common sense and civility to the Commission with a strong conservative foundation and an adherence to the rule of law and our Constitution. Supporting public safety and taking care of our Senior Citizens are key items I will fight for.

3. What are your three biggest priorities if elected? 

Fiscal responsibility, protection of property rights, and prudent, fair mitigation of impacts created by growth.

4. How do you believe growth will affect our region, specifically Fernley and Lyon County?

We must make good decisions in a way that makes growth bring the necessary infrastructure improvements such as transportation and utilities. However, the biggest challenge will be adhering to a Master Plan that has natural resources as its precept, THIS WE CANNOT FLAG OR FAIL. 

5. What are your thoughts on Nevada’s property tax and sales tax/Consolidated Tax (C-TAX) collection and distribution system and how they affect Lyon County and Fernley?

The property tax system completely falls under Nevada State Law and has strict rules administered by the Assessors Office and ultimately collected by the County Clerk/Treasurer. I wish government’s thirst for revenue would lead them to looking at the valuation placed on properties in increases, especially in the last two years, rather than the tax rates themselves.

The C-TAX (formerly called SIX PACK) question originally was approved by the Lyon County Board of Commissioners and the voters of Fernley in 2000 and affirmed by the Nevada Supreme Court recently. I would never slam the door on anyone or anybody. This decision (like any) must be considered in a fair and equitable manner weighing in the good of the entire County while taking into account change County dynamics and population centers.

6. How do you see the future of our State, County, and City of Fernley evolving?

It’s such an exciting time and a dangerous time. We need to always be prepared for this inflation that seems to be worsening, turning into a recession and stay focused on the positives we all have. We will get through these times and be thankful we stayed the course. Our diversity and location are our bright spots and the potential we have in Lyon County for a bright future is there; we just have to let the future work for us, not against us.  I believe I am the candidate who will lead us into that future and would appreciate your vote.

Lyon County Clerk/Treasurer

Name: Lisa Glass

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Yerington, NV

1. Please provide a short biography and include anything voters might be able to use to research further (website, social media, etc.)

Hi my name is Lisa Glass, I am a republican and am running for Lyon County Clerk/Treasurer. I am a 30 year resident of Lyon County, I graduated from Yerington High School. Following graduation I enlisted in the United States Air Force. I worked in the Command Post, where I had Top Secret Clearance. That’s basically where the Squadron is ran from. We briefed pilots on their missions and coordinated with other airfields. I spent my enlistment at Ramstein Air Base, Germany and was the first airmen at the time to make Senior Controller (a spot usually held by sergeants). Following my discharge I moved back to Yerington. I met my husband 16 years ago and we have 2 awesome kids. I have worked in the Clerk/Treasurer’s office for 3 years. I am running for this office because I truly believe that Experience matters. This office handles a lot and I have experienced it all. Most people don’t know what this office even does.  We handle taxes, business licensing, Filing Fictitious Firm names, Notary Filing, Marriage Licenses, Minister’s Licenses, The Tax Sale for delinquent taxes and of course the election. I can assure you that Lyon County conducts a safe, fair and impartial election. If elected I promise to keep it that way. I am completely opposed to having all paper ballots and hand counting. It’s a waste of taxpayer money.  I believe it should be up to the voter. If they would like a mail in ballot, they can request it. I believe we should have to show Id’s at the polls also, but we have to follow state law so that’s up to the Legislature to fix. I will uphold the laws they make whether I like them or not. My goals if elected would be to educate the public more on the election process. It takes A LOT to put on an election and if people knew all the lengths we go through to keep it safe and secure, I think they would have a different opinion than they do now. I would also like to get more of the services we provide online, like marriage licenses and business licenses. It would make it much more convenient for people to not have to make the drive to our office.  I would also like to get more young people involved in local government. I knew it was important, but when I started working in the Clerk/Treasurer’s Office I really realized how much the local government does for the community and county. The state and federal government make the laws but we are the ones who have to abide by and enforce them so we really need to get out there and get our voices heard. 

In closing, I’ve been told by numerous bosses before that they can give me something to do and they know it’s going to get done and it’s going to get done right. And that is what I plan to do for Lyon County. I love my job and honestly, I’m really good at it! From my military days until now I have gained the knowledge and experience to do that. I have proudly served my country and would like to continue serving Lyon County. You can find out more about me on my Facebook page Lisa Glass for Lyon County Clerk/Treasurer. Thank you and have a great day.

Name: Staci Lindberg

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Yerington, NV

No information received.

Name: Elaine St. John

Party: Republican

Place of Residency: Dayton, NV

1. Please provide a short biography and include anything voters might be able to use to research further (website, social media, etc.)

I owned a successful restaurant with low employee turnover for ten years and lost only two waitresses in 10 years. I was a Real Estate Appraiser for fifteen years, and I am currently a licensed Realtor. I also worked for lobby group National Foundation Independent Businesses (NFIB), working as a field representative and fundraiser. I have the managerial experience and the political experience to get things done on your behalf. I am a conservative Republican and have volunteered in numerous activities, 4th VC/Politics for the Calaveras Republican Party 2015-2019. I serve on Dayton Citizen Advisory Board 2021 & 2022.

2. What are the key parts of your platform?

I am running because I am concerned that voters have lost faith in our elections. Election Integrity is nothing new to me, my entire focus will be on election integrity. I worked with an attorney & his wife who worked with The Election Integrity Project and heard various ways the elections could be compromised since 2015, and I am a member of The Election Integrity Project Nevada. I will have access to election integrity leaders to call on your behalf. I never want to hear a voter say they are concerned their vote will not be counted accurately, and will not vote.

3. What are your three biggest priorities if elected?

1) Restoring voter confidence in our elections 2) Clean voter Rolls. 3) Listen to what the voters want and advocate on your behalf. To restore your confidence, I would remove the following voters: Non-Citizens, Deceased, Change of address and/or out of State, Duplicates, Commercial Registration, and Empty Lot Registration voters. I will also ask for 24-hour surveillance of ballot drop boxes in concert with our Sheriff. I will also do spot audits after the election and publish the results. Voters have lost confidence in computer voting, so I will push for paper ballots on your behalf & push for the prosecution of illegal voters.

4. How do you believe growth will affect our region, specifically Fernley and Lyon County?

As a volunteer of The Dayton Citizens Advisory Board, I know that the public is concerned with development. Hwy 50 is currently years behind in making safety improvements, and yet we continue to approve new housing tracts. Without prior safety improvements to our roads with ingress and egress addressed, this growth will cause more fatal accidents. The development will also affect our water & sewer needs. I would like to see the new housing tracts have an assessment district to pay for new wastewater needs that they bring to our community. Unfortunately, these issues are not under my purview.

5. What are your thoughts on Nevada’s property tax and sales tax/Consolidated Tax (C-TAX) collection and distribution system and how they affect Lyon County and Fernley?

I will collect property taxes but do not have any power to change them. I have heard many senior citizens want a senior discount on Property Taxes; although this is not under my control, I support all Senior needs. The C-Tax in Fernley is a hot topic, and I am sure Fernley City Council Candidates will answer this question and have solutions. I will always honor the legacy of patriots that have fought for your Constitutional rights.

6. How do you see the future of our State, County, and City of Fernley evolving?

I am always hopeful as a Christian. I would like us to maintain our rural character. If we elect the right strong-willed representatives, I think that can be done. Strength to take the fire is vital in all representatives. I know we will grow, but I hope it will be intelligent, limited and controlled growth. I would like to see the minimum lot size 12,000 square feet. My advocacy for these things will always be strong at The Board of Commissioners. You can see the campaign on Gettr@Elaine4Clerk & Twitter@Elaine4Clerk. My website is Elaine4Clerk.com.

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