Lyon County Commission District 4 candidates

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Editor’s note: With the unlikelihood that there will be public campaign forums during the lead up to this year’s primary election, The Fernley Reporter has submitted a questionnaire to candidates for offices that represent Fernley.

All candidates were asked the same questions, with the freedom to answer in whatever manner they choose. Responses to those questions will be grouped by each office they are running for, and will be published as they are received. All responses have been edited only for spelling and punctuation, and no content has been changed. In addition, all candidates are responsible for their own comments, and any false or misleading statements are the responsibility of the candidate and not The Fernley Reporter.

Candidates will be listed alphabetically, as their names will be listed on the ballot.

Rob Jacobson (Republican)

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

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Robert Jacobson, wife DeAnn, daughter Willow and son Sheldon. Lived in Fernley NV since 1991. Born and raised on a dairy farm in central MN. Love our great outdoors, hunting , camping and fishing. I am currently finishing up my 29th year in education all in Lyon County and have primarily worked in the Fernley,  Silver Springs and Stagecoach areas as either a classroom teacher or administrator. I have been involved in coaching numerous youth and school sports teams through the years and truly enjoy watching kids compete. I have been our subdivisions water coordinator or backup coordinator for 13 years, I continue to serve on the Lyon County Wildlife Advisory board, I have been a Hunter Education Instructor for over 5 years, and have been recognized as a Paul Harris Fellow with the local Rotary Club for my help with the “Backpack Program” which gets food to needy kids over the weekend. Volunteered to host the Boys and Girls Club on our campus for numerous years providing a safe before/after school site and summer program location. Volunteer yearly to help clean the Veteran’s Cemetery and support various Nevada Bighorns Unlimited organizations. My family volunteers at the Northern NV food bank and park clean-up projects through my wife’s work.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

Lyon County has been extremely good to me and my family. Lyon County has helped me lead an extremely fulfilling life and career. I have worked for 29 years in support of public education and have enjoyed seeing 1,000s of kids come through our public education system. As I look to retire next year this gives me an opportunity to continue keeping Lyon County a great place to “Live, Work and Play!” Helping shape policy and direct improvements that will continue to make Lyon County home! I have worked with grants throughout my career and understand that nothing is “free.” I have tried to be very transparent and available to families and the general public and will continue to be that person. While I have very limited experience as an elected official, I will strive to have a great working relationship with the other commissioners, the county manager and all the county employees. I pledge to keep the residents of Lyon County my priority in decision making.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

First and foremost, my wife and I empathize with all the families that have lost their jobs, taken pay cuts or to those whose health have been affected by the COVID 19 pandemic. COVID 19 will cause financial concerns in many areas that will negatively impact our county. From human capital, grants (state and federal) less commerce up and down the I-80 corridor affecting the diesel tax and revenues from that on the decline. Continual property tax abatements that are afforded businesses which whittle away at funding for local services by which we as a county can help support. Keeping a balance between new home growth and business in our communities demonstrates smart growth. New growth needs to help support the needs of new growth. Responsible return to normalcy needs to start as the economic hardships continue to mount. The sewer treatment plant in the Dayton area is another issue that will require some time and money to get fixed. With that, the purchase of some adjacent land allowing for expansion will help solve the issue with the state requirements. Also, bringing the existing water line from Carson/Dayton to the Silver Springs area will eventually lend itself to a sustainable water source to support housing and economic development. Tax abatements and decreased funding from the state and possible recession will require planning as we look to preserve the 300 county employees and continue moving forward with the planning and growth that Northern NV is experiencing. 

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

I will work to be part of the solution and not shy away from making tough decisions. Lyon County will come first when making those decisions whether it is human capital, projects dealing with infrastructure or efficiencies. We need to continue to grow law enforcement and other human service programs as our population grows and while our economy rebounds. As Fernley finishes up their community center we need to look at the Dayton area and try to centralize services there as well. Protecting water and water rights will always be an issue in our high desert. Working together as a team will be paramount as we continue to grow and do more with less. Finally, I have advocated for our youth for 29 years and I will continue to do that if I am elected to serve the residents of Lyon County. 

David Thomas (Republican)

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

Hello my name is David Thomas, Lyon County resident for 9 years. Previously from Hang Town, CA. I have 3 children with my wife Sara: Maryann, Hannah and Hunter. I have been a very valuable asset for private industry over the last 17 years in automation. Prior to starting a career and my own business in automation, from ages 9 to 17 I spent every summer with a church group. Helping mix and pour concrete slabs for classrooms and houses to further the efforts of an orphanage/school in San Vicente Baja Mexico, called Rancho Santa Marta. I was also a Boy Scout and actively participated in numerous community service activities revolved around seniors.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

I am running for the office of County Commissioner District 4, Lyon County, Nevada because I feel that the community deserves someone in office that will look at every matter with the utmost attention to the details. Making sure every citizen’s rights are  protected and the law is followed to the T.

Someone with private industry knowledge of lean manufacturing processes who can minimize County expenditures across every department, through detailed analysis of cost effectiveness of these expenditures vs. other methods. To ensure every penny is spent appropriately, and getting the biggest return for the County as possible.

Someone willing to work as a partner with you the constituents, the state and federal government to improve our county, state, and country for generations.

Someone that will demand the proper enforcement of our laws, regulations and rules from all County offices including our Sheriff’s Department through continued training, ride-a-longs and accountability for actions taken in violation of the law, or rights of others.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions.

1. The Covid-19 shut-down aftermath, budget cuts will have to be made. How we continue to provide services, without the funds required is going to be a dance for which my lean operation skills are very well suited for.  

2. Housing/development. We are going to grow, we have no choice in that. However, we need to grow responsibly. We need a “fill in the gaps” growth plan, that utilizes the vacant lots we have available to be built on, without shrinking any lot sizes.

3. Bringing the businesses that the constituents want to work for, to Lyon County. I truly believe if we make a short video (not paid for by the county) of all the things this county has to offer, that, companies will come here. I did! You did! Why wouldn’t they? Especially when we seal the deal, by mentioning the tax rate we enjoy!

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

If elected to represent the community in this Office, I will bring more transparency and accountability to Lyon County. I will personally help clean up each community to the standard the community demands to attract the businesses needed to solidify the County’s agricultural strength with a complimentary business base. I will listen and always find a way to get the most positive result for the community as a whole. I will fight tooth and nail to Make Lyon County Great Again!

Cody Wagner (Nonpartisan)

Note: As a nonpartisan candidate for a partisan office, Wagner will not be on the primary election ballot. Instead, he must submit a petition with 100 signatures by June 19 in order to be placed on the general election ballot.

1. Describe who you are and where you’re from, your background, work history, experience, community service, etc.

Fernley has always been my home for as long as I can remember, as my family moved here when I was 2 years old. I attended Fernley Elementary, Intermediate, and High Schools before attending the University of Nevada, Reno where I graduated with both a Bachelor of Science (2008) degree and a Master of Science (2012) degree in Chemical Engineering with a minor in Mathematics. During the final year of my degree program, I returned to Fernley to accept a job as a Manufacturing Process Engineer where I worked in the private sector for nearly six years. While in that position and for several years after, I served as Head Coach of the freshman boys basketball team and an Assistant Coach for the football program at Fernley High School, building on the experiences I had as a student-athlete myself playing football, basketball, and baseball for all four years of high school. I still help out with both programs whenever I am able to as a volunteer.

After getting married in 2016, I left the manufacturing industry to pursue several entrepreneurial opportunities. I have since started two companies: The Tap Wagon (a beer truck operation based out of Reno) and Wagner College Prep (a sole proprietorship focused on preparing Fernley area students for ACT and SAT testing). I also work two part-time jobs which provide me maximum flexibility, training Community Health Workers through the Healthy Communities Coalition of Lyon and Storey Counties and covering Lyon and Churchill Counties as a Sales Representative for Battle Born Beer. Additionally, I founded and serve as volunteer Chair of the Fernley Community Foundation, a 501(c)3 organization focused on fundraising for a new Fernley community center and assisting our local Boys & Girls Club sites. Last year, my wife and I welcomed our first child (son Reese, who turns 1 year old next week). I am also an active member of the Fernley Chamber of Commerce and Ambassadors organization, serve as a volunteer Planning Commissioner for the City of Fernley, and serve as the Treasurer of the Alumni and Volunteer Corporation for my college fraternity, Sigma Phi Epsilon.

2. State why you are running and what qualifies you for the office you are running for.

I bring a unique blend of job-related, volunteer, and educational experience to the table as a political candidate. These experiences connect me to every corner of Lyon County and motivate me to be invested in policies and decisions that improve every one of our communities. The flexibility offered by my current jobs provides me the opportunity to be a leader in advocating well beyond County Commission meetings to legislative efforts at the City and State levels. I also would represent a younger demographic than typically runs for a spot on our Board of County Commissioners and hope to motivate my generation to be invested in the future of our county, state, country, and world. I have invested many hours in the past few months attending County Commission meetings, reading agendas and minutes, and thoroughly researching issues our county is facing that will affect us all in the future.

3. What are some of the main issues you believe the board you are running for faces, and what are some of your solutions?

My status as a non-partisan candidate would allow me to navigate the complexities of local, state, and federal governments without loyalty to a particular political party’s agenda. I believe this truly would allow me to advocate for the best possible future for our County and City of Fernley. My political priorities are to advocate for conservative fiscal policies and minimal growth of government while ensuring necessary financial resources are available to allow Lyon County Staff to continue to provide services to the public at acceptable levels. I see fighting for a larger portion of Nevada’s Consolidated Tax pool for Lyon County as a way of improving services offered by our county’s Sheriff Department, Fire Districts, Road Department, and Parks Department without adding any additional tax burden for Lyon County taxpayers. I also believe that more should be done to ensure new development pays for itself and am ready to fight at the state level to ensure our school district is better funded.

My perspective on the greatest challenge facing the County one month ago would have been fighting for equality in services and investments for ALL communities in Lyon County. We obviously now have an even more important issue with the public health crisis and potential devastating economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic for our county. Advocating for policies to help get small businesses back on their feet will be at the top of my priority list after the safety of our general public is secured. Working through the challenges of decreased Intergovernmental revenues (especially Consolidated Tax) and potentially declining Property Tax revenues with the possibility of an economic downturn will be a part of this process as well. I believe that our world will persevere through this crisis, and we will be able to bring back a strong economy soon. I hope to be able to serve as a leader through this challenge and help guide us all to a better future.

4. What else would you like voters to know about you and what you would try to accomplish if you are elected?

I anticipate that people will question if I have enough time to serve as a viable County Commissioner due to my other activities. My opinion is that my involvement will actually be a strength of my candidacy. My motto in life is: “Boring people find excuses not to do something. Busy people always find an excuse to successfully do something else.” My future lies in Fernley, so I plan to advocate as strongly as possible for my hometown. I also have direct ties to Yerington through my wife’s job and Dayton/Silver Springs through my Healthy Communities Coalition position, which will allow me to understand policy issues and decisions that affect each of these communities. This will also allow me to conveniently have a consistent presence at our county seat in Yerington and state capitol in Carson City. Lyon County and Fernley need a strong Commissioner in this position who is willing to extend his or her responsibilities well beyond the biweekly Board of County Commissioner meetings to be a voice at the state and federal levels.  I can be that leader. 

*Please note that I will not be on the ballot until the general election in November as a non-partisan candidate.

David Thomas (Republican)

2 thoughts on “Lyon County Commission District 4 candidates

  • May 12, 2020 at 8:52 am
    Permalink

    I think you need to clean up the column you have printed, David Thomas needs his name & party affiliation up top next to his name and was there no picture submitted or taken?

    Reply
    • May 12, 2020 at 5:42 pm
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      I have added his party affiliation. He did not submit a photo. Some candidates have, some have not.

      Reply

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