2023 YEAR-END RECAP (Commentary)
County Staff
Jenifer Davidson took over as the county manager and provided a refreshing approach to what I consider the most important aspect of a County Commissioner’s job, constituent services. Nothing makes me feel better about the job I am doing than to help a constituent solve a problem. I am not successful all the time, but I always try.
The previous county manager resisted my efforts to work with county staff to resolve constituent problems. He wanted all inquiries directed to him and for me to leave it at that. As strange as this sounds, a majority of this Board adopted this as our policy. 

Ms. Davidson welcomes my outreach to county staff. With her approval and the help of caring personnel, I instantly became a better Commissioner and more constituent problems have been addressed.

Douglas County lost one valuable member when Terri Willoughby, the county’s chief financial officer, retired. However, it retained one of its great assets when Scott Morgan, the longtime Director of Community Services and current interim assistant Manager, postponed his retirement. 

County’s Financial Stability
The County’s tax revenue is increasing significantly each year; however, the cost of operations and services is increasing even more. The result is a shortfall of revenue for much needed projects. New contracts were signed or about to be signed with Douglas County employees resulting in substantial pay raises, the cost of Muller Parkway has increased by millions, the cost of the new JLEC facility has increased even more, and the cost to maintain roads and to prevent flooding in many neighborhoods is too much for the county to absorb.

Some tough financial decisions are going to be made by the BOCC in the near future. The Board must be fiscally responsible. This past year, the Board authorized close to a million dollars for outside agencies to advise the Board on policies. Many of these were policy decisions the Board should have made on its own, such as determining the category and pay scale for employees.  A majority of this Board authorized $900,000 per year to be paid for the Micro-Transit System in Lake Tahoe, more than any other governmental agency, when only a fraction of its rides originates or ends in Douglas County. At some point this reckless spending is going to cause a lot of pain.

Board of County Commissioners
In January, Sharla Hales replaced John Engles on the Board of County Commissioners. The decorum of the Board improved instantly. Although Commissioner Hales and I do not agree on most issues, she has worked hard to have a more amenable Board. Chairman Gardner, who I have had disagreements with also, has done a very good job allowing every Commissioner to express his/her opinion and been professional and respectful to each, even ones who he doesn’t agree with. That is not easy do to and he should be commended. 

With Commissioner Hales replacing Mr. Engles, the Board’s policies have shifted significantly. Mr. Engles was a proponent of no future growth in the Valley and an opponent of Lake Tahoe businesses. Commissioner Hales has been a steadfast vote for the Tahoe business community, including her unwavering protection of Vacation Home Rentals. 

Three commission seats will be on the ballot in 2024. Commissioner Nowosad has decided not to run for re-election. I am going to miss him. He has been my closest ally on the Board and I have great respect for him. Chairman Gardner has announced he will run for re-election. He is well liked, works hard and would be difficult to beat. 

I am also up for re-election. I have not decided if I will run or not. If I remain in Douglas County I will. My three daughters are now attending college out of state, and my son will start high school. If he attends Bishop Manogue, as his sisters did, we may move to Reno. 

If I don’t run, former Commissioner Dave Nelson is going to run. Jim McKalip has indicated he is running as well. If McKalip takes the seat he will join Commissioners Rice and Hales to form an impregnatable coalition. 

The three years I have spent as your commissioner have been the most rewarding of my life. I was raised to value public service and what you can accomplish in your life through the same. It is hard to express in words the appreciation I have for the 174 people who have sent me emails thanking me for my service and many more who have told me personally. A nice lady even stopped her car in the middle of Highway 395 to thank me. Besides my family, nothing means more to me. 

I hope each of you had a great Christmas and 2024 is a prosperous new year.

Adopt a Pet with Douglas County Commissioner,

Danny Tarkanian

This month we are featuring Nemesis the dog. Can you help find her a forever home?

921 Dump Rd
Gardnerville, NV 89410

702- 782-09061
Adopt-A-Pet Video Link
I have started a political blog titled “Can You Handle the Truth”.
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In order to better serve our community, I am sending out emails before and after each public meeting of the Douglas County Board of County Commissioners (BOCC), in order to educate the public of what the BOCC is doing. I strongly believe this is an essential communication that will ensure the public stays informed of our work and decisions. 

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All the best, 

Commissioner Danny Tarkanian
Danny Tarkanian
Danny Tarkanian is an attorney, businessman, and incumbent Douglas County Commissioner. The author of the "Can you handle the truth?" blog, Danny also runs the Tarkanian Basketball Academy and is married to former GOP Chairwoman, Amy Tarkanian.

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