Four candidates are in the race for Pershing County Commission Seat C including Joe Crim Jr, Charles Sayles Jr, David Skelton and Rodney Wilcox. The winner will replace Commissioner Carol Shank who will be termed out this year after serving three terms and 12 years in office.
Shank said she will miss the job but is ready to step back from the time-consuming position.
“There’s still so much I would love to do and be involved in but I think term-limits are good. You should have them and get some new ideas and new blood in there,” she said. “I’m going to miss it a lot but then there’s a part of me that wants to spend some time with my husband, too.”
All four commission candidates responded to five questions. Candidates face the public during Candidates Night on Monday, May 2 from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Pershing County Community Center in Lovelock and on Friday, May 13 at 7 pm at the Grass Valley Community Center.
On Monday, October 3, there will be another Candidates Night prior to the General Election from 5 pm to 9 pm at the Pershing County Community Center.
According to the Pershing County 2022 Certified List of Candidates, all of the other county candidates are incumbents who are unopposed including District Attorney Bryce Shields, Sheriff Jerry Allen, Clerk-Treasurer Lacey Donaldson, Recorder-Auditor Rene Childs, Assessor Laureen Basso-Cerini and Public Administrator Jeffrey Kearns.
Two candidates are running unopposed for the Pershing County School District Board of Trustees. James Evans is running for Seat A and Cindy Plummer is running for Seat C.
Three candidates are running for the Lovelock Meadows Water District Board of Trustees including Ryan Collins, Mark Pilon and Charles Safford.
Three candidates for the Hospital Board of Trustees are incumbent Ted Bendure, Carol Shank and incumbent Dana Tueller. Three candidates unopposed for the Big Meadow Conservation District Board of Supervisors are Carl Clinger, Gloria Montero-Ocampo and Elizabeth Uhart.
As for the City of Lovelock, candidates Jordan McKinney and Bonnie Skoglie are running unopposed for two seats on the Lovelock City Council. City Councilman Pat Rowe will be termed out and City Councilman Starr Gentry moved out of Lovelock to Pershing County.
Early voting for the Nevada Primary Election starts on Saturday, May 28 and runs through Friday 10. Early voting for the Nevada General Election starts on Saturday, October 22 and runs through Friday, November 4 according to the Nevada Secretary of State website.
In Pershing County, in-person early voting will take place at the Clerk-Treasurer’s Office in Lovelock. On Election Day, the permanent polling place for all precincts will be the Lovelock Community Center but “satellite locations may be posted if and when available.” See the Pershing County Clerk-Treasurer’s website for updates on election day polling places.
All registered voters will receive a ballot by mail but voters can opt out by filling out a form for the county clerk’s office. See the Pershing County website or contact the county clerk’s office.
As of February 23, 2022, the Active Registered Voter Count in Pershing County included 1,564 Republicans, 758 Nonpartisans, 528 Democrats, 135 Independent Americans, 26 Libertarians, 23 Other and 1 Green Party member for a grand total of 3,035 registered active voters.
1. Please tell the public why they should vote for you as County Commissioner.
Joe Crim Jr: I feel that Pershing County needs a person that is in touch with day-to-day activities in Pershing County and is prepared for the future. I am a hard worker and if elected I will do my best to promote Pershing County in every way possible.
Chuck Sayles Jr: I have a history in many areas of concern to the residents of Pershing County. I was raised farming and left the farm when I enlisted in the Army. I completed a tour of duty in Vietnam and was assigned to the 1st Infantry Division (Big Red One) when I was honorably discharged at the end of my enlistment. I have spent 45 years mining with 20 years underground and the rest on the surface. I was a supervisor and manager for much of that time. I have held three different Nevada contracting licenses, a General Contractor, Paving & Excavating and Electrical. I have a great deal of experience in many different areas and believe in listening more than speaking. If elected, I would be a representative of and for the Pershing County Residents.
David Skelton: I am knowledgeable and able to guide the County to effective and efficient solutions, have the time, interest, am involved and gather information to be better informed. I regularly attend Commission and Board meetings: 911 Advisory, TV District, PCEDA, LEPC, have been involved for years with various issues and projects. Meaning, I don’t have to play catch up. Active with Economic Development, Public Safety, volunteering without compensation my time and effort. Please see the Business List for Lovelock and Pershing County on its website, a document I drafted and update. AlertSense Administrator with Integrated Public Alert & Warning System (IPAWS) responsibility. There is now an operational Emergency Operations Center that I assisted.
Rodney Wilcox: It would be a pleasure to represent the residents of Pershing County as a commissioner. I was born and raised in Lovelock and a county employee for 33 years. I have been a member of the Lovelock Volunteer Fire Department for 47 years and served on the Lovelock Meadows Water District for several years. I believe I can bring a new perspective to the position and look forward to working with the Commissioners to do what is best for our county’s future.
2. What will be your top priorities as County Commissioner?
Joe Crim Jr: My top priorities would be to make sure that all citizens of Pershing County are treated equally and fairly.
Chuck Sayles Jr: Water is of great concern to me. Good paying local jobs that will allow our families to stay in Pershing County. Good health care, education and secure, safe neighborhoods would be some. The rest will come from hearing the concerns of the residents, farmers and businesses of Pershing County.
David Skelton: Oversight, revenue collection, improve communication within our county entities, with the City and public where needed for more effective and efficient governance. The county needs to be ready to resolve the Law Enforcement Center rather than continue kicking the can.
Rodney Wilcox: My top priorities would be planned business and industry growth and housing for our county. If we don’t have growth, we will not have the tax base needed to provide needed services for the community.
3. Are you in favor of paid ambulance services, a combination of paid/volunteer ambulance services or strictly volunteer ambulance services? Please explain why.
Joe Crim Jr: I would need to do some investigating as to the benefits of all types of emergency services. I feel that the County is ready to explore all avenues to further and expand services.
Chuck Sayles Jr: I do not have enough in depth knowledge of how each one of these options you ask me to choose from would be administered and financed so I will not pick one. I do believe we need the best service we can provide. We need good, reliable ambulances. The best training we can provide for our personnel with up-to-date medical equipment and rescue supplies. The best solution to your question, in my opinion, could be arrived at through a collaborative effort of all involved parties.
David Skelton: Revenue limitations, especially uncollected revenue for the past four years negatively impacts what can be done. The County can’t pay with revenue it doesn’t yet have. County EMS is at a breaking point, paid EMS seems unaffordable, funding options are limited. That said, best and cost-effective certainly favors the paid/volunteer. The plan acknowledges the extraordinary value of our volunteers, has been studied, discussed, approved, now needs to be implemented then evaluated effectiveness and efficiency. Support is crucial to its success.
Rodney Wilcox: I am 100 percent in favor of a paid/volunteer combination for the ambulance service. It has become difficult for volunteers to keep up with the requirements to be an EMT and the state and federal requirements to run an ambulance service. Therefore, several paid positions will enable the service to provide quality care and meet all regulatory requirements. All but three volunteers have full-time jobs and give, in addition to the 40+ hours to their employers, 6-8 hours training per month plus one hour minimum per call. LVFD currently averages 500 EMS calls and 100 fire calls per year. This is a great gift to the community and sacrifice for the members’ families that we need to acknowledge.”
4. Would you renew the settlement agreement between Pershing County and Burning Man? Or, would you impose the festival ordinance and charge a license fee to cover all county costs?
Joe Crim Jr: I feel Burning Man needs to cover any and all costs associated with their event. If that means a festival fee or some other type of cost.
Chuck Sayles Jr: I will not say I support either one. A hybrid of the different clauses in each type could be negotiated among the parties to arrive at the best solution that meets the needs as closely as possible of Pershing County and the Burning Man people.
David Skelton: No, I would not renew the outdated, detrimental Settlement Agreement written by and for the benefit of Burning Man. Pershing County cannot afford to supplement Burning Man’s San Francisco rent and wages. I have collected data on the impact cost to Pershing County for years passing that on to Elected Officials for fact-based decision making. The Festival Ordinance needs to be updated. Burning Man’s responsibilities codified, address the negative impact for business recruitment by the event documented in Unified Crime Reports(URC). The Sheriff needs to be involved in the discussion.
Rodney Wilcox: I will need to review the settlement agreement and festival ordinance in order to accurately answer this question. I do feel that we should be properly compensated for services that we provide for events.
5. Would you participate in a public debate between the candidates for county commission?
Joe Crim Jr: I would be willing to participate in any type of candidate forum.
Chuck Sayles Jr: I would need more information about a debate format before I will commit either way. A debate in a small county like Pershing County would probably not be the best way for people to get to know all of us. I plan to attend as many local events as possible so I can meet people and answer any questions one-on-one. I prefer to shake people’s hands and look them in the eye when talking.
David Skelton: Yes, we will have that opportunity at Candidate Night at each of the three community centers.
Rodney Wilcox: Yes