Locally, City Councilman Ron Schmitt is challenging incumbent Mayor Geno Martini for the top administrator’s seat. The outcome of that race should be evident. If you read Schmitt’s long list of self-aggrandizement on his campaign flyer you would think he was the only member of the Sparks City Council. He seems to take personal credit for achievements made by the mayor and council collectively.
He says he has more than 300 hours of education for government in the last nine years. That sounds great. The problem is, he didn’t learn anything.
As chairman of Sparks’ Tourism and Marketing Committee (Tourmark), he claims to have led Sparks to the “next level of tourism.” Hmm! Let’s see what his watermark for that claim might be.
As chairman of tourmark, he couldn’t keep track of overpayments to the city by the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA) amounting to $436,000 over a three-year period. If he can’t keep track of his own committee’s accounts receivable, how is he going to be an administrator for the city? And, if his idea for a new advertising brand for Sparks is any example of his “next level” of tourism, I’ll let that speak for itself.
Deceptively, he cites maintaining a balanced budget for Sparks as one of his personal “accomplishments.” By law the City Council has to have a balanced budget and together with the dedicated work of staff, difficult decisions by all council members and the leadership of Mayor Martini that goal would have been achieved with or without Schmitt.
It should be noted that while balancing the budget with layoffs and reduced pay for Sparks employees, Schmitt didn’t neglect to accept a $2,000 annual pay increase for himself. Now that’s leadership. He probably learned that while attending those 300 hours of government training.
On a state level, we have Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons facing four challengers from his own party. Brian Sandoval seems to be the only logical Republican choice. Demonstrating his honesty, integrity and sincerity to rescue our state from the arrogant pseudo-dictator Gibbons and his ultra-extreme right disrespect for the democratic process, Sandoval resigned his lifetime position as a federal judge to lead the state in a new direction. Agree with him or not, that’s a political commitment.
Voted as one of the worst governors in the United States, Gibbons appeared to be resigned to the fact that he will be voted out of office in the primary election. He said he’s going to “celebrate” whether he wins or not. He welcomed defeat, saying losing the election would free him up to do what he has always wanted to do: be a cowboy in Elko. Too bad we found that out four years too late.
Gibbons, in his characteristic arrogance, said he’s done things in his life that “other people only wished they could do.” In his typical ignorant conceit, he said he has “never been held back by fear or a regret or anything else.”
So, he has no regrets for being the most incompetent governor in Nevada history. No regrets for his womanizing that he thinks everyone else wishes they could do and no regrets about not wanting to be governor in the first place. I don’t know if I should feel sorry for him or laugh at him.
On the national level, we might have a new Republican U.S. senator representing Nevada. Sharon Angle should defeat Sue Lowden. Angle is the only one who can give Sen. Harry Reid a run for his $16 million war chest. She’s way too far to the right for me, but it should be a great race provoking national attention. Oops! I’m probably counting my chickens before they’re hatched.
Also, by the end of the day, we will see how many people cast their ballots. Among other things, voting is a hard-earned privilege. It is what separates a democracy, freedom and a democratic republic from despotism, dictatorship, communalism and tyrannical repression; it is an obligation of free men to exercise that privilege and not take it for granted.
Gen. Douglas MacArthur said, “To accept a privilege without attending to its obligation is to hold a place of license only.” If we don’t exercise our privilege of self-determination and tend to our political obligations of freedom in a free society, we could someday lose that freedom and our license to vote.
David Farside is a Sparks resident and political activist. The polemics of his articles can be discussed at firstname.lastname@example.org. His Web site is www.thefarsidechronicles.com.