Hawthorne Resident Mike Guss decided to file for County Commissioner. “I am running because I don’t think Mineral County always has to be what it always has been. To continue with the past is to accept a county that is last in the state in health outcomes and has endemic poverty. I believe we can and should change to ensure that we have a better future. If elected, I will work to change Mineral County’s government by focusing on improving the lives of citizens, the true bosses of all government officials, by focusing on:
Health care: If elected, I hope to work with other Commissioners to examine the feasibility of offering the County employee plan on the exchange for purchase by the general public. Further, over the course of my term, I will work with other counties to examine the feasibility of a rural health insurance consortium being formed for the purposes of offering health insurance on the exchange.
Transportation: Mineral County is on US 95, yet politicians like Mark Amodei are proposing to construct an entirely new road, which runs through Gabbs. If elected, I hope to work with elected officials in Carson City and Washington, D.C. to ensure I-11 follows the path of U.S. 95.
Marijuana: I have come to the conclusion, after a lifetime of opposing legal marijuana, that it is best to legalize and heavily regulate marijuana. If elected to the Commission, I would support zoning marijuana establishments to unincorporated areas of the County. Further, I would support a 2.75 percent license fee on the gross receipts of all marijuana based businesses operating within Mineral County. I would support reserving 25 percent of county revenue generated by marijuana for law enforcement, using 25 percent of revenue generated by marijuana to establish an equipment fund within the fire department’s budget, and placing 50 percent of revenue generated by marijuana into the general fund.
Economic Development: Mineral County needs to overhaul how it does economic development. The economy is booming and yet progress here is tepid at best. I support regionalizing the County’s economic development efforts to better collaborate with Carson City and Douglas, Lyon and Storey Counties.
Better Relations with the Walker River Paiute Tribe: I firmly believe that the County could and should have a better relationship with the Walker River Paiute Tribe. I support the transfer of the abandoned motel in Schurz to the Walker River Paiute Tribe for public or economic development purposes.
Public Land Management: For too long, projects, like the proposed gold mine near Luning, that would benefit Mineral County have been held hostage to the whims and biases of unelected federal bureaucrats. If elected, I will continue the work of Commissioner Tipton and advocate for land use policies that give a greater say to those of us who actually live here.
Housing: As the economy near Reno grows, rents in Mineral County are rising. This is a problem, especially for citizens on fixed incomes. If elected, I will be supportive of amending planning documents to place a priority on the development of affordable housing, specifically apartment complexes. Further, I believe the housing crisis is regional and will only be solved by collaboration between various counties and cities.
Water: Progress is being made on Walker Lake, but that progress is threatened by well-meaning, but potentially disastrous, proposals to regionalize the Interior Department and take away state and local control over water that are currently being proposed by the Trump administration. If elected, I will actively oppose the Interior Department reorganization plan currently being proposed by Secretary Zinke.
After thinking about these issues, I decided that the best way to help change the community I live in for the better was to run for Commissioner.”