County Commissioner

Christine Hoferer

Why do you want to be a county commissioner? 

I decided to run for Commissioner for a number of reasons. I would say the biggest reason is the fact that we need someone in this position that can bring knowledge, experience, dedication and a sincere desire to serve our community. My 32 years at Mineral County have given me that. Attending most commission meetings over the past 20 years, I certainly have obtained more knowledge and experience in the operation of our local government than any other candidate.

I know the specific functions of every county department; have accounting and budgetary experience, personnel law experience, served in union negotiations and much more. I will put my experience to good use and in the process learn and participate at a different level. I want to do what’s best for our community but more importantly, I know what public service means. I’ve done my job as your Recorder-Auditor with honesty, integrity and ethics and have told many people over the years – if you can’t do that every day – you’re in the wrong business.

What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the county commission in Mineral County?

I would have to say our budget constraints. We are a small, rural community limited by our small tax base. A big challenge as a Commissioner is trying to see that county departments have what they need to operate and also provide funding to various community support agencies that we need. That being said, I am hoping to see additional revenues coming our way by geothermal and solar energy businesses operating in the county.

Another big challenge is having the knowledge necessary to make decisions on so many levels. Although I will bring a lot to the table, I certainly don’t know everything! But I do promise to make it my business to put in the time necessary to educate myself with our local ordinances and also familiarize myself with the Nevada Open Meeting Law to ensure the Commission operates under the provisions of these statutes.

And finally, the challenge to please everyone. If it’s one thing I’ve learned in my years at the County – it’s never going to happen. Not everyone will be happy with you. But if you vote citing the law, with your morals and with integrity, you’ll be doing a good job!

James Utterback

Why do you want to be a county commissioner? 

I believe that I can do an excellent job for the citizens of Mineral County and it would be an honor to serve the people of this County. My goal is to establish the ecosystem of growth that we currently lack at a government level. Our communities need to grow and I believe I can help make our community a place to thrive by fostering a can do county government.

 What do you feel are the biggest issues facing the county commission in Mineral County?

I believe the economic situation we face here in Mineral County is our biggest issue. We have people and business leaving faster than they are starting up here. We have several new companies working through processes at this time, and I believe we will be helping them break ground this year or cutting ribbons in some instances. My goal is breaking ground in every town in the county! Without some welcoming attitudes in county government this is impossible.

We need to get behind our Economic Development agency and give them all of the support we can and as county government act like a partner. It is too difficult doing business with the county at this time. I would like to streamline the process of business licenses, building permits and other planning processes with the various departments.

Storey County has a process that takes no longer than thirty days for planning, building, zoning, we should be competing with that timeline. Companies will no longer wait years for approvals when there are 80,000 other communities competing for their business. Other states are actually offering free land and cash to locate there. We cannot offer cash, but we can make the process painless enough and fast enough to make locating here the best business decision.

Candidate questions will be continued in the May 24 edition of the Mineral County Independent-News. The newspaper reached out to those candidates who are running in the primary race for the following seats: Justice of Peace – Hawthorne Township, County Commissioner, County Recorder – Auditor, School Board Trustee and County Assessor. Each candidate was asked two questions and allowed 250 words per question to address the voters. It is the hope of the newspaper that the answers provided by the candidates help Mineral County voters as they head to the polls to vote in the primary election. The Independent-News will invite those who advance and are uncontested in the general election to answer questions closer to that election date.