ELKO — Political newcomers threw their hats into the ring this week, running for office in multiple city and county races.
For Elko County Commission District 4, attorney Travis Gerber and Ryndon resident Steven Grimes filed their candidacies this week, vying for the seat currently held by Cliff Eklund, which will expire at the end of the year.
Gerber, whose father Grant Gerber served on the County Commission, said Grant “was a great advocate for Elko County. He grew up here, he understood values, farming and mining. He knew the people of Elko County and loved them.
“Those are big boots to fill, but I had enough time with him – I practiced law with him for 12 years – and I spent my life with him and it rubbed off on me and my brother Zachary,” Gerber said. “We would like to continue this legacy and continue to drive these values forward.”
He added that he has watched county commissioners work with the new tax structure, “looking at how those funds are prioritized and allocated.”
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“I’m encouraged the county is solvent,” added Gerber, who lives in Spring Creek. “That the county improve its extinguishing and firefighting capability with the new engines that have been purchased and the new fire station in Lamoille.”
Citing his father’s position on land use rights for grazing, Gerber said he was “interested in making sure the Canyon de Lamoille doesn’t burn anymore.” It could have been avoided and should have been.
He said he agreed with the way county commissioners were proceeding. “My goal is to continue that legacy and continue to make sound, solid decisions for the county.”
Grimes said he has lived in Elko County since 2004 and wants to “give back to this community as much as possible, or at least help and try to improve this community as much as possible.”
He said roads were one area he wanted to fix, using his own grader for roadworks “but the county can’t come in and do that”.
He also said he would like to fix the map mapping on apps. “All these map services, and you try to find an address, it doesn’t know exactly where to take you,” Grimes said. “Someone needs to step up and clean up the mapping.”
Grimes, who worked for Vega Construction before taking time off for shoulder surgery and rehabilitation, said he currently serves in the Civil Air Patrol, helping organize a local REACT chapter for emergency response. emergencies and disasters. Additionally, he is taking flight lessons to fly a search and rescue plane.
He recalled how lost hikers or others stranded in the mountains could have been located, and said a REACT group could have made a difference.
Grimes said he would also introduce or support an order to protect employees who have been laid off due to their Covid-19 vaccination status.
“Employers must be held accountable for their actions,” he said.
Grimes also explained that he thinks the county commission needs people who “get to work instead of saying why we can’t get to work.”
Mike Hagen, who runs Bristlecone Bikes, filed for mayor against incumbent Reece Keener.
He cited Covid-19 regulations that closed businesses or limited operations as the reason for his candidacy. “No questions were asked. The mayor did nothing to research what was really going on. The mayor must keep control. I don’t want this to happen again,” he said.
“Trade is vital to our survival as a city and the closing of businesses is retroactive to that,” Hagen continued.
Hagen said he had lived in Elko for eight years. He lived in Reno, where he ran for mayor, but moved out after Reno “got too liberal.” I came back where it’s safe. Elko is a very conservative town. I’m very conservative, but I’m not too conservative. I like to see myself right in the middle.
He said he was for legal marijuana and would like to see dispensaries open “because it’s a great source of revenue for the city.” It’s going to take some zoning. The city council said we weren’t going to create a zone for marijuana dispensaries. I would like that to change.
Adding more infrastructure to Elko is another of Hagen’s goals if elected. Specifically, he suggested building a bridge over the railroad tracks and the Humboldt River at the east end of town. “A more direct route to Spring Creek. We now have infrastructure money, so it’s viable.
Hagen has served as a director of various businesses in Salt Lake City and Reno, and he said he thinks Elko needs a “managing mayor” in addition to the city manager.
“We need someone who is going to lead this city in which we are not afraid to grow,” he explained. “A lot of people are afraid to change the small town mentality and grow, but if we’re going to survive as a town, we’re going to have to grow and offer all the great things that Elko has to offer to others.”
Wells businesswoman Bella Cummins ran against Elko County Sheriff Aitor Narvaiza on Friday, saying she was “the people’s choice for constitutional sheriff.”
“Our county became a constitutional county during Covid. Now is the time to stop talking about it and implement the rights and benefits of the constitution into law enforcement so our citizens can realize them,” Cummins said.
She added that she “cannot be bought. I hate hiring practices, management and enforcement through backdoor tactics and good old boy methods. We must all benefit from the upholders of the constitution and the regulations must be applied fairly and equitably. »
The owner of Bella’s Hacienda Ranch in Wells cited her business background for her knowledge of the law. “I run legal businesses in this county and have done so for over 30 years. I understand the laws and no one is better equipped to serve the citizens of our county as a sheriff,” she said.
“I stand for law enforcement that upholds the letter and spirit of the law for all. And that includes opportunities for law enforcement personnel based on hiring and retention policies fair,” she added. “I will lead and protect all the people of our county. I will uphold the rights granted to us under the great Constitution of the United States and see that they are guaranteed. to the citizens of our county, I represent freedom, fairness and responsibility.
Eve Daz of Spring Creek filed her candidacy against appointee Matt McCarty for District 3 of the Elko County School Board. She worked at the Elko Courthouse for eight years, but transferred to Elko County’s IT department last summer.
Daz said she has three children, one of whom is “just starting her journey through the Elko County school system,” and two graduating from Spring Creek and attending colleges in Tucson, Arizona and Reno. She said she is running as a candidate who “cares about the education that our community is raising.”
“I want to do everything I can to make sure he has the opportunities his older siblings had. I care about my kids and I care about your kids,” she wrote in a post. communicated.
“I can no longer sit idly by and hope for the best,” she continued. “The only way to have a bright future is to be an active participant in ensuring that our children and our community are guided towards a brighter future.”
Filing continues at the City Clerk’s Office and the Elko County Clerk’s Office until 5 p.m. on March 18.