John Cassinelli – Lyon County Commissioner District 1


Lyon County Commissioners run countywide, but must live in their district.




 There are two Republican candidates running for District 1 Commissioner – John and Incumbent Bob Hastings. Candidate Hastings did not respond to the interview request.

There are only two Republicans filed for this office. The winner of the Primary contest is the winner of the position and his name will appear on the General Election ballot unopposed.

1. Please provide a short personal resume, including how long you have lived in Lyon County.

I am a fifth generation Northern Nevadan, born in Sparks, raised in Carson City. Married to my wife, Jacque since 1990. We moved to Dayton in 1992 to raise our family, (son Dustin 21, daughter Samantha 18). I am a second generation Contractor, and current Owner/Operator of our 41 year old business, Cassinelli Landscaping & Construction. I attended Carson City schools through HS graduation, and attended WNC studying Construction, Drafting and Business courses. I obtained my State Contractors License in 1993, took over operations of our family business in 1994, and took over Ownership in 1995. I hold numerous licenses and certifications related to the Construction Industry. I am a Past President of the Nevada Builders Alliance, and 2013 Builder of the Year.

2. Explain why you are better qualified to serve in this position than your opponent(s). 

I am a proven leader, having created jobs for a crew of up to 35 personnel. I was able to cut costs and diversify my business during the economic down-turn, and maintain jobs for many of our crew members. I can bring knowledge to the board regarding planning, construction, and infrastructure that may prove valuable to the County as we enter into another building boom. I have served on boards and worked on budgets. I have owned a business for over 20 years, and understand the struggles and challenges.

3. With the completion of U.S. Parkway from I-80 and the Reno-Tahoe Industrial Park to US 50 in Silver Springs now in the foreseeable future, it is predicted this will have a huge impact on residential development in Lyon County. To try and meet these future challenges, the County has been working on updating their development codes (Title 15) for what now seems an eternity.   What would be your response to those asking what is/why the delay in adopting these updated development guidelines?

With the impending development within our County, I believe it is time to adopt Title 15. If we do not have clear, concise development codes in place, we could face the same problems we have seen from past developments, when updated codes were lacking. Large, empty, weed-infested detention ponds and other blights that plague our subdivisions would not be a problem now if the Codes were in place then. There may be some chapters (farming/mining) that may still need some discussion, and I say pull those out and pass the rest now, so the County is prepared for the development that is sure to come.

4. With an expected influx of new residents to Lyon County, particularly in the Silver Springs area, what do you see as the major challenges to the County in meeting this population growth?

Public Safety is the obvious challenge with a large population growth. Police, fire, roads will all be impacted, and the budget is already strained. Water and sewer to serve the growing population will also indeed be a challenge. I believe that a strong economic development plan with a business-friendly climate within the County is imperative to meet the needs we will face in putting more deputies on the street and providing basic services. Attracting Commercial and Industrial development will help us grow our infrastructure with developer dollars, and grow our tax base as well. A business-friendly climate will be vital to smart growth and strong economic development in our County.

5. Approximately 85-percent of Lyon County is comprised of public lands. Do you have any issues with federal ownership and policies related to these lands? Elaborate.

I enjoy hunting, fishing and camping within Nevada’s vast public lands. My family still graze cattle in the Santa Rosa Mountains north of Winnemucca. Public lands currently allow this access, and I would never want to see that access jeopardized. I doubt the State’s ability to afford the management of these lands if we were to take them over. I would disagree with the State taking over the lands, then selling them when they find the cost too high to manage them. I would request the BLM to show us what the cost is to manage these lands currently, and make an informed decision so the historic multiple use by recreationalists, miners, hunters and ranchers have guaranteed access to these lands for generations to come. Ultimately, the best solution in my opinion is more State and County control of Federally managed lands.

6. What is your view in regards to the City of Fernley’s failed bid to receive what they term as “their fair share” of SCCRT funding from the County?

As a non-politician, I know very little on the subject of the City of Fernley’s bid to receive more SCCRT funding. As an incorporated City, Fernley now is its own taxing entity. This has many pros and cons. I assume with this status, they are entitled to less C-Tax funding. The C-Tax rates and distributions are set by the Nevada Department of Taxation, and I would assume the distributions received by Fernley would be in line with other comparable sized/structured cities within Nevada. If they are not, it should be looked in to.

7. Lyon County’s revenues versus budgetary needs continue to be a challenge. What would you propose to improve the County’s obviously weak tax base?

Again, I believe a strong economic development is the key to the County’s success. The creation of a business-friendly climate with stream-lined development codes and ease of relocation of industry from other over-regulating and burdensome neighboring states is vital to strengthening our tax base. Smart and managed growth can be achieved through a comprehensive Land Use and Development Code.

8. Lyon County could be facing some major mining activities in the coming years, particularly in the southern portion of the county. There has been considerable controversy in regards to mining operations in the Comstock area, primarily because of its location to residential properties. What is your position in regards to mining exploration and activities?

Our State was founded on mining. Our County has a rich history in mining. I believe we can have a rich future with mining, too. However, we need to do so responsibly. Environmental Impact Studies should be a part of any mining plan or Special Use Permit approval when mining is adjacent to residential areas.

9. What do you view the role as of the Lyon County Land Use Master Plan?

I support the development of a Master Plan, and believe it to be a necessary tool to managing smart growth. If Lyon County would have had a Master Plan for Mound House area years ago, we may have been able to easily accommodate large commercial tenants like Wal-Mart or Home Depot, bringing with them much needed traffic improvements to Highway 50 corridor.

10. If there is some issue you want to comment on that is not noted above, here is your opportunity:


EDITOR: This is one in a series of online interviews with Republican candidates. All Republican candidates with Primary races were contacted – US Senate, US Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Carson City Mayor and Lyon County Commissioner. The responses are posted as the candidates presented them to me – no editing.  These interviews will be posted in no particular order and, obviously, all races are not of interest in everyone’s particular district; however, NewsDesk readership ( is spread throughout the state so all responses will be posted. You are welcome to repost any of the interviews as long as proper credit is given to NewsDesk.

Primary election day is Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If the candidates in a particular Primary all belong to the same party, the winner will be determined in the Primary and go to the General Election ballot unopposed.

Dates to remember:

  • May 14 – Last day to register to vote by mail
  • May 24 – Last day to register to vote in the Primary
  • May 28-June 19 – Early voting
  • June 14 – Primary Election

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