ELKO – Two Elko residents – Chip Stone and Bill Hance — threw their hats into the race for Elko City Council on the first day for candidates to file for city election.
Stone was the first one to file, signing paperwork with Elko City Clerk Shanell Owen on Monday.
He explained that he will campaign on a multi-faceted platform of growth for new and existing businesses, family recreation and becoming “a voice” for all Elkoans by providing an open-door policy to “listen to everyone’s desires and needs.”
“We get to listen to not just the minority groups, but to everyone so everyone can be heard and have an opinion and I can share that opinion with the public,” Stone said, pointing to issues the city council has dealt with recently.
“The council has had some huge decisions to make in the past months, even this past week,” Stone said, explaining his thoughts on developing more family-friendly activities.
“I’m a family guy,” Stone said. “I’m all about building recreation for kids as well as the young adults and adults with wholesome activities; things that are not all about the hardcore over 21 world, but the family units.”
“It’s time for some change,” Stone said.
Stone is the owner of Stonecraft Jewelers, Diamondchippers “Rockin’ Sodas and Rolled Ice Cream,” and Stonerock Sound and Lighting. He has also been involved with several civic organizations including the Lions Club, Elks Lodge, Civic Club, Elko Area Chamber and Elko County Sheriff’s Posse.
“I’m a busy guy, but I’ll make time,” Stone said.
He said his wife, Kim, and three children were supportive of his decision to run for city council.
“They are very, very supportive of this,” Stone said. “They are 100 percent behind it all.”
Hance, the owner of Ruby Mountain Lock and Safe, filed Monday afternoon.
A native Nevadan and resident of Elko for 27 years, Hance said he has given a lot back to the community, “and I’d like to give a little bit more back to the community.”
Hance ran for city council four years ago, and said that this year he felt he has “a pretty good chance” at being elected because there are no incumbents who are running for re-election.
Councilman Reece Keener relinquished his seat to run for mayor, filing as a candidate on March 5. John Patrick Rice stated last week he would not seek another term on the council.
Hance said that his prior experience in both government and the private sector allowed him to bring a “different perspective” to the city.
“I have 20 plus years working for the Department of Information Technologies and the Department of Transportation,” Hance said. He currently sits on the E-911 Board and on the Elko Central Dispatch Administrative Authority Executive board. A former member of the TV District board, he now serves as a consultant.
He also said he has followed the city council and explained his thoughts on the “ongoing saga” regarding the marijuana dispensary recently tackled by the city council.
“I feel I can bring both sides of the fence in the business market and from the government side and lend my insight to that,” Hance said.
“I believe there’s some latitude to changing some things including the city code to mirror more of the other jurisdictions in the state and then letting any business that applies, be it a dispensary or any other business, come in on equal footing and be able to ultimately thrive and help our economy.”
“I feel I have a good ear. I have an open-door policy. You can come see me anytime or call me,” Hance said. “It’s not a one-person show. It’s a voice for your constituents to pass along to everyone else.”
The two-week filing period ends March 16.