By Selwyn Harris
The brick of paper that typically accompanies a Pahrump Town Board agenda and is passed out before each scheduled meeting may soon become a relic.
On Tuesday, the board voted 3-0 to submit a Bill Draft Request BDR to the Nevada League of Cities for the 2013 Legislative Session.
If passed by lawmakers, local residents can view agendas and backup material online — perhaps saving the town lots of dough in paper costs alone.
Board member Dr. Tom Waters said the town could save thousands of dollars each year.
“I have to find innovative ways on cutting back on paper. The town spends thousands of dollars on agenda items and the backup,” he said.
Waters also noted that many times people merely peruse through the agenda and backups, then end up just tossing it away, which he believes is a terrible waste of time, money and materials.
“People pick up the thick backup, they have all of that information, and it’s in the trash can at the end of the day. It’s not that they are saving it or anything else. If we can find a way not to have to do that it will again save thousands of dollars for the town,” he said.
Town Manager Bill Kohbarger said he supports the idea of the town going paperless.
He also mentioned that it could present a problem for those who do not have access to a computer let alone the Internet.
“That brings up a legitimate problem. We bring a copy to the town board meetings and if they wanted to show up early enough, they can read it there. Four to six thousand dollars is not a few dollars, it’s good money,” he said.
Board member Harley Kulkin spoke plainly when it came to what he preferred.
“Personally, I like the paper. I like it because I can flip the pages back and forth and write notes.”
Waters also acknowledged that he prefers to have a hard copy of the materials.
He said that from his understanding most of the public just wants the actual agenda and not the thick backup.
“If they actually want it and request it, I say then go make one for them but you don’t need 60 or 70 copies of everything to pass out. There are always copies left over. Some people come to the town office and ask for the agenda and the backup. If they ask for it, then I say go ahead and present one to them but that should be upon request. To make all of the copies just in case somebody comes by and then bring a stack of copies to town board meetings, most of them are going to go to waste,” he said.
A secondary item on the BDR, which was shot down by the board, suggested implementing a half-percent sales tax on gaming in Nye County to support education.
Board member Harley Kulkin, who authored the item, said he felt education in Nevada is one of the worst in the country.
“Actually in Nye County we’re doing better than a lot of counties in Nevada. If Nevada was known for having some of the best education in the nation, naturally we would get a lot of people wanting to move here with their businesses and so on because that’s a consideration when you move a business. What will be available for employees and the state needs to keep thinking of these things,” he said.
Kulkin also put forward another suggestion that dealt with bringing tourists to Southern Nevada.
“One of my ideas is that we keep talking about the bullet train as an example. I feel the state should invest in itself. If they were to get together with California who keeps talking about Highway 15 and how it needs widening because it has so much traffic on it, why don’t we just take that money that you’re going to spend on widening it and invest it in the bullet train as well and get together with the state of Nevada and get all these people from LA. How much money would they spend and how many more jobs would that provide in Nevada? I would support this,” he said.