By Mark Waite
Nye County District 2 Commissioner Frank Carbone became the second commissioner to take the oath of office under protest Tuesday.
Commissioner Butch Borasky first made his objections known to the oath two years ago when he was reelected to a second term.
“I want to make sure that before I take my seat to support the Board of County Commissioners that I believe I’m doing this under protest as far as swearing to the government. I believe that is something that’s not constitutional, and I believe that the Constitution of the United States is actually the supreme law of the land,” Carbone said.
To that County Commission Chairman Lorinda Wichman, sworn in unopposed to a second term as District 1 commissioner, said Carbone knew the requirements of the job before he took it.
While Wichman said she’s looking forward to working with Carbone, she said, “Quite frankly, anyone who is not willing to take the oath of office, I think they should probably find other work. Everybody else has had to take the same oath.”
Later in the meeting, under commissioner comments, Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said he supported Carbone’s stance. Schinhofen said nobody else has to take this oath, but added he can’t find a state senator or assemblyman willing to sponsor a bill to change it.
Wichman said, “You’re upholding the law, so if you don’t like the law, you have to change the law; don’t break the law.”
Commissioner Joni Eastley said it would take a constitutional amendment to delete any reference to the government of the United States or State of Nevada in the oath; she said Nye County is a political subdivision of both.
Others sworn in during the mass swearing ceremony included Pahrump Justice of the Peace for Department 1 Ron Kent, Fifth Judicial District Judge Kimberly Wanker, Nye County School Board Area Two trustee Rob Mobley, Pahrump Town Board members Bill Dolan and Amy Riches, as well as Amargosa Valley Town Board members John Bosta and Trevor Dolby.
District 3 County Commissioner Donna Cox was on vacation in Tennessee. Amargosa Valley Town Board members Joe Cohan and J.E. “Doc” McNeely were working and missed the ceremony.
The oath of office, administered by County Clerk Sam Merlino, states: “I state name do solemnly swear that I will support, protect and defend the Constitution and government of the United States and the Constitution and government of the State of Nevada against all enemies, whether domestic or foreign and that I will bear true faith, allegiance and loyalty to the same; any ordinance, resolution or law, of any state notwithstanding and that I will well and faithfully perform all the duties of the office on which I am about to enter, so help me God.”
In other commission news, Eastley received two more awards during her last meeting after her third term and 12 years on the board. Nye County Nuclear Waste Project Office staff members and consultants presented her with a map of Bullfrog County, briefly created in the 1980s, and an aerial photo comparing how Pahrump Valley looked in 1953 compared with today.
Eastley gave a bit of trivia: the one marriage license issued by Bullfrog County during its short term went to former Nye County hydrologist the late Tom Buqo and consultant Mary Ellen Giampaoli.
Commissioner Gary Hollis, who lost to Carbone in the general election, was undergoing heart bypass surgery Tuesday, but county commissioners relayed his messages.
“He says he’s going to get an oil change and a lube and he’ll be back for another 100,000 miles. He’s in good spirits,” Borasky said.
Eastley said she was told to say, “this was not coming out of the heart-lung fund.”
County Manager Pam Webster said she was told to smear cake on Eastley’s face.