James Eason and Michael Lach were reappointed to the Nye County Water District board to two-year terms, but Donna Lamm, a member of the board since its inception in March 2009 was replaced by Greg Dann and a recent controversial appointee from Amargosa Valley, John Bosta, was replaced by Dave Hall.
Commissioner Frank Carbone made the motion to appoint members, which were each taken separately. Commissioner Lorinda Wichman voted against Dann and Hall’s appointments; she said it was a vote against removing Lamm and would’ve preferred Dann to replace Lach.
“There’s politics running amok for you,” said Lamm, a real estate broker and owner of Provenza Realty since 1977; she specializes in water rights and land parcels.
Lamm lent an environmental point of view to water board discussions; she was a one-time director of the Amargosa Conservancy. She advocated for a public education campaign in the schools on water conservation that she still intends to pursue. Lamm was recently challenged over being a property owner in Trout Canyon, where the water board discussed a plan to provide water.
“This was questionable at best,” Lamm said. “Think about my history here and all the boards I’ve been on and all the water stuff I have done for years and years and years and then they’re going to put Greg Dann in my place.”
Dann also serves on the newly appointed Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee, which is an ad-hoc committee drawing up a water management plan for the Pahrump Valley, where he submitted a controversial proposal that includes a moratorium on new development until a plan is approved. He is a well owner, who was a pipe fitter that worked at Yucca Mountain and the Nevada Test Site. He was also the general foreman of a pumping station for the Southern Nevada Water Authority’s second straw project at Lake Mead and supervised the construction of air-cooled condenser duct work for Bechtel at the Ivanpah solar project.
While Dann was appointed to a Pahrump Valley position on the water board, Hall was appointed to the at-large position representing Nye County. An Amargosa Valley resident for 20 years, Hall has been employed by Ponderosa Dairy, which included building a 2,600-acre farming operation and supporting the construction of infrastructure for three milking barns. He worked with the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and Nevada Division of Water Resources on a variety of water supply projects for the dairy. He was endorsed by Jay Lazarus, president and senior geohydrologist for Glorieta Geoscience Inc. a water board contractor, who said Hall is part of the Ponderosa Dairy water rights negotiating team.
“I didn’t expect to be reappointed. I’m not a rubber stamp,” said Bosta, who was appointed in January after three positions were allowed to expire last year.
Among his unfinished business, Bosta, a retired math teacher, asked why there’s no Nye County water board minutes on the county website during some years. He asked why Walt Kuver continues to make reports, a former county consultant on renewable energy, who was appointed to the Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee. Bosta asked if Hall would have to recuse himself from voting on contracts with Glorieta Geoscience, who was hired for projects like the $139,611 water supply appraisal report.
“Why is it we stack water rights people and utility people on these committees?” Bosta asked.
Lach is a developer in Nye County, among his projects was the development of a trailer park in Tonopah to serve the SolarReserve project. Eason is the Tonopah town manager, who also operates Tonopah Public Utilities.
Applicants who didn’t make the cut for the Pahrump position included Dwight Lilly, Pahrump Town Board member Amy Riches, John Pawlak and former Pahrump town board member Frank Maurizio. Eason was the only applicant from the area representing Tonopah, Belmont and Manhattan.
Lamm saw one good outcome from the Tuesday vote.
“Thank God they got Bosta off there and they got somebody who is more rational,” she said.