By Selwyn Harris
After nearly nine months, Gov. Brian Sandoval has finally chosen a replacement for former Pahrump Town Board member Carolene Endersby, who resigned her position in March.
Sandoval appointed Robert Adams, present chairman of the Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Board.
Adams was one of five individuals who put forth their names expressing interest in filling the seat back in April.
Board members eventually trimmed that number down to three. Former town board member Don Rust and Mountain Falls General Manager Greg Moynahan also made the short list along with Adams.
On Tuesday, Adams said he was a little surprised when he learned about his appointment and noted that his experience on the advisory board was invaluable as it relates to serving on the town board.
“I’m working for the common good and I have always had an interest in public lands issues. I am a conservationist and also an offroader. To keep the places open that we all love going, we do have to take care of them. I consider stewardship of the earth should be one of the commandments. It is something that God gave us to take care of and we are responsible for taking care of the earth,” he said.
While he remains humble about his appointment, Adams said he did not want to guess as to why it took the governor so long to make a decision on whom to appoint.
“I wouldn’t even want to speculate on that. We will just have to leave it at that. You would have to ask him on that,” he said.
Town Board Chair Vicky Parker noted that Adams was the first choice among board members when the vacancy occurred.
“He was our unanimous first choice. He has taken it upon himself to go out into the Spring Mountains and GPS the trails because he wants them mapped for tourism purposes and he has done all of this on his own time covering miles and miles of trails. He also went to Quartzite for five days in January to promote tourism of the town.
“He has got a lot to offer the town already. We twisted his arm to apply in the first place. We then sent his name along with two others to the governor and I am so pleased to have him on our board,” he said.
Adams noted that although he was aware that board members wanted him to serve, he had other pressing responsibilities at that time.
“My term is expiring on the Off-Highway Vehicle Commission OHP at the end of the year. I will be a former commissioner. I could not be in both positions at the same time. The question was posed to me by one of the governor’s executive secretaries on which way I wanted to go. I already made a commitment to serve as an OHP commissioner. We just had our last meeting last week and nothing else is going to happen on the commission for the rest of the year. I will still be participating with the commission but only in a different role,” he said.
Adams also noted that he will now have to resign his position as chair of the Public Land Advisory Board before he can take on the responsibilities of a town board member.
“There’s a good possibility that I can be a liaison to that board. It is something that we have already talked about,” he said.
Adams conveyed his thoughts on the fray between the town board and the county commission.
Last month, local residents voted last month to dissolve the Pahrump Town Board into an essentially powerless advisory board; it remains to be seen how the action will affect the future of Pahrump town government.
The action came roughly four months after Nye County District 4 Commissioner Butch Borasky convinced fellow commissioners to put the question on the ballot.
“From a personal point of view, I think that it was a mistake to dissolve the town board. It was a close vote and there wasn’t a mandate either way. It is not a dead issue at this particular time. While people may work to bring it up again, we have to move forward and we have to abide by the rules that are in place at this time. I just look at it as trying to build close relationships with the county,” he said.
Board member Dr. Tom Waters said that he believes the governor made the right choice by selecting Adams.
“I think the world of Bob Adams and he was the number one choice for everybody on the board, but any one of the names that we submitted, we would have been very pleased with. It never even dawned on me that when I was told the governor would be making a selection pretty soon, I didn’t think it was Bob. I just did not know and I wasn’t trying to guess either. Several people had asked me and I said when the governor announces it, then we will know,” he said.
“As soon as I got the message, I looked at it and I was very pleased and again he was the number one choice from all four members of the board,” he said.
Waters also said that he is still not exactly sure why the governor waited nearly a year before making the appointment.
“I have no idea. My gut feeling is it was political. I have no idea why it was political but that would be my gut feelings. I believe every other vacancy on other boards were filled but the one in Pahrump was not filled and it could only be political,” he lamented.
Like Waters and Parker, board member Harley Kulkin said he thought Adams would be a perfect fit for the town board.
“It is unfortunate that it took so long, but I think he will be a great asset to the board and he has a great background in public lands where he has done a wonderful job. We are involved with a lot of Bureau of Land Management BLM issues with the airport and Last Chance Park as well as the fairgrounds.
“I got to know him fairly well in the last couple of years because I am the liaison to the public lands board. He really goes all out and quite regularly meets with the BLM people. He won’t just do the thing when he is there and then go home and forget about it. He is always working on something. He is really involved and shows up at the town board meetings and keeps us up to date with what is going on with the public lands,” Kulkin said.