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COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: Open letter to the community from a town board member

As a disclaimer, please understand that I speak only for myself as a Town Board member and will provide accurate information as I see it through my research. All information is reviewed by several entities to ensure there are no NRS violations.

Your Chance to Help Reinstate Your Elected Town Board!

There is a BOLD group of residents that have taken it upon themselves to begin the process to reinstate Pahrump’s “elected” Town Board. I don’t have all of the details at this time but I know that it is in accordance with NRS 269.0165.

If they are successful, the effect of their petition drive would be to re-establish Pahrump’s elected town board form of government. I urge you to give them your wholehearted support.

As background, in 2012 a ballot question inquired of the voters within the Town of Pahrump whether they wished to discontinue an elected town board form of government. The ballot question passed by a narrow margin of 231 votes.

The Town of Pahrump appealed the County Commissioners’ decision to place the question on the ballot based on (1) the belief that the County Commissioners had not followed the statutory procedures and findings and (2) that concerns and questions were raised by the voters that language of the ballot question had been ambiguous as presented.

The issue was litigated in District Court and finally with the Supreme Court of Nevada issuing its opinion in April 2014.

The Supreme Court held that the District Court and the County Commissioners had not erred in placement of the ballot question and governance of the Town of Pahrump would transition to the County on January 5, 2015.

However, pursuant to correspondence dated May 16, 2014, the Legislative Counsel Bureau has opined that by an initiative petition the town board form of government may be restored in the future. NRS 269.0165.

The 231 vote decision could have easily gone the other way if 116 voters had had a clear understanding of the ballot question.

Additionally, many people who contacted me via phone, email, and in-person, want to have a chance to undo the damage done by the 2012 vote.

Since 7,063 people voted in 2012 to retain the Town Board, it is not an impossible task to obtain 2,639 signatures.

They would need 2,639 signatures by the allotted deadline. The signature total is calculated as 15% of the 17,589 Pahrump voters in the 2012 general election.

Reinstatement could be done easily by the commissioners but that would be the “will of the commissioners.” The “people” voted in 2012 and deserve to vote again in 2014. This could (and should) be done as a “will of the people.”

I would expect that these petitions will be all over Pahrump within the next day or two. If you’re interested (and concerned about Pahrump’s future), please find out where they are and offer your signature.

Be sure you’re signing the correct petition and don’t be deceived by opponents claiming to have these petitions. Read the title before signing to Reinstate Your Elected Town Board form of government.

We hear our commissioners’ struggle with the marijuana issue and continue to state, “Local control is the best control.” I fully agree with their statement and believe that local control of Pahrump is best implemented by a locally elected Town Board.

Although this is NOT a drive by the Town Board or the Town Staff, I feel confident that they would support this petition drive. I fully support this petition drive because I believe in “local control” of our future.

Questions? Feel free to contact me if you have questions or comments about this letter.

Dr. Tom Waters

Pahrump Town Board

twaters@pahrumpnv.org

775-764-0949

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