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Beatty Town Board holds election

The results of the informal election at a recent Beatty Town Advisory Board meeting did result in a status quo as incumbent board members Erika Gerling and Randy Reed were chosen for reappointment for another two-year term.

Former and returning Beatty resident Starla Gallagher was the only other candidate in the informal election.

The meeting was Nov. 25.

Gerling and Reed each gave short speeches, talking about what they had done in their time on the board and other things they have done to contribute to the community.

Gerling, who is in her 10th year as board treasurer, spoke of projects she had worked on and meetings she had attended on behalf of the town. She described herself as, “A little bit quirky, a little bit naughty, and a little bit nice.”

Reed also spoke of his service on the board, adding that he also serves on the Senior Center Project Council, the Volunteer Fire Department, Neighborhood Watch, and the Beatty General Improvement District. He has also arranged many fundraisers for community organizations.

Gallagher was unable to attend, as she was in New Mexico, where her husband was working. Instead, Martha Wehrly read a letter from Gallagher, in which she said that people might remember her for her former coffee shop, as a baker, or for bringing produce to Beatty.

She wrote of her experience as a page in the U.S. House of Representatives and said she was involved in the Boy Scouts in Beatty and in a nascent 4-H program. She said that, as a mother, she was very interested in supporting the community’s youth.

The informal election does not directly elect anyone. The advisory board, not being a regular town board, operates under the Board of Nye County Commissioners, which appoints its members. The results of the election determine which names will be submitted to the commissioners for appointment.

The difference between an advisory board and a regular town board also figured in discussion about a request from Beatty High School for financial assistance for the Close Up program.

Every two years since 1996, a junior and senior students from Beatty High School have had the opportunity to attend Close Up in Washington, D.C. There they interact with students from other parts of the country, learn about the workings of government, and meet lawmakers.

This year, 23 BHS students, six from Beatty and 17 from Amargosa Valley, are seeking to attend the program, which costs over $2,000 per student. Each of the students has so far paid $400, and they have also participated in fundraisers. At this point, approximately $21,000 is still needed to fund the trip.

The students plan to continue fundraising, and each is also pledged to contribute another $300. Faculty member Steven Sullivan approached the board, seeking $5,000.

Gerling explained that the advisory board has a spending limit of $2,500 without going to the commissioners for approval of anything higher, “Though they’re good about letting us spend our own money.”

The board approved a donation of $2,500, inviting Sullivan to return later on, when they would be open to helping with further assistance.

“We’ll then have a better idea of what you need and how we can help,” added Gerling.

County Director of Public Works Tim Dahl was present at the meeting and gave a presentation on the subject of easement encroachment permits. He said that his presentation was ”not to throw rocks at what people have done,” but to show people how to get permission and not have to ask for forgiveness.

In the course of his presentation, Dahl showed that everything from filling out an application to paying fees can now be done through the Internet on the county’s website.

Gerling also read a substantial list of those who had supported the recent Bureau of Land Management Public Lands Day Rhyolite cleanup.

Richard Stephens is a freelance reporter living in Beatty.

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