Nye County Commission candidate Harley Kulkin said if elected in November, he will not take a salary or benefits.
Kulkin, a former Pahrump Town Board chairman, noted that he will perform the duties pro-bono, not taking the nearly $27,000 in pay.
“I will say that if I do get elected, I will not accept any benefits or any salary,” he said. “I will do it absolutely free and at no cost to the county.”
Kulkin, a Democrat seeking the District II seat, said his first order of business if he takes the commission seat will focus squarely on economic development in Pahrump and Nye County.
“I moved here 23 years ago and saw tremendous potential, but I’m still waiting,” he said. “I can’t believe that Nye County is the poorest county in Nevada when it shouldn’t be. We have mining and we collect the taxes.”
Kulkin also noted that he believes incorporation would be a huge benefit to the town of Pahrump, but many people are not aware of what incorporation would look like.
“Many people in our town have all these ideas but they are confused about what it really means,” he said. “The reality is everything within the borders of the town of Pahrump, the town will run it and that’s all.”
Kulkin said he would push to re-establish the Pahrump Town Board.
“When the town board was still in effect, the county turned down a $4.5 million dollar, free sewage plant,” he said. “The town was only responsible for the parks, the cemetery, and the ambulance service. I’ve never heard anyone complain about those things.”
Kulkin also said that the county’s finances need to be addressed.
He spoke about the importance of generating more income to pay for infrastructure and services.
“They don’t seem to understand that government is a business and they should be creating assets before they fund liabilities,” he said. “With gold mining, and PETT money (Payment Equal To Taxes), and all the things that this county has brought in, it doesn’t make any sense that we are the poorest county in the state of Nevada. It is due to an incredible amount of incompetence.”
Attracting tourism to the area was another issue Kulkin addressed.
“I go out to Vegas once a week, and I see tour bus after tour bus of people coming through our town, but what do they stop for?” he questioned. “They go to the bathroom, get some munchies and they go elsewhere. We need to create something that would attract those tourists and keep them here. This should be their destination.”
When asked about the issue of the recreational use of marijuana in Nevada, Kulkin contrasted the effects of pot versus alcohol.
“I personally have never tried a drug or smoked cigarettes in my whole life but I’m not naïve,” he said. “I think that pot is not as dangerous as alcohol. I heard of people getting drunk and beating the hell out of someone, but I’ve never heard of somebody on pot beating the hell out of somebody.”
Kulkin, a 23-year resident of Pahrump and retired businessman ran unsuccessfully for lieutenant governor two years ago.
He will face Republican and Pahrump Regional Planning Commission Chairman John Koenig, who won the party primary in June. The winner will fill the seat held by Frank Carbone, who decided against seeking re-election.
Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at email@example.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes