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County to fill Amargosa, Tonopah board vacancies

While some people are seeking voter approval during this primary season, Nye County commissioners have been making recent appointments to fill vacancies on various boards.

George Robert Little was appointed to fill a vacancy on the Amargosa Valley Town Board May 6, at the recommendation of the town board. A U.S. Navy veteran, Little said since moving to Amargosa Valley he participated in various functions as American Legion Post 26 commander, he is also a member of the Amargosa Valley Growers Club. County commissioners delayed making the appointment, after they originally received only one application, from Ken Pitarre, who mounted an unsuccessful recall attempt against board member John Bosta. Little replaces Joe De Lee, who died in a traffic accident last November.

Tom Seley, the former manager of the U.S. Bureau of Land Management Tonopah Field Office for the last five and a half years, was appointed to a vacancy on the Tonopah town board back on May 6. Seley was the only applicant for the position, his term expires in January 2017. Seley lists a career with the BLM in his resume, beginning as wild horse and burro specialist with the Winnemucca office in January 1984, to wild horse management specialist in Burns, Ore., in 2003, range land management specialist for the U.S. Forest Service in 2004-05 and assistant field manager for the division of non-renewable resources in Battle Mountain.

In his application letter, Seley said he worked with Tonopah Public Utilities to upgrade water service for the town by approving amendments to existing right-of-way. As BLM field office manager, Seley said he supervised a team responsible for mineral management, oil and gas leasing, lands and realty actions, wild horses and burros, range land monitoring, range improvement and livestock management, wildlife and fisheries, including threatened and endangered species. He managed over 6 million acres of desert range land and pinyon-juniper forests, 152,160 acres of wilderness study areas, 104,959 acres of disposable lands, a heap-leach mining operation and several smaller mines.

At the May 19 meeting, county commissioners passed a motion by Commissioner Frank Carbone to reappoint four members to the 15-member Capital Improvements Advisory Committee. They include Pahrump Town Manager Susan Holecheck to represent the town board, Rob Mobley and Mike Floyd to represent the Nye County School District board and Sheriff Tony DeMeo to represent his department. Carbone wants to eventually put the board under the supervision of the Pahrump Regional Planning Commission, but for now, they needed a quorum for a meeting to review the 2006-2015 master plan and review the budget from impact fees for street improvements. The CIP advisory board includes Pahrump Fire Chief Scott Lewis, Nye County Public Works Director Dave Fanning, Utilities Inc. of Central Nevada President Wendy Barnett, builder Russ Meads, RPC Chairman John Koenig, and citizens at large Mark Kimball and Pablo Encinias.

The removal of two Gabbs town board members was postponed; at Commissioner Lorinda Wichman’s request they will be invited to appear at the next Tonopah meeting of the county commission June 3. That was after Nye County District Attorney Brian Kunzi said neither of the members replied to a county letter.

“They were directed to call the DA’s office for a discussion on Open Meetings Laws if they wanted to continue on that board and they have not responded,” Wichman said.

Members of the committee preparing a Pahrump groundwater plan appointed alternate Mike Floyd to a regular seat on that committee, after the resignation of Dave Caudle, who claimed the board was merely a rubber stamp for a plan that was already approved. Floyd was one of three alternates designated by the county commission in January, the others were Kenny Bent and Judith Holmgren. Committee member Kristian Bentzen voted against, he pushed for seating Bent as a regular member.

“I just tried to give this group the maximum flexibility in managing their own business and giving you the opportunity to fill positions as they came open,” Nye County Water District General Manager Darrell Lacy told the board.

Basin 162 Groundwater Management Plan Advisory Committee member Greg Dann made the motion. Committee member Barnett, who made the second, said Floyd has a vast knowledge of water rights and the history of Pahrump Valley.

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