More than a week after Pahrump Town Manager Bill Kohbarger announced his decision to resign, the town board’s vice chairman, Bill Dolan, is saying “not so fast.”
Dolan authored a town agenda item requesting Kohbarger to rescind his resignation and continue to serve the town under the terms of his existing employment agreement.
Due to time constraints, results from the item will appear in Friday’s edition of the Pahrump Valley Times.
On Monday, Kohbarger declined to comment on Dolan’s request.
“At this time, I have nothing to say about that matter,” he said.
Dolan, however, did provide comment on why he chose to put the item on Tuesday’s agenda.
“I am asking Mr. Kohbarger to rescind his resignation. I am trying to convince him and I hope that he will see the Town of Pahrump’s side of things and allow us to convince him to stay as North Las Vegas is trying to convince him to leave. As an elected town board member, I have a job to do and all five of us represent all of the people and not just special interests. It is my job to protect the town and the residents. With everything we have going on right now in the town, Mr. Kohbarger’s place is here in Pahrump and I’m trying to point that out to him,” he said.
Town Board Chairman Harley Kulkin said he understands why the town manager is seeking employment elsewhere.
“I think you have to appreciate that Mr. Kohbarger didn’t know if he would even have a job by the end of next year and we don’t even know if the town board will still exist. If you get an offer for a job that pays more, you’re not going to turn it down for the unknown,” he said.
Town Board member Dr. Tom Waters said that even though Dolan has the community’s best interests in mind, Kohbarger is free to leave his post whenever he sees fit.
“Mr. Kohbarger fulfilled his contract by giving a 30-day notice. The town board has not accepted the resignation but according to the contract we don’t really need to. With a 30-day notice, he can be gone. He gave his resignation to the town board chairman and again, there is nothing in the contract that says who he has to give it to,” he said.
At present, the future of the town board, including the jobs of some staff members, remains uncertain as an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court is ongoing. The appeal was in response to passage of a ballot question allowing voters to disband the town board. It was passed by a slim margin in last year’s general election.
The action would allow the county to assume financial control of Pahrump.
Kulkin said that most appeals in the Silver State always seem to be a very slow process.
“This could drag on for who knows how long. In my experience, appeals are not something that happens fast and sometimes it takes years. They have no actual legal requirement to do anything in a particular time frame so they can take all the time they want. I would hope that they understand the precarious position that the town of Pahrump is in and try to expedite things to get it done,” he said.
Kulkin also said that the town’s duties will remain as they are until the appeal process is finally settled.
He noted that in the meantime, the town needs to do whatever it legally can do to stay independent.
“Everything is in limbo until then. For sake of discussion, in January 2015, if they haven’t made a decision by then, we will still be here. I just hope they don’t do it at the last minute. Personally, I believe irrelevant of the outcome, the Town of Pahrump needs to incorporate to gain control of itself,” Kulkin said.
Last year the board gave Kohbarger a vote of confidence by agreeing to offer him a three-year contract.
Kohbarger accepted a position in the human resources department in the City North Las Vegas with two years left. Reached for confirmation, however, no North Las Vegas officials would confirm the job offer.