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New water board members won’t follow path of former leaders

The Nye County Water District Governing Board held its first meeting in almost a year this month and the four newly appointed members made one thing very clear: they have no intention of following the same path as previous iterations of the board did and each plans to take a more active role in driving the water district in a new direction.

Hosted Thursday, May 5, the Water District Governing Board meeting kicked off with remarks from the new board members, which include Helene Williams and Michael Lach, both of whom previously sat on the board, along with newcomers Ed Goedhart and Bruce Holden.

Lach’s past membership with the board was fairly short and ended abruptly in 2015 when he resigned, citing a failure by his fellow members to make any real progress on water issues. Williams, who was appointed to the water board in mid-2020, led the effort to have the entire seven-member water board recalled, including herself, in late 2021. She too said she was unsatisfied with the way the board was operating and accused the members of allowing the general manager to run the show.

In response to Williams’ request, the Nye County Commission took action to remove all of the members and eventually appointed the four new representatives, who will now lead the water board as it moves forward.

“I believe that the power that was given to this board supersedes pretty much any board I’ve ever seen,” Williams remarked as the meeting got underway on May 5. “It’s astounding to me but we have it, and I hope no one abuses it.”

Lach started off his comments by thanking those who cared enough to attend or watch the meeting online and assured the community that the board would be working toward real solutions to the many and varied water issues in Nye County.

“Whether or not we agree with you or disagree with you, we are going to do what we can to best preserve the water in not only this basin, but throughout Nye County,” Lach asserted. “To protect it from being harmed through chemical use, to protect it from being taken and sent to another valley… As you know, this is a thankless job and we’re not going to make everybody happy. We are going to spend an awful lot of our own personal time to do what we believe is best.”

The board then moved into the election of the chair, vice chair and secretary/treasurer. Williams was nominated for chair and unanimously voted into that position, while Goedhart was selected for vice chair. Holden was chosen to hold the secretary/treasurer post.

The agenda itself did not contain any other major items, with the exception of two to authorize the advertising of employment opportunities, as the board will need to hire a general manager and an administrative assistant. A general manager will be hired first, after which the board will begin its search for an administrative assistant. The board also set the time and date for a public hearing to approve its fiscal year 2022-2023 budget, which will take place Wednesday, May 18 at 10 a.m. at the Nye County Commission Chambers, 2100 E. Walt Williams Drive.

The agenda will be posted three days prior to the meeting and can be found online at www.NyeCountyWaterDistrict.net

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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