Nye County has made two selections for important department heads in recent weeks, formally confirming Tim Dahl as Nye County Public Works Director and ratifying the choice of Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service Chief Scott Lewis as the new director of Nye County Emergency Management.
Dahl’s appointment was made official on May 22 and Lewis’ on June 5.
Dahl has been acting as the director of public works for several months already, taking over those duties following the arrest of former Nye County Public Works Director Tim Carlo. Carlo was booked in December 2017 on being under the influence of a controlled substance, according to the Nye County Sheriff’s Office. Nye County Public Information Officer Arnold Knightly reported that Carlo is no longer employed by the county.
As detailed in a news release, Dahl has been a member of public works for almost two decades, starting in 1998 as an entry-level road maintenance worker and eventually climbing his way up the ladder. He was promoted to an intermediate engineering technician in 2009, followed by an elevation to an advanced engineering technician in 2014, experience that provided him with a broad range of knowledge regarding the operation of the department.
“The Department of Public Works is committed to delivering to our residents the most effective and efficient service in the areas of transportation, solid waste management, water and wastewater throughout the county,” Dahl stated. “We will use available technologies and practices, as well as highly qualified, trained, and motivated staff, who strive for service excellence, customer satisfaction, fiscal responsibility and accountability.”
Scott Lewis has been in the fire service industry since 1980 and has been chief of the Pahrump Valley Fire and Rescue Service since 2002. He is taking over the post previously held by Vance Payne, who had been the head of Nye County Emergency Management for six years. Payne said he is ready to retire from county employment and is proud to be handing his position over to Lewis, with several meeting attendees adding words of support as well.
Nonetheless, there were some concerns expressed about Lewis’ appointment, particularly from Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox. She questioned the heavy workload associated with both jobs and whether one person was capable of handling so much, as well as the salary situation, with one position paid for by the town of Pahrump and the other by Nye County.
However, Nye County Manager Tim Sutton and Lewis were apparently able to put Cox’s mind at ease, at least enough for her to vote in favor of the selection. Sutton explained that although Lewis would be performing both job functions, that was not a violation of any law. Lewis himself remarked, “I just want to reassure you that Vance and I are very fortunate, we have great staffs to support us and by utilizing those staffs appropriately, it will eliminate much of the burden. So I think we will have successful outcomes.”
As for the monetary factors, Sutton said, “The intent is not to have Scott draw both salaries and the agenda is also not to have him double dip… During any time that he is working on emergency manager responsibilities, he will be able to draw from those funds that have been set apart for those responsibilities. There will be a clear delineation on the finance side between his fire chief responsibilities and his emergency management responsibilities.” The situation would be much the same as those with other county employees who perform town duties, commission chair John Koenig commented.
Lewis’ selection was approved 4-0 with commissioner Dan Schinhofen absent.
“I appreciate the opportunity to support each of the respective fire and EMS agencies located throughout Nye County to help ensure that they have the appropriate resources to complete their missions,” Lewis said when reached for comment. “I further embrace the opportunity to return Emergency Management to its core objectives of coordinating preparedness, mitigation, response, and recovery of disasters that may occur in Nye County.”
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org