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Pahrump officials attend municipalities conference

“Let there be no mistake, Pahrump definitely is on the radar of state lawmakers.”

At least that’s what Bill Dolan, Pahrump Town Board’s vice chairman, heard in South Lake Tahoe.

Town board members and staff attended the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities conference there last week.

The annual conference serves as the main statewide vehicle for conversation and collaboration among elected and appointed Silver State officials.

Dolan noted that the league also promotes planning and influential legislative representation for the benefit of the citizens of Nevada, especially the rural communities.

“It’s an annual conference for educational sessions and there are different portals. Both the executive and general boards meet and we realize what we want to work on for the year. The last couple of years we started to come together with the Nevada Association of Counties (NACO) because at least 75 percent of our agendas were identical,” he said.

Dolan said he was taken by surprise during the conference when his name was brought forward to become the third vice president of the league of cities, which he said was completely unexpected.

“I was asked about it and I decided to throw my hat into the ring. Nobody ran against me so it was by unanimous decision that I was elected vice president to represent the Nevada League of Cities throughout the state, which puts our community in the forefront. It opens up a lot of doors to let people know what we have here in Pahrump and what we want to achieve,” he said.

Dolan also said that a meeting on the final day of the conference allowed participants to plan a strategy for what they would like to bring forth when lawmakers convene for the 2015 legislative session.

“The meeting on Friday was a joint conference of both boards to look at and review what we as a group, NACO and the Nevada League of Cities and Municipalities would like to work on and address in the next legislative session. We set the process in motion and the executive boards will meet every couple of months to fine tune exactly what our platform is going to be come 2015,” he said.

Town Board member Dr. Tom Waters said as a result of local board members and staff attending the conference, Pahrump’s notoriety was established in more of a positive view in the eyes of many elected officials in the Silver State.

“Pahrump is on the map. There were a lot of good things that people had to say about Pahrump. Our new town manager was very well received and that also helped put Pahrump in a positive light with everybody who knows her,” he said.

Waters also said the conference allowed participants to venture into what was referred to as “breakout sessions” allowing those to attend the session which focused on their area of interest and expertise.

As a former member of the United States Air Force, Waters said he gravitated toward issues relating to area veterans.

“You just go to the ones that interest you the most. I wanted to make sure that I covered the ones for the veterans. Joni Eastley and I are representatives of the ‘Green Zone’ initiative which is out of the governor’s office. Joni has it for the Tonopah area and I have it for Pahrump. It encompasses us to get veterans together and connects the veteran community all over the state. There is a green zone initiative website. Once they set up their own account, they can log on and find out if jobs are available for veterans. They can get medical and education information. Veterans can also communicate with each other on that website,” he said.

As former mayor of Mesquite, Interim Town Manager Susan Holecheck has attended several such conferences over the years.

She spoke about the benefits of having valuable face time with lawmakers and other elected officials in Nevada and the sheer potential of Nye County’s economy as the population increases over the next several years.

“It’s a wonderful advantage to actually speak to our congressional delegates and let them know about the concerns that we have here in Pahrump. We had more people representing us than the county because they had two and we had five including me. They shared some information regarding the growth pattern of Nye County which is huge. We learned that in the next few years, Nye County and Pahrump could potentially grow by 40 percent and that kind of information is so important for us so that we can begin to strategize and create a master plan to find out where we are going to be down the road. Just knowing that we are looking at that growth potential I think is fabulous,” she said.

Dolan, meanwhile, made sure to mention that the annual conference was by no means a so-called “working vacation” in Lake Tahoe.

“It was not playtime up there. I can tell you that I was in some type of meeting or classes or sessions from eight o’clock in the morning till six in the evening. We would go to have dinner and we were still talking about items during that time. It’s was a great way to network and I know that the town of Pahrump is on the map and we are really serious about moving forward,” he said.

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