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Recall efforts against Cox, Riches stall

Local resident Richard Goldstein says he has zero regrets in attempting to unseat Pahrump Town Board member Amy Riches.

After roughly three months, Goldstein has abandoned his effort to recall the town official.

A Notice of Intent was filed at the county clerk’s office in November.

At the time, Goldstein said he was motivated by behavior unbecoming of an elected town official and what he believed was a dereliction of duty on the part of Riches since the time she was elected to the board.

Goldstein contended that Riches would routinely appear at town board meetings completely unprepared and had to be “spoon-fed” information from the meeting’s agenda backup material on a more or less regular basis by her fellow town board members and supporters.

The last straw according to Goldstein was an obscene image Riches admitted to posting on her Facebook page late last year.

The image depicted what appeared to be a Muslim man on his knees in a praying position with an animal appearing to mount him from behind while a caption below the image read “It’s Payback Time.”

“The trash she put on Facebook was totally racist and bigoted. I realize she has freedom of speech, but she is a public official now and she cannot be posting stuff like that where everybody can see it,” he said.

Additionally, Riches at the time referred to Goldstein as “pro Islam” even though Goldstein is in fact Jewish.

The job of recalling Riches appeared to be a larger than expected task for Goldstein from the outset.

He had 90 days to circulate the recall petition and gather 3,706 signatures from those who actually voted in the 2012 election before submitting it to the county clerk’s office.

Other types of petitions can be signed by anyone whether they voted or not.

On Thursday, Goldstein was unrepentant about his actions.

He noted that he saw much community interest at the beginning of his effort but that initial interest waned after the first few weeks.

“We basically found out that some of the people in this town just don’t give a damn. We tried to collect signatures but a big majority in town just doesn’t care. Many of them said they thought the town board won’t be around next year so they figured they would not sign it. They all agreed that she needs to go but they said the town board was going to leave anyway. If the town board were not in danger of going away, I think I would have had better luck with it. You can only put out so much money and time to do this yourself,” he said.

Goldstein also said he will keep any elected official’s “feet to the fire” when he sees they are not performing their duties for the betterment of the community as he personally explained to Riches just recently.

“I might be done recalling her, but I am going to be her worst nightmare and she knew exactly what I meant. I will still be there to go after her when she does stupid things,” he said.

While gathering signatures, Goldstein said he did not see much by way of incivility among those he approached — even from die-hard supporters of Riches.

Goldstein was not alone in his unsuccessful effort to unseat an elected official.

His wife Dona also filed a recall petition against Nye County Commissioner Donna Cox.

Goldstein said his wife is also suspending her campaign against the freshman commissioner.

Dona Goldstein’s motivation for her recall effort mirror that of her husband.

“We are going to fall short on that one too. It’s another situation where people just don’t want to get involved. The point is that we tried it and put them both on notice. Now when you go to commission meetings, she is doing a little bit more than she did last year. It puts them on notice that we are not going to mess around with them. They are either going to do the job, or they are subject to things like this,” he said.

Recall efforts are not at all rare in Nye County.

What are rare are the successful ones.

That last successful recall attempt in Nye County was against former Public Administrator Robert “Red” Dyer in 2000.

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