The calendar has turned from 2018 to 2019 and with the new year comes a new set of faces on the Nye County Commission, including that of Debra Strickland, representative of Nye County District 5.
Strickland officially secured her seat on the commission in the June 2018 primary election and has been busy preparing herself for her new position over the past six months. She said she is raring to go and feels more than ready to dig her hands into the many issues of interest to her.
First and foremost in Strickland’s line of sight is water, a hot-button topic that was a main driver behind her putting her name in for the commission in the first place.
“As you know, we have already started working on all of this about a year ago when Order #1293 and then subsequently, Order #1293A came out,” Strickland explained, referring to the water order issued by the Nevada State Engineer’s Office which placed restrictions on the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump. Strickland is a member of Pahrump Fair Water LLC, the entity established specifically to fight against that water order. The group filed a lawsuit with the Fifth Judicial District Court and then eventually triumphed. However, that is not the end of the battle and Strickland said she still has her eye squarely focused on water issues.
“Now that order was overturned but the case is moving forward to the Nevada Supreme Court and the reversal is potentially going to get a stay,” Strickland detailed. “Any way you look at it, domestic water, water of any kind, is so important… This shortage of water is not something that is just going to go away so the question is, how do we make a difference? We need to, as a valley, look at being conservative with our water. We can’t make a difference if we don’t start conserving. The county has already done some really good things, such as implementing the water conservation plan. But what the state engineer did, that was wrong and he was found wrong. So I am hoping to cement that change for everyone in the valley.”
Though she will not officially take her seat until Jan. 7, Strickland said she is already flexing her political muscle. As soon as the results of the general election were confirmed, she said Nye County Manager Tim Sutton started providing the newly elected commissioners with information pertinent to what was currently happening in the county and Strickland seized on the opportunity to immediately begin her efforts. When presented with the Dec. 18, 2018 commission agenda, she decided to step in to request certain items be put on hold until she can have the chance to move them forward herself.
“They had two agenda items involving removal of a bridle path at the south end of town and abandoning completion of that project. That has been in the works since 2016 and evidently the project hasn’t been completed by the volunteers as of yet but I am going to re-fire that up. I asked the county manager and commission chairman if we could remove those items from the agenda and they said yes, because I am planning to take that on,” Strickland said.
That is far from the only recreational aim Strickland harbors. She is also hoping to see a system of trail heads and paths established that will attract people to the area, all placed on maps so as to be easily identifiable by visitors and residents alike. Local parks and the need for more sports playing fields is a focus, she said, as is the Nye County shooting facility.
Other subjects she is planning to concentrate on include recruitment for advisory boards, which she feels are key in the operation of the county, and broaching a change in the county offices’ hours to all shift back to a Monday-through-Friday schedule, rather than Monday through Thursday. Changes to county codes may come forward as well, she remarked, noting as an example the code regarding soils reports. Strickland said she does not understand why soils reports are only good for six months, as the soil does not change and this creates an unnecessary hurdle for development. Tracking proposed additions to the code, such as the upcoming noise ordinance, which Strickland stated she will oppose, is also of major importance and something she will keep a close watch on over her next four years in office.
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at email@example.com