Town board mulls new advisory group

Does the Town of Pahrump really need another advisory board?

Opinions vary but town board members discussed creating a new board recently that would focus exclusively on events planning.

The item was tabled earlier this month but not before board members and staff provided their respective opinions on the issue.

At present, there are eight boards, which report to the town on matters ranging from the planned arena to youth concerns within the community.

Town of Pahrump Tourism Coordinator Arlette Ledbetter said she’d prefer to see a slightly different direction for an events planning board to benefit the town.

“Our determination is that it would be up to the board to create an additional ad hoc or advisory board. I think that some more homework should be done because there is something to be said about looking into business and leisure sales and that’s group sales. It’s a pipeline industry. If additional hotels are being built here, you are going to need to have that pipeline filled. Right now those room nights are going to the three hotels that are here for Spring Mountain Motor Ranch, Front Sight, and the small amount of group business that we have,” she said.

Town Board Chairman Harley Kulkin said this month that he believes there are too many people in Pahrump who don’t quite understand the actual role of local advisory boards.

“It’s not to create events. I hear people say the boards are just going to urge the town to spend more money but that is not the case. It is not what they do in this community,” he said.

Board member Dr. Tom Waters said an event planning advisory board would perform duties that would be much different from any other existing board in the community.

He noted that an event planned for the fairgrounds earlier this year was abruptly canceled due to a lack of proper planning on several levels.

“Right now we have the Pahrump Tourism Convention Council and what we would like to have is if somebody wanted to hold an event, they would go to the event planning advisory board and inform them. The people on the event planning advisory would be all of the people they need to talk to about it including the county sheriff, a representative from the district attorney’s office as well as the town and county staff. The planning around the Burning Man event was a fiasco. If it had gone through the town manager as it should have initially, the town manager and the county manager would have fixed it,” he said.

The Burning Man event scheduled for Memorial Day weekend was destined for failure shortly after the town board voted to approve it back in March.

The event was to take place at the Pahrump Fairgrounds site.

Just days after it was approved, the wheels began falling off the wagon in terms of various permits and unforeseen ordinances relating to dust abatement and alcohol sales.

“It first came to the town board, but then you had a county staff member calling the organizers of the event instead of calling the town. If the county official had contacted our town manager, Bill Kohbarger would have worked it out. Someone from the sheriff’s office also called the organizers and told them if they were going to have alcohol there, then they are going to need permits. They did that without talking to the town at all. It was a town event and yet the county stepped in and should not have. If we had event planners including the county’s involvement then those things would not have happened,” he said.

Waters also said that the town needs individuals who are interested in devoting a few hours of their time each month to the various advisory boards serving the community.

He noted that at least one of the boards cannot seem to retain enough members to function properly.

“The only one with a high turnover rate is the community center advisory board and that’s a new one. What they need is for their liaison to work with the town office, staff, and board to make sure that they get the advice and leadership they need. That is what the town board members are for,” he said.

Individuals wanting more information on becoming an advisory board member may call the town office at 727-5107.

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