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COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: Nye County needs competent people in control

A copy of this letter was sent on May 19 to all five Nye County commissioners, Public Works Director Dave Fanning and Pam Webster, Nye County manager, among other titles.

I am writing this letter to inform people of the problems we are facing in Gabbs.

As I previously emailed to each of you, Jim Basinger, who was appointed by Bob Jones, former building and grounds director, as volunteer project manager for the Gabbs Community Center, and is currently employed by Nye County as Gabbs’ “Groundskeeper”, had lined up, as requested, volunteer equipment and time to dig the ditch for the electrical conduit for Gabbs’ years-old, unoccupied community center. Premier Mine had donated a backhoe and operator, who has years of experience with that type of work. Jim was in contact with NV Energy, who approved the work. Jim was informing the Town Advisory Board members, at a town board meeting, of the progress on the electrical connection and was told by Lorina Dellinger to stand down, that Pam Webster would handle it from Pahrump.

Well, handle it she did. She dispatched a crew from either Tonopah or Pahrump, but they were not available at that time, so the grand opening, as well as NV Energy’s inspection, had to be rescheduled. She sent a load of sand from Pahrump (there was a load of sand already here, stockpiled.) How much did the Pahrump sand cost us? Jim ordered supplies for the electrical connection, but was again told to stand down, because he was not of that specific county department. The supplies were ordered but were not sufficient to get the job done, so again, more delay. The county crew finally dug the trench. So by rejecting Jim’s plans she cost the county and/or Gabbs hundreds or thousands of dollars. She also rejected the volunteers who were ready and able to get the job done.

THEN, Jim had the only key to the building, but Dave Fanning ordered him to give the key to the town hall. So now if someone wants to get into the building they have to hope the town hall is open. If it isn’t open, and the town clerk is available, she gets paid, I believe, a 2-hour standby time. Jim is in Gabbs almost always and would have volunteered his time and he would have arranged for someone else to have the key if he were unavailable. He tried at several places to get a duplicate key made, but no one had the correct blank.

The electrical connection was finally finished this week. The person who finished the connection got a key from Scott McLean, who is a sewer, water and airport person and has no business having a key because he crossed the line between “classifications” just as Jim did, but Scott gets a pass. The key received got the person into the building but would not lock the door, so he had to go to the town hall to get the original. If the original key were not available the building would have been unsecured.

Continuing with the saga of the keys, Jim was working in Gabbs as a county employee a week before he was given a key to the county yard. Jim worked outside the yard hoeing weeds and cleaning up. The excuse Jack Osburne (public works employee) gave was that building and grounds had to make keys, which apparently was not true. Jack told Jim he would get a key to the yard but not to the office located inside the county yard because the office belonged to the water and sewer department. We thought the office belonged to the county, or to Gabbs, not a specific department. A fax and computer are in the office, apparently not hooked up, which Jim needs to prepare and send his daily reports and payroll.

The office also houses supplies and equipment that he needs to perform his work duties, such as concrete, playground equipment, etc. Scott McLean has a key to the office and is in Gabbs maybe once a week. Is there any logic in that? We have heard from several sources that Dave, Jack and Scott are “building their own little empire.”

Next, we had a water break Friday, May 16. Jim was notified, but our town clerk was apparently told by Dave Fanning to call him to get permission to turn off the water so the leak could be repaired!!!! Dave graciously gave his permission and told the clerk that there was a water shutoff key in the warehouse. No key in the warehouse!! Apparently Scott McLean had the key on his truck.

Luckily, a resident had a key, otherwise we would have waited several hours for someone from Tonopah to arrive, wasting hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water. A person from Tonopah arrived, without a key, and dug out the affected area. Jim was there, hand digging. He volunteered his time. Jack Osburne comes along a couple of hours later with a key and starts to “supervise” the work. The previously volunteered backhoe operator/water person for the mine had arrived earlier with tools to fix the leak, also as a volunteer. The leak could have been repaired all with volunteer work, as it has previously been done for years and years, but Osburne has to micromanage and did not contribute one necessary thing to the repair. Jim and the mine volunteer could have handled the entire operation.

The mine would have donated the use of the backhoe and the operator (the mine is incredibly generous with helping the town) and he and Jim would have fixed the leak in less than half the time. Are we always to ask permission to turn off the water and fix leaks? Does this sound stupid to anyone else?

These are but a few of the inane and plainly dumb things that are happening here. I intend to relate other problems to all of the people on my list. I know you will get tired of my letters, but maybe something will be done to stop them, such as putting responsible, experienced and competent people in control. Until then, expect more from me.

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