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Letters to editor of the Pahrump Valley Times

County commissioner responds to letter

I was disappointed to read the letter “Residents, please wake up and save our town” in the March 6 edition of this newspaper.

The letter from a former member of the dissolved town board was a mixture of misinformation and revisionist history. While he compliments the Board of County Commissioners at the beginning of the letter, he then describes what he incorrectly believes are actions that have possibly hurt the town.

The claim that closing the town office and combining the town and county hurt taxpayers is just not true. Combining resources and eliminating duplicate services is always a good cost-saving idea. The town does not need a town manager when the county manager can fill that role. Or a finance director or a human resource director when the county can provide those services, thereby saving Pahrump taxpayers a couple hundred thousand dollars.

The town still has a robust fire department and a Buildings &Grounds Department, as well as business licensing and tourism. Terminating some town employees was not ignoring the town’s need but improving the funding available for more projects, such as new lighting at the town parks.

Today, 56 people work for the town of Pahrump.

The town of Pahrump now functions more closely with Nye County since the town and county offices are located close by and this helps to reduce duplication of effort and costs. But the financial accounts are still separate, and the county has not taken any money from Pahrump, this would be a violation of state law. What has happened is a reduction in overhead cost for Pahrump. The county commission sitting as the town’s governing body has taken advantage of this to reduce the tax rates and direct more of the town funds to parks, fire protection and other services that benefit the residents of Pahrump.

On his third point, the accusation that there was a merging town fund with county funds to augment the county deficit is just a plain falsehood perpetuated by disgruntled ex-town board members. The funds were never merged for any reason. The financial department tab on the Nye County website has links to annual financial statements and audits for Pahrump and Nye County, we try to be as transparent as possible.

There are no plans for changing Pahrump to a township reducing the town to a subdivision of the county. This is not an option.

What is described as a “failure” in the letter has in fact benefited the town residents with better service and amenities with lower taxes. Everything he wants is calling for more government, higher taxes and lower quality of life. Do we want to go back to a board calling its constituents “the peanut gallery” while refusing to give money to improve parks and update fire equipment while spending $300,000 of your money pursuing a theme park and tank attraction?

Four of the five commissioners live in Pahrump, where life, while not perfect, is better for my neighbors and fellow residents than it was five years ago.

John Koenig

Nye County Commissioner

Is telemarketing really a form of free speech?

I would like to make the case that we already have laws in place to limit or completely eliminate telemarketers and robocalls. Any past attempts to limit telemarketers has been met with resistance based on freedom of speech. As we all know there are some limits regarding freedom of speech, the most famous being not yelling fire in a crowded theater.

One expression of free speech that most people are familiar with is the picket line. Whether it be a labor dispute or a lemon purchased at a dealership, a picket line is an exercise in free speech. There is one very important limit to this endeavor and that is none of the picketers can cross the property line.

I submit that since we all OWN our own phones, even the landline since the breakup of the Bell system in 1982, there exists a “digital property line”. Could we not ban robo-calls or telemarketers in the same way we limit picketers? That is to say, not allow them to cross your digital property line.

I feel we already have this right with a minor adjustment perhaps to some laws, but there is no reason that people should have to tolerate this archaic sales method. We do have to the power to get rid of them.

A.C. Woodman

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