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Nye County seat should be in Pahrump

First, let me say that I can’t believe I am agreeing with Andy Alberti that the “county seat” for Nye County should definitely be moved to Pahrump.

He and I normally disagree on every topic but on this topic, we are in COMPLETE agreement. I must also add that I have merely read the comments from the commissioners in the newspapers since I was out of the country and missed the July 21st BoCC meeting. So, if the comments in the newspapers are correct, the commissioners’ comments for rationale to keep the county seat in Tonopah are NOT factual.

I also tried to view the BoCC meeting online but the July meetings are not yet posted on Granicus.

According to the article in the PVT (July 17th), Commissioner Dan Schinhofen made several false statements.

1) STATEMENT: He made the argument that county seats aren’t typically put in the most populous places.

RESPONSE: That is NOT true. You can look at counties across the United States and see the fallacy of his argument. Look at Cook County and€“ Chicago; Bexar County and€“ San Antonio; Clark County â€and Las Vegas, Etc.

2) STATEMENT: He further stated this quote in the PVT article, “You can argue with that, oh, the population centers here,’ but with that argument, Carson City shouldn’t be the capital of the state, it should be Las Vegas.”

RESPONSE: That’s truly mixing apples and oranges’ in trying to equate a county seat to a state capital. State capitals are normally near the center’ of the state with population sometimes (but not always) a factor.

3) STATEMENT: He also stated “with the facts that it’s not going to change anything except the first meeting would be here and the second would be in Tonopah, why ?”

RESPONSE: With that whopper, I decided to include the NRS (244.085) that requires the BoCC to meet in the county seat at least once a month. The additional meeting(s) could be anywhere within the county. It’s the commissioners’ choice and there is absolutely NO requirement to meet in Tonopah if the county seat moves to Pahrump. Yes, it’d be nice to do it for our northern neighbors but it is NOT a requirement except by County Ordinances that they could easily change.

When our commissioners play “footloose and fancy-free” with the facts, people tend to doubt the rest of what they say. Maybe the commissioner should have read the NRS before speaking.

NRS 244.085 Regular and additional meetings of board; meetings held outside county seat; meetings with other governing bodies; attendance at conventions, conferences, seminars or hearings.

1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, the meetings of the boards of county commissioners must be held at the county seats of their respective counties, or at a place not more than 10 miles from the county seat within the boundaries of the county, at least once in each calendar month, on a day or days to be fixed by ordinance.

2. If the day fixed by ordinance falls on a Saturday or on a nonjudicial day, the meeting must be held on the next judicial day.

3. The first meeting of the board in odd-numbered years must be held on the first Monday in January, but if the first Monday in January is a nonjudicial day, the meeting must be held on the next judicial day.

4. The meeting day and place as fixed by ordinance must remain unchanged, unless notice of a proposed change is published once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation in the county.

5. Additional meetings of the board of county commissioners may be held at any place within the boundaries of the county. If the board meets outside the county seat, notice of the meeting must be given by publication once a week for 2 consecutive weeks in a newspaper of general circulation published in the county or by publication for 1 week in two or more newspapers of general circulation published in the county.

6. At a meeting held outside the county seat, the board of county commissioners may, in accordance with NRS 241.020, take final action on any matter except zoning or planning matters which relate to a different geographical area than the geographical area in which the meeting is held.

7. The board may meet with the governing body of another governmental unit at any location, including, without limitation, a location outside the county, but the meeting may not be held at a place which is more than 10 miles from the county seat unless the board, in addition to complying with all other requirements for notice of a meeting of the board, provides notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation within the county, for at least 3 working days before the meeting, of the date, time and place of the meeting. In no case may the board take any official action at such a meeting.

8. Members of the board may attend conventions, conferences, seminars, congressional hearings or other federal hearings to gather specific information or conduct the official business of the association or sponsoring organization at any location if no action is taken by the board in the course of such activity.

It would save travel funds if the BoCC didn’t travel to Tonopah for meetings. Even Commissioner Donna Cox realizes that it is travel money wasted which is why the other four can’t force her to travel there each month. Teleconference can work anywhere in the county just as it does right now in Tonopah. Travel to Tonopah by the BoCC is NOT a requirement and a waste of taxpayer dollars.

Yes, it would require a petition signed by 60 percent of the county landowners who voted in the last general election and it may be an uphill battle but I wish Andy and his supporters the best and he has my support.

Lastly, even though four of the five commissioners live in Pahrump, that does not make them a town board; they are still county commissioners who are responsible for the entire county.

Tom Waters

Pahrump Town Board (2011-14)

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