Editor’s note: First in a series of stories looking at the Tonopah Town Board election set for Nov. 8. Early voting starts Oct. 22.
Longtime Tonopah resident Don Kaminski is running for a four-year term on the Tonopah Town Board, seeking to keep the seat he was appointed to in February.
Kaminski is among four candidates seeking three seats up for election Nov. 8.
The other candidates are current town board member Tom Seley, newly-elected hospital board member Roni Link and business owner Michael Sain. Janet Hatch, current clerk of the board, is not seeking re-election.
“I have always been a member of the community, I want to retire here,” said Kaminski, who moved to the area from Chicago nearly 35 years ago and works at the Nevada Test Range.
“I want to make sure the town has what people need to live a good life,” he said. “Both in being safe and healthy. That’s what we’re working on now with the hospital and the ambulance service and things like that.”
“And I am involved with my wife (Cindy) in the Rotary, the VFW, the Elks Lodge and every other organization that we have,” Kaminski said. “We do the fishing derby for the kids. We teach hunter education for the kids and the parents. We do teach concealed weapons classes. We have several businesses in town and rental houses and stuff. So it’s our home. We’re planning on retiring here.”
He lists the hospital as the No. 1 issue facing Tonopah. “Getting the hospital or an emergency care facility up and running,” Kaminski said.
Nye Regional Medical Center closed in August 2015, forcing those needing hospital care to travel more than 100 miles. The town also has no urgent care or emergency room.
Kaminski spoke of the importance of the town board, which features five members.
“Our interest is more localized into this area and what the people here need as a general rule,” he said. “We need to have a hospital. We need to have medical facilities. We need to have an ambulance service. We need to have a fire service. We need a good water source and sewers, which is what the wife worked on when she was on the town board.”
Cindy Kaminski had served on the town board for 12 years, including as chairwoman, her service ending as the result of term limits.
“It is invaluable,” Don Kaminski said of having his wife as a resource for him on the town board. “She can tell me what was happening 12, 14, 15 years ago.”
“I stayed out of it simply because I didn’t want to get mixed up with politics while she was there,” Don Kaminski said. “She was instrumental in doing the sewer and water project and getting that all revamped.”
“Just anything that had to do with the town,” he said, including the hiring of the Jamie Eason, now the former town manager. “She dedicated a lot of her time to running the town board,” Don Kaminski said.
He hasn’t done any advertising in his campaign and does not plan to do so.
“I feel that I have been known in the community by almost everybody,” he said. “They can judge me the way they look at me.”
“If they feel I’ll do a good job, which is what I’m trying to do, what’s fair and best for the town as a whole and everybody, then hopefully they’ll vote for me,” Kaminski continued. “If I get re-elected, I will do the best that I can do.”
Kaminski said he was pleased that Jerry Elliston, a 36-year Tonopah resident, recently was appointed to fill a town board vacancy. Elliston is a longtime manager at the Nevada Test Range.
“Jerry brings a whole new group of ideas and skills and background from what he does out here,” Kaminski said, referring to the test range.
“So he’s another person to ask questions from a different angle.”
A CLOSER LOOK
Important election dates and deadlines for the Nov. 8 general election:
■ Oct. 8, voter registration deadline by mail.
■ Oct. 9-18, in-office voter registration or online with the Nevada Secretary of State Oct. 17-18, in addition to regular office hours, the Nye County Clerk’s Office will be open until 7 p.m. for the close of registration.
■ Oct. 22 through Nov. 4, early voting.
■ Nov. 1 at 5 p.m., deadline to request an absentee ballot.
■ Nov. 8, Election Day, polls open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
SOURCE: Nye County Clerk’s Office, Nevada Secretary of State’s Office
Contact reporter David Jacobs at email@example.com