Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
March 27, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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March 27, 1997

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lnlon anrump vauey t, azette, [nursaay, March z/, l.J/11 Nye Coramission caught in own trap. It is hard to plan sensibly for an eventuality you keep dismissing in advance as unthinkable. Perhaps that explains, as well as any metaphor can, the reasoning behind the apparent siege mentality being pres- ently demonstrated by the Nye County Commission. As the commission becomes further ensnarled in a trap of its own making its defense strategy utilized seems to be the only one it knows. That strategy is to deny, to conceal, to never .ask for advice from proper legal authorities, and when advice is given from those authorities, that it does not wish to have or receive, to ignore it. One of the com- missioners clearly stated this attitude at a public meeting on March 18, 1997 when he said, "It is not this board's policy to pay attention to opinions of the Attorney General of the State of Nevada unless such an opinion has been backed up by a court of consensus." Actions taken by the Nye County Commission in- , ........ dicate a similar attitude in re- This Man's gards to Nevada Revised Stat- utes (NRS) passed by the Ne- by Brent Mathewson vada Legislature. ' ' To the two new commissioners who came on board in January, it must seem that they have walked straigh into the edge of a hurricane. They are not in an enviable posi- tion. While trying to get stabilized and find a point of bal- ance they are asking for advice from what must seem to be the most logical direction. That would be the county ad- ministration and their fellow commissioners. A problem of major importance, that is apparently being overlooked, is that the advice being received is beneficial only to the people giving it and is self-serving to those people at the expense and to the detriment of the entire rest of Nye County. As the Nye County Commission and top-level adminis- tration batten down the hatches in an attempt at damage control their ship is leaking like an open sieve. Information is literally pouring into the Gazette from Nye County per- sonnel in support of this news papers ongoing efforts to expose certain illegalities and violations of law that are having major detrimental effect to Nye County as a whole. While Nye County Commission Chairman Dick Carver, claims that his board of commissioners is the strongest one of its type in the United States people at most levels of Nevada State Government consider it nothing more than a joke and a bad joke at that. Nye County Manager, Les Bradshaw, and his special as- sistant, Rachel Nicholson's,. current attempt at a grab for more power by encouraging the Nye County Commission to approve their horrendous version of a "Nye County Per- sonnel Merit System" is a perfect example of all things wrong with Nye County government. Bradshaw and Nichol- son are both attorneys. Their enormous salaries are sup- posedly justified because of this fact. This is in spite of the knowledge that the commission is required by law to re- ceive its legal advice from the person elected to the posi- ...... tion of Nye County District Attorney. A small part of the problem is that the commis- sion does not like the advice it receives from the district attorney's office. In retalia- tion, the commission loads down the DA's office with trivial B.S. matters and has fi- nancially stripped the D.A. of staffto the point that there is no one to even answer the phone at the Pahrump Branch Office other than a deputy D.A. or the district attorney him- self. Answering the telephone is not a very effective way of utilizing taxpayers money for this level of staff. After bogging down the D.A.'s office in this manner the commission turns to Bradshaw and Nicholson for legal advice which is improperly given in every instance in which it is done. Part of Nicholson's duties are supposedly to write Nye County ordinances. Although this is the exclusive do- main of the district attorney's office this fact doesn't seem to matter too much. Unexplainably Nicholson farmed out and outsourced at considerate cost to the county--believed to be $25,000 but the Gazette is still trying to pin down the figure at this time - the job of drafting the Nye County Merit Personnel Ordinance. The firm that drafted it is Larry Belier and Associates, Incorporated of Reno, Nevada. Larry Beller and Associ- ates advertises itself as a management consultant finn. Now we've got a lawyer for a county manager who has unlaw- fully hired an attorney for an assistant who, has hired a consultant to give her legal advice. Not very good legal advice either. Although not an attorney, it doesn't take one to see that the proposed ordinance would do nothing but make a king out of Bradshaw, conforms in no meaningful manner to the requirements for such an ordinance as spelled out in Nevada law and addresses in no manner whatsoever how a county employee is to be rewarded for performing his or her duties in a manner worthy of merit. Rachel's brainchild, the county's "Personal Merit Sys- tem Ordinance," is agendized for action by the Nye County Commission on April 1, 1997 in Tonopah and another bad joke it will be if it passes. The unthinkable that the Nye County Commission is un- willing or unable to grasp is that the method by which Nye County is governed is going to have to change. The worms are coming out of the can. It is rapidly becoming impos- sible - in fact it is already past the point of possibility - to ever stick them back in again. If the commission does not grasp this point swiftly, and they seem to be completely unable to do so even slowly, then action by the Nevada State Department of Taxation, and if necessary, the Nevada Attorney General's Office will take the matter completely out of its hands. Down that road lies the very real possibility of being forcibly removed from office and perhaps even prison time. The only other option for them would be to run---fast and far. That is this man's opinion. Editor's note." Due to technical difficulties, Brent Mathewson's column in last week's issue contained multiple errors. The complete and correct Cersion appears on page 27. i I ii i i i -" r' i,i i i ii i i ii ii ii ii iiii I Lioldtield and central Nevada is in mourning over the sudden passing of Ken Jackson early Sat- urday morning. Ken was Editor and Publisher of the Prospector, Goldfield's first newspaper in forty years. He is survived by a son Eric living in California and his new wife Lena, who was visiting relatives in South- ern Nevada. At last report, local officials were unable to contact her. I don't know much of Ken's background not that it "r'lhks . l.l$1t W=*It I -:.'--'. :" " i Weeh 3115_@0 !  "LO.. J 3.O0 C.TT. E , ek i i i was active in community affairs helping and encour- Slim Sez  aging people in many ways. He had just published an issue before his death featuring a special section called by Slim Sirnes "The Smoky Valley Memo" which was formerly a ' newsletter put out by RoOnd Mountain Gold. mattes much because this guy was It's not often a guy like Ken comes along. I wish trying to do something. Putting his that I had spent more time with him and am grateful money and time, what he had for the time he gave me. It's not easy to find friends where his mouth was. This man like him. in his short time with us was making a difference. He See you the next time around Ken. Slim. i i ii i 1.1 ......  ...................... i I iD 7o00100" l00ig 7ff00. and me Smekr Valley Vol. 2 No. 8 Priceless Wednesday, March 19, 1997 In Memorium of Ken Jackson Another persona[ coincidence in the use of the name "Prospector," is that when my grandfather Edward Francis Powers, sold his daily newspaper "Tuolumne City News", today the "Modes to Bee" to the McClatchy corporation, grandpa started the Mother Load Prospector, a fort-nightly devoted to mining. The dreaded reaper of the West was busy last weekend and decided he would write the big "30" for Ken Jackson, the founding editor and publisher of the little "Prospector" newspaper up in Goldfield way. Starting a newspaper from scratch- as we well know- is not an easy chore, but Ken, who came from a newspaper background in California, was doing a good job and just beginning to get over the hump. It was the first paper of its very own that the living Ghost town of Goldfield, as I like to call it, could claim since the fifties. His choice of the name, the Prospector, was pro- phetic since prospecting was more than an avocation for the departed publisher. I didn't know Ken personally, but I'm sure our publish- ing paths would have crossed sooner or later. Several of our northern staff assisted, in the early days of the publica- tion, with our encouragement. Unlike certain others, whom we will not dignify by name in the same breath as mentioning a respected journalist, we have always welcomed and encouraged competition. It's what built this country and in the final analysis is good for the reader in providing more than one point of view and prejudiced opinion. When our old friends, Sandy Spicer, and Virginia Redgway, told us of Ken's unexpected demise over the weekend, it sad- dened me that we had not gotten to know each other. It was my loss, along with all of those who ever read his newspaper.