Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
June 12, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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June 12, 1997

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How much is enough for new town manager? 1997 Kindergarten Graduates of Tecopa Francis Elementary, Shoshone, Calif. Tristan Copeland - Brittney Hammontree - Sherman Messer - Tamara WUlson I II Lawsuit adds to Senior Center woes by Patti Babcock How much is Pahrump willing to pay for a mature, experienced Town Manager from the East? It appears George McDermott of New Jersey, the top candidate, intends to find out. The Pahrump Town Board voted unanimously May 27 to offer the position to the search committee's first choice candidate. The committee, Board Members Gary Hollis, Charlie Gronda and Town Attorney Len Smith, said McDermott was selected because of his management experi- ence and financial knowledge. They also saw the candidate as "someone who would stay," an important issue in view of the short tenure of the last two managers. Gronda was instructed to offer the position to McDermott. The candidate accepted the job a few days after the offer was made. The big question, "How soon could McDermott be- gin?" Probably within 30 days according to Gronda. When contacted by the Gazette for his comments on being selected, McDermott was unavailable and did not respond to repeated calls and messages. However, he did respond to the employment contract proffered by the town outlining details of the position as discussed with him by the search committee. McDermott's response was his own pro- posed "contract for employment." Additions and/or changes include: Salary, $50,600 per year. Terms of employment, three years, with successive three-year terms unless the contract is not renewed at the end of the first term. If terminated with 30-day notice, McDermott would receive three months severance pay. If terminated with less than 30-day notice, he would receive six months sever- ance pay. The proposed contract provides for reimbursement of travel and moving expenses for household and vehicles (no indication of the size of household or number of vehicles), Continued on page 4 by MaJ;y Ann McNeill Gazette Staff PAHRUMP--Adding to the multi-troubled Pahrump Se- nior Center is a lawsuit that was flied Thursday, June 5 by Patrick Chapin, a Las Vegas employment law attorney, for his client, Ralph Schultz. Schultz was a volunteer cook at the center for at least 14 months before being hired on as an assistant cook in January, 1995. He was terminated on November 28, 1995 just before a one-year employment probationary period ended. The suit lists two causes of action: Breach of Implied Covenant of Good Faith and Fair Dealing, and Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress. Cha__pin said that Schultz' termination came at the end of an emotional period at the center in which the head cook, Marie Hutton, had racked up 25 to 30 written complaints about her job performance. An employment heating concerning the possible termina- tion of Hutton was called by the Nye County Commissioners, with a large number of seniors coming to voice emotional support for or against Hutton. Chapin maintains that Schultz was an exemplary em- ployee, but he was the one terminated at the end of the conflict instead of Hutton. He said Schultz' termination wasnot done in good faith in that different rules were applied to Hutton and Schultz. Schultz enjoyed his job at the center and wants it back. Chapin said that the main reason he has flied the lawsuit is to wake up the "powers that be" to the fact that they have to do something about the problem at the Pahrump Senior Center. "These people need to be listened to," Chapin said. 'q'hey need to have balance and uniformity in all dealings with them. Their complaints are falling on deaf ears." "They have worked hard all their lives and now they should be able to have a place that they can relax in and enjoy their remaining years in comfort and companionship," he said. Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett and Acting Director of the Nye County Senior Nutrition Program, Paula King, were contacted regarding the lawsuit but neither could make comments because they had not been served with the lawsuit. Van Crawford, Director of the Senior Nutrition Program, is the resident agent for service, but she has been ill and on leave. She has not been released by her physician to return to work. Chapin said that the Nye County Senior Nutrition Pro- gram, Inc., a Nevada non-profit corporation, was selected to be named in the lawsuit, as well as many individual "Does" and"Roes" corporations, instead of the Nye County Commis- sioners. This is a legal technicality that will allow him to add defendants in the future after discovery of who had what actual involvement in the case. Employment lawsuits of this type have a statute of limitations of up to four years, according to both Chapin and Beckett. The plaintiffhas 120 days in which to serve the suit and the defendant has 20 days after service to respond to the allegations.