Newspaper Archive of
Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
July 31, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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July 31, 1997

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' 4 Thursday, July 31, 1997 Pahrump Valley Gazette Bradshaw and Nicholson; o peas in a pod There is a strange thing about the process that was used to select the Nye County Manager, Les Bradshaw, and his special assistant, Rachel Nicholson. The strange thing about the process is that there wasn't any. These two people were appointed to the highest paid positions in Nye County government without the jobs even being advertised in a local paper. You can't even fill a part-time position for maintenance at the park without advertising it. That is, of course, if you want to abide by Nevada statute. To top it off Nicholson's position was created out of thin air within days, not weeks, of her being fired from her job at the district attorney's office. This action, which was apparently taken in total and complete violation of Nevada statutes, took place when the county was locked down in a hiring freeze back in the days when the Nye County Commission was still pretending that it cared about running a balanced budget. It seems to be more than obvious that a few key players have made an arbitrary decision that there is no way we, or at least they, can afford to not have Bradshaw and Nicholson on the county payroll. When the truth comes out you will find just the opposite to be title. Bradshaw and Nicholson, along with these key players, are THIS MAN'S OPINION code fendants in lawsuits that have exposed Nye County to damages in the tens of millions of dollars. These lawsuits have merit and the high priced lawyers out of Los Angeles and San Francisco that are representing the plaintiffs are not doing so just to pass the time of day. In some of these cases underlying lawsuits have already been won by the plaintiffs by summary judgements granted by the federal court in Las Vegas. For those readers who may not be aware: summary judgements are made and granted only in cases that are so clear and concise that the court can rule on the facts presented in pre- trial briefs without the case ever going to trial. Having served on a "blue ribbon committee" to select candidates for the city man- ager position for the city of Henderson, Nevada back in the mid- 1970s I am somewhat familiar with how the hiring process works for a high profile position when it works as intended. Each of the five members on the Henderson City Council selected a person from the community to sit on the selection committee. The job was advertised nationwide and over 170 applicants responded with a resume. Each of the committee members studied the resumes at home and selected what they felt were the top ten people out of all resumes submitted. A week later we had our first meeting. We shared our opinions with each other and it was decided to take a weighted vote. A person's top choice for the job was given 10 points - down.to one point for their tenth pick. The vote was taken and all the information on everyone's ballot was shared with everyone else. Not surprisingly, some of the same people showed up on just about everyone's ballot. The weighted vote showed some surprising irregularities to this rule. It was beautiful the way it worked because candidates representing special interest groups showed up like a sore thumb. For instance one of the committee members was well known by Brent Mathewson , ... I, " , o: resstons 1 . 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We adjourned the meeting and went home to review our picks and study each others choices. Of course any candidate that had received no votes was by then disqualified. A few days later we met again. At this second and last meeting we pulled the weight off the votes. We cast our ballots and tal- lied up the points. The cream came instantly to the top. We presented our top three picks to the city council to choose from in selecting their new city man- ager. It would have been impos- sible for them to make a bad choice. All three were diamonds. One thing you have to re- member is that these kinds of people don't last forever. It is almost impossible to stop them or even slow them down. They will stay long enough to establish a track record of excellence and then move on to what they consider new, better and bigger challenges. But as they climb that ladder, it is a recognized requitemon! at they stop and give 150 percent at cache rung ]ilon " way.. It i aprice that mt be paid in order to get to:m. :tl'" mi t to go. Communities like P ae.s like Nye could should be benefiting enor'ously ffoi!x sub,.h a siation. It is sad but tru 9 that Nye County is not.  -" . At the state level in Nevada, Nye County government is consid- ered nothing more than a joke, and a bad joke at that. Within the last two weeks four county employees have quit their jobs, allegedly because they no longer wisfied, or felt they could afford, to be associated with Nye County government. These people left well paid positions with excellent benefits. Two of them are now em- ployed at less than half their previous salary with little or no benefits. It is said they are not sorry to be gone. All four worked under the county manager and his special assistant's supervision. Since Bradshaw and Nicholson are both attorneys, and it is a well known fact that they both give legal advice to the Nye County Commission both in public and in private, it is a legitimate question to ask what type of quality is attached to the advice so received? Other than heing assured that they will he told whatever it is that they wish to be told, that's about it. I could give nearly countless examples of what I am talking about. Here is one: In mid-1995 the commission hired Nicholson away from tt district attorney s office and #[aff.l i.  newly created " : posmon called "special counsel to the commission,, or some such thing. The job description included duties that were the sole responsibility of the district attorney's office according to the Nevada Constitutio 1 challenged this action in a formal written complaint to th district attorney and the matter was agendized to be heard at the Nye County Co/nmission meeting. Aiegal brief was prepared in rebuttal to my position and made part of the backup material available to the commission for this ffgiteaL Although the legal brief was unsigned, it obviously came from the Nye County administration and since Bradshaw and. Nicholson were the only two lawyers working in administration, it is safe to assume that one or both of them prepared it. The legal briefs argument was based on an attorney general's opinion and, if memory services me correctly, it was AGO-80-3% Someone even had the gall to include a copy of the AGO as part of the brief. The AGO in que-,ion qomp[edely hacked my position and[ . #t tOnm.  w also based on an Azona Supreme Court decision that was precisely on point to the issue involved. Later on Dismct Attorney Bob Beckett, issued a written medm baoking my'poSition, In actuality there was little else any competent attorney could have done. While Bradshaw pulls down a salary that eclipses that of the governor of the state- this even after the governor recently received a hefty pay increase - and Nicholson's six figure cost tothe county is not far behind, it is reputed by people in positions to know that a large percentage of their time is spent trying to figure out how to defend themselves in upcoming l:ourt cases. If the past is a guide to the future, they will both he more than willing to spend the county's last dime in this hopeless cause. That is this man's opinion. Copydht 1997 by Blent Mathewson Bishop Veterinary Hospital  Tonopah Clinic i Dr. Lind will be in Tonopah JllP b August 6 Front downstairs office- 42 Belmont St. Appointments/Info, Call 482-6458 after 5 p.m. Dr. Linda will be in every other Wednesday 8 a.m.- 1 p.m.: Dogs, cats and other small animals, including spays, neutering, dentistry, minor surgery, etc. 1:30 p.m.. 3:30 p.m.: Horses, cows, etc. I 'I -'Tonopah5:30p.mto7:3Op.m.  1'] [ Round Mountain: 3:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. [| { Same dates as Tonopah Clinic I I )