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Pahrump Mirror
Pahrump, Nevada
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December 11, 1997     Pahrump Mirror
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December 11, 1997
 

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Night and day, in Nye County, Nevada There is a ground swell of change that is beginning to take place in Nye County. By definition a ground swell is, "a violent swelling or rolling of the ocean, caused by a distant storm or earthquake." Just as the riders on a ship in the ocean, both captain and crew, may be unaware that they are riding a ground swell, the captain and crew of Nye County, represented by the Nye County Com- mission and the Nye county Manager, Les Bradshaw, and his assistant Rachel Nicholson, are equally ignorant of events taking place beneath their feet. Whether this ignorance is caused by a conscious effort not to look or a lackadaisical attitude and belief that the masses sim- ply don't care, is irrelevant. The fish in the ocean are aware when a ground swell exists, and behave in an erratic and unpredictable manner un- der such conditions. Also, the largerground swells are always the precursors of the "tsunami" (a tidal wave) and tidal waves, although always somewhat destructive, have proven over time to be effective in removing the trash and unwanted and unneeded garbage from the beaches of the world. The ground swell of change that is taking place in Nye County is personified by a gradual awareness of the citizens of this county, (the fish in the ocean) that there is something horribly wrong with the manner in which taxpayer funds are being expended. Although in the past, Nye County politics and the expenditure of taxpayers money has historically seldom been pretty, at least keepers of the purse strings had the wherewithal to stay within the perimeters of a balanced budget. And, at the same time, they gave at least a passing glance at the restrictions placed upon them by the Nevada Constitution and the laws of the state of Nevada as depicted in the Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS). A close review of expenditures of taxpayers money over the last half decade - since the time that Payment Equal To Taxes (PETI') fund allocations have been available to Nye County - reveals that these funds have been more of a curse than a blessing. Very little, if any, benefit of these additional funds has trickled down to benefit the average Nye County citizen. Au contraire, the amount of available resources expended to fund excessively high priced "consultants," county management and "sweetheart deals" beneficial to only a chosen few that Nye County chooses to do business with, have accelerated exponen- tially. [A note to the reader at this time: a preliminary review investigation by the Nevada Department of Taxation - as to the financial condition of Nye County - that was originally antici- pated to be wrapped up by the end of November, 1997, has been expanded. Due to this expansion, and the fact that pertinent state and county officials necessary to the completion of this investi- gation will be taking mandatory leave during the month of December, 1997, (use it or lose it) the preliminary/review will extend into the month of January, 1998.] The fact that top Nye County officials are dragging down six figure salaries, ($100,000 per year plus) is not even debatable. All county employees that care to be aware are cognizant of this fact. That fact that some media in Nye County has published information that would tend to give the casual reader the impres- sion that these salaries do not in fact reach this level is indicative that someone, somewhere, must be embarrassed as to admitting what their cost to the taxpayers truly represents. PETr funds are, and have been from the beginning, expended as if it was somehow "free" money. This attitude has for some- time been cemented into the mind set of the Nye County Commission. When, and if, an individual, who is completely uneducated, and for that reason ignorant in financial matters, receives an unexpected windfall inheritance because some long lost aunt or uncle has died, or if such an individual should hit a large jackpot on one of the local slot machines, the changes are great that the fortune that he or she holds briefly, right in the palm of their hands, will soon be wasted as if it had simply blown away in the wind. The vast majority of PEIT money is expended in exactly this manner. But the problem is worse than that and more insidious for it. The disease of the mind set of theNye County Commission as to how the expenditure of PEYF money should be handled has jumped the barrier around these funds and now permeates the entire Nye County budget. Prior to the arrival of PETT funds on the scene the county historically ran a healthy end fund balance at the end of each fiscal year. To intentionally attempt to do otherwise is fiscal insanity and every successful owner of a tact stand understands this principle. Yet, the Nye County Commission and Adminis- tration do not. They are more than willing, even eager, to blame the economic failure presently taking place itl Nye County on anyone and everyone but themselves. In fact, on numerous occasions these people have looked the public dead in the eye and claimed that the State of Nevada demands that they plan a budget with a zero balance at the end of the fiscal year. This is such a giant lie that there are even some uninformed members of the Nye County Commission that believe it. The more informed members think it has a nice ring to it. The average citizen, sitting in darkness, is unprepared for a lie of this magni- tude. Most people are basically good in their individual hearts, THIS MAN'S OPINION by Brent Mathewson minds and souls, and because of this basic goodness cannot comprehend - are basically defenseless - when an outrageous lie is told to them to their face by an elected or appointed official. But you cannot fool all of the people, all of the time, forever. The basic precept, presently practiced by the Nye County Commission and the county manager- that if they simply spend all available county resources and then come up short of revenue with which to finance fundamental services to the public, then the public can be coerced into shouldering additional tax burdens - is beginning to be understood and questioned by the public at large. This ground swell of public awareness is not attributable to any single individual in Nye County. The manifestation of knowledge is a much more com- plicated organism than that. Much to the demise of the present power structure in Nye County this pro- cess cannot now be stopped by the simple expedient of chopping off a single head, much as they may care to do just that. Riding this same tide of public awareness is a growing manifest feeling and acknowledgment that the tremendous influx of rules, regulations and restrictions presently being imposed county wide by Nye County govern- ment are not conducive to the ability to enjoy a rural lifestyle. In fact, public officials, and some well meaning residents, are on record as stating that our rural lifestyle - the very thing that anchors the preciousness of how we care to live our lives - is outdated, and must be cast aside, so that we may "progress." At about this time in their argument, the ugly head of the giant lie again rears itself. We are told, for instance, that because of the limited availability of the precious resource of water in Pahrump Valley that a moratorium on the parceling of land must and has been put in place in order to protect the "safety and welfare" of the people of Pahrump Valley. This moratorium is nothing less than a criminal joke. The effect of this moratorium is at exact opposites to the reason it was supposedly put in place. The only parceling of land that has been stopped by this moratorium is the type of parceling that would be necessary to accommodate a rural type of development, i.e., (the splitting of a ten acre parcel into four 2 1/2 acre parcels, minus rights of way). Such a parceling of land would result in four families occupying ten acres of land. This type of parceling is no longer allowed. What is allowed is the parcelling of this same ten acres into 48 high density homesites or (worse), well in excess of 200 apartments, condominiums or the like. To make the claim that this type of land development will somehow save available water resources flies in the face of third grade arithmetic. The methods in which Nye County taxpayers money has been needlessly wasted has been partially covered in previous articles in this column. The purpose of this particular article is not, and has not been, to specifically target incidents of waste, fraud or corruption on the part of Nye County officials. For this specific moment in time, it is enough to remind the electorate that the present makeup of the majority of the Nye County Commission, and the top most level of adminis- trative staff, are not your friends. In the end result, after all is said and done, it is important to remember that the real power belongs to the people, if and when they choose to use it. There will be more said about that in future columns. For now, the darkness that the present Nye County Com- mission and Nye County Man- ager choose to envelope them- selves in reminds me of an ancient proverb: [A rabbi was giving instruc- tion to some children, when he posed this question: "How do you know the night is over the day has come?" Puzzled, the children took some time to answer. Then one of them ventured, "You know the night is over the day has come when, at dawn, you look out at a tree, and you can tell whether it is an apple tree or a pear tree." The rabbi acknowledged this response, but repeated the question. A second student of- fered, "You know the night is over and the day has come when you see an animal in the Pahrump Valley Gazette, Thursday, December I1, 1997 19 distance, and you can tell whether it is a donkey or a horse." The rabbi acknowledged this response too, then repeated the question. At this the students, too puzzled to know how to answer, asked the rabbi to solve the dilemma he had posed. The rabbi said, "You know the night is over and the day has come when you look into the eyes of any human being, and you see there your brother or your sister; for, if you do not see your brother or your sister, it is still night - the day hasn't come."] Because of the present makeup of the Nye County Commis- sion, it is still night in Nye County. But the day will come...The day will come. That is this man's opinion. copyright 1997 by Brent Mathewson Monitoring Service Available For Homes & Business Immediate Communicatton and Obseation During Child Visitation - Personal 727.1609 Harrassment/intimidation Latch Key Children GOOD OLE BOBS Mail n ' Message Western Union Mail Services Packing & Shipping Storage (lnits Available Dusiness Cards Encjraving Each year, more than 6.000 children like Adam learn all about cancer and other catastrophic illnesses when they're stricken with deadly diseases. 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