Pahrump Town Board Member Dr. Tom Waters said he’s not happy with the Nevada Supreme Court’s decision to uphold a vote that eliminates the town elected board and replaces it with one chosen by Nye County Commissioners.
“There will be no more elections for the town board,” said Waters, whose four-year term ends on Dec. 31. “The Nye County Commissioners will make those appointments in January. They have not yet stated what procedures they will use to make those selections and appointments.”
Earlier this month, the Nevada Supreme Court unanimously ruled the Nye County Commission was within its rights when it placed on the ballot a measure to dissolve the board. The measure passed narrowly in 2012 by a vote of 7,294 to 7,063.
The ballot measure was introduced amid resident complaints that the town board was unresponsive to citizens. A claim Waters denies.
The Pahrump Town Board oversees parks, ambulances, a fire department and a cemetery. Starting in January, those functions will be overseen by the five-member commission.
“It is my hope that the Nye County Commission will allow Pahrump to function as it does today, but with the oversight of the town advisory board,” Waters said. “Unlike today with the elected town board, they will also have a veto on any town advisory board actions.”
Waters cautioned commissioners not to balance the county’s $3.5 million budget deficit with funds designated for Pahrump. Waters said the town shouldn’t be penalized for having a balanced budget.
The board member said he supports efforts to incorporate the Town of Pahrump. Waters said it might be difficult, but he supports an effort by Pahrump Town Board Chairman Harvey Kulkin to get the question on the November ballot.
“Incorporation is supported by a large portion of Pahrump,” Waters said. “I fully support it being on the ballot to let residents decide. The last vote was in 2000. The number of voters has increased 48 percent since that vote, which means 48 percent of voters have not had a chance to voice their opinions.”
Waters acknowledged there are some very vocal opponents of incorporation, but Pahrump should asked “what the majority of the voters want.”
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