Theo McCormick: Strip-mining damages Silver City’s quality of life

For the last eight years, I have performed public service in Lyon County. During the last four years, I’ve served as a member of the Lyon County School Board. Previously, for four years, I was a member of the Silver City Advisory board. I am an active director on the Nevada Association of School Boards and an active member of the Teacher and Leaders Council. I have enjoyed my time serving the children of Nevada and Lyon County and I have learned an incredible amount.

Unfortunately, I’m conflicted for time and money by a distressing problem. My hometown, Silver City, has been partially rezoned by the Lyon County commissioners contrary to the county’s master plan and in a reversal of more than 40 years of consistent zoning for the town, against the wishes of the town’s people, against the Lyon County Planning Commission recommendations, and against the County’s own policy, from a residential area to an industrial zone by a master plan and zoning change that will ultimately lead to strip-mining within the town limits. This change was brought about by an outside mining company, Comstock Mining, that persuaded four of five commissioners to make our town a sacrifice zone for special interests. These four Lyon County commissioners are responsible for a decision that will ultimately bring strip-mining to a residential town and impoverish an entire Lyon County community by destroying its residential property values in exchange for some big, empty promises, a few political donations and a few jobs from Comstock Mining for some commissioners’ relatives and friends.

The effect of this decision on my quality of life and property values is huge. I was relying on my real estate investments in Silver City to retire on. I own a Silver City home built in the 1970s, with an adjacent building lot. I have been saving money and planning on building a new home on the building lot. With the threat of open-pit mining in the town limits and the final go ahead from the commissioners just one vote away, my property is now nearly worthless.

I find I must spend my time defending my town from open-pit mining and raising money to fight Lyon County government. It’s ironic that I will now be spending my free time defending myself from Lyon County instead of advocating for the children in the county.

While there is some chance that this master plan change will be reversed, it will be a long journey and will take a lot of Lyon County citizens’ time and money. If we lose and strip mining begins in Silver City, I will have no choice but to move out of the area for my family’s health and well-being.

This unfortunate decision by the Lyon County commissioners leaves me no time for my duties as a School Board trustee. Effective immediately, I must resign my position on the board and all committees I am serving on. I apologize for the inconvenience this may cause the district administration and board members, but I’m sure you can understand where my priorities must lie.

I want to be clear to everyone, the Lyon County School District is not associated or related to the Lyon County commissioners or the Lyon County government. I am proud of the Lyon County School District and would love to continue serving on the School Board, but my time and money must now be spent fighting for the survival of my hometown.


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