Public administrator updates commissioners

Churchill County’s public administrator gave commissioners an update of 2017 activities at last week’s commission meeting.

Bob Getto said every case that comes into his office is different, but because of the implementation of a good cross-checking system and multiple sources, his office is able to resolve issues more efficiently that deal with property left by deceased residents.

“We have a good source of vendors to help and be credible and willing,” he said, adding most cases come from different sources such as funeral homes and the county’s social services. “My relationship with county services is strong. I’m also working with five to six private attorneys, and they have been helpful in executing my job.”

According to Churchill County’s description, “the public administrator may administer a deceased person’s estate in accordance with the Nevada Revised Statute 253. Generally speaking, the public administrator has the responsibility to administer the estates of those individuals who pass without the benefit of a will.”

His immediate duties include visiting the site where a person died, work with the next of kin, search and build an inventory of items left behind. Getto must also meet 16 hours per year with private attorneys, eight hours with the district attorney and four hours with social services.

A full description of a public administrator’s duties may be found at under departments.

Getto said he has worked hard since he was elected in 2014 because he said the public administrator acts as the eyes of the public. The first-term public administrator, though, told commissioner the duties of his office are far more extensive than what many envision. The salary of the elected office, he said, is not commensurate with the amount of work.

During the 2017 legislative session, he said, with the help of Assemblywoman Robin Titus, District 38, lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 310, which is the first step in increasing pay for public administrators.

“They need to be paid for the work they do,” he said. “Each individual county decides what each public administrator is worth to them.”

Getto said the provisions of AB310 do not begin until the next budget year that commences on July 1.

During 2017, he said his office received almost 600 incoming calls. He also assisted Lyon County, which received 409 calls. Currently, he said Churchill County has 14 open cases. During the past three years, Getto said his office has closed 12 cases.

“These cases become labor intensive,” he said.

“We appreciate the work and date you obtained to do your job,” said County Manager Eleanor Lockwood.

Commission Chairman Pete Olsen agreed.

“I feel comfortable of how it’s (duties) being handled, and your people are getting help,” he said.

Commissioner Bus Scharmann said he appreciates the professionalism Getto has brought to the office.

The public administrator, along with other county offices, will begin working on their budgets for fiscal year 2018. Getto said it takes about $14,500 annually to run his office.

Commissioners discussed or took action on the following agenda items:

Approved 3-0 a Community Services Block Grant Sub-Recipient Agreement between Churchill County Social Services and the Churchill Community Coalition. According to Social Services Director Shannon Ernst, this will expand the Behavioral Health Resource Liaison and Elderly Resource Liaison programming to Churchill County under the guidance of her office. The amount is $22,293 for fiscal year 2018.

Tabled any action on leasing the Wild Goose Ranch. No written or oral bids were received. Deputy District Attorney Benjamin Shawcroft said the county will open bids with a deadline of Friday. Commissioner Carl Erquiaga said ranchers have told him the lease price is too high.

Tabled to the first meeting and declaration of written bids for the public auction of county-owned property on Testolin Road.

Passed 3-0 to adopt an ordinance to make additions to Title 16 Consolidated Development Code that sets forth regulations to development standards for renewable energy facilities.

Approved 3-0 an application from Andrew and Karla Craig for a sending site and transfer of development rights calculation for properties located on 4405 Schurz Highway.

Reappointed Getto and Tom Riggins to the Churchill County Board of Equalization and appointment of Charlie Arciniega as alternate. Appointed Getto as chairman and Jeff Goings as vice chairman.

Approved 3-0 four applications to the State Revolving Fund Loan Program. Applicants are Sand Creek back-up wells, Bottom Road water Main extension, Lattin Road sewer extension and Churchill County Golf Course sewer connection.

Approved 3-0 to submit parcel sets on the Dodge Ranch properties in support of the county’s application to the Nevada Resource Conservation Services for the potential purchases of two conservation easements.

Approved the removal of penalties and interest attached to a lien imposed in 2006 against property at 9535 Reno Highway. Shawcroft said the property’s value is between $25,000 to $45,000, but he said the starting bid should begin at $35,000.

Approved 3-0 a parcel map for Gary and Danette Laca for property at 4700 Conrad Place.

Approved reversion of acreage for Jay Norton Munger for Hazen property at 400 California St., and an adjacent lot, also owned by him.

Approved 3-0 part-time office assistant for the Planning Department.

Approved 3-0 to transfer funds, $250,000, to the Road Department for fiscal year 2018 for various road and bridge projects for the second quarter.


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