Letters to The Editor for March 28
March 27, 2019
Saving money cost county in tires
I've read the letters to the editor regarding Tiregate and for the most part I see a modern vigilante mentality. The person who did this is gone. Who can realistically be hung in his place? Reports use the word "purchased" when describing how people obtained the tires and or parts. The definition of purchased is: acquired (something) by paying for it. What Mr. Oakden did with the money people gave him was pocket it and that is the truth of the matter.
County commissioners whose responsibility it is to approve the annual budget is where the buck should have stopped. I don't know how they do their jobs now but in the past the commissioners spent hours and days poring over the budgets to ensure that they knew where the money was going. Knowing what was spent the previous years and looking at the projections. It takes time and scrutiny to ensure our funds are properly distributed. When times were tight how could these increases been missed?
When the recession hit, the county wanted to save money by eliminating jobs and combining sections. In the end it cost far more than the savings desired. Checks and balances were gone. Jobs were combined over working staff, and areas that had different supervisors for each section were combined into one. Managers were given far more responsibility and jobs than they were able to efficiently handle, so they trusted the department heads. The old adage, you get what you pay for is glaring in this situation. If you calculate the loss over the years Oakden worked for the county it averages to $149,000 per year. A person in finance whose job it would be to monitor spending might have caught this and had the time to research the increase. It would have cost us far less.
Let's spend some more money on this thing and have another Grand Jury. I doubt very much it will change the current outcome. How do you make people pay again for what they've already purchased? Also in 2012 when the questions arose, an investigation was conducted and a report was given to the county manager who did very little to make the whole thing stop. So he's gone and it's off with their heads for those left. Government works far differently than private business. You follow protocol, which is what Mark Jackson did.
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Why wasn't Oakden arrested right away? Laws are in place for a reason. If the District Attorney's office got warrants to arrest people before they found enough substantial evidence our county would be sued on a continual basis.
The reference to the "good old boys" I find really funny. In both instances when the county had a situation where money was embezzled, those people were hired from somewhere else to work here. I don't recall anything like this happening when a local "good old boy" was in charge.
Sprinkler all new homes
On April 4, the East Fork Fire District will present a new Automatic Sprinkler Code for consideration by the Douglas County Board of Commissioners. Within this code are important new automatic sprinkler regulations concerning NEW residential construction.
For some reason East Fork has chosen to exclude new homes less than 5,000 square feet that are located 1,000 feet or less from a fire hydrant. This, despite a trend in the West to not exclude any new residential homes from a required sprinkler system, regardless of size or proximity to a fire hydrant.
Henderson, Las Vegas and the entire state of California require residential automatic fire sprinkler systems for all new one and two-family dwellings. The Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District also has joined this trend. What makes East Fork different?
In the documents presented to commissioners last week there are other criteria like "High Wildland Fire Hazard Classification Area" and "Building Height." It is unclear how East Fork's yet to be defined Wildland-Urban Interface Code will affect the sprinkler requirement.
A criterion that is missing in East Fork's document is response time. A fire hydrant is an inanimate object until the fire fighters and their apparatus arrive. Even then, using the hydrant can be problematic as it was in last year's James Canyon fire. Reno sets their sprinkler code response time at six minutes.
In 2004 Reno lost four homes in the Melody Lane subdivision before the fire department arrived. In 2008 history repeated itself when they lost another six homes in the same area. (Google "Melody Lane Fire Reno Nevada").
East Fork Fire District should require residential automatic sprinkler systems in all new construction of one- and two-family dwellings. This is especially true in the Wildland-Urban Interface.
Open letter to Dina Titus
Ms. Titus I feel that you owe the law enforcement agencies of Nevada an apology for your comment on the news that "they are thumbing their nose at the law."
Our law enforcement officers work long and tirelessly to protect us and for that we are forever grateful.
The facts are they, as well as myself and many other law abiding citizens, do not agree that Senate Bill 143 would help prevent criminals from committing crimes. Simply because it is poorly written and would task our law enforcement agencies to uphold a law that may not be completely constitutional.
May I remind you that just a few short weeks ago the Douglas County sheriff, along with the Carson City and Washoe County sheriff departments apprehended a murderer that was in this country illegally. And, by the way, he stole the guns he used to commit his crimes.
Law abiding citizens have no problem with background checks for firearms. But poorly written bills that make felons of families and friends will not serve to curtail nor control criminal actions.
And in closing, I might remind you as well as other elected officials, when you took office you swore an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States.