Smacked of collusion |

Smacked of collusion


The Record-Courier editorial entitled “Careful when using the hammer” was certainly on the mark. I am referring to the outrageous act of four of the five county commissioners who, at the very first county commissioners meeting of the New Year on Jan. 3, 2011, politically purged three incumbent planning commissioners up for reappointment. Vice-chair Nancy McDermid offered up a sorry explanation that this was about bringing fresh faces onto the Planning Commission. To his credit, the lone dissenter was Commissioner Doug Johnson who was incredulous over the lack of notice to these three planning commissioners.

One of the purged planning commissioners was Lawrence Howell who ran an excellent campaign against Commissioner McDermid in the November election and lost by a very narrow margin. Obviously this was his punishment. Likewise, another planning commissioner ousted was Rick Ross who manages the Topaz Inn which made a campaign contribution to Dave Brady’s campaign who lost to the newest county commissioner, Lee Bonner.

The old political mindset prevailed – “reward your friends; punish your enemies.”

Character does show, as Lincoln says, under these circumstances. Just plain mean spirited vindictiveness is the name of this game.

Speaking (facetiously) of “fresh faces,” one of the new appointees is Don Miner, a former county commissioner and a former paid consultant to Park Cattle Company who undoubtedly will again (after a previous defeat) seek a major master plan amendment and zoning change to accommodate their development plans. Maybe that’s what County Commissioner Greg Lynn was referring to when he stated that in “dealing with growth and agriculture (we) need a different perspective and different interpretation.” The question is whether Don Miner will recuse himself from voting on any future Park’s project? He should, but I doubt it. So much for “fresh faces.”

The quickness of their vote to oust these three planning commissioners, without any discussion or debate of consequence, raises a suspicion in my mind of prior communications between these four county commissioners (or through some agency) as to a forthcoming agenda item in violation of the State’s open meeting law. Since the District Attorney’s office is charged with the duty of representing the Board of County Commissioners, you can expect no help from that office to investigate this matter on behalf of the voting public. Therefore, anybody with information of how it came about that four commissioners could simultaneously agree, without any significant public discussion, to oust these three incumbent planning commissioners should write to the Office of the Attorney General, State of Nevada, Investigations Division, 100 N. Carson Blvd, Carson City, NV 89701-4717 telephone (775) 684-1100 with such information and request an investigation.

John H. Garvin