THE COUNTY MANAGERS JOB DESCRIPTION HAS BEEN APPROVED……BUT STILL NO CONSEQUENCES FOR PAT WHITTEN FOR HIS UN APPROVED SIPHONING OFF OF OVER $250K OF COUNTY FUNDS TO PAY FOR BONUSES…..GUESS $250,000 IS TOO SMALL FOR THE COMMISSIONERS TO CARE ABOUT
THERE WILL BE NO SHARING IN THE ( AS YET TO MATERIALIZE ) GUSHING OF RICHES COMING FORTH FROM TRI………..STILL NO PROPERTY TAX ROLLBACK/REBATE……….THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT AT LEAST THEY AREN’T RAISING OUR TAXES TO PAY FOR TRI INFRASTRUCTURE!
By Nicole Barde
This was a very short meeting. Several items were moved to next month’s agenda and the remainder of the items were fairly procedural. The majority of the items are covered in Pat Whitten’s summary.
The County Manager Job Description was approved in this meeting. The need for the job description was precipitated when Pat Whitten self-approved the disbursement of over $250k of bonuses to highly paid retirees in 2017. The Commission said that they knew nothing about it and as a result the Commission felt the need to define what authority the County Manager has. At the time this job description was discussed it was noted that the job description was for whoever comes after Pat Whitten…not for Pat himself you see since he’s doing such a great job.
SIDENOTE- Uh…what? It still amazes me. I reported it at the time. These words were actually said in the prior meeting where they were discussing Pat’s unauthorized disbursement of county funds.
But I digress…
During the discussion at a prior meeting it was discovered that Pat should have been given a performance appraisal each year and that it had never happened. So the Commission corrected that in this meeting with the addition of the requirement that the County Manager get a public appraisal each year. They also added the provision for an annual performance bonus for the County Manager as part of total compensation.
SIDENOTE- I had 2 people come to me after the meeting and ask about that bonus and how it could be appropriate in a government job. I told them that it’s standard practice. Bottom line the County has the option to give bonuses…in the case of the County Manager job it’s practically a requirement if you have to hire from the outside in order to compete for the best people. There is typically an employment contract as well.
BUT….since we know that they will never hire anyone from the outside into the County Managers job the bonus in my mind is just another way to siphon off more money to an insider.
But I digress…..
Jen Chapman, County Recorder, walked us thru the process and progress of the new systems implementation with Tyler Technologies. This will bring the County’s business end of IT processes into the 21st century. It’ll make it easier for all of us to access records and do business with the county. The implementation schedule is very tight and they are meeting the milestones. No small task. At this point it looks like they will come in right on or slightly under budget!
County Comptroller Hugh Gallagher gave an update on the second quarter budget actuals. Bottom-line things are on track and at the 50% point for most departments. Revenues are ahead of plan at 63% partly due to the fact that many of us pay our property taxes in a lump sum on July/August.
On the expense side most are on track but there will need to be augmentation ( increase in budget) for Community Development ( amount unknown) , The Public Defender ( $36k) , IT (~ $ 85k) , the Sewer project ( $150k) , Justice court ( $8k) , VCTC ( $ 303k-Pipers purchase) and Fire District ( $42k for truck) . You can find the detail in the agenda packet.
Next up was the approval of the Property Tax rate which was due to the Department of Taxation on this day. Hugh went thru the efforts that the county has gone thru in order to try and make Commissioner, TRI Principal and brothel owner Lance Gilman’s 2014 proclamation for shared wealth in TRI riches come true. He sent this letter to all residents in December of 2014.
Net-net…..no way to do it due to NRS and Department of Equalization rules. The intent is to have individual citizens share in the gushing of riches from TRI. Lance wanted a property tax reduction but based on Department of Equalization if you do for one you do for all. This means that if there is a property tax rollback it applies to ALL property tax payers including the companies at TRI. This means only the companies would see the lion’s share of any reductions….individual residents would only see about $18.
Hugh Gallagher had provided a spreadsheet which had the Storey County specific tax line items as well as a comparison of other tax districts. The decision was to leave taxes alone.
Next up was the interlocal agreement between the School District and the County for the use of Pipers Opera House. There was a clause in the agreement regarding the “display of personal property”. As this was discussed more it became obvious that no one knew what this meant.
I got up during public comment and said that we need to know exactly what the school district thinks is THEIR “personal property” since when they got Pipers from the Board of Pipers ( I was on that board) Pipers had a great deal of property in it already. I noted that Pipers has been looted over the last 100 plus years. People have walked away with many of her treasures and that we can’t agree to have any more of them taken out.
Commission Chair Marshall McBride agreed that we needed to look at this and probably do an inventory. This item was postponed until the March meeting in order to get this better defined.
Lastly there was the approval of Resolution 18-482 which sets forth a process for a business to object to “the adoption of a rule” by Storey County which impacts its business. This was described as a procedural item required by NRS. It’ll be interesting to see who will use it.