WE DON’T KNOW IF STOREY COUNTY HAS AN OPIOID PROBLEM…ERIC SCHOEN AND TEAM WILL BE DOING AN ASSESSMENT TO SEE IF WE SHOULD JOIN IN THE STATES LAWSUIT AGAINST THE MANUFACTURERS
AFTER RECUSING HIMSELF ALL THESE YEARS….COMMISSIONER GILMAN NOW CLAIMS NO PECUNIARY INTEREST IN THE TRI GID AS THE SPECTER OF AN EMINENT DOMAIN LAWSUIT AGAINST THE GID LOOMS LARGE
FERRELL GAS HAS THE COUNTY PROPANE CONTRACT…NO OTHER BIDS CAME IN
VC AND GOLD HILL SEWER AND WATER RATES WERE APPROVED. THE INCREASES START IN 2021.
KRIS THOMPSON ASKED THE LORD TO STRIKE HIM DOWN DURING THE MEETING…JUDGING BY THE SMELL OF SULPHUR AT THE PODIUM I THINK THAT THE OTHER GUY MIGHT JUST DO IT
DON’T FORGET TO GET YOUR LADIES OF THE COMSTOCK CALENDARS AT THE SENIOR CENTER…THIS IS THEIR FUNDRAISER!!
By Nicole Barde
Staff updates were very brief and were done at the end of the meeting to accommodate some external presenters. The majority of the items are in Austin’s report.
Mike Northan, Public Works project manager, reported that progress on the Highlands Community Center evaluation is ongoing. In looking at several potential locations, the issues are in the cost of bringing in power, the well and septic. It looks as if the property adjacent to the fire station might be the best location.
Merilee Miller, Rainbow Bend Senior Center Board Member, thanked the Board and several key community members for their support in the last many years. She as well as the other Board members will be stepping down at the beginning of next year since the Center has hired a new Executive Director.
The first presenter was Dagney Stapleton from NACO ( Nevada Association of Counties) who gave an update of the various legislative activities they were involved in on our behalf. Chief among them were:
- The passage of the Diesel Tax process to allow Commissioners by their vote or thru ballot measures to increase that tax in their counties
- Workers Compensation rules
- Prevailing Wage ( from $250k to $100k threshold )
- Indigent Defense Reforms
- Public Records reform
The NACO Website has the status of all of the bills at the State and Federal level which they are involved in.
Next up was a discussion to consider whether the County will join the Federal litigation against the opiate manufacturers or go with the State’s separate action. They can not be in both actions. The Federal case currently has 43,000 cities and counties represented. It was stated that the “payout” of the Federal case, if it succeeds, for $1 Billion dollars would be about $10k. The individual State’s cases would have higher payouts.
It was noted that there was a legal firm that was doing all of the work in Nevada’s case. That there would be no cost to the counties for the research and legwork, that the firm will be doing in preparation for the State’s case and that the Counties can bill the legal firm for the time that their staffs spend in helping with that research. The firm is doing this on a contingent basis and would get paid by taking 25% of whatever settlement is reached after expenses.
These monies, if won, would go to reimburse the Counties for the expenses in dealing with the opioid crisis. Things like police activities, medical expenses, social services, indigent costs, etc. It will not go towards individuals who are affected.
Commission Chair Marshall McBride wanted to know if Storey County had an opioid problem. He said that if we had no problem then this was just a way to go after free money and that it didn’t feel right to him to claim it if the County didn’t incur any expenses.
Commissioner, brothel owner, TRI principal, former BLOCKCHAINS worker, aspiring hemp grower and new best friend to the city of Fernley Lance Gilman said that it costs us nothing to join the States lawsuit. That we should do that…its money to the county if we win …he made this statement twice during the discussion.
Commissioner Jay Carmona when asked what his thoughts were said that he had many but would not voice them.
During Public Comment resident Steve Ayers asked just exactly where will the money go if there is a payout, why wouldn’t it go to the individuals suffering from this addiction?
Eric Shoen, Executive Director of Community Chest, got up to say that he as well as the Senior Center, Sheriffs Office and Fire Department have an ongoing group who discuss and address these types of issues. They try and identify individuals who are struggling and develop individual care plans with full confidentiality.
Eric said that the population in Storey County who has this “problem” are our seniors. They were prescribed these medications for pain management and are afraid to come forward for fear that the prescriptions will be stopped.
Marshall asked Eric to work with that team to size the issue in Storey County and come back at the November 19th Commission Meeting with a recommendation.
Lance asked Eric to also look at our Veterans as part of his assessment activities.
SIDENOTE- First of all I was happy to see that Marshall wanted more information about this before committing the County to join a legal action. I also have to give him props for not wanting to take money if we suffered no harm. I was not surprised that Lance will take any and all “other peoples money” even if there is no injury to the county. I was not surprised that Jay said nothing.
I continue to be impressed and am so very grateful that we have Eric Schoen of Community Chest as well as Stacy York of the Senior Center actually providing social services in Storey County. They know what to do and how to do it. I look forward to hearing from them what our opioid issues are….and how to address them. This is not a simple or easy issue.
Before I go on , I have to say that I think that big pharma is the evil empire. They want us sick…..it’s good for business. Then there’s the government who wants those of us over a certain age to die because we are too expensive to keep alive. Between them there is a dark underbelly to all of this concern for our wellbeing. The drug was approved by the government so…..I don’t get it…..is the FDA incompetent? …a rhetorical question but I digress in the digression…
On the flip side…big pharma has also saved and made lives livable for millions and millions of people. So there we are.
Now, my next set of comments won’t make me any more popular or thinner than I already am but I have to say it…..I clearly don’t understand the opioid issue which requires massive lawsuits.
Big pharma made a drug that is highly addictive …to manage pain. That medication has a warning label…just like all the other addictive opioid drugs out there. People are aware that the drugs are addictive and are informed not to take them for too long. They are accountable for their own actions.
If some people are taking these drugs recreationally and are addicted who’s fault is that?
Doctors have been incentivized since forever to push drugs …nothing new here..is there?
How is it big pharma’s fault that people are addicted? Big pharma has been addicting people to all kinds of drugs forever….some of them actually save lives.
It also happens that this drug is highly effective at managing pain…some people really need it or its equivalent. I know some of those people….they hate that they have to take it but they do and accept the risks…they ARE afraid that the drug will be taken away and that their pain will cripple them. Why is the government telling them that they can’t have it, or any other drug beneficial to their quality of life? It’s between them and their doctors.
I understand the lawsuits against the tobacco companies…deceptive advertising, no disclosures, lying and lying, deliberately juicing the nicotine to make it addictive…this was corporate greed laid bare….and LOOK, they have come back with vape pens!!…..Another lawsuit in the making I’m sure.
As a former smoker I kept smoking long after the risks were disclosed…MY CHOICE…I blame no one.
As a soon to be borderline diabetic should I sue the sugar producers for type 2 diabetes…or drop the donut?
So again…I just don’t get it……we have choices and we make them…IF we have all of the information and keep making the same bad choice why are we blaming anyone but ourselves. We need to seek help to stop. Multiple times if necessary….but not blame anyone else…own it….not litigate it.
Folks TRULY trying to manage their pain have my sincere sympathy…the rest do not….drop the proverbial donut.
If Storey County doesn’t have a financial impact from this specific “crisis” outside of what we reasonably do as part of social services…I wouldn’t take the money. But then I have a conscience.
Unpopular digression over…..
The Commission approved the lease between the County and the TRI GID at the County’s TRI offices.
SIDENOTE- How odd….after recusing himself at the last meeting for having a pecuniary interest in the TRI GID Commissioner, brothel owner, TRI principal, former BLOCKCHAINS worker, aspiring hemp grower and new best friend to the city of Fernley Lance Gilman said that he didn’t need to recuse himself on this item anymore and voted in favor.
Hummmmm…wonder if the Nevada Independent article on the TRI GID and its eminent domain move against a private party has anything to do with that. You can’t eminent domain private property only to give it to another private party. Lance’s prior recusals for pecuniary interest in the TRI GID and this articles’ showcasing that all the people involved in the TRI GID are Gilman employees sure makes it look like the GID is a privately Lance controlled entity. The private land owner is taking the GID to court claiming that it’s not a public entity and can’t use eminent domain to take their land.
It’s raining lawsuits….
The next agenda item was the Waste Management “workshop” to discuss the new agreement and to push out its approval. The county has been in negotiations with WM for a while and needs a bit more time to nail down some of the language and terms of the new agreement. The whole thing is in the agenda packet but you can see a condensed version of the changes HERE. There will be several additions to service and support as well as some rate increases overall but seniors will get a 25% discount, the Highlands will get a recycling dumpster AND increased service days during heavy winter snow days, more types of items will be taken at the VC station and there will be vouchers for free “dump days” at the transfer stations.
There was one issue that still needs to be resolved. That is the issue of having additional service providers for the recycling pick up, specifically out at TRIC. Waste Management is an end to end service provider. They want to do ALL of the waste pickups including recycling. There are a few recyclers at TRIC who would like to continue to provide that service to their customers. One of those companies asked that they be allowed to continue doing business at TRIC.
During Public Comment on this item, I got up to say that I believed that allowing the free enterprise system to work it would result in better service by providing options to customers. That smaller companies are more nimble to making changes if there are issues and are hungrier for the business and so are more open to requests. I noted that Waste management has an exclusive lock on everything “waste” in all counties as far as I am aware of and that doesn’t allow me, as a customer, to look for a better deal when I need to have things hauled away.
Austin replied that there really aren’t other options since it is hard to get anyone up here to provide the types of services that we need. Waste Management is willing to brave our roads and the winter conditions to provide service.
Kris Thompson, Lance Gilman employee, got up to say first “ may God strike me down for agreeing to anything that the prior speaker says” ( referring to me) and asked the Commission to please not put barriers up to the recyclers. Let the little guys continue to do business at the Park…the companies out there are very “green” and need the services.
SIDENOTE– Uh…really uncalled for comment……but Kris Thompson’s request to the Lord went unanswered…..for now….but I think the other guy might have heard him….thought I smelled sulphur.
There was public comment asking that the rates be kept as they are for seniors since they are on fixed incomes.
The next item was the approval of the Propane contract with Ferrell Gas. At the end of the day, Ferrell was the only bidder. The other possible bidders were smaller companies who when they found out that the county didn’t own its propane tanks couldn’t bid due to the expense of THEM having to buy all the replacement tanks. Part of the discussion centered around the pro’s and con’s of the county buying their own tanks so that there would be more bidders next time. The county will do a cost-benefit analysis but the liability and the maintenance of the tanks was the main factor against.
The Virginia City and Gold Hill water and sewer rate increases were approved. The detail is in the agenda packet but the increases start in 2021 and vary from 2% to 3% thru 2024 then go to a CPI-based increase schedule thereafter.
Lastly, Stacy York from the Senior Center wasn’t able to talk about the WONDERFUL Ladies of the Comstock 2020 calendars. I told her I’d mention it for her.
This is the Centers fundraising effort and a follow on to the equally attractive Old Timers of the Comstock calendar of 2018. PLEASE show your support and go by and buy one!!
Here is a list of all the wonderful ladies that are featured in the calendar –
- The Gallagher Girls
- Rosso Sisters
- Marilou Walling and Doreen Bacus
- Verlys Avansino
- Karen Wesner and Squeek
- Dee Pearson and Zepha Bouvier
- Penny Kiechler
- Inez Hequet
- Inez Solaga Frady
- Barbara Garrett, Judy Ayer, Heather and Suzzette Beaupre
- Connie Carlson and Cindy Longoria