FOR A TRANSPARENCY GRADE OF ZERO THE COUNTY DID NOT POST AN OPENING ON THE BOARD OF EQUALIZATION BEFORE APPOINTING A FAMILIAR FACE …BAD HABITS DIE HARD…
IN WHAT HE WILL SOON CALL FAKE NEWS , COMMISSIONER MCBRIDE SAID IN THE MEETING THAT THEY FILLED THE BOARD POSITION FROM A LIST OF PEOPLE THAT THEY KNOW….APPARENTLY, YOU AND I ARE NOT ON THAT SHORT LIST…WE WILL NEVER BE ON THAT LIST…WE WON’T EVEN GET TO APPLY TO THAT LIST…EVER
THE COMMISSION VOTED TO LEAVE THE PROPERTY TAX RATE AS IS… 10TH YEAR IN A ROW! NOW IF ONLY THEY WOULD FREEZE THE VALUATION RATE SO OUR TAXES WOULDN’T GO UP IN REALITY.
LOCKWOOD COMMUNITY CORPORATION NEGOTIATED A GREAT DEAL WITH THE COUNTY AND WILL GET 2019 ROAD EXPENSES REIMBURSED TO THEM WHEN THEY GIVE PERI ROAD OVER TO THE COUNTY TO MAINTAIN
COMMUNITY CHEST IN VC STILL HAS OPENINGS IN THEIR CHILDCARE CLASS
LOCKWOOD RESIDENTS HAVE SUBMITTED OVER 200 SIGNATURES TO NDOT TO FIX THE I80 ON RAMP WHICH IS A TRAGEDY WAITING TO HAPPEN
The summaries cover most of the procedural issues. I’ll cover the rest.
At the beginning of the meeting, I asked that an item on the consent agenda be moved to the regular agenda. Items on the consent agenda are typically very procedural and get passed in whole without discussion or input. I noticed that there was an appointment to the Board of Equalization for a 4-year term and asked that it be brought forth to the general agenda for discussion. They agreed.
I asked if the position had been posted and was told no. Commissioner and fake Fake News caller Marshall McBride said that they had a list of people that they thought would be interested and approached one of those people. He said that the Board only meets a couple of times a year and they needed someone ASAP since Laura Kekule had resigned from that board and a meeting was coming up.
I suggested that they appoint someone on an interim basis then post the position for the permanent position for the full 4-year term and they agreed.
SIDENOTE– Bad habits die hard. While the County is posting more and more of the jobs and positions that they have open I guess this time they forgot. I can understand having to make an INTERIM appointment in a rush if there is a meeting coming up and someone suddenly resigned moments before that meeting but Laura left several months ago….plenty of time to post the job in the Chronicle and Facebook so this was not a surprise and they had a lot of time to post it. Also, they made it a permanent, not an interim appointment which indicates to me that they had no intention of posting it regardless of lead time.
The Commission has been operating off of a list of the same familiar and friendly people to fill positions for decades so I guess all this pesky “public microscope of inspection and reporting” on their deals, practices and process must be throwing them for a loop and they went back to the old ways. Thankfully Marshall admitted that they have this special list and now we can all apply at least to be on the secret list if not to the unposted positions….
Edna Cudworth from the Lockwood Community announced that they had collected over 200 signatures which will get submitted to NDOT asking that the Lockwood onramp to I80 be fixed before a tragedy happens. This has been a longstanding issue and hopefully, NDOT will take action.
The next two agenda items were about the Lockwood Peri Ranch Road easement from LCC to the County. This has been in discussions for a while and having the county maintain it is in the best interest of both the community and the County. The turnaround, in particular, has been an issue for Waste Management to navigate and the County can ensure that the space allotted will be safe. LCC did some extensive road work in 2019 and they will get that reimbursed. LCC will still own the road but the easement will allow the County to maintain it.
SIDENOTE- I hope that if/when the County assumes maintenance of Cartwright Road in the Highlands that the HOA gets reimbursed for the ton of money they spent on it last year.
Item #9 was the approval of the $206k contract to purchase all of the equipment needed for the Gold Hill Treatment facility. It was approved.
SIDENOTE– If you want to see what it takes to go through with one of these contracts….ie the many, many hoops and many many provisions that have to be read thru and agreed to ….see the actual documents in the packet. It is BLINDING the amount of minutia and legally required language that it contains. Hats off to the folks who do that for us!
But I digress….
Next up is the ceding of USA Parkway bridge over the Truckee back to the state so that NDOT can own and be responsible for the maintenance of the bridge. It is a convoluted process due to the Lands provisions but bottom line it saves the county money in maintenance and returns that property to the folks who should have been doing the maintenance in the first place.
Item #12 was the approval of up to $45,000 to have all of the roads in the county surveyed. Of particular mention was County Road 45 which goes thru the Highlands to Lockwood and TRIC. Austin noted that this survey will give the county a definitive picture of what they have and the exact locations of the roads. The location of County Road 45 has been in question for a while.
Item #13 was the appointment of an Interim County Comptroller, Jennifer McCain, currently the assistant.
SIDENOTE– Where is Hugh Gallagher? He was there the last meeting and back slaps all around so….?
Item #14 was the approval by the Commission for leaving the property tax rate as it is. Commissioner and fake Fake News caller Marshall McBride stated that it was the 10th year in a row that they left the tax rate the same.
SIDENOTE– While it is ALWAYS good to not increase taxes why do I pay more each year? Oh, because the valuation keeps going up and so does the assessment….they want kudos for not raising the underlying tax rate but do nothing to affect the continued increases on the tax base. They say that they need that money…but wait..we are the richest place on earth swimming in money according to Commissioner, brothel owner, TRI principal, former BLOCKCHAINS worker, aspiring hemp grower and new best friend to the city of Fernley Lance Gilman. According to him at last years town hall meetings he said that we are swimming in cash and can all build swimming pools in each of our communities if we want!!
I am still waiting for the property tax relief promised by Lance in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and beyond. If we are the richest place on earth why do I pay more in Storey County taxes each year? Oh, wait…..the County needs the revenues from me and my neighbors because of the corporate welfare doled out to Tesla and the other multi-billion dollar companies at TRIC….OK..sure….just keep raising my taxes so TRIC can thrive…
A Special Use Permit (SUP) was approved for the building of a watchman quarters at the new 150 space RV park out at TRIC.. It will be located just outside Tesla and its main occupants will be tradespeople working out there….not a vacation spot. It was stated that the RV park will be subject to the same ordinance as short-stay properties and will pay room tax as well as have a limit to how long people can stay..ie..at or under 30 days. It was stated by a member of the Planning Commission that there is a bit of conflict with the building code and the Master Plan with the watchman’s quarters but that they feel that they can iron all of that out. They didn’t want to hold up progress on that account.
SIDENOTE– I’ll be interested to see how this turns out. If the use of a watchman’s quarters violates the master plan as far as what’s commercial vs what’s industrial and how you can use the land then does it have any implication as to what is residential and how you define “transient vs extended stay”? Musk made the statement a while ago that he wanted to have a full campus and residential housing on the Tesla property…against the Master Plan …does this SUP pave the way to doing that? Is the County beginning its steep bend over for Musk?
I will always remain a skeptic because money talks for those who have billions…….but not for residents …..
Potentially costly digression….
Next up was the signing of an MOU ( memorandum of understanding) with Comstock Mining (CMI). CMI got a Special Use Permit in 2014 and renewed it again in 2018. Part of the terms of that permit was the CMI contribute a percentage of their revenues towards historic preservation in Virginia City and Gold Hill. The monies are to be paid into the Comstock Foundation, an entity established by CMI, and then spent on various projects on the Comstock. When the SUP was established there wasn’t the requisite MOU for this stipulation. Today’s agenda item was to formalize the MOU. According to Austin CMI has been living up to the spirit of the SUP with regard to historic preservation. It was mentioned that Erich Obermayr, a resident, had submitted a letter asking that there be an audit of all of the funds in and out of the Foundation. Austin said that he didn’t know if an audit was necessary but that they would look at doing an overall assessment.
During Public Comment, Scott Jolcover, Project Manager for CMI got up and read a statement outlining how much money CMI had invested in historic preservation and some of the projects that it went towards. He further stated his outrage at Eric Obermeyer’s insinuation that it was a money scheme of CMI CEO Corrado DeGasparis.
SIDENOTE- Eric Obermeyer’s letter was not part of the packet so there is no way to know what he actually said….SO…..we’ll never know what his issues actually were and what, if any, examples or evidence he may or may not have cited to assert that Corrado DeGasparis was using the Foundation as a money-laundering vehicle.
But I digress……
During Public Comment at the end of the meeting Lockwood resident, Louise Pena mentioned that Lockwood had a disastrous weekend when I80 closed down and the big rigs and others came thru the neighborhood. She indicated that NHP had directed the trucks thru Lockwood and that two of the rigs got stuck and caused damage and issues. She said that the sheriffs deputy couldn’t help them when called since he was at TRIC. She said that the Community needed help with this issue since it happens repeatedly. She further stated that it was her mission to get Sheriff’s coverage of the community 24/7 365 days a year. That they deserve it.
Austin said that he would draft a letter to NHP asking them to stop the practice.
Sheriff Antinoro said that he has spoken to NHP several times about this but that the truckers use their GPS to find the alternate route thru the community and that it’s hard to stop. There is signage that says no truck traffic which gets ignored. He also stated that it’s not economically feasible to have 24/7 patrols in Lockwood.
Edna Cudworth, Lockwood resident, commended the Sheriff and the deputies for all they do. She also stated that the trucks have no regard for children and that the kids are out of school at 3:30 and have been endangered by these trucks…FedEx being the worst offender.
SIDENOTE– I guess people don’t remember the time when Commissioner, brothel owner, TRI principal, former BLOCKCHAINS worker, aspiring hemp grower and new best friend to the city of Fernley Lance Gilman read a passionate statement to censure Sheriff Jerry for imagined slights and crimes and the ensuing budget cutting that his department had to endure for the next several years. I guess the sight of the courtroom packed full of residents in opposition to the Sheriffs budget getting slashed has faded. I guess the continued cutting and squeezing of the budget has escaped memory…and now people wonder why the resources are spread thin…
And with that, the meeting ended…..