I would like to respond to Cheryl Nakashimas’ letter in the July 26-August 1 edition of the Ely Times.
Regarding the “unfair” assessment of the Times building; there was initially some confusion on the part of the writer as to which building was the building in question. The recall statement that appeared in the paper was a rough draft that was inadvertently released to the media before it could be checked for mistakes and refined. This error was corrected in the final version that is on the recall petition.
The actual Times building was designed as a newspaper office. It does not appear that the costs associated with re-engineering this building to provide County office space has been considered using hard data but rather somebody’s best guess.
The problem, as we see it, is this. While we agree the aquatic center would be a nice asset for the County, is it wise to proceed at this time with an expensive project of this magnitude when the County Annex building has serious issues and needs to be replaced?
The cost of this undertaking is, in itself, going to be expensive. The County currently has fund balances that came about in large part because the Ruth Mine had made a large purchase of new equipment, and also a tax infusion from the recently completed wind-farm in Spring Valley, resulting in a one-time tax wind-fall for White Pine County. Such wind-falls are not a regular occurrence. In fact, considering the history of other mining companies in the Ruth Area, over the last thirty years, can anyone really say if the mine will still be here next week, next month or next year? It is not an unusual occurrence for a mining company to be touting how they are in the community for the long haul…right up to the day they shut down. The County cannot depend on the mine, or any mine for that matter, to continue to contribute to its tax base.
To commit the County to multiple major building projects simultaneously seems reckless and irresponsible, especially in these tough economic times. Would it not be more prudent to proceed with one such project at a time, starting with the one of greatest need, complete it and then examine the County’s financial situation before proceeding on to the next one? As individuals, we are expected to live without our means. Government needs to do the same. The main difference between reckless spending by individuals and that by government is that government is on a larger scale and elected officials get to spend other peoples money and are not usually personally impacted when things eventually fall apart.
A number of years back, the State was compelled to take over administration of White Pine County government because those in office at the time had spent the County into near bankruptcy. If all this massive spending goes forward as proposed, it seems likely the County could find itself in similar circumstances in the future.
The other issue, of grave concern to me as a resident of an outlying community, is the plan by certain members of the County Commission to scale back, or dismantle, fire and EMS protection in these communities and eventually turn control of these services over to the City of Ely. This has caused me, and a great many others in these outlying communities, a great deal of anxiety. At the very least, insurance rates will rise in these communities due to reduction of emergency services. I have no particular animosity toward any members of the County Commission, even though I am in disagreement with their policies, however, should the day come when I lose my house or a member of my family because emergency services have to be dispatched from 35 miles away, I could develop some serious animosity in a very short time!
I reluctantly signed onto this recall effort, but I felt compelled to respond to perceived threats to my property and person and felt was the only viable option available to try and rectify the situation. For me, and many others, this is a matter of survival.
Ely City Council vs Ely City Clerk. Really?? I thought they were on the same team. My code of ethics book must be missing some pages. It sounds like a vendetta of sorts. Professionalism!! It has skipped town. While in the military service we had to salute officers whether we like them or not. There were officers that were real bums but I saluted them out of respect of their rank. This dismissal affects the clerks job, salary, health benefits, pension, etc. Did they think about these things or were they interested in themselves. And who has a job description of dismissal for any reason. If you don’t comb your hair just right your gone. When you have a job to do, do it. Perform it like it should be done not because of what you want. The council seems to have put their personal feelings first. Jim sounds gruff at times but that is the way he speaks. Don’t use your office for a vendetta. The person that lets a lit- tle authority go to their head practices unrighteous dominion. Maybe I don’t have the right to say anything because I don’t live in Ely. As for the county commissioners that’s another story. At least I enjoyed the parade.
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