As part of an agreement reached by both parties to the railroad management board’s lawsuit against the Ely City Council, former Chairman John Gianoli and Vice-Chairman Steven Leith have been reinstated to their respective positions on the board until a court rules on the pending suit.
Their newly appointed replacements Judy O’Brien and Terry Walker have both been “stayed” until the same time frame.
Gianoli and Leith were both dropped by the council and railroad board of trustees in a council meeting on Aug. 7 after councilman Bruce Setterstrom read off multiple complaints from the council about not receiving answers to their questions, which dated back to December of 2013.
The agreement, which was reached just hours before the council meeting on Sept. 11, included a provision that the council not discuss or make any action on any agenda items pertaining to the railroad. The council did not suspend their meeting to have a meeting of the board of trustees during the meeting.
When councilman Sam Hansen tried to mention a possible solution for the current on-going situation between the council and the management board, City Attorney Richard Sears stopped him, saying the agreement also states members from either party are not to speak publicly about anything pertaining to the litigation. Sears also cautioned the management board’s Scott Husbands during the concluding public comment section of the meeting for similar reasons.
The lawsuit, which was jointly drafted by Husband’s local firm and the firm of Goicoechea, DiGrazia, Coyle and Stanton out of Elko, claims the council’s dropping of both Gianoli and Leith was without proper cause.
In next week’s issue, The Ely Times will look into the railcar storage agreement that the Nevada Northern Railroad is currently in with railroad company S and S Shortline.