To the editor: 

I am writing concerning the appointment of Mr. Mike Coster to the position of municipal judge. There are several reasons this should not have happened. Foremost being, he is not a resident of the City of Ely. I have had numerous discussions with Mr. Bruce Setterstrom and Attorney Odgers regarding the requirements for an individual to be considered for the position of municipal judge. Both parties stated that if I was interested in applying for that position, I would need to be a resident of the City of Ely and be involved in the community. When I spoke to Mr. Setterstrom about this he was in Atty. Odgers office and I was on speaker phone. At that time I asked Setterstrom and Odgers if they had told me that I must be a resident of the City of Ely in order to be eligible for consideration for the position of municipal judge. Both Setterstrom and Odgers admitted, “yes,” they had told me that. Setterstrom later stated that the rules had changed. Attorney Odgers along with Setterstrom found an NRS that fit a scheme that they wanted to accomplish. However, it has been made public that the City of Ely follows NRS that state the Municipal Court Judge must reside in the Ely city limits.

I have not been able to find record of a municipal judge that has not lived in Ely city limits. Citizens of Ely, Mr. Coster lives in Cross Timbers, not Ely! I have done many things over the last several years in order to be eligible to apply for the position of municipal judge. I have been on the planning commission for a year and have never missed a meeting. I purchased the old Sacred Heart Chapel and am nearly finished with requirements that will allow me to open the building to two business owners in the community, impacting over 60 residents and their youth. I recently organized a public auction for the community. During my recent interview for the position of municipal judge, I told Mayor VanCamp that not only would I work to keep the city safe, I would also implement a program to recoup monies from unpaid warrants and fines to the city. And, I would coordinate with the sheriff’s department, prison, and other agencies to bring awareness and preventative programs to the youth in our schools. I told the Mayor and city council members that I am eager and willing to do all of this, as well as fulfilling the duties of judge, on the small salary that comes with being the municipal court judge. I believe Mayor VanCamp wanted to see these ideas put into action as I had opportunity prior to the opening of the judge position to share my ideas with her, but she was swayed by Setterstrom to pick Mr. Coster for the judge position. I like Mr. Coster, but the decision made by Mayor VanCamp was wrong. It was not in compliance with the NRS.  It is also noteworthy that because of his association with Setterstrom, Mr. Coster was not re-elected for county commissioner, indicating that the citizens of Ely did not want him to govern them. Now he has wrongly been appointed as municipal judge! How far will you go Mr. Setterstrom? This reeks of the same methods of conspiracy you tried when Mayor Van Camp was appointed. At that time Setterstrom, along with two other council members found a person they thought could help them fight the railroad. This has already proven to be a futile battle, but one that angered the community and caused a loss of trust. In his mayor conspiracy Mr. Setterstrom planned that one of the council members would nominate a said person, one would 2nd the nomination, and one would vote yes. But one of the council members didn’t know about this scheme and nominated Ms. VanCamp before Setterstrom could activate his corrupt plan. Setterstrom had even been coaching and promoting Ms. VanCamp before the interim mayor selection in order to be ready to campaign to be our next mayor! And, no doubt, to throw off the scent of his corrupt plan. Citizens of Ely, we need to to speak out against this! It is time to insist on an end to corruption in our city government.

As there were several other well suited applicants for the position of municipal judge that do live in Ely city limits, the council should reverse their appointment of Mr. Coster on the basis of correctly following City of Ely codes and appoint another individual. Additionally, Mr. Bruce Setterstrom should step down from his position, as he has done nothing but cause contention, lie, manipulate, promote corruption, and cause bitterness in the city to the point that he has a security camera on his house for protection!  Who does that in Ely…the guilty?


JaNeal Mathews