To the Editor:

On March 24, 2017, you published my letter to the editor where I asked numerous questions about the 2017 audit of the city of Ely. Mayor VanCamp’s rebuttal, which was published on March 31, 2017, was anything but a rebuttal. A rebuttal is, “no, you are wrong and here is why”.   Rather than address the issues I brought up, the Mayor’s rebuttal was no more than an attempt to discredit my character. How can the Mayor serve her community, if all she appears interested in is avoiding the difficult questions and responding with slander?  The community deserves better.

You were elected to represent the best interest of the residents of the City of Ely.  Any elected official who feels answering the peoples’ questions is a waste of government time and money has NO business and his/her position. I have continued to ask questions because I have a grave concern on how Ely’s government is run.

Your appointment of Mike Coster is a prime example of how you and the City Council circumvent the law.  And that is what I find intolerable. You cannot simply follow the laws you wish and ignore those you do.

When you took your oath of office you swore “to support and protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Nevada and to bear true faith and allegiance and loyalty to the same”.  Are you doing so? In my opinion, NO.  It is time to start.

As for my suing White Pine County twice, yes I did.   I did not sue in order to make money, in fact, I actually lost money in the lawsuits. I sued in order to bring injustices to light. And since I took my job seriously, I would do it again if I had to.

I have filed numerous open meeting law violations against you and the City Council. Since I did not receive a copy of Mr. Odger’s response, I stand by my allegations. If I felt you were upholding the laws, which you have shown time and again don’t matter to you, and if each city council member would vote their heart, instead of having their minds made up for them before issues are discussed in an open meeting, and you would stop your illegal meetings, I would have no complaints. But the thing is, I do not believe that is what is happening. And that, Madam Mayor, is why I strongly voice my opinions.

You say that I have failed to provide meaningful and constructive input on possible solutions. Have you forgotten that whenever I made a public comment during a meeting, you turned your head from me to the point where at one meeting I told you that you should have the common decency to to look at me and at least pretend you were interested in what I had to say. And since I have attended numerous meetings, I can say with certainty that I am not the only one you have done that too.

Madam Mayor, you stated that if someone is unhappy with the way the city is being operated to please make an effort to run for a council seat, come to meetings, and discuss your concerns openly. However, you have told Mr. Rick Stork that if he wins a Council seat in the next election, you would not appoint him to serve on any boards, which would make him ineffective in city business.  What exactly do you mean?  I think what you mean to say is that anyone who has an opinion that differs from yours, anyone who cannot be persuaded to vote as you wish, anyone who can look at another side of issues and vote what he thinks is best for the community, is neither welcome to run for office, nor encouraged to offer constructive input. You are nothing but a hypocrite.  You foster disrespect and have no regard for the law you swore to protect.

You say that I am vindictive. Vindictive means that I am inclined to revenge. That, I am not. My March 24 letter to the editor was to bring attention to the audit and to make people aware of how elected officials are spending government funds. I SIMPLY WANT GOVERNMENT DONE RIGHT.  I want an honest government, and you are not delivering that.

You have not set the record straight Madam Mayor. You have just opened the door to more criticism and concern. Congratulations to the City of Ely  for getting rid of some of the B—S— at City Hall.  Insist on honest government.

These are my opinions, and I have many more.  Since space is limited, stay tuned for next week’s edition.

Thank you for your time.

Lin Burleigh

To the Editor:

When it comes to economic development, there can be a hidden cost to entice outsiders into investing in our community.  No company is going to just give us money. Nonetheless, so many desperate communities have given out-of-State owned companies (such as Wal-Mart) huge tax incentives, only to get the poorest paying jobs – and their locally owned stores run out of business – with the subsequent loss of what little tax base the community had.

We do not want to be a desperate doormat to companies that either want to suck our community’s wealth away, or who’s business is so disgusting/dangerous that no other community wants it near them.

n fact, we shouldn’t just focus on jobs. We should focus on wealth. People who work in sweat shops have “jobs.” We better aspire for more than that. Ultimately, we should be looking for rewarding work that pays multiple benefits. And we should be thinking of incentives to keep our brightest students from leaving for jobs elsewhere. We should be working towards true sustainability. And living out here in Rural Nevada; our community needs to be as self-reliant as possible.

We have to think outside of the box – and I have an idea.

We should establish a facility for fabrication, design, education, and recycling. It could function as a Niche Market Manufacturing Incubator. Essentially; my idea is to help others develop their ideas (and skills). We could make parts and arts. And we could sell them locally, to tourists, or even for export.

Recently, costs have plummeted for high-tech tools for this. And the skills to use these tools are not all that difficult. We could even start by just sharing use of each others’ tools. I suggest we run this Incubator as a non-profit cooperative. (Of course, the companies that deal with the Incubator can be for-profit.) And ultimately, we might be able to build our own stuff.

People far smarter than me have predicted that this will happen. In fact, the maker phenomenon is already happening all over the world. The technology to leapfrog the mass producers exists. If you are interested; please email me at rickspils@excite.com

Rick Spilsbury