KayLynn Roberts-McMurray
Sheriff Scott Henroid answers questions at the recent candidates forum

The Ely Times

The White Pine Republican and Democratic Commitee’s held a candidate forum for the various seats that are open for election this year.

The first forum on the list was the two candidates for White Pine County Commission Seat 1. Each candidate had five minutes to give a brief description of who they were and why they were running for an elected position.

Ian Bullis, Republican for County Commission Seat 1, was asked several questions, the first question was how many commission meetings he has attended. Bullis said, “I’ve attended two total, and that was more than enough to know how it works, believe me.”

Bullis continued on, explaining to the crowd “I have a young family, I kind of do  a lot, I’m the band director at the charter school, earlier this year, my wife and I took on pastor duties over a church, and we have three small businesses, and so I guard my time very carefully, especially when it gets into the evenings, if I can avoid it I don’t do much, after 5 or 6 o’clock, if I absolutely can.”

That led into the question of with Bullis being involved with so many different things how would he balance out being commissioner with many of the commission activities happening after 5? Bullis answered, “What I’ve been doing over the summer, is I’ve been putting a lot of my businesses’s on auto pilot and dialing back a lot of things that I do, band takes up about an hour of my time a day, Monday through Friday, that’s a little easier, I have been scaling things back.”

George Chachas, a Democrat running for county commission seat 1, was asked several questions as well.

One being what would be his  top three revenue priorities for the 2019 budget? Chachas said, “In all honesty unless your in there you’re just speculating, we’re not growing, we are stagnant folks. We don’t have any housing developers coming into our community, at some point someone will start building, we can speculate all we want.  For me to speculate would not be good.”

Scott Henriod holds the sheriff position and is seeking that seat in addition to Ray Sawyer. There was a sense of  contention between the two.

Henroid explained who he was, and how long he has been on the force, basically since 1987. Henriod explained how he stepped into the role after being appointed by the commission into the position of sheriff last year when Dan Watts retired.

One of the people in the crowd asked if Henriod had an open door policy, Henriod answered yes. The next question was what is the biggest problem facing White Pine County and what steps did he  plan to take as sheriff to rectify this problem?

“The biggest problem facing White Pine County, is what we’ve been talking about all along,” he said. “We are not immune to drugs, there is no place in America now that it hasn’t touched. It’s in our schools. It’s in your homes. It’s in our community. It’s in our parks. We get calls, just this week we got calls of students in our school with illegal drugs, two calls this week, that’s a problem. We have to make it harder and harder to sell drugs in our community, and it goes back to the task force, and deputies on patrol, their making traffic stops and checking for drugs.”

Sawyer spoke about who he was, and noted that he has worked for the White Pine County Sheriff’s office since 1989.  Sawyer has managed the task force grant for the last 12 years and he also went on to note his different titles and duties with the Sheriff’s office. He is currently in the detective unit.

Sawyer did veer off and began talking quite a bit about his opponent. “Me and Scott have different views,” he said. “Scott has a better resume than me I will agree to that, I applied for the FBI academy, Scott denied that, sent someone else, said I had been here too long, thought I was towards the end of my career.

“I don’t think it’s his choice to make that decision. Since I’ve been a detective I’ve received none of this training that Scott’s talked about, $11,000  in our budget and yet I’ve been offered nothing, and were 3-4 months into our budget I’ve received no training.”

Another question Sawyer was asked was what his hours be, Monday through Friday, Monday through Thursday? Sawyer answered, “I will be available seven days a week, I don’t believe Monday through Thursday is what the sheriff should work, I won’t be at work seven days a week every week but you will see me working on weekends and at work five days a week during the week.

“I will have an open door policy, you won’t have to go to dispatch and ring the bell, you can walk back and sit in my office.”

The seat for Justice of The Peace Judge was another part of the forum that got quite a bit of attention.

Stephen Bishop took questions, many focused on the questions about factors on how bail is decided, in particular to a recent case where bail was reduced by half on two subjects who were arrested on a high level trafficking charge and were from Canada.

“Bail is a really interesting topic, it’s not to hold anybody without release, under the constitution,” he said. “All persons are entitled to bail and all persons shall be bailable, unless it’s murder. There are 10 factors that have to be considered.”

Bishop listed several of them while answering the question. He was real careful on answering the second portion of the question, since the case is pending.

“In respects to setting bail, there is a bail schedule, and it varies by county,” he said. “When it came to the high level trafficking case, the highest bail in the state was half a million dollars, that’s the highest in the state, I stated it at the highest level recommended in the state.”

One question that was asked to both candidates was, “How do you intend to repair, improve and restablish a working relationship with our local NHP so the tickets being issued in White Pine County would be sent to justice court for adjudication instead of Eureka County as it is the current practice, costing our community of hundreds of dollars in missed revenues of administrative fees?

Bishop answered “I don’t know what the prompting of the Nevada Highway Patrol citing in Eureka. Why they are going to Eureka I don’t know, maybe they’re being cited near the county line, and their in Eureka for that reason, or maybe they don’t like something that happened in the court.

“I intend to continue my practice of deciding cases on their merits based on the law and for not any other reason than that. There has been some complaints about conviction rates? There’s a 90 percent conviction rate, above 90.”

Candidate Matthew Hibbs answered the same question, “Judge Bishop is right, they can choose any jurisdiction they please, you can’t stop them, and as a judge you only take what case is brought before you.

“I have spoke with Scott Simon, and they were some of the people that came to me and said things need to change. They have already come to me and said if I was elected they’d start bringing the tickets back to the court, and they’re not all in Eureka, there are some that are still here.

“But they’re going to bring them all back, that doesn’t mean they won’t do it again.”

Hibbs was asked why people should support him rather than his opponent?

“That’s a good question, I’ve lived here a long time,” he said. “I’m going to be here forever, I’m very involved, I care about the community, I’ve been known as a fair and impartial person. I’m going to use a little more common sense than is being used now.”

The forum went on for more than two hours, and with the many questions that came from the public, leaving many nodding their heads when some of the candidates spoke, and some shaking hands when it was over. T

he election will decide who will ultimately win. Early voting begins on Oct.. 20.