Town to appeal ballot ruling
The Pahrump Town Board is going to appeal Judge Robert Lane’s recent ruling on the question Nye County commissioners placed on the Nov. 6 common election ballot.
Board members agreed to pursue the action during Tuesday’s standard meeting.
On Nov. 7, each town and county officials learned that a majority of neighborhood residents had voted to disband the town board by a margin of 231 votes.
Last August, town attorneys filed a complaint against the county and the clerk’s workplace in search of an injunction to quit voters from considering Query 2.
The county sought to dismiss the complaint by insisting that the town board approved legal action against the physique with no correctly noticing the public, which is a violation of the state’s open meetings law.
Just days ahead of the election, Lane denied the county’s request to dismiss.
For the duration of this week’s meeting, Pahrump Town Manager Bill Kohbarger spoke about how the town may possibly proceed with the appeal, which is anticipated to price far more than $ 29,000 in legal costs.
He produced the point that the approach must happen following Lane’s upcoming written choice rather than the oral choice the judge handed down on Feb. four.
“Now that the selection has come down, we bring it back to you to go ahead and get permission to have the attorneys draft up an appeal to the Nevada Supreme Court. After we get that final order of judgment, then we go forth and appeal and we want permission from the town board to appeal. He has already stated in open court his choice. Now he has to put it in writing and I don’t consider he will modify what he stated in open court,” he said.
Board member Amy Riches was the first to provide her thoughts on the agenda item, which she initially seemed to help.
“Prior to becoming elected, I stated if the will of the folks have been to be upheld and everyone decided to step down, I would step down and we would revert to an advisory board. I have considering that discovered out from Mr. Kunzi that that is not the case. We are going to be a town board for at least two far more years. I was elected by the folks to be on the town board no matter whether it be for two or four years as a town board or advisory board. In my opinion, we have no selection but to appeal this. That is my opinion and that’s why,” she stated.
Board member Dr. Tom Waters elaborated on Lane’s decision articulating that the appeal process is a two-way street.
“I agree with Ms. Riches that men and women elected her and Mr. Dolan to a 4-year term and not a two-year term, also Judge Lane suggested or encouraged an appeal by either celebration by stating ‘either side could appeal it up to the Supreme Court and they will make the final determination of the interpretation of that statute.’ He also stated, ‘that if I’m incorrect in my analysis, and my interpretations are incorrect then the Supreme Court will clarify it and correct it not only for our county but for other counties in the future.’ So I agree with Judge Lane and it ought to go to the state Supreme Court,” Waters said.
Town Board Vice Chair Bill Dolan concurred with his colleagues but had inquiries about how long the appeal method could take ahead of a final decision is rendered.
“I agree with the comments here and I think it demands to go forward, but I’m just asking yourself from our council do we know how backed up the Supreme Court is and when this may possibly be heard when it is filed?” Dolan queried.
He also wondered if the case could somehow be quickly-tracked via the system.
Noting that the court routinely has significantly on its plate, town lawyer Tracy Difillippo mentioned it was decidedly uncertain when the case will be heard and considerably significantly less when a choice could be produced.
“With the Supreme Court it varies. It could be six months to two years just before a decision is produced. There are instances that we have that have been outstanding for at least two years and other cases have come back within six months. This is an essential situation so you in no way know. There is not a process to expedite it due to the fact it goes by means of the standard processes. There are criminal appeals and family that may possibly be expedited but this would not be an expedited matter that they would hear,” she stated.
When speaking about the duties of the board and employees board Chair Harley Kulkin stated he believed there were too several residents who are not familiar with the true responsibilities of the body.
“I feel quite strongly that a majority of this community was ill-informed as to what the town is responsible for. I hear all of the time that the town did this and the town did that and I tell them no it is the county. They just don’t want to recognize that the county is in charge of the factors that they are upset with. I feel that if the neighborhood was knowledgeable about what’s truly going on, that issue ballot query would have lost by a big landslide. Regrettably, by state law the Town of Pahrump is not permitted to fight something like this in the public. We just sat by and permitted men and women to put out misinformation. That’s not what this suit is about, but I have to look for any chance I can to stop anything I think was incorrect in the 1st location,” he said.
Following Kulkin’s statement, Riches seemed to have a adjust of heart on the matter and reversed her initial choice to help the appeal.
“I was elected to do the will of the men and women and the will of the majority. The folks voted and yes I do believe we should appeal it but I was place here to do the will of the individuals and for that explanation and that purpose only, I am going to vote no,” she mentioned.
In the end, board members voted 4-1 to move forward with the appeal.
Riches was the sole dissenting vote.
The price of litigating various issues inside the Town of Pahrump is not inexpensive by any means.
Last year, The Town of Pahrump’s Invoice Accounting Report revealed that the town paid more than $ 55,000 in legal fees in just two months.
Lawyer fees to fight grievances filed by the firefighters union against the fire division amounted to more than $ 15,000 in legal expenses.
Much more than $ 17,000 was spent on litigation costs for the dispute amongst the town and the Nye County Republican Central Committee, which last year threatened to perform a citizen’s arrest on the body.
As of last November, it was determined that the town racked up $ 15,462.04 to spend lawyer costs for the most current round of court proceedings against the county over Query two.