Andy’s Newspaper column archive

Who do you think is in charge ©

As a young boy, about two years old, I can recall a moment in my life when my parents and I lived in a small New York apartment. Three times a day mom would sit me down in my high chair and feed me. One night, I recall refusing to eat the peas she had prepared. They weren’t the soft skinned LeSeur peas but the large tough skinned ones. They were dry and not to my liking.

This wonderful, loving woman discovered that I would eat the insides of the peas if she squeezed out the pulp for me. I have no idea who ate the skins. Now the question is, just who was in charge. Mom had charge of the food she fed to me but I was in charge of the decision of whether or not I would eat it. If she squeezed the peas in order for me to eat them, then I guess I must have been in charge. Some time later on she discovered that I would eat those thick skinned peas if they were mashed in my potatoes with butter and salt added. We mutually came to agree, not as adult to child but as one person to another, each receiving a benefit of sorts. Today I only eat Leseur peas. And so it has been through my entire life. Squeeze the peas or mash them with potatoes.

The Pahrump Town Board as viewed in this scenario was providing thick skinned peas. Citizens did not like the peas or the attitude of the Pahrump Town Board in serving them. Since the board insisted on those thick, dry  skins, some of the people  voted to change their pea supplier. They were left with no other choice. Others also voted to not have those thick skinned peas, aka, town board members and opted for an advisory board. Now it will be the County Commissioners who will determine the style of peas and how the future of Pahrump will be cast.

In reality, it has always been the County that held the reins on Pahrump development. The County controls  Planning, Public Works, Building and Safety to name a few which affected Pahrumps development. Most newcomers have no idea that this is how things work. But who is in charge? Is it the Elected body of the Town Board? The elected County Commissioners? The State officials? Who brings the peas to dinner and who is supposed to eat them? So far my Dad, the breadwinner at the time, has not even be mentioned but he was the one who gave mom the money for the peas. He had no idea she was buying peas for me that I would not eat. Now as a political question, who plays my dads part in governing the pea eaters, the peons, the plebians, (A latin term for the average class of citizens)?

Who is really in charge when it comes to governing the Plebians? The elected officials have responsibility to set policy, the hired help, at times known as public servants, are to apply those policies and the Plebians are expected to eat the peas or as one might say, the policies or laws set  by the ones who feels they are in charge.

Again, the question remains, who is in charge. The answer I maintain can be found in many areas of Nevada government. It reads like this at the State level.  NRS 241, “... the Legislature finds and declares that all public bodies exist to aid in the conduct of the people’s business. It is the intent of the law that their actions be taken openly and that their deliberations be conducted openly.

Nevada Ethics Commission manual. “A public office is a public trust and shall be held for the sole benefit of the people.”

At the county level, I cannot locate any such verbiage. As a matter of fact I cannot find anything in County Government that discloses to the public, in graphic form, such as an organization chart, how the county government is structured. Not even their mission statement.

At the town level they write, “Our mission is to balance our history as a rural community with our need to provide appropriate and sustainable services to our citizens and those who visit our community. We will do this by demonstrating honest, responsive leadership...”. Ahhh, ha,ha ha.(excuse the laughter)

As you can see the State and the Town seem to indicate that government exists for the benefit of the people. Yes, even the overbearing, bloated, self aggrandizing, elitist, arrogant, overbearing, self fulfilling, better than thou, Federal government has words as to, “We the people, in order to form a more perfect union, blah, blah blah, etc...”. Of course at that level the words are fine print., or so it would seem, as lawyers parse them in to dust.

Well now we know who is in charge. It is the consumer of peas, for in reality, it is the consumer who maintains control over the option of what kind of peas will be eaten and it is the supplier of those peas who must adjust and bring the proper pea mixture. In the case of the Pahrump Town Board the consumer decided they did not like their peas and have opted for a different brand to be provided by the County Commissioners. Now the Town Board, in its Duplicity of Federal attitude refuses to change peas, ala the Supreme court challenge.

We are about to see who is truly in charge. My money is on the peoples choice, Leseur Peas, in a different, hopefully better format.  The vote to disband this town board by those who have shown they are truly in charge should remind others that governments  mission is to manage our rural community. To conserve our tax money, our wealth, provide appropriate services for our citizens and those who visit our town. Not to be a dictatorship. Those days are long gone.

Andrew Alberti Jr