Andy’s Newspaper column archive
Title: Does this sound like effective governance? ©
All I can say is small towns don’t always need big brother. Here’s a prime example from a reader.
Jim Basinger, was appointed by Bob Jones, former Buildings and Grounds director, as volunteer project manager for the Gabbs Community Center. Jim is currently employed by Nye County as Gabbs' the "Grounds keeper". He had lined up, as requested, volunteer equipment and time to dig the ditch for the electrical conduit for Gabbs' years old, unoccupied Community Center.
Premier mine donated a backhoe and operator, with years of experience in this type of work. Jim was in contact with NV Energy, who approved the work. Jim was informing the Town Advisory Board members, at a Town Board meeting, of the progress on the electrical connection and was told by Lorina Dellinger to stand down, that Pam Webster would handle it from Pahrump.
Well, handle it she did. She dispatched a crew from either Tonopah or Pahrump, but they were not available at that time, so the grand opening, as well as NV Energy's inspection, had to be rescheduled. She sent a load of sand from Pahrump (there was a load of sand already here, stockpiled). How much did the Pahrump sand cost us? Jim ordered supplies for the electrical connection, but was again told to stand down, because he was not of that specific County Department.
The supplies ordered were not sufficient to get the j ob done, so, again, more delay. The County crew finally dug the trench. By rejecting Jim's plans, Pam Webster cost the County and/or Gabbs, hundreds or thousands of dollars. She also rejected the volunteers who were ready and able to get the job done. Jim had the only key to the building, but Dave Fanning ordered him to give the key to the town hall. Now if someone needs to get into
the building they have to hope that the town hall is open. If it isn't open and the town clerk is available, she gets paid, I believe, a 2-hours standby time. Jim is almost always in Gabbs and would have volunteered his time. He would have arranged for someone else to have the key i f he were unavailable. Jim tried several places to get a duplicate key made, but no one had the correct blank.
The electrical connection was finally finished this week. The person who finished the connection got a key from Scott McLean, who is a Sewer, Water and Airport person. He has no business having a key because he crossed the line between "classifications" just as Jim did, but Scott got a pass. The key received opened the building but would not lock the door, so he had to go to the town hall to get the original. If the original key were not available the building would have been unsecured.
Continuing with the saga of the keys. Jim was working In Gabbs as a County employee a week before he was given a key to t h e county yard. He worked outside the yard hoeing weeds and cleaning up. The excuse Jack Osburne (Public Works employee) gave was that Building and Grounds had to make keys, which apparently was not true. Jack told Jim he would get a key to the yard but not to the office located inside the county yard because the office belonged to the Water and Sewer Department.
We thought the office belonged to the County, or to Gabbs, not to a specific department. A fax and computer are in the office , apparently not hooked up, which Jim needs to prepare and send his daily reports and payroll. The office also houses supplies and equipment that he needs to perform his work duties, such as concrete, playground equipment, etc. Scott McLean has a key to t he office and is in Gabbs maybe once a week. Is there any logic in that? We have heard from several sources that Dave, Jack and Scott are "building their own little empire".
Next, we had a water break Friday, May 16. Jim was notified, but our town clerk was apparently told by Dave Fanning to call him for permission to turn off the water so the leak could be repaired! Dave graciously gave his permission, and told the clerk that there was a water shut off key in the warehouse. Surprise, there was no key in the warehouse! Apparently Scott McLean had the key in his truck. Luckily, a resident had a key, otherwise we would have waited several hours for someone from Tonopah to arrive, wasting hundreds if not thousands of gallons of water.
A person from Tonopah arrived, without a key, and dug out the affected area. Jim was there, hand
digging, volunteering his time. Jack Osburne came a couple of hours later with a key and started to "supervise" the work. The previously volunteered backhoe operator/water person for the mine had arrived earlier with tools to fix the leak, also as a volunteer. The leak could have been repaired all with volunteer work, as it has previously been done for years and years, but Osburne has to micro manage and did not contribute one necessary thing to the repair. Jim and the mine volunteer could have handled the entire operation. The mine would have donated the use of the backhoe and the operator (the mine is incredibly generous with helping the town). We would have fixed the leak in less than half the time. Are we always to ask permission to turn off the water and fix leaks? Does this sound
stupid to anyone else?
These are but a few of the inane and plainly dumb things that are happening here. Maybe something will be done such as putting responsible, experienced and competent people in control. Until then, expect more from me.
Thank you, Jan Basinger, for a candid letter about Gabbs.
Andrew Alberti Jr