Silver Springs residents support GID board | NevadaAppeal.com

Silver Springs residents support GID board

Karen Woodmansee
Appeal Staff Writer

A majority of more than 100 residents who attended a public meeting of the Lyon County Commissioners on the future of the Silver Springs General Improvement District said they wanted to keep the current board.

The commissioners were hearing public comment on a proposed ordinance that would dissolve the current elected board of trustees and replace them with the commissioners.

“Eliminating people’s elected representatives can’t be good,” said resident Bill Brown. “If this board did something illegal, it should be handled by district attorney. If they did something stupid, it should be handled by the voters, either by election or recall.”

Commission Chairman Phyllis Hunewill told the group the hearing was to gain public input and that no decision will be made. The final decision on the ordinance will be made on June 21 at the Commission meeting in Yerington, she said.

The Silver Springs GID board, which operates a sewage treatment plant in Silver Springs, has experienced discord by board members and employees.

Board members have taken legal action against each other, including accusations of mismanagement, malfeasance, conflict of interest, violating the open meeting laws and sexual harassment.

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Some residents were outraged that the board would effectively nullify the election of 2008 by pursuing this ordinance.

Others said members of the board can’t get along and are driving away development and business by their actions.

Jamie Klund, director of marketing for the Builders Association of Western Nevada, said she was one of the people who asked the commissioners to take action.

“Obviously everyone knows there are lots of bickering,” she said. “When Builders Choice wanted to come into Silver Springs and bring a lot of jobs, this board had issue with it. They charged Builder’s Choice $8,000 twice for the same thing. They have poor relationships with future business; they deter it.”

She said there was insufficient funding for depreciation of the plant and that would mean higher costs in the future.

GID board chairman Bob Freeman told the commissioners that they had made great strides in getting along and getting things done, including hiring a plant manager.

That manager, Kelly Harkins, has been on the job for three weeks and she asked the commissioners to leave the board as it is so she could have a chance to be effective.

Former board member Robin Harina said the same residents who wanted local control are now opposing local control.

“Those same few members, most didn’t get elected and they’re mad and they want the commissioners to take over because they’re not getting their way,” she said. “If you don’t like who’s representing you now you can recall them.”

But former GID board member Margaret Ruckman said most of the board is more interested in getting rid of one member.

“We are the laughingstock of, not only Lyon County, but in Carson City they ask, ‘what is the matter with those people in Silver Springs,'” she said. “it’s embarrassing. Building is going to come, but with the current board, it’s not going to happen.

• Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at kwoodmansee@nevadaappeal.com or 882-2111 ext. 351.

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