YERINGTON - Despite pleas to let the decision be made by Fernley, county officials have taken steps to establish voting districts within Nevada's newest city.
Saying they were bound by state law, Lyon County commissioners proposed an ordinance dividing Fernley into five wards. A public hearing on the proposal will be set for early January.
"The people wishing to run for City Council need to know as soon as possible which ward they are in," Commission Chairman LeRoy Goodman said. "It is only a proposal, but we have to propose the ordinance in order to hear from the public."He said comments made at the public hearing would determine the direction the board will take.
Fernley resident Dick Rhyno said the first council should be elected at large. "I hope the commissioners will let the city do as it wishes. I urge an at-large election and feel wards will have the opposite effect," he told the board. "I oppose the ordinance. It predisposes what the residents want."
Commissioner David Fulstone said he currently supports an initial at-large election, "and then let the residents determine the wards if they want them."
Two maps delineating five wards have been created, one done by the Fernley Incorporation Committee, using strictly registered voter lists, and one by Lumos & Associates, using the 1990 census and taking new growth into consideration.
County Clerk/Treasurer Nikki Bryan noted she preferred using the Lumos proposal.
The board will decide on Dec. 21 the date the hearing will be held in Fernley.
In other actions relating to Fernley's incorporation:
- Hired Tri-State Survey to map the city and special district boundaries. The board put off proposing an ordinance merging special assessment districts into the proposed city until the survey is completed and official boundaries are established.
In response to concerns regarding the boundaries of the Fernley Swimming Pool District, Commissioner Goodman said, "A lot of good points have been brought up that need to be discussed during the public hearing. We are making brand new footprints here."
The pool district is the only one in Fernley. Questions were raised as to whether it will continue as a special district or absorbed and run by the city.
- Officially set a special election for March 6, 2001, to fill the unexpired term of Stephan Lehman in the Canal Township Justice of the Peace district. Though dead at the time, Lehman received a majority of the votes during the Nov. 7 general election.
Bryan recommended the county not bill Fernley the costs associated with the general election and let Fernley absorb the costs of the special election.