Building to be renamed to honor Hillyard
Nevada Appeal Staff Writer
The community center at the Silver Springs Senior Center will soon have a new name – Hillyard Hall.
The Lyon County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously Thursday to name the center after former Lyon County Commissioner Chet Hillyard, who was instrumental in creating the new senior center/community center for the community in which he lived.
Hillyard, who now is battling cancer, served on the Lyon County Commission for 16 years until 2006.
Tom Blomquist, also a cancer survivor and a former advocate for animals in Silver Springs, said that Hillyard once described his main accomplishment as working with Ray Johnson, Leroy Goodman, the Bennetts and others to get things done.
“I think he’s a great man,” Blomquist said. “They say you can’t name a building after someone until after they pass. Well, Chet hasn’t passed, but he certainly has passed his expiration date.”
Former Commissioner David Fulstone said that for 16 years Chet Hillyard has represented this county and no one has been more dedicated to Lyon County and the Silver Springs area than Chet Hillyard.
“This is one small thing you can do to honor him and give him dignity in his waning years,” Fulstone said.
Lyon County Planning Commissioner Ray Johnson described Hillyard as a man who got things done.
“He doesn’t grandstand,” Johnson said. “He’s not a glory seeker in any way. This is to give him the recognition he dearly deserves.”
Blomquist said he had spoken to many Silver Springs residents and the only negative comment he received was from someone who served on the since-dissolved GID board.
Commissioner Leroy Goodman began to make the motion to rename the center, saying Chet and Evelyn have been good folks and were committed to the people Lyon County, when Commission Chairman Don Tibbals suggested that to further honor Hillyard the official record of the meeting show the motion as made by all five commissioners.
After that was agreed upon, a letter supporting the effort from Janice Ayres, former board member for the Nevada Commission for the Reconstruction for the V&T Railway, with whom Hillyard served for many years, was read into the record.
Hillyard was honored at the last Commission meeting of 2007, with a plaque from the commission thanking him for his years of dedicated and excellent service to the county.
“As I ride off into the sunset, I want to express my appreciation to all who have assisted me in projects that made this the best county in the nation,” Hillyard said at the meeting.
In addition, Ayres and then-interim county manager Bob Hadfield presented Hillyard with two paintings in honor of his 11 years serving on the Nevada Commission to Reconstruct the V&T Railway.
“He was always there for us,” Hadfield said.
Hillyard served four terms as county commissioner for District 2. During those 16 years, he worked to create the Silver Springs wastewater treatment project and general improvement district, organized the county business license office and the county government substation office in Dayton .
He worked on issues related to the Sheriff’s Office, library system and successfully pushed for a new senior citizens center in Silver Springs.
He also served on the Nevada Commission to Reconstruct the V&T Railway.
Prior to coming to Silver Springs, Hillyard was a trustee on the Vallejo, Calif., Sanitation Board.