Counties worry they’ll inherit state’s woes | NevadaAppeal.com

Counties worry they’ll inherit state’s woes

Nancy Dallas

County government officials are becoming increasingly restless as they wait to see what fiscal impacts Gov. Guinn’s governmental review is aiming to spring on them.

With state officials projecting an $800 million budget shortfall in the next eight years, it is commendable that our state leaders are looking into where and how essential services can be best performed and regulated.

Rumors are spreading, however, that certain fiscally troublesome state-run services will be shifted to county responsibility without sufficient support funding. Local officials are justifiably concerned with the possibility of being burdened with additional unfounded mandates.

Little has been publicly discussed at this point, but those near the scene say the table is being set.

Having already forewarned the public that a tax increase is probably unavoidable, I would hope that the governor and his committee are not looking to remove the political burden of such increases from their shoulders to those of our local city and county governments.

Placing troublesome state programs under local control without the accompanying fiscal support will simply shift, and not solve the problem. County/city governments would then be in the unenviable position of trying to provide adequate funding services – without the resources to do so.

Being basically opposed to Sen. Richard Bryan’s efforts to have the Black Rock Desert declared a National Conservation Area, the mere suggestion that President Clinton may be asked to “come to the rescue” if Senator Bryan’s effort fails, sends chills up my spine.

Considering his already unprecedented use of the “executive order” and other land grabbing shenanigans, the reality that this president has the authority to extend national monument status to this area without Congressional approval is an affront to the intent of the Constitution of the United States and an insult to every American citizens right to a representative government.

A decision by Congress would at least represent the will of the majority of our elected representatives. A Clinton “rescue”, however, would represent his continuing disregard for the ideals upon which this country’s constitution was based.

By the way, how many of you are aware of the more than 15 laws that alreadygovern the multiple uses of the Black Rock/High Rock area, including: the Federal Land Policy Act, Public Rangelands Improvement Act, Endangered Species Act, National Historic Preservation Act and the Archeological Resources Protection Act.

While multiple use is allowed in a National Conservation Area, the Secretary of the Interior could ban it if it is not compatible with the Act’s primary goal of protecting and conserving designated sites. Under current management, all multiple uses are safeguarded unless the Bureau of Land Management, through plans developed through local participation, determines that the public desires to change them.

I enjoy the quiet solitude of hiking and cross-country skiing. I seethe when the roar of off-road vehicles and snowmobiles intervene. However, uses on public lands should be determined through the public hearing process, not by the politically motivated will of a few.

The Comstock Historic District Commission telling the District’s Clerk of the Board he had no business attending a county planning board meeting was shortsighted and deprived the land use board of potentially vote altering information.

Bert Bedeau, inspector/clerk for the historic district was asked by some Dayton residents to attend a planning commission meeting to answer any questions that might be asked regarding a Dayton zoning issue and related historic designations. Citing the fact the parcels in question are not in the CHD, the board told him he had no business getting involved in local planning issues and should not attend.

The lots in question are not within the current CHD boundaries; however, they are in an area suggested for possible annexation into the district and are in the portion of Dayton designated as a National Landmark District and on the National Register of Historic Places.

As long as he offered only factual testimony and since the zoning issue in question involved a judicial decision questioning the historic integrity of the area, I ask why someone with Mr. Bedeau’s background would be encouraged to stay away. As an historic preservation board, I would think that members of the Comstock Historic District Commission would want accurate information regarding historic designations in the area to be available to agencies making the decisions affecting it.

I am pleased to report that Mr. Bedeau appeared Thursday in front of the county commissioners as they debated the controversial zoning issue – but not as a representative of the CHDC.

Bedeau, an employee of the State Division of Museums, Libraries and Arts, works under the authority of Nevada Historic Preservation Officer Ron James. James, also a member of the CHDC, authorized Bedeau’s attendance at yesterday’s meeting.

It is a shame the Planning Commission did not have access to the same information. The Planning Commission granted both zone changes 5-2. The requests were turned down by the commissioners 4-1.

Think about it.