• Sat. May 21st, 2022

Why Ethics is a Concern for District 5 Commission Candidates

ByChad J. Johnson

Apr 27, 2022

During a candidates’ debate held on April 21, the majority of the discussion among the Nye County Board of Commissioners’ District 5 candidates focused on how they would respond to various “unethical” situations. “.

Debra Strickland, Dee Mounts and William Simpson spoke at the April 21 debates sponsored by the Nye County Republican Central Committee and hosted by former NCRCC Chairman Joe Burdzinski. Deanna O’Donnell of local television station KPVM posed the questions to the contestants.

Simpson has been at Pahrump since 2008 and although he is “not a politician”, he said he has management experience and works as an investigator for a law firm. Mounts has been here since 2019. She was an executive with Battle Born Patriots and mentioned over 30 years as a business owner. Strickland is the titular commissioner, has been a resident for 49 years and has 28 years of experience in the water field.

When asked what their goals were and how they would prepare to achieve them, Strickland said the commissioners were the CEOs of Nye County and she wanted to continue to provide the best service to citizens. She can’t know everything, so she has to contact the staff for information. Simpson wants more transparency and to represent everyone. He would use several sources to obtain information. Mounts called herself a constitutional conservative and would work on fiscal responsibility. She would prepare by reading the save and talking to the staff.

All three were asked about conflicts of interest, unethical behavior, the prospect of “county corruption”, legislation benefiting a friend and conflicts with staff. They all agreed that if they encountered unethical behavior, they would speak to the individual first. And they all agreed that if a friend were to benefit from something they were going to vote on, they would disclose that information.

Regarding corruption, Strickland asked, “Where is the corruption? and says we have a sheriff’s department and a district attorney in place. Simpson said we have laws in place and Mounts agreed, adding that bribery rumors are overused.

Strickland and Simpson agreed that if there were any conflicts with staff, they would first meet with the individuals and then, if the conflict was not resolved, go to the county manager. Mounts said she would contact staff.

Special interest groups would gain no traction with any of the candidates. Strickland would listen, but not be swayed. Simpson felt that if what was desired was not good for people, he would say “no” and Mounts does not work with special interest groups.

On the conflict of interest, Simpson pointed out that it was a violation of ethics. Strickland felt it was important to disclose the conflict and then abstain. Mounts referenced Strickland’s water drilling and construction activities and the fact that Strickland recused herself only once. She also mentioned that the water board was fired. Strickland rebutted saying she had been a leader in the fight for water rights and that the water board was being reformed.

When asked what was the biggest problem facing the board, Strickland and Simpson felt it was the office of the treasurer, while Mounts replied that it was water. . His first act as county commissioner would be to check our water.

On that note, water was a concern for Simpson and Mounts as we don’t know how much we have. This affects the future growth of the county. Strickland would like to control buildings, collect water and update the 2015 groundwater management plan.

In closing, Strickland thanked everyone for coming. Simpson said a vote for him was a vote for everyone. Mounts highlighted his opposition to solar farms and his involvement in opposing various state mandates.