Categorized | Advocate News

Geri Wopschall Around The County

Posted on 04 September 2017 by Howard Copelan

Philosopher Camus wrote “Always go too far, because that’s where you will find the truth.”



White Pine County Board of Commissioners August 9, 2017

Public Comment

Burton Hilton- “The Ruth Club is now in WPC’s name and will on the next agenda for any   rules or requirements for use by Simplistic Solutions.”

Fire Commission Chief’s report-

Calls: 69 Calls for service

Medical emergencies: 54, up 15 from last month

Medical assist: 7, down 1 from last month

Care Flight Transfers: 16, down 3 from last month

Hospital to Hospital transfer: 7, same as last month

Fire 4, 3 Wildland, BLM assist

Chief Woolever-

  One problem we are having is that all of our vehicles have to be California emission standards. This causes a problem, because the vehicle will shut down. I thought we were supposed to be exempt , but it seems as though we’re not and after so many miles the engine will shut down. This means more maintenance cost for any diesel engine. This can happen while trying to put out a fire or any rescue.

  I am talking to other fire chiefs to get this law changed.

Howe “Why are we effected by California emissions?”

Woolever “The manufactures have to do it this way.”

Wheable “So are they not working, do they just stop working?”

Woolever “If the light comes on it has to be taken care of immediately. We do not want to be transporting a patient and have a vehicle stop.”

Perea “I had a problem with the emissions when I had a flat tire in a fire truck. The action of tilting the  vehicle to replace a tire cause the truck to shut down and would not start again.”

   ( Sounds like there is a definite problem and should be taken care of, emergency vehicles should not have this concern. I do understand that they do not have gas operated emergency vehicles for Fire or EMT.)

Discussion/Action/Possible Direction- regarding what the County Fire District is supposed to do when the City Fire Department is dispatched into the county incident.

Woolever “We are still responsible for our district and we need reports.”

Rivera (City Fire Chief) “We send the report when we send you the bill.”

McKenzie “We need it sooner than that.”

Rivera “We can work this out.”

Bybee “As soon as you get your report done email it out to Tim. I think that’s all that needs to be done.”

Wheable “I have no problem with you calling Tim and having him go to your station so you can discuss any incident that happens. It does affect our insurance, etc.”

Bybee “Just shoot the chief a copy of your report each time.”

Rivera “If he requests it.”

Wheable “You do need to contact the chief whenever you’re doing things in the county.”

  (From personal experience, I have found communications in White Pine County to be very little and far between. I feel the right-hand always wants to know what the left hand is doing. We are all part of the same community and we need to communicate.)


Disciplinary action for Woolever was tabled until investigation is complete.


Public Hearing – changing ordinance 474, of the White Pine County code as to adopt impound fees matching those levied by the City of Ely.

   The county has had a higher impound fees for animals then the city has for years. This is going to change and the fees will be the same.

5/0 to change fees


   Many grants were approved, Chief Woolever found grants from 2012 and 2014 that had not been used. He has contacted the agency’s and had them extended.


Discussion regarding compiling a list of public health issues facing White Pine County. Chairman David Byun

   Dr. Byun would like to start a public health education in our schools. This would cover many topics that face our community and our youth. He Will be putting articles in the paper.

Wheable brought up the subject of a possible hepatitis B case in our county being contributed to home tattoo kits. In order to give tattoos you must have a license. Anyone getting tattoos from their neighbor or friend is at great risk. It is illegal to give somebody a tattoo with out a license.


Discussion/Action/Possible Approval – to provide subsidies to balance the FY 2018 budget of some of the special revenue funds based on available fund balance in the amount not to exceed $352,402.

EMS – $138,540., Fire District $175,181., Senior Center $6,285., Building and Planning $20,803. and Golf Course $11,593.

The funds are available.

It was stated that we knew the fire and EMS departments would have to be subsidized  for sometime.

3/2 Bybee and Stork against

Ely City Council August 10, 2017

Fire Chief report

July 20 thru August 2, 2017

7 Medical Transports

3 Non Transports

2 Jail Inmate Checks

1 Brush Fire (WPC) BLM Assist

2 Motor Vehicle Accidents (1 WPC) (1 Motorcycle)

1 Fire Residential

1 Fire Alarm (False Alarm)

17 Total Calls

A total of 65 calls for the month in July.

Public Hearing – Ordinance 706,  scale fees publications of public records at the request of a member of the public.

There will now be a $.50 fee per page for any publication you need after a seven days period of the meeting of documents you are asking for. If you ask for meeting minutes within seven days of the meeting they will be free.

5/0 approval


Discussion for Possible Action/Approval by the City Council to file a permanent Injunction action pursuit to an IRS 33–010 in the Seventh Judicial District Court against Randy Weaver for the ongoing construction of a commercial building located within the City of Ely at 690 N. McGill Highway.

Comments- Mr. Weaver said it is on personal property and would not have the public in it. He added 3 1/2 feet of fill to prevent flooding. He also felt putting a fire hydrant in was to expensive, because it would mean putting a plumbing under Highway 93.

   Many people spoke in favor of the Council giving Mr. Weaver a waiver. Steve Stork (speaking as a private citizen) stated that Mr. Weaver was bringing a new business in to our area and that the city needs the revenue from this business. We should not discourage new business from this area and there is the chance he would take his business Nye county.

  The City Attorney and the City Building Inspector explain that they had contacted Mr. Weaver 18 months ago, about obtaining the proper permits for this building. Because the property is listed as a flood zone, he would have to get permission from FEMA. Also he would have to have a building plan and contractor approved by the State Fire Marshal. It was also stated that there are three different ways to provide fire safety to the building and it did not need to go under Highway 93. When Mr. Weaver completes the steps outlined the city will issue him a permit.

   The City Council did not want to tear Mr. Weaver’s building down, or take him to court. They agreed to give him extra time to complete the necessary steps to make the building legal. No one is to enter the building are do any additional work on the building until all steps have been followed.

   (Everyone putting up a new buildings or even in addition to a building needs to have permits. They also need to have the building inspected. Personally I think Mr. Weaver has had plenty of time to comply with the law. The City Council has been very generous with him. Laws and rules are made for safety reasons. If the City Council had given him a waiver and turned a blind eye they could be responsible for anything that happened on that property.)

   (Too often and I have seen a blind eye turned to unpermitted things done in this county. This is part of the good old boys club. Everyone is subject to the rules. People cannot make up their own rules.)

Public Comment

Mr. Reierson, a property owner in Ruth was given a bill for $3500, for the teardown of the building on his property. He felt this bill was way too high sense they were only three walls standing.

Wheable asked if he had not received letters informing him this would be done. He replied yes I did and I called the building inspector.

Wheable “I did not receive any response from you, now I have to bring the Building Inspector in here. We can’t just demolish homes without notifying the homeowner and the homeowner needs to respond. There is a problem here.”

Homeowner “Yes there is a lack of communications between your office and your building inspector.”

Wheable – “Do you have any verification that you talked with the building inspector?”

Home Owner – “No I spoke with him on the telephone.”

  The company who did the teardown of three houses did not bid them individually, but as one project. So the amount was divided equally between the three property owners.

(I get the feeling that all three property owners  were billed the same amount. Although this house took less to tear down, the total bill cannot be paid if they reduce his portion of the bill. I am quite sure the other two property owners do not want to have their bill increased. I feel the county made a mistake on this one in billing them equally and I do not feel they are going to recoup their cost.)

(Lack of communications in White Pine County?)


Discussion/Action/Possible Approval – to respond to the correspondence from McGill town Council received August 16, 2017 concerning the mutual aid agreements with the city of Ely for Fire protection.

Letter from McGill Town Council

Re: Interlocal Agreement w/City of Ely for Fire Protection

The Honorable Board of County Commissioners,

      The McGill Town Council has received three draft copies of an Interlocal Agreement between White Pine County and the City of Ely  for Fire Protection. We do not know which one of the three drafts is the first, or if one of them is the final draft. Obviously, these negotiations have been ongoing for a while, but the Council is just learning about them.

     McGill has the population base, according to the state of Nevada Demographer’s estimates, for 2016, of 1.166 point compared to the city of Ely’s established population of 4.065. Our population fluctuates, as the Demographer’s shows our population was 1200 in 2014. Clearly, McGill is the second largest community within the boundaries of White Pine County, and yet nobody seems to think that it is a need to keep this community appraised of any proposed changes in regulations to fire protection , or emergency services.

     The McGill Town Council (including the 646 registered voters) feel that they are being left out of the loop during these negotiations, and would like to receive some type of explanation about the future of fire protection in this community.


Bob Winder, Chairman

McGill Town Council

Stork  – This bothers me. I can not attend all their meetings. The County’s Agenda is public and available to everyone.

Wheable – this is late, the agreement has been signed by both the County and the City.

(I agree with both Stork and the Town of McGill. McGill had a liaison who did attend most if not all meetings, were you more informed?  I have always found it very important to get your own information. You may have every agenda emailed to you. You may also have somebody attend the meeting to inform the Council.

   Every thing the County Commission votes on is important to every member of the county. They are the ones you voted into office and they are the ones that are spending your money. You need to know what is happening and you need to voice your opinion. This is the only way you look out for your communities interest.

   The Commission Liaison is a very important go-between and they should take their job very seriously. If you do not have time for these meetings (and there are a lot of them) you should not run.)

   (Remember – I will not be writing this article much longer and you NEED to know what your elected officials are doing, before they do it!)

Discussion/Action/Possible Approval  of a written plan of action to correct issues came to light during a close personal session of fire Chief/EMS director Tim Woolever.

   The commissioners considered putting a letter in Mr. Wollever’s filed. Perea  said there needs to be a public notice of the finding of this personal session. Wheable agreed and will be writing a press release.

5/0 to put a letter in the Chief’s file.

    (It appears that the writer of the email, accusing the county and the BLM of misconduct, cannot be reached.)

Discussion/Action – reschedule one or both Commission Meeting for the month of September.

5/0 to have one meeting in September, to be held on September 13.

There seems to be a problem with people using the old landfill in Lund. The Eagle Scouts will be cleaning up the area, but there needs to be signs put up and fines levied for people using the landfill to dump their garbage. It was stated that the health department should be posting. It was also stated that the BLM should be interested in this project.


Discussion/First Reading – Ordinance 478, Bill No. 8.23.2017, an ordnance repealing chapter 10 section 62 subsection 10 as regarding the lawful possession of marijuana not for the purpose of sale.

   The county has an ordinance against the use of marijuana. This ordinance will be changed allowing the possession of marijuana for personal use.

   Ordinance 478, Bill No. 8.23. 2017, an Ordinance repealing Chapter 17 Section 45 as regarding medical marijuana establishments.

  This change in the ordinance will allow medical marijuana sales establishments.


Leigh McOmber resigned from the Library Board of Trustees and Ramona Maestes was appointed to the Wildlife Advisory Board.


Possible approval of a request to transfer parcel number 003 -044–01, New Ruth club in Ruth, Nevada from White Pine County Board of Commissioners to Simplistic Solutions with possible deed restrictions.

  There was discussion on how the property should be restored according to all state laws, and the possibility if Simplistic Solutions dissolves, the property would be donated to another nonprofit group by Simplistic Solutions. It was stated that the County owns a lot of property that they have not been able to sell and they do not want this piece back.

5/0 to have the attorney write up a contract, this would include a four year time span in which all requirements must be met.

    A request from the Aquatic Center director to hire a new recruit for an assistant manager was tabled.

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