Sent: Wednesday, May 17, 2017 2:32 PM
Subject: Heidi Swank Regarding Yesterdays Hearing on SB 21
Thank you for presiding over the abbreviated hearing on SB21 ( which seeks to abolish the Nye County Water District ).
As mentioned in my testimony, I sponsored the original bill in 2007 which created the Nye County Water District , and helped to author the language.
At that point in time, the stated intent of the Water District was to protect Nye County’s waters from being pumped to Las Vegas, and to look at new possibilities of filing on unappropriated water in Nye County, and to explore the possibilities of wheeling water within Nye County to help augment the water supply in over appropriated and over pumped basins.
Non of these items were pursued by the created Water District. Rather, this board focused on stripping away water rights from the ma and pa kettle Well owners and became a puppet for large development interests and Yucca Mountain proponents.
The Nye County Well Owners Association was founded to combat the overreach of the Water Board and led to the lobbying of the Nye County Board of Commissioners to submit a BDR to the Legislature to abolish the Water District.
Twice, the Commissioners voted to support SB21.
The only two dissenting commissioners have conflicts of interest. Dan Schinhfoen is an ardent supporter of Yucca Mountain and needs the District to wheel water to the project. Lorinda Wichman’s husband is employed by the Water District and has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars in consulting fees. ( She should have recused herself from the vote ).
I , myself, have been dismayed how the entity I helped to create, has veered off course and out of control. I urge for passage of SB21 out of your comittee and onto the Assembly floor for a vote.
This bill passed UNANIMOUSLY ( 21-0 ) out of the Senate and deserves to be voted on in your committee.
I am troubled by your statements yesterday, during the bill hearing, that although the written and verbal testimony was overwhelmingly in favor,
you had received some private concerns from those who wished to remain anonymous, and that you would weigh those private concerns when arriving at your decision on how to proceed.
As a former three term State Assemblyman, I was instructed to rigorously follow the open meeting law and hearing proceedings protocols. I was instructed to weigh all written and oral testimony that was entered into the official record. At no time was I told that I could consider ” off the record ” private and confidential testimony. I was told that to do so, was to undermine the fair and transparent decision making process that is vital to a healthy Democratic process that strives to earn the respect and continued confidence of its citizens.
I am seriously considering filing an ethics complaint against you for your comments. Should you agree to publicly disavow and apologize for your comments, I will consider that justice enough. If you refuse to do so, I have no choice but to go forward with filing an ethics complaint against you.