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August 26, 2013


Commission Chambers
Lincoln County Courthouse
181 Main Street
Pioche, NV 89043



Adam Katschke
Ed Higbee, Chair
Paul Mathews
Phil Donohue
Kevin Phillips, Vice Chair



Chairman Ed Higbee called the meeting to order at 9:08 a.m. Clerk Lisa Lloyd called the roll.




Adam Katschke
Kevin Phillips, Vice Chair
Paul Mathews
Ed Higbee, Chair
Paul Donohue

Lisa Lloyd, Clerk
Daniel Hooge, District Attorney


There is a quorum present and the agenda was posted on 8-20-13. The Invocation was offered by Paul M. and Adam led the Pledge of Allegiance.


Ed called for public comment. None offered.

Ed recused himself from his responsibilities as a Commissioner due to familial relationships with some
of the interviewees. Ed turned the chair over to Kevin.


Duane Wadsworth was present for this item and reviewed his experience with this type of work. Duane has worked 20 years with the state and moved over to county roads about a year ago. He’s done chip jobs, bladed shoulders and roads, has run equipment, and has supervised employees during various projects. If given the job, Duane would make sure both his employees and the public are happy and satisfied with the jobs done. Adam asked what Duane’s strengths and weaknesses are. Duane replied that one of his weaknesses is that he would like to work with his employees versus fighting with him; he doesn’t like people to be mad at him. Duane commented that his strengths include that he can get the job done, whatever is asked of him. Duane has the ability to work with people. Paul D. asked what Duane’s favorite piece of equipment is. The blade because Duane likes the jobs to be finished well and look nice. Paul D. asked how Duane considers himself with regards to setting and achieving goals. Duane replied that he would set annual goals specific to individual towns, including long-term plans for road repairs in each town. Duane would look into costs and research to see what is the most efficient. Duane is comfortable with setting and achieving goals. Paul M. stated much of the job has to do with BLM and asked what Duane’s experience is with working with BLM and regulations. Duane’s experience with BLM is mostly geared towards cattle. Duane has no problem with BLM and it is a known fact that we have to work with them. You can’t blade roads without working with BLM. Duane is confident he can work with BLM and keep the communication lines open. Paul M. stated another part of the position includes budgeting and stretching funds as far as they can go; what is Duane’s experience with that side of the position? Duane responded that he hasn’t really worked with the money side to this point in his career but he can learn, he knows he can do it. Duane stated that he’s been around many supervisors and it’s important to work with the crews. There is a lot of responsibility and, if given the opportunity, Duane could do it. No action was taken on this item.


Jason Lloyd was present and outlined his experience with this type of work. Jason has worked for the Road Department since he graduated high school. He knows how to complete the jobs and projects and do them well. Jason also knows how to run every piece of equipment the county owns. Jason knows how to prioritize the roads. Safety with the public and the workers is very important. Jason stated we are going in the right direction and getting a lot of projects done. The RD is responsible for maintaining a great deal of roads. Roads should be checked prior to blading so that we aren’t wasting our time blading roads that don’t need it, especially when there are roads that need it. Adam asked what traits are of a good supervisor. Jason responded that if you treat your guys with respect they’ll treat you with respect as well; a better job will be done if there is mutual respect. If there was an accident, Jason would make sure everything was cleared so no one else gets hurt and then he’d concentrate on the injured person. Paul D. asked what Jason’s piece of equipment is and why. Jason responded that he likes the dozer; he’s good at operating it and gets a lot done. Jason appreciates a job well done. Paul D. asked if Jason is goal oriented. Yes, if you don’t set goals and prioritize you’ll never accomplish anything. You need to get on the project and stay on it until it’s done. Paul M. asked what Jason’s experience with BLM is and what his comfort level is with them. Jason has worked with BLM with his cattle and he is familiar with the fact that BLM likes “field trips”. Jason stated that if there are safety issues with the roads he will get BLM together to tour the site so they can see the problem first hand. Jason would then seek opinions and a resolution from BLM; he would work hand in hand with BLM. Jason feels the BLM would work better with us if we showed them firsthand the issues. Paul M. asked Jason what his experience is with budgets. Jason responded that he doesn’t have much experience with road funds, but he has experience with his cattle. You should always have money set aside and you should prioritize expenditures. A plan should be created for expenditures. Jason reiterated the need for a financial “buffer” should you get in trouble and need the money. No action was taken.


Shane Cheeney was present for this item. He outlined his experience and qualifications for this position. Shane has been working for the RD since he graduated high school. He’s been a lead man and supervisor for several years. Shane has worked with both the BLM and the budgets as well as the various town boards. Shane has attended two supervisor schools, which were incredibly helpful. If Shane becomes the supervisor he would like to have POOL/PACT come in and work with the crews doing training. Shane has worked with Mr. Zabriske of POOL/PACT many times with regards to personnel issues. Shane has run all of the equipment the county has as well as ordered supplies for projects. Shane advised that he has been working on safety issues in the last couple of months. Shane held a safety meeting this morning due to an accident they had a couple of weeks ago. Shane stated the current crew is outstanding; they all get along well and work very hard. The county has so many roads that they depend on the public a great deal to notify them of washed out roads. It is difficult for the supervisor to keep the crew going as well as check all the roads and attend meetings. Shane is up to the challenge. LC has more dirt roads than any county in the state. Shane’s training has been on the job. When Shane first came to work, he observed the operators that he thought were the best and learned from them. Shane has worked for RD for 25 years. 87% of Shane’s career has been completing projects, including installing roads and addressing drainage issues. At this time, Shane has a short crew but they are working diligently to address all of the warm weather projects they need to finish before the cold comes. There are safety issues and OSHA has come in once. Shane has ordered fire proof cabinets for the combustibles. Adam asked what the people he supervises would say are his good/bad qualities. Shane responded that he tries to follow through and finish a job; he likes to make sure he does what he says he will. Shane tries to get all of the employees together to get input on various jobs. Many times, the employees have great ideas. Shane is firm and tries to make things even for all employees. Shane endeavors to spend the RD money wisely. Shane doesn’t like messing around and when a project has been started he wants to get it done; he gets after the employees if they’re messing around. Shane is working on better relations with employees. Paul D. asked what his favorite piece of equipment is. Shane loves to run equipment; there isn’t a bad piece of equipment. Shane would like to set goals and makes plans for projects in the future. Shane would like to get the car counters going. Whatever roads need the most attention is where the money needs to be spent. Several of Shane’s friends from out of state that work for other road departments have commented that LC has the best roads they’ve ever driven on. Paul M. asked how Shane gets along with BLM. Shane responded that he gets along with them well and he’s worked with several individuals from BLM. They’ve gone on several tours and Shane has dealt with BLM on every project they’ve had. Shane would like to report to BLM regularly concerning the RD’s schedule. Shane would like to get some of the RD employees trained on specific issues, including tortoises. Shane would like to get some chain saws as there are trees that have to be cut as they can’t be pushed over anymore. Shane has no problem working with BLM. Paul M. asked what Shane’s strengths/weaknesses are with regards to budgeting. Shane stated his weakness is that he doesn’t know enough, he needs to learn more and work on that. Shane runs a ranch and farm and has experience with budgeting for that. Shane commented that he can handle the budget and he will try to make it the best he can. No action was taken. Ed resumed the chair and his duties as a Commissioner.


Paul M. stated his initial impression is that he’s most comfortable with Shane as far as experience is concerned. The other two have operator experience and would need to gain more management experience. Paul M. stated that the interest from the fellows indicates that the Board should try to get them experience as they are the future. Paul M. indicated he would choose Shane and he’d like for Duane and Jason to continue to grow in experience so they can help in the next generation. Adam stated that no one else is as qualified. Adam said NRS requires that the RD Supervisor drive every road in the county. Shane has the most experience. Paul M. asked if NRS requires the supervisor to drive every road or can he appoint someone to do it and help out. The Board agreed they will have to research this matter in order to know for sure. NRS states that the supervisor is required to drive every road once a year. Adam commented that there definitely should be some assistance to the supervisor, someone who can learn budgeting and how to plan and complete projects. Paul D. made a motion to appoint Shane Cheeney as Road Supervisor for a four year period (to be reviewed at the end of that time); seconded by Paul M. Ed abstained from the discussion and the vote. Kevin disagreed with the four year term and feels it’s too long. Kevin feels 1-2 year term is appropriate. Paul M. stated many of the contracts the county has with other supervisors are about a five year contract but they include a review period. In some cases the contracts include an initial 6 month review and then a review every one year after that. Paul M. stated that the Board has been lax in reviewing department heads. Paul M. suggested that the four year period remain but reviews take place more frequently. Paul D. thinks the largest “hammer” you can hold over
anyone’s head is that they can be fired. If there is a discretion or situation, this position is at will and can be terminated at any time. Paul D. stated the Board meets the first of every month to discuss road issues. The benefit of review period is that it reminds the Board to do it, but the Board can ask Shane to complete projects in a timely manner. If those projects aren’t completed on time or correctly, the Board can address the situation at that time. Adam stated that many times the Board is afraid to use the “hammer”, or fire people. Adam advised he prefers the 4-5 year term. Motion carried, 4 in favor and Ed abstained.


This item concerns which positions within the Road Department are necessary and require a new hire. LC has so many roads that it took three years to inventory them. There was some discussion concerning budgets and the amount allotted for employees versus services/supplies. As of this time, RD needs a mechanic and two operators. Paul D. agrees with future training but he doesn’t think having two supervisors is a good idea. Paul D. feels that each employee should be allowed to be a project supervisor so that they might gain experience. This will increase leadership as employees come up through the ranks. The higher salary left by Steve Chouquer’s vacancy can be better used if a new operator was hired as opposed to a Project Manager (PM). Shane stated RD is actually down three operators that haven’t been replaced. The Board asked Shane to tell them what positions are absolutely necessary. Shane stated that if he doesn’t know for certain if the Project Manager is going to be hired he can’t answer that question. If the PM is hired, it’ll be at a higher salary which will leave a good deal less money for operators, laborers, and a mechanic. Paul D. stated he would rather work towards public works when money permits. There is some discussion about hiring a PM and whether or not it’s necessary at this time. Paul M. stated that at some point Shane is going to retire; we need to have someone ready to step up and take the supervisor position. Paul M. asked if we’d be better off hiring someone with a different skillset to complete the RD abilities, such as a PM. There was continued discussion concerning PM and how the possibility of creating/hiring this position came about and how it could benefit the county. Shane stated that his secretary is helping out a great deal with the numbers/budgets. The secretary is accomplishing a great deal and is a tremendous help to Shane. Shane advised that his secretary is willing to attend meetings and help in any way she can. Shane gives her an assignment and she attacks it; she isn’t afraid to come back with an answer and a plan. Shane stated he feels RD can make it work without the PM position. If the budget is already at 80% salaries it’ll be hard to hire someone at a higher salary to fill the PM position and still be able to hire essential personnel such as operators; the budget will not allow for both. Paul D. stated that, from his point of view, the RD is lacking most in the “guys operating the blades”. Shane reiterated that, with his new secretary, he feels very strongly that he can complete the necessary work without the PM at this time; his secretary is working really hard and getting a lot of things done without even being asked. Shane needs time to get things done, changed, and new processes in place; he’s new and can’t get everything done in one summer. The Board agreed to hire two operators and a mechanic. Adam made a motion to hire two operators and one mechanic. Shane stated that he needs two operators at this time. Paul M. suggested that the hiring committee be given latitude; if they can hire two laborers for the price of one operator it should be explored as a possibility.
Paul M. asked if the Board could approve something tentative with regards to the positions being hired and the committee could bring back a recommendation if they see other possibilities (2 operators, 1 laborer or 1 operator, 2 laborers, and a mechanic, etc.). The general scope is to hire three people. Paul D. seconded. Paul D. asked Daniel if the Board is breaking a rule if a gentleman applied as a laborer but they hire him as an operator. No. The Board will ratify those hired after the committee makes their choices and an offer of employment is extended. Motion carried. Ed abstained.


The Board discussed a hiring committee to select those who will be hired for the Road Department. Paul D. suggested that a member of the public be included on this hiring committee. Paul D. suggested Lorin Wilkin or Gaylen Baker. Adam suggested Jerry Carter or Bob Maxwell. Kevin made a motion to appoint Paul D., Adam, Shane, and one person from the public to sit on the committee (the committee will decide on the public person); seconded by Paul M. Motion carried. Ed abstained.


Ed called for public comment. Glenn Zelch agreed with the comments made about the Project Manager position; he doesn’t believe a full time PM is needed. The county just needs someone that can be pulled in to consult as projects arise. PM would be a part time, or on call basis to help work through these projects. Adam agrees with Kevin in that sometimes you get someone with a degree that has a good deal of knowledge. A PM would be full time, Adam believes, because there are a great deal of projects the county needs someone like this to take part in. Glenn commented that if the county can afford a full time PM that’s great. Otherwise, the county needs to live within its budget and hire this person as funds allow. The idea of a public works department is to prevent the county getting into hot water.


There being no further business for the Board to attend to, Ed adjourned the meeting at 10:42 p.m.

Attest:_______________________________ Approve:_____________________________

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