Posted by: nevadansagainstgarbage | March 8, 2011

SHOULD WE HIRE A COUNTY PLANNER….OR NOT? March 8, 2011

During a lengthy and contentious March 7 joint session of the Winnemucca City Council and the Humboldt County Commissioners, no concrete consensus was reached. After a long and detailed discussion between the commission and the council, the floor was given over for public comments. Several people spoke out in opposition to hiring a county planner. People testifying against the proposal included John Milton, Patty Herzog, Lewis Trout, Terry Miller, Don Stoker, Bob Davidson, and John Siegfried. The arguments against the proposal varied. Most said that we couldn’t afford it. Some said we couldn’t afford it at this time, but that they were not opposed to the idea. Others included: Things are good the way they are, there isn’t enough work to keep a planner busy, we have a great planning department and don’t need a professional, the Humboldt Development Authority is serving the purpose, additional training for the personnel we have will suffice, and we need to have the growth, then hire a county planner.

A motion was put before the city council to oppose the hiring of a planning director at this time, and it easily passed. A motion was then put before the county commission to pursue the possibility of hiring a planning director. That vote resulted in a 2 to 2 tie. The subject was tabled for future discussion.

Additional public comment was then continued. Those speaking in favor of hiring a planning director were Richard Cook, Annie Drake, and Phil Jacka. Their reasons included: Professional planning for all aspects of community growth are very complex and expert guidance was needed, the time to plan for growth is prior to that growth, well intentioned volunteers are not equipped or trained to cope with growth and changes that will challenge this community in the future, and the landfill issue may well have been handled differently if we had had a county planner in charge.

Generally speaking, those opposing the hiring of a county planner have tended to support the proposed Jungo Landfill. Without exception, those supporting hiring a county planner oppose the landfill.

The last speaker of the meeting was John Siegfried, who seemed quite pleased that his group did very well when playing a board game at the Winnemucca Futures Project and who also indicated he had issues with the pants worn by the men and women on the council and commission.

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