Readers of the BardeBlog may have noticed in the second to last edition (read it here) that the return of the zombie apocalypse is gathering by the Fourth Ward preparing to parade down C Street. Two lifelong members of the Storey County Payroll club are “retiring” on June 30, 2017.
In the real world when someone retires, they get the party, they get the 25 year pocket watch and if they work for the public they get 70% of their salary for the rest of their life as they head off into the sunset. Sadly, here in Storey County, we live in the surreal world.
Nice Zombie Work If You Can Get It.
For zombie-like example, Mike Nevin “retires” and immediately gets a cushy no-bid contract to oversee a project that Jason Van Havel, his successor, seems fully capable of overseeing (and could gain some of that elusive “institutional knowledge” while he is at it). By starting a company and getting his no-bid contract, Mike Nevin can enjoy his roughly $9500 scoop of retirement goodness and mow down on a healthy $4500 second scoop of monthly contract goodness for showing up to a few meetings and sitting in his truck watching actual work getting done. Mmm – Mmmm Good!
Next on the undead-zombie list come Gary Hames and Dean Haymore. These 30 year Storey County veterans are both retiring on June 30th, 2017. On July 1 they get their last paychecks and start collecting retirement, Gary roughly $ 13,608.84* a month and Dean roughly $ 10,000 per month. Nice. Work.
Former Fry Cook and Fire Chief Gary Hames, with no previous knowledge or experience of anything planning or community development, will be starting his own company and is set to receive his personal no bid contract from Storey County to replace Dean Haymore as “Contractor Community Development Dude, or whatever”…
He is replacing the same Dean Haymore who has 30 years of reading plans and managing building inspections and red tagging buildings and calculating beam loads and keeping construction safe and revolutionizing the process of getting the gang of merry TRICsters going with permits and shovels ready so that jobs and cash will gush into the county. He forged his department into a one stop shop of efficiency and deserves genuine praise for a storied career.
That means that a contractor will be supervising the entire Building Department, Business License Department, Certification Department and whatever else it is that they do over there, including the employees. People will be taking direction from a guy who has exactly zero experience doing anything relating to the actual work done in that department. Genius!
This is where the going gets weird..
thestoreyteller.online has learned from two separate sources, that Gary Hames was sent to Colorado for training so he can pass tests required to do qualify for his new “job” as contract laborer. thestoreyteller.online is waiting for the public record request to meander it’s way through the logjam to learn exactly how much the taxpayers paid, but consider the following facts:
- Us chumps er… taxpayers paid for the Colorado trip and the test and the airfare and the taxi and the lodging and the meals and the $ 3140.35(!) per week salary cuz he’s still the on the payroll as the outgoing Fire Chief to take training for something that will allow him to qualify for his new no-bid contract, and…
- The test doesn’t actually train him on the granular details of snow loads or roof pitch or drainage or sewer requirements or structural wind shear or anything to do with what the actual job he will be doing that anyone else would need a college degree to be competent at, no, the class is a school that tells you what the right answers are on the test he will have to take to legally qualify for the contract he is about to be awarded. It’s a “how to take a test” class!
Listen to the wizard of odd spin the “Institution(al) Knowledge dreidel at the May 2nd Commissioners Meeting:
Storey County Mental Institution(al) Knowledge is something only a lifelong Belleview patient could fully appreciates and understand.
So here is the question we all should ask Pat Whitten and the “Let’s Award Gary a Contract Team”; Is Gary Hames the best and brightest bunny in the global forest? Is this no-bid contract the result of an exhaustive no-stone-unturned global search to identify the most qualified man, woman or child to oversee the construction of the largest factory in the world and other world class businesses within merry TRICsterville, the world’s largest industrial park?
How in god’s green earth can a former Fry Cook and Fire Chief set about to read a set of plans for the worlds largest factory and not glaze over and pass out?
How can any world class company look at us with a straight face and not double over and bust a rib with laughter?
This is the same old Storey County cronyism stink that continues to make us a laughing stock and joke butt around the state, around the country and around the world.
Remember, when the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.
And the pros get killer no-bid contracts…
When we finally do get the numbers from our public records request, we will post exactly how much us chumps paid for this nifty little boondoggle…
* we initially reported that Gary Hames would take home 70% of his salary. We have been informed that Police and Fire Department employees get a full 100% of their final salary as their lifelong retirement. Way to go Gary!
** It was suggested on the Virginia City Highlands chat group that people are “jealous” of county workers and my article above is a reflection of that. I think that notion misses the point. People aren’t “jealous” about the County Workers; they are pissed off (or delighted depending on the gored ox owner) about the cronyism that elevates people who are perhaps the least qualified into a positions of inflated pay and benefits to allow the control of the county money and power to remain in the hands of the very few who think they own this county.
You must be lying, Sam! This just can’t be happening? How could it be happening? It must have taken you weeks to put together that audio of the County Manager; piecing each sentence in fragments from recordings of other meetings. Don’t you have anything better to do, Sam? Your humor may be going too far because if this was true, the taxpayers of Storey County would be up in arms.
I was speechless the first time I read this. It seems to me that the amount of money some of the County leaders are willing to spend to keep these sweet deals for a few appears to be well above what a County of less than 5,000 can effectively fight against. No bid contracts should not be allowed, IMO. Too much potential for abuse. I hope that there is money out there for supporting the election of a new commissioner, who will put the resident’s interests first, instead of taking care of a select few. I suspect a lot of money will be spent next year to keep the status quo, especially given the vast sums spent in the Recall election.