Commission to meet despite accusation of rules violation
MINDEN – Two special meetings scheduled this week by Douglas County officials will go forward despite challenges by Douglas County resident Jeanne Shizuru.
This is the third time in recent months meeting dates have been challenged due to improper noticing. The first two meetings in question were canceled.
In a letter to Douglas County District Attorney Scott Doyle, Schizuru said because neither the Douglas County Planning Commission nor the Douglas County Board of Commissioners have followed Nevada and Douglas County law in setting their meetings, it appears that both Monday and Tuesday’s commissioners’ meetings must be canceled.
Under Douglas County code, a majority vote of the planning commission is necessary to call a special meeting, but no vote was agendized for the Nov. 9 meeting, Shizuru said.
“Since there has been no vote by the planning commissioners to call the Nov. 22 meeting, (it) cannot proceed,” she said.
Doyle said the meeting will go on as scheduled because the wording of Douglas County code does not mandate a majority vote by the planning commission.
“An emergency or special meeting may be called at any time by the chairman of the planning commission or a majority of its membership,” Doyle said.
Under both Nevada law and Douglas County code, commissioner meetings must be scheduled the first and third Tuesdays of the month in Douglas County, unless published in a general circulation newspaper three consecutive weeks prior to the change, Shizuru said.
“Because the county failed to publish notice of the change for the regular meeting for three consecutive weeks, the Nov. 23 meeting has not been properly scheduled and accordingly, it cannot proceed,” she said.
The clerk-treasurer’s office interprets Douglas County Code as being sufficiently flexible in its wording to allow each of the publications to be made during each of the three calendar weeks leading to the meeting, Doyle said.
“The complaints made in the letter lack merit,” he said. “A citizen with the vital interests concerning items on both meeting agendas is actually aware of these special meetings, which will be conducted on days other than the days of regular meetings for these two public bodies. The notices have achieved their intended purpose.”
The Nov. 4 Board of Commissioners meeting was canceled because notifications to Douglas County residents were not mailed by 9 a.m. the previous Monday, as required by Nevada law.
A September meeting of the Douglas County Planning Commission meeting was canceled because one of the agenda items, Muller Lane Parkway realignment, had not been properly noticed. Nevada law requires that meeting agendas addressing master plan amendment issues must be printed in a local newspaper 10 days previous to the meeting.