Claiming he acted to further the commissioner’s agenda and cast votes despite the opposition of his constituents, a newly formed Mineral County Political Action Committee filed a notice of intent to recall Paul MacBeth, Mineral County Commissioner, on Jan. 6.
The PAC, the Mineral County Committee for Recall, was founded and is chaired by Glen Inlow of Mina to combat what he sees as a power grab by the Mineral County Board of County Commissioners.
MacBeth in particular was targeted by elimination, Inlow said. Jerrie Tipton’s term will end this year, and recalling her wouldn’t have any impact, and Cliff Cichowlaz, vice-chairman of the board and the only other member, was out of town the day the nuisance ordinance was approved and didn’t cast a vote on the measure.
“By picking the other person that helped her vote that in, hopefully we will eliminate them both by the end of the elections,” Inlow said.
In the face of the recall effort against him, MacBeth isn’t backing down.
“I stand behind every decision I have ever made as a commissioner,” MacBeth said. “Right, wrong or indifferent. I have yet to have even an informal complaint about my decision making.”
MacBeth said he received a letter informing him of the effort, but didn’t know why he was being targeted until he gave an interview for this story.
There are more specific reasons to recall MacBeth, Inlow said. The commissioner’s support for the nuisance ordinance passed in June and the ordinance amending how Mineral County adopts building codes, which was approved by the board last month, are the PAC’s primary grievances.
“One of the main issues that we have is that the commissioners, once they got elected, they’re not paying an attention or have any concern whatsoever of what the people want, and they’re pushing their own personal agendas against the will of the people,” Inlow said in a phone interview. “One of the primary instances of that was the nuisance ordinance that the chairwoman of the board [Jerrie Tipton] proposed […] and [she] and MacBeth are the ones that voted for it.”
Inlow said the law was passed over heavy objections, but MacBeth said voters came to him to ask the ordinance be enacted.
“I’ve had numerous constituents come to me and say ‘We need to clean this town up,’” MacBeth said. “I have to agree with them. And if that’s what it takes, is a better level of nuisance ordinance, to help clean this community up, that’s what I’m going to do.
“We are the worst in the state of Nevada in regards to poverty, in regards to business development, in regards to health conditions,” MacBeth continued. “We need to do a better job of cleaning up our own little house here first so we can move forward. Business development doesn’t happen, people will not relocate their businesses to Mineral County and help Mineral County in regards to all those issues […] based upon the living conditions that are here. There’s no doubt in my mind.”
Inlow said the nuisance ordinance previously escaped his ire because it “was one that got under the radar.”
“The only knowledge I had about it was [the board] was trying to clean up the town a little bit, and get our alley ways cleaned up and stuff like that,” Inlow said. “So I never paid any attention.”
But now that he’s read the law, it’s a breaking point for him, because Inlow said the nuisance law codifies many of the policies he objected to in the International Building Codes.
Those objections lead Inlow to circulate a petition, signed by 112 people, expressing discontent with a Mineral County ordinance adopting the codes by reference.
“Even though all three of them voted for this last deal, on expanding the code enforcement, Paul MacBeth was 100 percent in favor of the nuisance ordinance, which has horrendous fines, not proper due course of law, and as far as I’m concerned is unconstitutional,” he said.
MacBeth said he was blindsided by the letter.
“It’s like calling me out to a gunfight, and I don’t know what the argument’s over,” MacBeth said.
MacBeth also defended his votes on code adoption change and the nuisance ordinance.
MacBeth believes the code adoption change ordinance was a move to localize code adoption policies, and not the power grab Inlow insists it is.
“I thought the outcome was the correct decision, and I’ll tell you why,” MacBeth said. “We literally took the power away from the state of Nevada not to mandate for Mineral County what the building codes will be. We set up an advisory committee […] that will be meeting on these new codes, and based upon what their recommendations are, we will adopt what certain codes we would like for Mineral County and what codes we wouldn’t.”
The next step to recall MacBeth is to write a petition, Inlow said. Nevada state law requires petitions to recall an official to explain, in less than 200 words, why the petition is being circulated.
Inlow said on Jan. 9 the petition wasn’t ready for circulation, and the PAC had hired a lawyer to write the petition. Inlow
A draft of the petition obtained by the Independent-News lists MacBeth’s support for the two controversial laws as the reason for the effort.
There will “probably [be] an addition about violating the public trust” Inlow later added in an email.
The PAC has until April 6 to collect more than 500 signatures to recall MacBeth. If it’s successful, there will be a special recall election 10 days after the petition is submitted.