Courtesy photo
Paul MacBeth served on the Mineral County Board of Commissioners from 2012-16.

What does a man with four years of military service and over 35 years in business management decide to do in his retirement days?

Well Paul MacBeth, with his wife Norma, moved to Hawthorne where he immersed himself into his new community. With endless hours given over to the Mineral County Chamber of Commerce, plus the economic board and tourism board, MacBeth served as a Mineral County Commissioner from 2012 to 2016.

He was on the ballot again, running for another 2017 term, when a breathing illness, which began in 2015, took him on a physical journey which limited his stamina, thus reducing his ability to truly maintain the long-term involvement needed for such a position.

MacBeth explained that this difficult decision to withdrawal from the recent election was done, “in the best interest of the people of this county.” In the past, there were commissioner meetings which had Macbeth carrying his responsibility from a Reno hospital bed, using a teleconference method of conducting the business at hand, while nurses were coming in to check his vitals. Always desiring the best for his community, he was never one to dismiss important commitments by calling in sick, yet he knew he needed to admit his limitations. He decided it was time to selectively decide where he could best contribute his talents in a healthy manner.

MacBeth is a man that won’t call it quits. He has always been involved in his community. His father once told him, “Whenever you go somewhere, leave it a better place than when you found it.” With that motto, he has given endless hours to make this happen.

“I put merit into networking and working together for the betterment of living, working and playing. I also recognize five things every community must strive to concentrate on to create a successful environment: economic development, business development, tourism, relocation services and a quality of life. Once these things are in place, your community will thrive with better schools, balanced support services to all ages and a proper standard for life. When a community is out of balance, it loses the ability to stand effectively.”

MacBeth admitted that politics taught him never to over promise and under deliver. He saw that hopes were mixed with opportunities, then reality could hamper solid dreams “and politics is a very slow-moving process”. This played into lost dreams as people failed to push through to do what was required and what was best.

“The importance of Highway 11 should still be in our conversations within local groups and letters still submitted. With the State of the State address, it is clear that Nevada is striving to become a business sanctuary, building commerce into our towns. As people leave their metropolitan areas, it is the healthy towns that will see tremendous growth and good, solid expansion – but preparation needs to be handled now.”

For a man that moved to Mineral County just nine years ago and is gearing up to celebrate his 50th wedding anniversary this May, MacBeth is not done sharing vital ideas and offering his knowledge to mentor others. Being especially excited to see Millenniums, ages 18-34, stepping out into important local board positions, Macbeth shared his satisfaction in knowing a new generation is finally out there to become involved in our communities’ future.

“I always say that I’d rather be around someone involved than someone that just complains. Everyone needs to find their spot in our local world and contribute. We desperately need people that are workforce ready, which is lacking in our local environment. Mentorship is a key, as it is a sustaining ingredient every business entity will admit is lacking. We have to re-think our business climate and all work toward a better opportunity here.”

Concluding his many insights, MacBeth shared a concept he observed in Hawthorne called, “the brain drain”.

“This is an unfortunate cycle where kids grow up here, are taught in local schools, then take their talents, education or college and develop accomplishments elsewhere, rather than contributing back to their local community. We need to ask why they don’t bring these wonderful brains back to live here?”

He referred back to the review of the five things a community needs to thrive, stating these items may answer one question, but it still leaves the big issue – what is being prepared today, for them to successfully return tomorrow? This writer felt a question of the week coming on with his last, thought-provoking question and it was quite apparent that MacBeth is not done contributing his own efforts to help answer that question in the future.