Writ unseats two Storey district board members

VIRGINIA CITY -- A judge rejected the appointment of two improvement district trustees, saying the district board lacked a quorum when it appointed them.

Buddy Mays and T.K. Davidson won't serve on the Rainbow Bend Canyon General Improvement District after a Monday district court decision.

Their appointment was challenged in court by Deputy District Attorney Sharon Claasen, for Storey County and its board of commissioners, which filed suit in Storey County's First Judicial District Court Feb. 27.

District Court Judge William Maddox upheld the principal put forward by the Nevada Attorney General's Office that a quorum of a five-member board is three people.

"Any and all actions taken at the CGID Board of Trustee meetings Feb. 6, 19, and 20 and any other action taken prior to compliance with this writ will be declared null and void," the decision said.

Chairman Patrick Shannon was removed by recall vote in January and board member Robert Schnaufer resigned shortly after. In February, Mays and Davidson were named to the board with just two of the Improvement District's five-member board present.

It was a move that led Storey District Attorney Janet Hess to seek an opinion from the attorney general. The opinion confirmed all three sitting board members had to be present to make a quorum.

That decision was challenged by Mark Gunderson, attorney for the Canyon General Improvement District, who contended that two members of the board constituted a quorum when there were only three members.

"To give effect to the ability of a GID to function, a quorum must exist when a majority of the board members seated are present," Gunderson wrote in a letter to the Storey County commissioners. "A realistic reading of the law must permit a GID to function."

In the wake of that dispute, Storey County commissioners appointed two new members, Rainbow Bend residents Ed Gilbert and Gary Hokenson, to the area's Canyon General Improvement District.

Both will serve until elections in November.


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