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Jan. 02, 2008

Eastley to seek 3rd term



Nye County District 2 Commissioner Joni Eastley plans to run for re-election to a third term next November.

An Ohio native, where she worked as a special projects supervisor for Central Telephone Company for 10 years, Eastley moved to Nevada in 1984. She worked for 14 years in various human resources positions at Round Mountain Gold Corporation.

Eastley began her political career when she was elected to the Round Mountain town board in 1988, where she served as chairwoman for five years. Eastley was instrumental in the construction of Round Mountain town facilities.

In November 2000, Eastley defeated Susan Brown 616 votes to 427 to win election to Nye County Commission District 2. She won re-election in 2004 without opposition.

Eastley said she puts in a lot of time in her job, trying to help rural Nye County communities become economically sustainable. Eastley said she tries to make as many town board meetings in her district as possible, which includes Beatty, Amargosa Valley, Tonopah and the northwestern part of Pahrump.

"I have an excellent, working relationship with state and federal agencies and that has benefitted the work I have done and I want to continue that. I think I am fiscally responsible," Eastley said.

"I believe in low taxes. I'm committed to holding the line on not increasing taxes, which I indicated in my vote on (not) passing an increase in the county sales tax. I would not support an increase in the county sales tax rate," she said. Eastley recommended instead implementing a fire protection district in Pahrump.

Eastley said she's been successful at obtaining grant money, particularly Federal Aviation Administration grants to upgrade infrastructure at rural airports. She is president of the Nevada Airport Managers Association, one of the duties that often takes her to Carson City.

Eastley was appointed to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management's Mojave Southern Resource Advisory Council (RAC). She said collaboration with federal agencies is important in a county where 98 percent of the land is under federal management and helps smooth grant projects.

"I have, within the last year worked on various levels with approximately eight renewable energy projects from Lathrop Wells all the way north to Tonopah. I have worked with a company called Solar Millenium. They have taken an option on 640 acres of land at the Tonopah Airport," Eastley said.

She also reported negotiating with an international firm that wants to put in a cargo port at Tonopah.

Eastley is also chairwoman of the Central Nevada Regional Water Authority and secretary of the Tonopah Development Corporation. She is a past president of the Rotary Club of Tonopah where she was named a Paul Harris Fellow; is a past president of the Nevada Association of Counties; was a founding member of No To Abuse and a founding member of the Tonopah Historic Mining Park Foundation board.

Recently, Eastley was appointed to the board of Preserve Nevada, a group formed by former U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan dedicated to preserving Nevada's cultural heritage. She leads a partnership dedicating to preserve Rhyolite.

Eastley is the Nye County Commission liaison for senior nutrition, Economic Development of Nye County Inc. (EDEN), a liaison on nuclear waste with Chairman Gary Hollis, liaison with the Tri-County Working Group and does county jail inspections.

Though she's a Tonopah resident, Eastley doesn't see herself as a northern commissioner. She agreed with a Tonopah town board member -- who responded to complaints about all the resources directed to Pahrump -- by saying the county was one big family.

Eastley said 40 percent of the voters in her district lived in Pahrump during the 2004 election. That includes an area north of Bell Vista Avenue west of Linda Street.

"My district is 2,000 square miles and I'm all over it at any given time," Eastley said. "We have to hang together and protect ourselves from speculative interests."

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