February 2, 2006

     [[Editor's note: Four emphases have been added in red to the following text for the benefit of those referencing this page from other sections where the highlighted segments have been excerpted. These are official minutes recorded by staff, not by Communications Workers Local 9413. Errors in the official text are noted with the designation "(sic)". Some of the word blocks have been divided into shorter paragraphs for ease of reading. ]]

The meeting was called to order at 1:15 p.m. in the Commission Chambers in the Churchill County Administrative Complex by Commissioner Pearce.

Those present:

LYNN PEARCE, Telco Commissioner
OWEN WASHBURN, Commissioner
NORM FREY, Commissioner
ROBERT ADAMS, General Manager, CC Communications
LORRIE FORD, Accounting Manager, CC Communications
DALE WHITE. Customer Service Manager, CC Communications
GARY VESSELS, Outside Plant Manger, (sic) CC Communications
MICHAEL HARMON, Cellular Manager. CC Communications
MARK FEEST, General Counsel, CC Communications
PATTI BROWN, Administrative Assistant, CC Communications
DAVE TILLEY, Broadband Supervisor, CC communications
RUSTY JARDINE, Civil Attorney, Churchill County
WAYNE PUSTOVRH, Cable Splicer, CC Communications
GARY TRENTELMAN, CO Technician/Switch, CC Communications
JAY LINGENFELTER, Cable Splicer/CC Communications
JIM PIERCE, CWA Local 9413
JOSH JOHNSON, Reporter LVN (Lahontan Valley News)
SUE FREY, Public

Commissioner Pearce asked if the agenda was posted in accordance with N.R.S. Patti Brown advised that it was.


Public Comment from Churchill County Citizen, Weldon McCarrell.

Good afternoon Commissioners my name is Weldon McCarrell. I'm a taxpayer in Churchill County. I come before you today with the concern of taxpayers and citizens of Churchill County about some news that I heard on the area radio stations. I'm relatively sure that you are


aware of some of the infomercials that are being played on the area radio stations. They accuse management personnel of misusing CC Communications company credit cards. This same infomercial also listed the items of abuse on the Nevada Labor Site. Mr. Pearce, I understand that this would come under your preview (sic) therefore I will direct this to you sir. I am also directing it to the commissioners as a whole.

Being a concerned tax payer I followed the lead and checked what the infomercials were about. where they got their information. I contacted them and was totally appalled at the information that they provided and showed me. Charges like Plumbjack. Blue Ribbon Meats and Fresco out of Texas. I checked the county ordinance specifying the credit card usage and in part states that each county employee who is issued a credit card may use thc credit card to purchase good and services for the county and no personal transactions are allowed. As you can see on the chart up here, (Mr. McCarrell referred to the chart that he provided for the meeting) there is a large list of charges here, this is just but a sample because we don't want to indulge every charge that there is on here.

The total of charges on the list comes to $5,659.28. As I understand CC Communications this is a tax free organization. therefore the county lost $396.15 by paying taxes by using credit cards versus purchase orders.

While paying for lunches promotes business is understood, some of these charges are excessive. As I pointed out employee "B" (from his chart) has a $152.21 on one charge and on the same day they turned right around with a $416.09 charge again. Looking at the information that was provided to me this was for a Rotary Christmas Party not CC Communications.

Many of these charges occurred in Fallon which is good for the local economy and some of these charges occurred in area towns and on the weekend as an example of the employee "C" there were charges to Wal-Mart and Comp USA. How we arc doing business on the weekend with the cards I don't know.

(Mr. McCarrell turned the poster over that he was displaying).

On this chart. there are other charges besides lunches; they total $16.908.79 use of the credit cards. With an approximate cost of $1,182.62 cents in taxes.

Again if we are tax free why are we paying taxes by using credit cards versus purchase orders?

Further examinations will show you that some of these charges were for people or usage other than the card holder. You will also see an example of booking flights outside of 15 days which is a normal area and to avoid paying taxes a purchase order should go through the purchasing department and properly documented instead of using credit cards especially if they are two or three months in advance.

You will see other examples of tools, equipment, software, recreation fees and service fees for these cards. Tools and equipment and software are county property and could not find any indication of property being inventoried on these items. Further when it comes to software, CC Communications IT Department should purchase this and control its development. We don't want to contaminate CC Communications internet access or internal network.

You also see charges for a help wanted ad, this also should have been on a purchase order instead of a credit card to avoid taxes again. As he stated earlier this is a short list and there are other things. Now sir, if this is a CC Communications credit card to be used for


county business. could you explain some of these purchases and as a credit card why is the county accruing over limit fees and late charges which the tax payers have to pay? If this is not a Churchill County credit card why is Churchill County lending its good name to the individuals that have accrued these fees and as a result are these fees reflecting the credit status of Churchill County?

Some of the questions I have are: Are you aware of these expenditures? Have these been approved by the commission and are these expenditures part of public record? Are these lunches and other items part of the managers and supervisors compensation package and are they declared as income on their W2 form? And if they are working at this time are they also being compensated?

As a taxpayer it seems very abusive and a violation of public trust and feel there that should bc an immediate inquiry and if there is one questionable charge that you owe the taxpayers an independent external audit and the results be made public. I further feel, based on the information that I have, there should be check and balance systems for CC Communications credit cards, to with (sic) no manager can approve the monthly purchases of another manager but instead be approved by the General Manager who needs to know what is happening with company assets. The General Manager's purchases should be approved by you Mr. Pearce.

Now sir, I submitted a letter to Mrs. Brown last Friday on January 27, 2006 for this item to be placed on an action list. After listening to Mr. Feest fine argument that this can be done as a public comment and that the commissioners can take action on it at anytime. I'm sure that Mr. Feest who is not only a lawyer for CC Communications, but is also an officer of the court would not have tried to mislead me in what he was stating and that the commissioners can take action on this matter.

Mr. Feest interrupted Mr. McCarrell informing him to be careful of what you say and you are on record and being recorded and to be careful of what you say.

Mr. McCarrell responded with thank you sir.

Mr. McCarrell proceeded, that Mr. Pearce and the Commissioners should take action without any hesitation on this. At this time sir I have finished my presentation and if you any questions for him please.

Commissioner Pearce responded that he had no questions.

Mr. Feest had a comment. As the commissioners know when something is on a public comment there is no action taken. What was told to the gentleman is that the business of the commissioners takes place at the County Commissioners Meeting at the phone company meeting and that means when staff needs directive from the commission or staff needs approval or if the Commissioners requested something put on the agenda. Now that he has made his public comment there is opportunity for this to come back. The Commissioners can ask action by the staff to either investigate it to bring it back on the agenda as an agenda item. Mr. Feest asked Mr. McCarrell what was shown to you from the union? Mr. McCarrell presented Mr. Feest with some paperwork. Mr. McCarrell understood Mr. Feest's concern and thanked him for his advice on that and it seems that they have a difference of opinion of interpretation and that's all that he can say because


he misunderstood, Mr. Feest if that is what you were trying to indicate to me on the telephone.

Commissioner Frey thanked Mr. McCarrell for taking time out of his day to bring his concerns to the board. He would also like copies of what was on the sample board that Mr. McCarrell provided for his presentation since he is unable to read it from where he was sitting. Also, Commissioner Frey asked Mr. McCarrell if when he inquired about the credit card usage, and did he request information from CC Communications?

Mr. McCarrell responded that he did not, that he followed the ads while he was listening to the radio. This particular station makes some weird things, so I didn't really pay any attention to it. I just looked at it as being another one of their junkets that they were promoting and everything and I caught the end of it. The next time I heard the ad that caused me to take a look and I started investigating then. No, I have not requested any information from CC Communications. I am only basing this information on what I obtained by asking to see what they were making their charges from. I'm assuming that this information must have come from CC Communications and public records because it
looked official to me.

Commissioner Frey responded that the records are audited every year and that should be obtainable from CC Communications which is the source and would appreciate him using that source in the future.


Commissioner Washburn moved to approve the agenda as posted. Commissioner Frey seconded the motion. Motion carried.

Commissioner Frey moved to approve the minutes of the January 5, 2006 minutes with a correction of those that had attended the meeting. Don Mello was in attendance and should be added to the attendance list. Commissioner Washburn seconded the motion. Motion carried.


1:15 p.m. Consideration and Possible Action regarding CWA EVP Petula Vierra request for meeting with Commissioners and Employees.

Ms. Vierra presented and handed out a petition to the Commissioners. Ms. Vierra proceeded, (")My name is Petula Vierra, Executive Vice President of CW A Local 9413. I am here today at the request of our membership, who work at CC Communications and who are also citizens of this community. 1 have a petition from our members to present to you (which has been presented to the commissioners) whereby the employees that signed this petition are requesting a public meeting with you. As you know these employees are at work during the normal scheduled meetings. They are requesting a special public meeting to discuss items of concern. Let me read their statement. 'Dear Churchill County Commissioners, we are petitioning you as employees of the telephone


company. This petition asks for a special meeting of the commission to discuss ongoing problems at the telephone company, which continue to destroy employee morale. The situation has become critical as it not only affects employees but also affects citizens, customers and taxpayers of Churchill County. As employees we are not able to attend regularly scheduled commission meetings because they are held during working hours. This is not the first time that telephone employees have requested a meeting with the commission. Unfortunately, our earlier request to meet independently as employees was ignored. We now ask for the meeting through our labor union, the Communications Workers of America. On behalf of the employees who have signed this petition, we ask that you schedule an evening meeting within the next two weeks so that we might be able to attend and make you aware of our concerns. We look forward to this meeting with our elected officials. Thank you.'"

Commissioner Pearce asked if there were any comments
Mark Feest had some questions. He felt that there were some legal issues involved here. In your letter here it states that "our earlier request to meet independently as employees was ignored." What does "independently" as employees mean? Ms. Vierra response was for the employees to meet with the commissioners to discuss the issues.

Mr. Feest responded, that when you use the word independently and independently to him means that someone is excluded, who is excluded when you are independent? Mr. Feest is not sure that independently has any meaning there then. He just wants to clarify what is being asked, because previously in fact they did request to meet independently and by independently they meant by without management there. To Mr. Feest just commonly the word independently states that someone is excluded and he wants to know if that is what is intended here.

Ms. Vierra responded, that the employees have concerns that they would like to discuss as craft personnel with the commissioners.

Mr. Feest responded, in a normal public meeting just scheduled at an hour later in the day.

Ms. Vierra responded that that was correct.

Mr. Feest provided one piece of advice to the commissioners. What is being asked here is a meeting based on the status of the employees as citizens. His concern is, that if you work at SMI Joist or if you work out at the base or work anywhere else in town its quite likely that you would miss meetings that are scheduled during the day and he just wanted the commission to understand that they might be opening themselves up to favoritism charges here, if they make special meetings for these employees based on their status as residents. If you base it on the status of employees you are culling out the designated bargaining team which is the management. If you're making a request based on the fact that they are residents that request is no different than anybody else in this town that works during the day which opens the commission up to multiple requests for evening meetings for anyone just be aware of that when you are making your decision.

Commissioner Frey asked Mr. Feest if a meeting such as this were to occur and we as a public body under NRS 241 cannot exclude anyone, is that correct? Mr. Feest responded


that that was correct. (If you have a public meeting at a different time schedule anybody would be able to come to that meeting).

Commissioner Frey commented that a lot of these people that work for CC Communications are people we grew up with and they are our friends. We want to do right by them. There are rules we must play by and I have explained this to them and I'm concerned that you as a union member come to us and ask us. So that is all I am going to say.

Ms. Vierra responded that she did not come to you as a union member; I came here to represent the members of my local.

Commissioner Washburn asked legal counsel Mr. Feest, what would this do to the status of the union labor negotiations that are ongoing if we hold this meeting?

Mr. Feest said that there is a designated bargaining team on both sides and I think bargaining has to remain as going through those designated representatives. As residents they do have the right to appear and make public comment. That does not give them the right to bargain, end-run bargaining as it is referred to under the guise of public comment. However, they do have the right to make public comment on issues that relate to them as a citizen, residents and employees.

Ms. Vierra commented that their intent was not with anything regarding bargaining. Our intent was to come to you to represent our members that are asking for a public hearing.

Mr. Feest said inherently there is some tension there, because if you are talking about and as we are reminded frequently wages. benefits and working conditions, these are bargainable items.

Ms. Vierra corrected Mr. Feest that it is wages, hours and working conditions that are bargainable items and he agreed.

Mr. Feest continued these are bargainable issues, so there is a limit upon public comment when a negotiation is ongoing and public employees come to a public meeting. It's not wide open to end-run negotiating.

Ms. Vierra commented that she did not think that the intent of the members is to discuss those issues.

Commissioner Pearce asked Ms. Vierra are you sure that is not there (sic) intent or you know for sure that they are not going to discuss those issues?

Ms. Vierra responded that is not their intent.

Commissioner Frey asked Counsel Mr. Feest if we were to discuss morale, as the letter in our packet which (Ms. Vierra) sent this request on union letterhead, I assume it was a request through the union and we address issues of morale that gets into working conditions, is that correct?

Mr. Feest suggested that if you are open to an evening meeting or at the time that they come at a daytime meeting that we have to address each issue as they are brought up. It's difficult to really opine on something when you don't know what they are going to say. If morale is low because of the working conditions or the wages, then you are getting into areas of bargaining. I don't know what is meant by morale, what the topic is there with specificity.

Commissioner Pearce commented that I believe that when you hire any professional advice, be it your doctor, your lawyer and you ignore the advice that you are the one making the mistake. It appears to me that Mr. Feest has advised us in its capacity that there are some problems with doing this. I, too, was concerned about, if you will,


opening the door to, if not special interest groups and individual groups who we would have to start accommodating by moving meetings here and there. We have a variety of meetings throughout the day, through out the month and people attend. People attend by taking vacation time or they attend on their lunch break and they attend these meetings. I'm concerned we don't run afoul of any labor relation issues. I think the ongoing contract talks to me make it difficult to have the kind of meeting that is envisioned. Again the issue of setting precedence of moving the meetings all over the place really concerns me.

Mr. Feest commented that there are three meetings a month. There was one this morning which is the county's general commission meeting, one at this time each month and then there is another general county commission meeting and it should be clear that members of the public and the employees are free to come to any of those meetings. We don't want to lead anyone to the impression that the commission won't allow the employees to come to the meetings to talk, because there are three of the meetings available and there is public comment at all of them.

Ms. Vierra commented that as you know those employees are at work and most know it is very difficult to take lime off work during these times.

Commissioner Frey commented that he doesn't have a problem coming in on an off time but, my problem is that it's right in the middle of a negotiation over the collective bargaining agreement. I don't feel it is appropriate and I'm becoming somewhat offended by the continuous request. The previous request (sic) were not ignored and I have spoken to a couple of people when they have handed me petitions in the past and said that we can't do this when we are in the middle of negotiations, it's just the way the world works. And so that is my opposition to this request.

Commissioner Frey moved to deny the request for a special meeting with the CC Communications employees. Commissioner Washburn seconded the motion. Motion carried.


     Item #1 Dale White CC Communications. Consideration and Possible Action regarding Telco 4th Quarter 2005 Write Offs in the amount of $18,991.73. We are pleased with our collection record for the 4th quarter, it's much better than previous quarters and we are trying to stay on top of it and collect sooner rather than later. We are in such a competitive environment that we cannot afford to carry a lot of long term payment arrangements with customers, so we have to bc stricter with our guidelines for quick payment and collections.

Commissioner Washburn moved to approve the 4th Quarter Telco Write Offs in the amount of $18,991. 73. Commissioner Frey seconded the motion. Motion carried.


     Item #2 Dale White. CC Communications. Consideration and Possible Action regarding Wireless 4th Quarter 2005 Write Offs in the amount of $16,592.88. We are a little bit better than our quarterly average, but not as good as the Telco side of it, but we are still working on it.

Commissioner Frey moved to approve the 4th Quarter Wireless Write Offs in the amount of $16,592.88. Commissioner Washburn seconded the motion. Motion carried.

CONSENT ITEMS (action items generally not requiring discussion or explanation) Notification of Purchases made Pursuant to N.R.S. 332.12, N.R.S 333.115 or N.R.S. 332.146

      1. The Warehouse has several pieces of old and obsolete equipment that can no longer be used that is presently stored at the Southend Warehouse and Yard and we would like to dispose of the equipment. There are eight (8) BN I 280W Pay Station Boothettes, five (5) 400DAX-R 1 Pay Station Boothettes, two (2) Helmet Boothettes, twelve (12) Full Pay Station Booths and eleven (11) ITT Centurion Pay Stations.

Commissioner Washburn moved to approve the Consent Items.

Commissioner Frey seconded motion. Motion carried.


Bob Adams, CC Communications. I have reported to the board prior to this meeting that there have been at least four break-ins at the 879 South Maine Street location in the last two to three weeks. This is of concern to us as some company vehicles have been damaged as a result of these incidents. The sheriff's Office has been notified and an investigation is still ongoing. We have installed a couple of surveillance cameras in the last couple of days in some locations that are out of the way. We did this as a stop-gap measure because when you have four break-ins in a short period of lime we felt we needed to do something. We have other cameras on order so we can cover the entire location, but again when vehicles have been damaged and fences cut, we felt we had to do something. We didn't know if it was an isolated incident which we thought it was at first but four incidents in 2 weeks is disturbing to us.

The employee appreciation dinner is scheduled for March 17, 2006. Invitations are being mailed to the employees and retirees. Lattin Farms will cater the event and I invite all those who can attend this dinner.

Commissioner Pearce asked how we are doing in consolidation of the two bills. Are we getting requests in now to begin merging everything into one?

Mr. Adams responded that we are trying to do that in a phased in approach because it does takes a significant effort to do it. Mine has been done and it works fine. We will continue to do that. We are still working on some upgrades and refinements to the billing system. That will he an


ongoing issue for the next six to nine months. The people that do have it really like it and we are going to make that available to everyone who has dual bills.

Commissioner Pearce wanted to know if the pages and pages of detailed calls can in the future be eliminated if it is requested.

Mr. White responded that at this particular time we don't have the capability of suppressing the call detail. We are working towards another software modification to suppress call detail in a couple of different areas. We would like to have the option to have all the call detail so they can receive their bill electronically so they can review it on line instead of receiving a large paper bill. The second option would be to suppress the detail if the call record rate is zero after discounts because we give away minutes on different plans. There is no time and date when those will be implemented; our best effort would be within 90 days. Also we can combine bills and it is a lot of effort based on the financials between one account and another. It's not a simple process, it is done by manually disconnecting over here and reconnect it and make sure the provisioning is fine, so we are doing it on a per request basis. We have not advertised this to the public as yet because we want to get a more streamlined procedure or software aid to help us do that. For a new customer that comes in the door it is very easy to set up from scratch. It's just taking away the old and putting on a new that presents difficulties.

Commissioner Washburn moved to go into closed session to discuss labor negotiations pursuant to N.R.S. 288. Commissioner Frey seconded the motion. Motion carried.

The meeting was reconvened from closed session.

The next meeting will be March 2, 2006 at 1:15p.m.


The meeting adjourned at 2:10 p.m.

Respectfully Submitted,

Patti Brown
Administrative Assistant

Approved by:

Robert G. Adams, General Manager



     [[Editor's note: Four emphases have been added in red to the above text for the benefit of those referencing this page from other sections where the highlighted segments have been excerpted. These are official minutes recorded by staff, not by Communications Workers Local 9413. Errors in the official text are noted with the designation "(sic)". Some of the word blocks have been divided into shorter paragraphs for ease of reading. ]]




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