Important Updates and Recent Developments

Good News

On 1/18/2024, trouble-making trustee Don Otto announced his resignation. Woo-hoo! Public pressure  from the good people of Palomino Valley has proven effective, and justice has prevailed! It was a beautiful thing to see. Sadly, the trail of destruction he left in his wake is still being felt. Why? Because we still have another Otto conspirator in the cabal to deal with - Tom Baker. He is the proverbial "head of the snake."

The good news is that we have accumulated more than enough votes to have a recall election of the troublesome Tom Baker. Again, congratulations to the good people of Palomino Valley!

Bad News

The bad news is that Tom Baker - fully aware that a recall election would cost the GID $31,000 (per the Washoe County Registrar of Voters) - stubbornly refused to bow out, as Don Otto did. Baker has done Palomino Valley a tremendous disservice by clinging to his throne. Palomino Valley certainly could have used that thirty-one thousand US dollars ($31,000.00) of tax dollars for road improvements. What a stupid waste. What a shame.

When you come upon a Baker supporter, ask him or her what Baker has done to improve the PVGID. Ask how our roads are better since he implemented his regime? Demand specifics, and do not accept Baker-generated propaganda. Ask them for tangible proof. Ask them how they benefit by supporting the regime? Inquiring minds want to know.

Registrar of Voters Argument Statement

We will now address the arguments made by Tom Baker, opposing his recall. Here is an image of the statement as provided by the Registrar of Voters: We chose not to re-type it, lest there be any accusations that the text was altered:


Let's do some fact checking and challenge falsehoods in Baker's statements. We have already laid out our arguments in favor of his removal in the first page of this website, so we will not repeat much here.

One of the first things you will notice is Baker's repeated use of the pronoun "I". Nine times. "I did this." I did that." So what, you may ask? Did you notice that he did not credit the other elected members of board for anything? He took sole credit for actions that actually hurt the PVGID, which only strengthens our argument for his recall and removal.

Some of Baker's absurd comments:

"I have decades of heavy equipment experience..."   That's what Don Otto said, and recall the mess and destruction he caused to our valley. Yes, Mr. Baker owns a backhoe. And? What's your point? An estimated one out of eight people in Palomino Valley also own heavy equipment. Look around your neighborhood and you will see backhoes, tractors, skid steers, and more. These are commonly found machines that we routinely use on our rural properties. None of us are claiming that the ownership of a machine parked in our back yard qualifies us to be president of the PVGID and the 92 miles of roads that they maintain. Weak argument. Try again.

Speaking of roads, one of Baker's now famous & laughable "statements of ignorance" during a public meeting include the ludicrous statement that all roads maintained by the PVGID in Pal Val should be treated "equally."  In case you just moved to the valley, you might not know that that the primary roads leading into the valley are Ironwood, Whiskey Springs, Rangeland, Grass Valley, and Axe Handle  roads. Winnemucca Ranch Road, is not a PVGID-maintained road, so that is not included in this discussion.

Primary roads, in case Baker was not aware of this universally accepted protocol for road maintenance, receive the most maintenance simply because they are the most heavily used roads. A third grader would know this. Why doesn't Baker? Maybe he does. Maybe, as we suspect, he was asked in a closed door session (in violation of open meeting law) by one or both members of the cabal, to discard the PVGID's longstanding road maintenance protocol and adopt a "new" method. A new method under his new regime would help his buddies with their roads in the short term, but would ultimately fail due to its obvious unsustainability.

Sure, every resident would love to have his or her road graded to perfection on a weekly basis. With 92 miles of roads maintained by a 2-man crew, operating within a limited budget, though, how is this possible? It is not.

"...I was threatened by three employees..."  Threatened? Really? How lame. What happened was that the vindictive actions of Baker's cabal created a hostile work environment - not only for the contract workers, but for the operations manager as well. They're only human. As humans, especially as Americans, we do not (thank the Lord) live under kings or tyrants, we can only take so much abuse for so long. The three workers drafted a declaration statement that was read aloud at the 4/20/2023 public meeting.  It addressed their grievances. As expected, Baker did not take kindly to their words nor did he react well to them. Maybe he forgot the text of the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights in the US Constitution which states:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

Regimes do not take kindly to subjects who express such thoughts before the king. Instead of accepting constructive criticism (as we all do sometimes in life) in a humble manner and be willing to learn, he promptly doubled down in a knee-jerk reaction and went to war against a seasoned group of knowledgeable people who had served the PVGID and their community for many years. It was a shameful and disgraceful display.

Baker wasted no time in trying to remove the Operations Manager. After several months of public outcry, 4 of the 5 board members agreed to keep the OM. A few months later, Baker spearheaded the termination of the contract of the long-serving administrative assistant who had extensive institutional knowledge of the PVGID's financial and administrative functions. The bookkeeper had resigned earlier in protest, and her replacement resigned as well, leaving a administrative vacuum.  Chaos ensued and the PVGID was left afloat without a rudder for months afterwards. Read (or re-read) the earlier original page of this website for the details. Baker's reckless actions had unintended consequences that are being felt to this day.


Examples of Baker's continual harassment of employees:

- Unwarranted Surveillance -

As was explained earlier in this website, a surveillance camera, complete with audio and video, was aimed directly over the desk of the Shawn Kelly, Operations Manager, in the PVGID's office. Why? This question has been asked several times, with no satisfactory answer given. We still await an answer.

All the totally unnecessary IP cameras in the PVGID's equipment yard can be viewed online by those who have password access. Who has access? Don Otto, who resigned in January and no one else, except his friends and family who he - with no authorization -  shared the access codes with.

- No Shelter For You -

Since Day One, the PVGID's yard lacked a shop / service building in which equipment could be maintained and repaired. Employees had to work outside, enduring harsh Nevada weather conditions with which we are all familiar. It was miracle that anyone chose to stay in that job with those primitive and brutal working conditions. The next time you work on your back in the snow under your vehicle outside in the winter wind, think of what those employees had to endure.  

Prior to the installation of Baker and his cronies, the OM put forth the idea to the former board of having a shop built in the PVGID's yard. After reviewing the details and weighing the pros and cons, the board approved the building, and gave the green light for it to proceed.

Enter the new regime. One of their first orders of business was an attempt to bring the building process to a halt. Why? Out of vindictive spite. More unwarranted harassment of the employees. Fortunately the prior approvals could not be over-ridden, and the building proceeded. An insulated metal building now stands. It is, and will be, a Godsend to current and future employees who work for the district. No thanks to Baker's cabal who tried to stop it. 

"..the GID was being 'run' by the employees and not the duly elected trustees." What an odd, cynical way to view members of your team. Clearly, Baker does not understand the concept of team work. Recall how he likes to use the pronoun "I." A lot. It's all about me, the head of the new regime.

Unlike the elected trustees who show up once per month at meeting time, cast votes, and go home until the next meeting, the contract workers spend many hours during the month on various assignments and tasks. Some are routine and recurring, while some are new projects assigned by the board. So much work was being performed by the administrative assistant that it nearly became a full-time job. Over the years,  she gained knowledge of all matters pertaining to the Palomino Valley General Improvement District. She wanted to continually learn, in order to perform at her level of excellence. She became an encyclopedia of knowledge who could be called upon at any time to answer a question or to do research. She always did so gladly and willingly. No one who knows her can testify to the contrary.

While she was living in PalVal (since 2001) and later in North Carolina (mid-2022 to the present), she worked remotely from home. Nothing new there. She still retains vast knowledge of the PVGID that she acquired over the years.  She remains a valuable asset that Baker carelessly tossed aside.

Sadly, Baker was clueless as to the width and depth of the roles that the administrative assistant and others played while working for the team. Worse, he did not care to know. That explains why, early on, he balked at being corrected with factual information that contradicted his frequent, erroneous statements. He not only rejected the wisdom and guidance that was provided, it got to the point where his dark side came out. His kneejerk reaction was to rid his kingdom of those who dared to correct him. He held them all in utter contempt. His claim that the employees "ran" the GID is partly true. Yes, the contract workers and the OM worked as a team to conduct the day-to-day business of the GID. They were the oil in the machine and kept the organization running smoothly, and in accordance with NV statutes - no small task since Baker continuously ignored them. They did not, however, have any voting power.

As is the case with nearly all elected boards, the staff provides the board with the information they need in order to make informed decisions. 

"I decided to make the necessary changes to bring the GID into compliance with Nevada law." This is undoubtedly the biggest pantload of sophistry that Baker has laid out to date. To paraphrase a great statesman of the 20th century: 

I do not think it is possible to have spoken the opposite of the truth with more precision.

Baker came to the board with zero knowledge. Baker broke rules. Baker routinely violated GID polices. Baker ignored and violated Nevada's open meeting laws on numerous occasions. Now he has the unmitigated gall and sheer audacity to claim that he is making changes to bring the GID into compliance with Nevada law? He has insulted our collective intelligence with this in-your-face gaslighting. It is nothing short of OUTRAGEOUS! 

"The website was owned by her husband." False. Had Baker taken a minute out of his day to speak to the administrative assistant he had so abruptly terminated, he would have learned that the website is the property of the PVGID. They own the domain name and pay for the server hosting fees. The husband set it up in 2011 and ran it for ten years, voluntarily, at no charge and with no credit. He did it as a service to his community.

The time came where he asked for a small monthly fee for his work. The board agreed and he was paid through his wife's business. When she was terminated, as a consequence, so were his web services. Yet another unintended consequence of Baker's hasty and rash actions.

We were informed by the web designer that he used a now-obsolete web design software that is no longer supported by Microsoft. It worked then, and still does now, but unless someone owns that software, they won't be able to edit the website; they would have to create a new one from scratch.

Did Baker presume that the webmaster would work free of charge, considering the fact that he rudely and abruptly fired his wife? No one works for free. Or do they? Stop by Baker's body and paint shop on Right Hand Canyon Road and ask him if he'll do free body and paint work for you.

Our valley has been fortunate over the years to have had qualified and dedicated trustees serve on the board. Most had a selfless desire to serve the community, and not themselves.

Tom Baker has breached the public trust through his repeated abuse of power in furthering his own self-interests. It is imperative that we vote to recall Tom Baker! 

Respectfully submitted,
Concerned Residents of Palomino Valley

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