“Amargosa Valley is seeking solutions to real problems in their community. I will review the last legislative session to see if any solutions by way of NRS were proposed. If not, we need to spend time to look for and find viable solutions to their health and safety issues. Look—Amargosa Valley rescued me, and as Governor, I hope to return the favor.”
– Jared Fisher, 2018 Candidate for Governor of Nevada
Last Thursday night, Jared Fisher attended a monthly meeting of the board of Amargosa Valley, a small town in rural Nevada, approximately 90 miles west of Las Vegas. Jared was there to introduce himself to the community but to also show one of the residents of Amargosa gratitude for coming to his rescue several months prior.
Though this was Jared Fisher’s first time speaking at the town hall meeting, it wasn’t his first time in Amargosa. Jared had visited the unincorporated town in Nye County last May during his 13-day cycling trip across the state—A trip he’d dubbed “The Listening Tour.”
Jared was on the last day of his 1,400-mile journey, when his brother-in-law’s car became stuck in the neighboring sand dunes. Jared and his brother-in-law were stranded for eight hours before Ed Martell, the owner of Martell Market, came to the men’s rescue and helped them pull the car out of the sand.
“Ed helped us when no one else could,” explained Jared. “Even the tow truck companies said they weren’t willing to risk driving into the dunes. But Ed was gracious enough to lend us a hand. He’s a great guy.”
Troubles Facing Rural Nevada
After Jared gave a short speech, the town’s board members commenced with their agenda, voting on and highlighting several issues raised by the town’s residents, including a stretch of the county road that was badly in need of repair and the struggles facing the staff at the town’s oft overbooked medical clinic.
According to one of the town’s board members, in addition to Amargosa Valley’s population of approximately 1,450 residents, the Amargosa Valley Medical Center now must also accommodate Beaty’s 1,000+ residents as well.
“We have to wait one to two weeks to get an appointment,” stated one of the board’s members. “Amargosa has the entire burden now.”
Unfortunately, the lack of healthcare facilities has become a common challenge for small towns in Nevada. Rural hospitals have closed down across the state and “the frontier towns”, as they’re known, have struggled to attract doctors willing to open practices in remote communities where revenues are likely to be lower than in more urban areas.
One well-known example of this is Tonopah, which lost its only medical facility recently when its hospital shut down in 2015. Now residents of Tonopah must either make the 100 plus-mile drive to Hawthorne for their medical appointments or, in cases of emergency, be medically evacuated by helicopter, which can cost as much as $30,000.
Other problems the community faces, according an Amargosa resident who spoke with the Fisher for Nevada team after the meeting had concluded, is a lack of police presence.
“We don’t have a deputy assigned to the community,” explained the resident, who’d brought his mother with him to the meeting. “Everyone knows you have to wait 40 minutes for the deputy. It takes that long to drive out here.”
The Community Remains Determined
After the meeting had adjourned for the evening, Jared Fisher and his team lingered to listen to several of the town’s residents as they outlined plans for their community and offered words of wisdom for Jared’s run for governor. As one board member pointed out, there are some great things happening in the town of Amargosa.
Their board, for example, has managed their money well. “We have a surplus of money,” he explained, which he attributed to the board’s conservative and fiscal approach.
The town has also been working hard to bring together the diverse cultures that live in the Amargosa community, which includes retirees, state park employees, young families and a growing Hispanic community. Town events include the annual festival “Amargosa Days” and a rodeo. Next week the town will be putting on a gun show and a pancake breakfast.
After the last attendee had left, Jared and his wife Heather hopped back in their van to make the short drive to Ed’s store for a tour of their remodeled shop and restaurant. Ed and is wife once again extended their generosity and warm hospitality by offering Jared, Heather and the Fisher for Nevada team complimentary soft drinks and sweets.
We would like to sincerely thank the residents of Amargosa Valley for inviting us to your town hall meeting. We were extremely impressed by how dedicated your community is to the wellbeing of its citizens. We hope to return again soon!
About Fisher for Nevada:
Fisher for Nevada is the official campaign website of Jared Fisher, 2018 candidate for governor of Nevada. Jared Fisher is running on a platform that focuses on the 3 E’s: Energy, Education and Economy. You can read more about his plans and policies on his issues page or by following him on Facebook and Twitter. Got a question or concern? Tweet at him using the hashtag #HealthyNevada.