Matthew B. Parker was reelected by acclamation to continue serving as Chairman of the Nevada State Legislative Board at the Board’s quadrennial meeting in Reno, Nevada, on June 10, 2013.
A Union Pacific locomotive engineer, Brother Parker has held continuous membership in Division 158 (Sparks, Nevada) since he joined the Brotherhood of May 1, 2004. Parker was elected to serve the Board as 1st Vice Chairman in July of 2009, and then moved up to the Chairman’s office in January of 2013.
Also elected were: 1st Vice Chairman Donna M. Domingo (by acclamation), Division 794 (Elko); 2nd Vice Chairman Emidio Gonzalez Jr., Division 158 (Sparks); Secretary-Treasurer Keith E. Underwood (by acclamation), Division 158 (Sparks); and Alternate Secretary-Treasurer Chad A. Holub, Division 766 (Las Vegas).
Elected by acclamation to serve on the Board’s Executive Committee were: Kelly H. Walsh, Division 766 (Las Vegas); and John Passi, Division 158 (Sparks). Also, the three members of the Audit Committee were elected by acclamation, including: Brother Passi; Christopher M. Dennewitz, Division 158 (Sparks); and Jon C. Turner, Division 158 (Sparks).
The Legislative Representatives from each of the four divisions in the state were seated as Delegates to the meeting.
“We are a small Board, and we meet in-person infrequently, but this meeting is important for the completion of Board’s required business,” Chairman Parker said. He told the delegates: “It takes an effort to be here, and your presence here is a testament to your dedication to serve the Brothers and Sisters who elected you to this office.”
Special guest John Eutsler, First Vice-Chairman of the Union Pacific-Western Lines/ Pacific Harbor Lines General Committee of Adjustment, addressed the Board. Brother Eutsler, a member of Division 158 (Sparks), participated in the Board’s discussion on a number of topics and offered much valuable input.
Chairman Parker updated the Board on the recently concluded 77th Nevada Legislature, which adjourned sine die on June 4. He reported that only one piece of legislation addressing railroad operations in Nevada was presented in this session, and it was in regards to building a high-speed rail link between Southern Nevada and Southern California. The bill passed both houses and has been sent to the governor’s office for his signature, Parker said.
The Board recognized the faithful and dedicated service of Brother John Passi, who served as Chairman of the Nevada State Legislative Board for three and a half years before resigning his position in January of 2013.
The Board conducted business regarding amendments to its bylaws and discussed their plans to actively pursue crew van safety improvements in the coming weeks and months. Also, the Board voted to immediately begin holding an interim business meeting and training session for its members between quadrennial sessions.
“On behalf of the BLET National Division, I congratulate Brother Parker and all the officers of the Nevada State Legislative Board on their election,” BLET National President Dennis R. Pierce said. “I thank them for their service to the Brotherhood and know they will do an excellent job representing the political and legislative interests our proud Brothers and Sisters in the State of Nevada.”
The BLET’s Nevada State Legislative Board represents nearly 350 locomotive engineers and trainmen from four Divisions in the State.