Mark Garic

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October 9, 2012
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All about the dirt bikes


Douglas County is a politically homogenous county and during the upcoming elections we are assured that Republicans will win it all.

The two contested commissioner races on the ballot are between (Olson and Penzel) and (Johnson and Godecke) - all Republicans.

It is not an easy choice when you consider that all four are from the same political party.

However, there is one issue brewing that has the candidates on opposite side of each other in both races, and this distinguishes one from another in each race.

Our politically homogenous county is not as socially homogenous. Some of us that live here are off road enthusiast and some of us prefer the quiet and tranquil country living. Which one are you?

The answer to this question may decide the tow commissioner races.

There is an increasing conflict between people who like to ride dirt bikes on residential streets and people who live on these streets.

It is currently illegal to ride off road vehicles on residential streets under state and county laws. However, Sheriff Ron Pierini is unwilling to enforce these laws. The complaints have prompted the county to consider the issue and possibly change the ordinance to allow dirt bikes on residential streets.

At the commissioners' forum, subsequent town halls, and over the phone I have spoken to all candidates regarding this issue and this is where they stand:

Olson does not support dirt bikes on residential streets. His opponent Penzel says let them ride where they like.

Johnson claims impotency and says there is nothing that can be done to stop the dirt bikers on the residential streets. His opponent Godecke expressed an idea of impounding dirt bikes of those who chose to illegally ride on residential streets.

While the current problem of illegal dirt bike activity on residential streets is largely caused by Sheriff Ron Pierini's unwillingness to enforce the law, the commissioner may soon be considering a change in ordinance to make this activity legal. (If this comes to be, dirt bike activity will increase on all streets and liability will sky rocket for the county and all citizens who drive on these streets).

Therefore, if you are dirt bike rider and think that disturbing peaceful residential neighborhoods with your loud machines, Johnson and Penzel are your friends. Vote for them.

If you prefer quiet and peaceful streets, Olson and Godecke support you in principal and seem least likely to vote for legalization of dirt bikes on residential streets. In this case, vote for Olson and Godecke.

Now we have a clear choice to consider.

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The Record Courier Updated Oct 9, 2012 05:27PM Published Oct 9, 2012 05:27PM Copyright 2012 The Record Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.