Election at-large best for now
May 3, 2012
The question of whether we should elect our commissioners by district came up during the candidates’ forum on Tuesday night.
It’s raised every now and again when people in a particular region feel they’re not getting enough out of the commissioner who happens to live in their district.
Officially, Douglas thinks it’s important that commissioners don’t all come from the most populous portions of the county. If we didn’t have different districts, every commissioner would live in the center of the Valley.
Because of districting, there’s some flavor from a variety of the county’s communities.
However, it’s not so important that we limit voting to the district. Everyone in the county gets to vote on county commissioner.
A look at the map of the districts reveals that competing interests are not limited to the county as a whole.
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District 4 encompasses both Lake Tahoe and the Carson Valley foothills. District 5 ranges from Jacks Valley to Indian Hills to Johnson Lane. District 3 ranges from Gardnerville to Topaz Ranch Estates. The point is that encouraging regionalism might backfire for residents in fringe areas of the districts.
Making commissioners accountable to the entire electorate keeps them thinking about all their constituents. And sometimes they will have to do something for the good of the entire county that may not be that great for their neighbors. That’s called leadership, and it should be encouraged.