For those who would like to be the eyes and ears of their communities, opportunities can be found on one of several of Central Lyon County's five Regional Advisory Councils.
There are four positions available on the Dayton Regional Advisory Council, one on the Mound House council and three in Stagecoach. Silver City and Silver Springs regional advisory councils have no openings.
According to Lyon County Manager Donna Kristaponis, the councils serve an important function in as large and diverse a county as Lyon.
"They are supposed to be able to give recommendations to the county on all sorts of things like new ordinances, policies, issues and problems in their area," she said. "Though some focus exclusively on development, the job could go well beyond that if they chose."
Though the advisory councils don't have the force of law, Kristaponis said they are an important part of the process.
Dayton has the largest council with seven members as well as the most openings - four. Mabel Masterman, council vice chairwoman, said most months about four to five hours are spent on council business.
Gordon Hutting, chairman of the Mound House council said it isn't a burden to participate.
"You basically just attend the meetings, read the items that are coming up on the agenda and talk to the people as much as possible in the area they represent," he said, explaining that in Mound House each of the five representatives has an assigned area.
The positions are unpaid and elected, and each advisory council sets the conditions for its own terms and elections and each has its own bylaws. Council members must be residents of each community and be registered to vote.
Hutting estimates the time spent on council business is about three to five hours per month.
He believes the voice of the councils is heard in Yerington.
"I'd say they take it pretty seriously if an advisory council in a community is really opposed to something," he said.
In Stagecoach, three seats are open, and at least one incumbent has decided against another term, said Chairman Michael Cline.
Cline agreed that the county officials do pay attention to the recommendations of the various advisory boards.
"I've seen some information come from the commissioners that they are going on the recommendation of the planning commission and advisory board," he said.
The Stagecoach advisory council will be accepting nominations at its Oct. 5 meeting and the Nov. 2 meeting, and will vote immediately after the Nov. 2 nominations. All candidates must live in Stagecoach and must be registered voters.
Silver City only has three members of its council due to its small size, just over 100 residents, and they won't be having elections this year. Board member Tamara Burnet said.
"We had our elections last December for terms beginning in January, and we have two-year terms," she said.
In Silver Springs, the terms run four years, and there are currently no openings, said Chairman Pat Geurts.
n Contact reporter Karen Woodmansee at email@example.com or 882-2111, ext. 351.
Positions open: 4
Call: Chairwoman Barbara Peck at 246-9653
Positions open: 1
Call: Chairman Gordon Hutting at 246-3130
Positions open: 3
Call: Chairman Michael Cline at 629-0801