Election better route than appointment
April 25, 2017
The proposal to convert Douglas County Sewer District No. 1 into a sewer authority was a little more fixing than we'd anticipated.
We agree that the boundaries for the old district failed to account for the greater portion of its constituency.
We were looking for something along the lines of the Minden-Gardnerville Sanitation District, where the political boundaries pretty much coincide with its service boundaries.
Then county commissioners would appoint the first district board, whose members would stand for election as the first even numbered years came up.
Instead, under the bill before the Legislature now, the authority's board would consist of representatives from three districts served by the sewer plant, a county appointee and a representative of the Stateline business community.
We understand there might be some folks concerned about a brand-new board taking over the sewer district.
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But trustees of the Kingsbury General Improvement District, the Round Hill Improvement District and The Tahoe-Douglas Sanitation District and a county commissioner are all elected by residents.
The fifth member of the board would be appointed by county commissioners from the business community. We would prefer to see the entire board elected at-large, but granted that at least four of those folks will have appeared on a ballot.
But a compromise would be to put that fifth seat on the ballot. Requiring that person be a member of the district's business community shouldn't be a deal-breaker.
By far a better answer would be to have those trustees elected by the people they represent.