Letters for Nov. 29, 2017
November 28, 2017
Affordable housing critical to future
There simply is not enough affordable housing in Douglas county. According to HUD, affordable housing is defined "the cost of housing is no more than 30 percent of one's income including utilities." Many of the biggest employers in Douglas only pay minimum wage (not including health care). At $20,000 a year, families cannot buy a home and need to rent. The vacancy rate for the limited number of apartments is extremely low. Where are these employees to live while they work in Douglas?
In September, the Board of County Commissioners approved new apartment construction. Thank you. A recent letter to the editor called the apartments low-income housing that will pay little or no property taxes. The apartment owners will pay property taxes. It will not be a drain on the county. The letter also stated it will detract from the rural look. Hopefully, in the permit process, demands (white fences and no construction directly on the roadside) will be made. Additionally, the renters will be shopping at our stores which will contribute to taxes collected.
Crime in any community is a concern. Underemployed individuals are not the only individuals who commit crime.
Douglas County government should work to attract companies that provide a higher living wage. But the needs are way deeper than that. Resources need to be focused on education. Nevada ranks 49th or 50th (depending on the poll) in the U.S. for education K-12. How can Nevadans expect to get a quality wage when they do not get a quality education? Nevada pays teachers poorly. How can Nevada attract quality teachers? Individuals need to graduate high school with a good base of education. Technical schools and community college educates for needed technical skills. A better educated individual is more apt to get a better job with a better wage and will not need Affordable housing.
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Douglas County needs both affordable housing (rural look) and quality education that produces a productive individual for both the needed and long term fix.
Where will servers come from?
Lynn Muzzy's letter in the Nov. 24 paper raises many questions. First among these is Mr. Muzzy, how can you possibly live in this community without anyone to serve you? We find that absolutely astounding. Do you never buy groceries? Fuel? Do you never eat out? What about fast food? Visit your bank?
Secondly, who will care for you when you are too old to care for yourself? Who will change your senior diapers? How will the first responders, teachers and others possibly be around to serve in this community? If they can't live here, it is unlikely they will work here. And it is entirely unfair to ask them to undertake long and expensive commutes.
As for low-paying employers? How much are you willing to pay for the things you likely want or need? We're betting less than the costs to their employers of those hard-working employees who serve you.
Your letter leaves us cold. A diverse community is a strong community and is a blessing to its members. Unless, that is, you choose to live in an echo chamber. Oh, wait.
Cheryl and Mark Blomstrom