December 21, 2016
We occasionally get phone calls from folks complaining about something one of the improvement districts is doing. Our answer is typically, "You know, that governing board is elected and has open meetings."
Last week, The Record-Courier published a letter calling for the dissolution of what is essentially Douglas County's largest city government. The Gardnerville Ranchos General Improvement District is requiring water meters on all the homes it serves.
Doing so will allow the district to extend its current water system on the one hand and beat a potential state mandate on the other. Requiring Nevada water systems to install meters was one of the recommendations of the governor's drought committee.
The writer conflated the Ranchos water meter installation with the county's issues with Douglas County Sewer District No. 1, which is a complete misreading of that debate.
Even with some pretty egregious and obvious violations of the open meeting law, county commissioners were reluctant to dissolve the Tahoe district.
Key to the decision to eliminate an improvement district is determining how the services it offers will be replaced.
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The only two neighboring possibilities are the Gardnerville Water Co. and Douglas County. Gardnerville already requires meters, and Douglas has been requiring water meters on the systems it acquires.
Finally, there's the first point. Gardnerville Ranchos residents elected the district board, not once, but five times since it was first proposed meters be installed in 2006. And all those discussions on installing meters were held in open, agendized meetings.