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Bring your solutions to election process

Staff reports

Another election season is upon us, bringing promises of efficient government, commitments to community service and all those other sweet-sounding promises candidates love to make.

But a feeling of change hasn’t hit our air yet. A few elected officials – U.S. Sen. Richard Bryan, Tahoe Justice of the Peace Steve McMorris – are stepping down and making way for a successor. However, challenges to incumbent county officials have been nonexistent.

This is not a call to file for their offices just for the sake of change. This is an observation that over the last few years, Douglas County government appears to have made a change for the better.

There are still disagreements, complaints and occasionally lawsuits over decisions and policies the county makes. But there are also good signs, like this year’s easily-balanced budget, the big box stores that are now planted on the Douglas side of the county line and state and national recognition for things the county is doing right.

East Fork Justice of the Peace Jim EnEarl, one of those who will be visiting the clerk’s office to file reelection paperwork, can provide the records that say fine collection is in his court has nearly doubled since he took over in 1996. And anyone who attends county commission meetings can see that a professional, courteous atmosphere has replaced one of acrimony and distrust. Commissioner Steve Weissinger, who will also be filing for another term, cites that cooperation as an accomplishment and one of the reasons he wants to serve four more years.

The coming two weeks will serve as a progress report, because the incumbents who want another term will find out if their constituents are content to let them do the job. They will know for certain May 15, when the filing period ends.

If you can do the job better, come forward. But do it with a philosophy of being part of a solution, not part of a problem.