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Commissioners Corner: It’s your responsibility to vote

by Steve Weissinger

The fall season is upon us and with it come the summer Olympic Games, the NFL season and the baseball pennant races. This fall is also important as it is the election season. As we prepare to go to the ballot box on Nov. 7, I cannot state strongly enough my encouragement to the voters of Douglas County to participate in the election process.

Every vote does count!

We were reminded of this during the primary election for school board members, when one race was decided on a 2-vote margin. There will be a vast number of issues put before the Douglas County voters at the federal, state and local levels.

The Board of County Commissioners has taken a position opposing the “teachers’ union tax initiative.” We believe that this initiative petition represents bad tax policy and will not achieve any measurable difference in our school system. For information concerning this measure, contact the Nevada Taxpayers Association. This will be a critical issue facing the Nevada State Legislature this next session.

The voters will be asked whether or not the Board of County Commissioners should be allowed to levy a 1/4-cent sales tax for the purpose of preserving open space through a purchase of development rights program. The details of the program are outlined in the county’s open space plan adopted by the board. The plan is available for public review. I encourage you to look carefully at this issue and vote accordingly.

There are a number of issues that will be on ballots throughout our county – at the general improvement district level, county level, state level, and, of course, the national level.

The privilege of voting is one of the most important aspects of being a United States citizen and is a privilege that we should all take seriously.

While the various election issues and fall sports dominate the news media, we continue to move forward on a number of county projects:

n We recently completed a $2.8 million expansion of Kahle Park, including the construction of a new gymnasium and restrooms. The facility is now open to the public with a grand opening celebration scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 21.

n We recently completed a $300,000 improvement to the Lampe Park parking area, enhancing the usability of the park for hundreds of residents.

n We are moving forward on the development of a skate park and will be awarding a bid in December for this approximately $350,000 project.

n The bid award for the Douglas County transfer-station should come before the Board of County Commissioners in November or December. This $2.4 million project will greatly improve the existing transfer facilities as well as providing enhanced recycling opportunities in Douglas County.

n We are moving forward with a bid request for a parking structure adjacent to the County Administrative Building at Lake Tahoe. It is anticipated that this $3.4 million dollar project will have a bid award in December.

n Two major street overlay projects are under way. This includes the overlay on Johnson Lane between Highway 395 and Fremont Street and Tillman Avenue from Riverview to Kimmerling. Oct. 20 is the scheduled completion date for this $900,000 project.

n The Minden Library expansion was recently completed with the new area now serving the residents of Douglas County. The improved parking area will be completed within a few months, representing a total investment in the Douglas County Library of approximately $684,000.

As you enjoy the fall season, you also have the opportunity to see and be a part of government at all levels. We will be deciding the direction of our country as we elect a new president, congressmen and senators. We will be setting major policy direction for the state of Nevada as we consider the appropriate method of funding schools and look to protect and honor marriage. We will be deciding whether or not to provide additional incentives to bring new businesses to the state and other matters.

At the local level, we will determine whether or not a quarter-cent sales tax should be utilized to preserve open space. As you, the voters, determine the policy direction at all levels of government, we are continually active in putting together important projects throughout the county, whether this might be the reconstruction of a road or improving recreational opportunities. We, your Board of County Commissioners, are proud of Douglas County. We are excited about the things that have been accomplished over the past four years and things we see coming in the future. Please, take the time and make the effort to vote in the Nov. 7 election.

If you will not be able to vote on that date, early voting will be available at various locations throughout Douglas County beginning Oct. 21. If you have questions regarding the voting process please contact the County Clerks office at 782-9023.

Do not miss your opportunity to vote. Your part in this process does not end at the ballot box. I encourage you not only to vote, but also to continue to be active in government issues, whether at a local level (general improvement district), school district, county, state or federal level. Remember, your vote counts and your voice matters.

n Steve Weissinger is a county commissioner representing District 1.