Public support critical to process
We completely understand the desire to reduce the length of time the county spends on each ordinance.
Between the applicant’s presentation, public comment and commission debate, a controversial project like Klauber Ranch, could mean two four-hour hearings.
That’s substantial staff time on the part of the county, residents and, yes, even the applicant.
We looked up the requirements under Nevada Revised Statutes 244.100 cited in the item, and it clearly lays out the procedure for approving an ordinance. While we take perverse pride in Douglas County’s willingness to allow a full-blown public hearing at both first and second readings, we can understand the desire to cut that time in half.
That said, Klauber probably wasn’t the best issue on which to test the new ordinance procedure.
Residents waited through the awards presentations and the county manager debate to have their say on the project. We appreciate Commission Chairman Barry Penzel’s recognizing that and opening the issue for comment, despite protests from the applicant.
One of the keys to open government is to over-communicate. If people know they’ll get their say when the issue is up for a vote, then they’ll be able to work ahead of time.
And while comment cards don’t provide much room, we’ve seen many emails and letters included in the commission packets under controversial items.
It may be our stock in trade, but sometimes putting pen to paper is a great way to contribute to a discussion.