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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Be a responsible citizen by voting on April 8

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Next Tuesday is when we have the opportunity to go to the polls and vote for school board and city council members. This is an important election and it is important to cast votes to select the candidates that will be best for the community. Within the county there is at least one issue that most likely will draw a large vote and there are several different elections including the R-1 school district and water district.

We are fortunate to have citizens who are willing to step forward and to commit themselves to serve in a leadership position in the community. We have a choice and, yes, your vote is important. There are nine candidates for the Nevada R-5 school board for three positions on the board.

Four well-qualified candidates have stepped forward to run for the Nevada City Council, two of these will be elected. It is unfortunate that there have not been any community forums where the candidates could voice their qualifications for the council and what they would like to achieve. Most likely the attendance would be low of such a forum which may be the reason that there has not been a forum held. It is the responsibility for each voter to become informed about the candidates.

Having the best qualified persons on the council is important to the community, not only at the present time, but also out in the future. It is true that the voters within the city will be the ones casting the votes, but they are representing more than just the population of the city. As Kathi Wysong, chamber of commerce director, adequately pointed out, Nevada is a regional hub and many of the decisions and the actions taken by the council have an effect on those in the regional hub.

We are fortunate to be living within this area. City government is a major business. It is important to elect those who are the best qualified to understand business and to implement the necessary decisions.

It has been nearly two years since a new council was elected and had to make difficult decisions to get the city moved to a good financial condition. At the time most citizens did not realize the financial condition of the city government -- many still are not willing to admit that it was in a financial strain. It was a time when we went from riches to rags overnight. Things appeared to be going well and many things were in the works, but reality hit.

Many municipalities and cities are in financial crises, including Kansas City. With the evaluations going down on the property resulting in less tax monies in the western states and in the eastern states, the cities are facing difficult times. Making it even more complicated the expenses are going up. If the city council had not gotten a hold of the situation and turned things around, we would have had greater problems.

It is true that the actions taken made it difficult for families that were directly affected by the personnel cuts. These actions are always complex. Fortunately, there was only one that applied for unemployment, the others either retired or found other employment.

Perhaps the council at that time did not make the right decisions in the eyes of many people. Many voiced opposition on everything the council did. The council did what they set out to do and that is to put the city that was heading toward bankruptcy into a good solid position.

We as a community have never shown appreciation to the council and for making the achievements that they made. We were fortunate to have had a high quality interim city manager, Harlam Moore. He gave the city leadership that was needed at the time. Again as a community we never thanked him for his achievements. We need to bring him back and adequately thank him as he deserves.

A common expression that is made within the community is that council members should not have an agenda. What is meant by that statement? Is there anyone running for the council who does not have an agenda of some type? If their agenda is to operate the city as a business and get it into a good financial position or to improve the economic development of the community, are these agendas that they should not have?

It is important for city government, county government and also schools to develop and maintain a certain amount of surplus. A rainy day may come and the surplus will help meet the needs at that time. That is what is happening in many municipalities at this time -- they do not have any surpluses for the hard times they now face.

Being on the council is a challenging responsibility. It is important for the city council member to represent what is best for the entire community, not a limited few or a special group. They must also set priorities. What are the most important things for the community? This is a great community as there are many things going on that are great. As a community, we need to pull together and support each other. There is a great need to promote the many positive things -- to be positive. There is a great deal of negative expressions. The way to promote the community is to be positive.

The candidates have made their commitment, now it is up to you as a voter to take a few minutes and to cast your vote. It is a matter of fulfilling your citizenship responsibilities. Do the right thing and vote.

Leonard Ernsbarger
Leonard At Large