When the word "pitch" is used in the month of April, one generally figures it is about baseball.
Well, that is not the kind of "pitch" I am referring to here. I am making my usual "pitch" regarding our upcoming Tuesday, April 8, elections.
Before I started this article, I read "Be A Responsible Citizen By Voting," in Wednesday's Nevada Daily Mail Opinion Page. My fellow columnist, Leonard Ernsbarger, made many good points in his article.
On several points, Leonard and I are in complete agreement. The first is in regards to the City of Nevada's financial situation.
Leonard stated that we need priorities, and we need to plan in advance for those priorities. I could not agree more. It is this very ongoing lack of forward planning that has in the past kept me at odds with our council.
Recent situations show this lack of forward budget planning in my opinion. The issue of the "street sweeper" was the first. The renovations at the municipal airport are high on my list as well.
I recently talked to a local farmer. He was making plans this year to purchase some new equipment. His choice came down to a new truck for hauling grain, or a new tractor for use in the fields.
He has not made his final decision, but he feels he will budget for the truck this year, and the tractor next year if finances are still in good shape. He said that tractor orders are backed up this year, and he can make a better deal for a truck. I sure wish he was running for the council.
If this farmer was on the council, he would have already looked over the equipment needs of the city a long time ago. He would never have waited until the street sweeper was just about finished to have it placed on the city's long term budget list.
The worst part of all about our city planning is that from what I can ascertain, there are many more items that are going to be needed in the future. The simple question is, "Do you have any semblance of a long range budget plan for not just this year, but for several years in the future?"
That leads me to the second part of Leonard's article that I found similar to my thoughts. He referred to our past financial situation for our city government.
He and I are both in agreement. For a long time many of us felt the city was in financial trouble. For a long time many of us were told by the city fathers that we were wrong. Well history has shown who was right on that issue.
The airport terminal mess has once again cost us some more money. The council was told that we should just let this contractor get away with breaking his contactual agreement with the city.
That is not how I think the stewards of our tax dollars should approach this. Sure it may cost us more time and money, but we need to set an example here and now. If you make a contract with the City of Nevada, you will complete that contract. If you don't complete the contract we will take you to court. If you don't stand up for we tax payers, who will you stand up for?
The election this coming Tuesday includes the candidates for several area municipal governments, and for candidates of all the local school districts.
There are no government organizations, that affect each of us more than these elected bodies.
Your local community government and school district is up close and personal as governments go. Each of these bodies collects tax money, and runs very important public services for we the local people.
There are as Leonard stated, four people running for the city council. There are nine persons who put their name on the ballot for the R-5 School District.
There are another twenty-one candidates for the four county school districts.
So the "pitch" for me is simple. You need to go and vote. These elections are important. The people we elect can make a great difference. Our local towns and schools are going to face many of the same problems that you are going to face in your own homes in the near future.
Gas, food, and just about everything else is getting higher in price each day. The price of our homes is dropping, which could affect tax revenues in the future. If we don't elect strong, sensible, and business minded people like that farmer friend of mine, we will get just the kind of government we deserve.
It is time for you to step up to the plate next Tuesday and take a swing at the "pitch" in the voting booth. If you don't take the time to be responsible, the kind of governments and schools you will get will be deserved.