By Richard Howe
This question was put before the citizens of White Pine during the General Election of Nov. 2010. The response 1697 (53.16%) in favor to 1495 (46.84) against. For reasons unknown to me this stalled and a deadline passed. It is recommended that all Nevada counties under 40,000 population should look into combining services as a way to save revenues.
Just after the new year his subject began to peek my interest, so I set out on my own, not as a commission, rather as a concerned citizen of the City of Ely. I was on a mission to see exactly how the community felt. I wondered why a county of about 10,000 residents had two governmental bodies located only five blocks from each other, needed duplicate services, i.e. City Clerk, Treasurer, County Clerk, County Treasurer, City Attorney’s, County District’s Attorney, City Road Dept., County Road, Dept.
So I decided to do my own research to get an idea of just how the local business community felt, as I made my rounds I became apparent that we are ready to combine governments. Some of the responses complied from “why did this take so long, it should have been some years ago.” Another said “I’ve been preaching this for years.” Still another said “We’re too small for two separate governments.” I then asked at other residents and it became more apparent.
Try and imagine the savings that will come from this collaboration. Just the administrative alone would save thousands. Think about one Building Dept., one Parks Dept., one Road Dept., one Fire Dept., one Finance Dept. I believe these services would improve greatly in a relatively short time.
These are some of the reasons I feel would make for a more cost efficient government.
Granted there is a lot of work to do before this can happen, and yest there are logistical hurdles to over come, such as landfill, water, sewer, revenue sharing to mention a few. That is why an ad-hoc committee is being formed, to address these and other issues.
My hope is that enough citizens will join together, start a petition drive to put this question on the ballot for the General Election on Nov. 4, 2014. This will go a long way in helping the Ad-Hoc committee to know just how year feel.
There is a process that needs to be followed; first you will need to get a petition with 10% of the voters in the last General Election, based on the approximate voters you will need 350-400 qualified signatures. These questions can be addressed at the County Clerk’s office.
To answer the question as to why I didn’t ask City or County officials about these questions, I was acting as a private citizen and felt I needed to ask the citizens and the businesses so I could get an unbiased opinion.
In closing I believe this issue should be brought before all the citizens of Ely and White Pine County. Let your voice be heard on this very important issue.
Last day for petition is June 17th. Must be returned to Secretary of State by Aug. 16th to appear on ballot for 2014 General Election.