(Phillip Regeski) – Possibly your State Senator, your City Councilman, or your local Judge. And who are the bureaucrats that are behind the counter when you go to get a business license – probably your neighbor.
It can be very disturbing when we view the television news and read newspapers and political magazines. These news sources concentrate on what that bring them the largest number of readers – the Federal government. But as the Federal government continues to push itself into failure, the responsibilities to provide the tools of a civil society will increasingly fall onto the shoulders of our local government – just where it belongs. And the news about our local government is getting better all the time.
We are at the beginning of a legislative session that is more responsive to the working people of Nevada (you and your neighbors) because our legislators are the working people of Nevada. The freshman Senators and Assembly men and women, and most of the returning legislators, live within your neighborhoods. They are sitting next to you at church, they are in the school parking lot with you waiting to pick up their kids, and they are behind you in line at the bank making a deposit.
These folks have an experienced understanding of what we need to succeed financially and socially. These folks – the people who are not professional politicians – are the heroes of our State government. Our unique form of State government, which meets once every two years, has the benefit of bringing citizen legislators together to make budget and organizational decisions, and then sending them home to our, and their, neighborhoods. And the wisdom of the people of Nevada to place term limits on those legislators and local politicians is purging the government of professional politicians who care more about “working the system” then the political health of the people of Nevada.
Nevada’s legislators are people like you and me (nurses, engineers, mothers, construction workers, lawyers, bus drivers, etc…), and they have the ability to make great decisions. These folks make the decisions that hold together the infrastructure that affects our lives.
Even with all the faults of our system, we still have the staff of the Nevada Department of Transportation and local government transportation departments that are building roadways and transportation infrastructure unmatched by any in the world. And they are building them with effective innovative design, construction, and contractual tools unique to Nevada. Our court systems are staffed by folks that provide our businesses with ways to settle disputes in a civil manner and ways to keep the criminals out of our neighborhoods. Our police use their people skills to help the good citizens of Nevada to prosper peacefully and their fighting skills to separate the bad guys from the rest of us. Our fire departments help to keep our economy strong by keeping our tourists safe from catastrophe and our environment safe from devastating forest fires. And we should not forget that every local government, no matter how large or small, including our State government, ends every fiscal year with a balanced budget.
Local governments are made up of us – our friends and neighbors. We are all in this together. And although I know that everything is not perfect with government, I also know that we have the ability to continually solve the problems with our local government, because that government is us.
During this unique time that our legislators are in session, let’s celebrate the great things of our state. If you feel that you have a better idea of how things should be done, or that your legislators are not making good decisions, then get on the phone and call them. You may not get through the first time, but be persistent and make your voice heard. Constructive criticism and suggestions to solve our problems are very important to all of our politicians at all levels.
And remember, our State needs good citizens in all of the elected positions. Consider taking time out of your life to run for office and serve our state. Although running for a Federal office can be degrading and often corrupting, running for State and local offices can be fun, satisfying and extremely rewarding. And if campaigning for political office is not in your life, then participate in the local political parties to experience the brotherhood of our State.
We have the ability to solve our problems in this state with citizen legislators and local politicians that are standing next to you at the meat counter at the grocery store. Let’s solve our problems together and keep this State great.
(Phillip Regeski is a District F board member of the CCRP and Chair or the Legislative Affairs Committee.)