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COMMUNITY VIEWPOINT: Our civic duty is more than casting a vote

Until a few short years ago, I watched the news once in awhile, complained about this thing or that, and believed I was doing my duty by registering and voting.

Out of curiosity I decided one day to attend a local Pahrump Town Board meeting that was held at the Bob Ruud center. And were my eyes ever opened … Suddenly I was in a sea of discussion about issues that I had never thought of.

The more I listened the more amazed I was about the range of issues facing my little town in the high desert. I decided to begin paying attention to the news items more closely and attend more meetings.

I was asked at a meeting to attend another form of meeting called the Pahrump Fall Festival advisory board, held in a tiny little building near all the other town buildings. And my eyes were further opened.

As the meeting progressed and since I had 25 years experience in the special event industry, my curiosity was piqued, and I decided to speak up and ask a question.

A question that made the chairman turn red and demand of me who I was and what business did I have questioning what was being decided.

So I informed this man in no uncertain terms that I was a citizen and I had probably forgotten more about the subject matter than he would ever know.

And this was the seminal event that caused me to continue to question, pen letters like this one, pen opinions on all manner of issues, and attend a variety of town and county government meetings.

I was also invited to be a member of the Fall Festival finance committee, and boy were my eyes opened to just what could occur when citizens stay uninformed as to what was going on in this town.

We have some very serious issues surrounding our little burg here folks. Issues that not only will impact your immediate life, but that will affect the generations that go forward long after we are dust in the wind.

I’ll throw out some words and if you don’t know what they relate to or how serious they will impact this valley, this county, this state, then you too need to get involved.

We are all responsible and have duties to each other that extend far beyond the act of voting. There are special interests out there that are manipulating every single arena that directly impact our lives.

And if you don’t attend the meetings, learn who the players are, ask the questions and put forth your views, then you will be run over by the steamroller and won’t even see it coming….until it is too late to stop.

One of the Nye County commissioners tells it like it is, we are a republic folks, who you choose to vote for is the person who will decide by their votes how you will live in this valley, town and state. People are mistaken when they believe that democracy in a pure form will decide the outcomes. Not so, by voting you help pick the people who make the decisions.

Sure we can attend meetings and say what our opinions are, but don’t kid yourselves for a minute, most of the issues have already been decided in the minds of your duly elected official and for the most part they will smile and only pay lip service to your concerns.

So what good is getting active and learning about all of this? Because right now as the candidates vie for the votes in the upcoming primary and November general election, kiss the babies, smile and put their best face on, is when you can stand up and inform others exactly what these people have been doing and why they must be held accountable one way or the other.

For integrity, honesty and being in your corner and doing what is right, or for being a talking head and vote for special interests.

Become informed, get involved, voice your opinion, and be a watchdog for the interests of yourself, your family, your neighbor, and this community. Or get steamrolled.

It’s your choice, you can either vote your ignorance or vote from a position of knowledge.

The reason this town has so much turmoil is because too many folks blindly vote their ignorance. Here are the words I promised. WATER — YUCCA MOUNTAIN — INCORPORATION — Bundy (Ranch) — MASTER (PLAN) — BLM — JOBS.

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