Keep Dayton in district

It would be a shame and a serious loss to the Comstock Historic District if Dayton were to withdraw.

The commission that oversees the district has an important mission - to preserve history - and Dayton is as historic as Nevada gets.

The rebellion comes largely from the flap over the sign at Mia's Swiss Restaurant, which admittedly has been unnecessarily difficult to resolve.

The crux of the issue with Mia's is the apparent conflict between trying to improve the looks of a building in the historic district versus preserving a bit of history itself - the Odeon Hall sign.

These are not mutually exclusive goals. The problem, it seems to us, came because there was no discussion of possible alternatives before the sign was painted.

Certainly, the Comstock Historic District Commission has a higher profile in Dayton now than it did before the controversy over Mia's sign. Maybe the benefit of that argument will be that people think twice before altering historic properties.

For its part, the commission needs to stop treating Dayton as a stepchild. It shouldn't wait for businesses to be surprised to find out they are, or aren't, within the historic district - and what that means to them. If the commission wants to be treated seriously, it needs to show the same respect for the people who own property in Dayton.

We don't believe the historic commission is opposed to Dayton developing commercially. At the same time, we think Dayton residents for the most part realize that history is part of the town's commercial appeal.

So, one difficult issue shouldn't be enough to abandon the effort to preserve history in Dayton. If history has taught us anything, it's to take the long-term view and not let issues of the day lead us to actions that we'll regret down the road.

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