Carol Howell: Speak out today at Carson City charter meeting

Do you know your U.S. Constitution? How about your State of Nevada Constitution? Good thing if you do. Those documents dictate the power of the state and federal governmental officers and officials, among other matters.

How about your city charter? If you don't know its purpose or understand it, shame on you. The city charter has the same limiting effect on those matters right here in Carson City. The city charter hits you right here at home from right in front of you.

When is the last time you looked to see for yourself if the locally elected officials were doing the right thing? Or, perhaps you found out that they were doing that which is allowed, but you think it's not a good way of doing the city's business?

Do you know that a group of hand-picked people, called the Charter Review Committee, has already had one meeting? That hand-picked committee has been charged with investigating the need for potential changes in the city charter.

Did you know they are preparing to meet once again - at 2:30 p.m. today in the Sierra Room of the Carson City Community Center - to either ignore, alter or steamroll over those ideas that some citizens have thought worthy of change? Do you know who hand-picked that small group of citizens to dictate how your city will operate? Do you know what the agenda is for the hand-picked committee?

If you've been sputtering about how the top officials at City Hall no longer listen to the average citizen, maybe it's time you do more than sputter to your neighbor or co-worker. If you think you've been cheated by the actions of "those people" at City Hall and you haven't spoken up, you are part of the problem. Don't rely on others to carry the load for you.

Within the next week or two, there is another scheduled meeting of the Charter Review committee. Pay attention to the posting of the meeting agenda, plan ahead and speak up. Speak out. Or, stay home and accept what is your due.

The only way it will change is when your voice is heard at City Hall. Don't be disrespectful. Don't be rude. Just be emphatic with a clear point in mind and a clear purpose for speaking up and out.

Locally, it appears that the actions of government have put Carson City in the same weak financial condition that the people in Washington, D.C., have put this country. Our reserves have declined sharply during the past two to three years, while the Board of Supervisors makes weak claims to have addressed the impact of the economy "proactively." Giving raises while draining reserves is a "pro-active" reaction?

Perhaps it's all in their meaning of "proactively."

• Carol Howell is a Carson City resident.


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