Examining the issues

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City elections: Early voting for the city of Fallon elections has begun with the general election set for Tuesday.

Unlike the council races in 2011 when Mayor Ken Tedford and Councilman Bob Erickson ran unopposed, this year’s election provides voters with races in both Wards I and 2. We hope the voters in these two wards take their responsibilities seriously and go to the polls.

The Ward 1 race is a rematch between incumbent Rachel Dahl and challenger Susan Sevala-Smith. In 2009, Dahl captured the council seat as only 207 voters out of 1,300 eligible voters cast ballots.

This time around, Sevala-Smith has been attending City Council meetings and knocking on the doors in Ward 1, hoping to unseat Dahl.

Meanwhile, challenger Eric Blakey has run an aggressive campaign against incumbent James Richardson in Ward 3. Four years ago Richardson won election, capturing 125 of 193 votes out of 1,400 eligible voters.

The low turnout in 2009, though, was appalling in both races, but we are encouraged that this year’s turnout may be higher.

We urge the city’s eligible voters in Wards 1 and 3 to take this year’s election seriously and take the time and cast their ballots.

College funding: Assembly Majority Leader William Horne, D-Las Vegas, and his fellow lawmakers took the knife to Western Nevada College’s budget.

WNC, which has campuses in Carson City, Fallon and Minden, will receive $13.5 million in 2014 and $13.3 million in 2015, a significant drop from $15 million WNC is receiving this year.

One of the major reasons for the reduced funding is that Southern Nevada lawmakers felt their institutions of higher learning have received inadequate funding over the years.

The decision to move forward with the funding cuts is a blow to the Restore our College Campus Committee, which has been working hard during the past 18 months to restore funding to the WNC Fallon campus.

Last week, WNC conducted commencement exercises in Carson City and Fallon for its largest graduating class in history. It is unfortunate that southern Nevada lawmakers led by Horne took a revengeful attitude in pumping up the funding for southern Nevada community colleges and UNLV while punishing WNC, Great Basin College in Elko and the University of Nevada, Reno. As we advocated earlier this year, WNC and GBC have endured too many cuts to their educational programs during the past six years, and if Nevada wants to attack more businesses to the state, then the Legislature must find a way to fund higher education in the Silver State, not cut it. A push by local governments for WNC to offer classes pertinent to the economic recovery in specific Nevada communities has suffered a setback as a result of the Assembly action.

We hope this battle is far from over despite only a few more days remaining in the 2013 legislative session.

Editorials written by the LVN Editorial Board appear on Wednesdays.


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