Commentary: Let the board do what it was elected to do | NevadaAppeal.com

Commentary: Let the board do what it was elected to do

Jim Foley
For the Nevada Appeal

After reading a second opinion piece in as many weeks advocating the placement of the proposed Nugget redevelopment project on the November ballot, I feel a response is necessary.

I am not writing regarding the merits of the project, but rather to express the belief that we elect individuals to the Board of Supervisors, pay them a salary, and then expect them to make decisions on our behalf – decisions that they believe are in the best interest of the community.

These are not ceremonial posts, and if anyone is not prepared to make difficult, even controversial decisions, then by all means please don’t run for office.

We elect our officials with the assumption that they are prepared to spend a considerable amount of time and effort to educate themselves, listen to opposing points of view in an open forum, and make an informed and deliberate decision on the community’s behalf. This is an implied covenant that they make with the voter when they run for office.

The average citizen simply does not have the time, resources or inclination to devote to even the most significant local issue.

This is why we place our trust in those we elect to represent us. In addition, there are occasions, as the Nugget project illustrates, where a decision may need to be made in a timely manner, as opposed to waiting for the next election cycle.

As one who has spent years in real estate investment and business, I must say that anyone who states that there is “no hurry” probably has not been that intimately involved in either.

When presented with an opportunity, you must be prepared to perform your due diligence, gather and analyze all relevant information, and most importantly, act. If you don’t, somebody else surely will.

With regard to the proposal before the city, there is no guarantee that the conditions and circumstances existing today will be in place a year from now. All the various parties showing interest now will have other options available for their time and capital, and will make their own judgments accordingly.

By any measure, the Nugget Downtown/Library Development Project is an important, possibly even watershed event and decision for the future of our town. Whatever decision the board makes will have significant ramifications, both intended and unintended, for the future of our city.

There have been and will be in the future public hearings on this matter, and I would encourage anyone with points, arguments or opinions on ether side of the issue to make themselves heard.

At the end of the day it will be the responsibility, as it always has been, of the five members of the board to consider public comment and staff recommendations, assimilate all relevant information, ask all the necessary questions, and then make their very considered and collective decision. They must shoulder the responsibility that their fellow citizens have entrusted in them.

• Jim Foley lives in Carson City. His wife, Sandy Foley, serves on the Carson City Library board of trustees.