You hear a lot of complaints these days about the Overton Power District and or even the Virgin Valley Water District. Some of it may be justified, but most is not.
Let’s face it, utilities are just not that popular with most of us.
In many parts of the country where a lot of us have lived before settling in this preview of paradise, it seems like the rates for power and water just continue to get higher and higher as faceless bureaucrats come up with ever-more creative ways of wringing our hard-earned cash out of our wallets. And there’s nothing you can do about it except pay through the nose or sit alone in the dark, unwashed and drinking bottled water from the minimart on the corner.
But that’s not the case here.
Our water company and our electric company both are governed by boards that are elected by the people who pay the bills. If we don’t like the way those companies are being run or misrun, we can vote the old rascals out and some new rascals in.
Or, we can run for office and be part of the decision making process ourselves.
Of course if you want to do that, you better act fast. Tomorrow is the last day you can file for non-judicial offices in Clark County. The judges needed to file earlier in the year.
This year, there are more seats open on the two boards than usual.
All five seats are up for grabs on the water district board. Previously some of those seats were filled by appointment but starting this year, all five are being filled through popular election.
To qualify for three of those seats, you have to live on the Mesquite side of the Virgin River. To run for the other two openings, you have to hail from the Bunkerville side.
There are six seats up for grabs on the Overton Power District No. 5 board. And Virgin Valley residents could win four of them.
There are two, four-year terms reserved for Overton and Logandale residents. But there’s also a four-year term open for a Mesquite candidate and another four-year term for a Bunkerville residents.
There are two other seats open on the power board that were vacated before their four-year terms were due to expire in 2016. They were filled by appointment and are now open for the remainder of their original terms. One is reserved for a Mesquite resident. The other is an at-large seat, meaning anyone from OPD’s service area can run for it, including from Mesquite or Bunkerville.
Filing opened on March 3 but shuts tight tomorrow at 5 p.m.
Some candidates have already prefiled but still haven’t completed the process. They’ll get in an out of the Clark County Election Office quicker than those who waited until the last day to act.
But those who prefiled who haven’t completed the process still have to report to the Pueblo Room on the first floor of the Clark County Government Center, 500 Grand Central Parkway in Las Vegas before 5 p.m., today or between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. tomorrow.
All candidates are required to appear in person to pay their filing fees and show proper identification. They’re also to complete, verify and sign their filing forms.
Of course there are higher offices open for those wanting to file, but they have little to do with what you pay for water and power, our solely local issues.
But just like those loftier offices like congressman, county commissioner, sheriff and all those others that will appear on the ballot, candidates for the water district and power district boards are going to need to campaign.
The Mesquite Local News will help there. We’ll offer a forum for candidates to tell their would-be constituents why they deserve their votes.
In the past, there hasn’t always been a lot of fervor to win these seats. Many times, power district seats were uncontested.
But things may be different this spring, what with all the news stories and occasional controversy both boards have endured.
However, no matter how many people file for any of these seats, there will not be a primary election on June 10. Well, there might be, but it won’t include either of these local boards. The General Improvement Districts (GIDs) just don’t operate that way.
All of the candidates will appear on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
But if history is a teacher, it’s more likely there’ll be a seat or two with only one, uncontested candidate, than a gaggle of candidates bickering over one seat.
An uncontested contest would be a shame. In recent months we’ve heard plenty of grousing and innuendo that attempted to divide us along geographic lines. It would be good for us to have a full pallet of candidates to sort through with none winning by default.
So if you’ve been mulling it over, put the newspaper down and drive to Las Vegas and file this afternoon, or get there early tomorrow morning.
That way if you’re going to sit alone in the dark, unwashed, drinking bottled water, it will be by choice