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The Importance of Throwing Your Hat into the Election Ring

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By JUDY PRICE  |  Truckee

Long-time Tahoe/Truckee residents likely recall frequent and extended power outages; street closures — sometimes all roads in and out — for more than a week at a time; grocery stores running out of food; gas stations running out of fuel. Neighbors helped one another to dig out from snow storms and share generator power, fuel, and even food.

The special districts and the Town of Truckee were formed because we know that, at times, we are isolated and need our own organizations to provide services. We recognized the need to be self-sufficient in providing road maintenance, snow removal, public safety, power, water, sewer, recreation, schools, hospital, airport services, and more.

Our local community thrives because of dedicated service in the public sector. Our success has been shaped by addressing our needs and those of our neighbors; knowing that we cannot always depend on forces outside our region to help us.

This year, on Nov. 6, there will be 38 seats up for election from the special districts and Town offices in the Truckee/North Lake Tahoe region. The 38 individuals who win those spots will volunteer their time to serve the community and make it an even greater place to live and work. It is important to remember that these are your neighbors coming together to help neighbors. It might be time for you to consider being part of that service.

Surely, you think that you are too busy, or that it is too expensive to launch a campaign. I would argue that board members serving the community of the region will spend an average of 52.5 hours in meetings annually (of course, additional time will be spent studying materials and preparing). To put it in perspective, it’s estimated that on average you spend over 1,700 hours on your phone every year.

The filing process for candidates is relatively pain-free. There is no cost to file to run for these offices. To complete the forms required to run for special district office will likely take about 45 minutes. Drafting a Statement of Qualifications to be published in the voter’s guide may take a little time. Most special district candidates (especially if they run unopposed) will spend less than $1,000 on their campaigns. To be eligible to run for Town of Truckee seats, candidates must live in Truckee and get signatures from a minimum of 20 registered voters who live within the Truckee town boundary. Council candidates raise and spend an average of $2,500 on their campaign.

The Town of Truckee Clerk’s office issues nomination papers and accepts candidate filings for Town council offices, and, for over a decade, has assisted Nevada County with candidate filings for special district offices in the region. The candidate filing period begins July 16 and closes Aug. 10. If by Aug. 10 an incumbent from a special district or the Town has not filed for the office, the filing period will be extended to Aug. 15 for everyone except the incumbents.

It is important for all of us to do our part; to help ourselves and our neighbors by serving on one of the special district boards or the Town council. If you have already done so, we thank you for your service. If you have not, think about it. The Town of Truckee clerk’s office is here to help. Call, visit, or make an appointment to file your papers to run for office. I can be reached at jprice@townoftruckee.com or (530) 582-2924.

~ Judy Price, the Truckee town clerk, is a native Californian who moved to the Sierra Nevada in 1974. After a couple of other careers, Price found herself drawn to the public sector, and in 2002 started her career in public service at the Town of Truckee.

 
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September 13, 2018